CTL Featured Assignment Overview
Name & number of course: FYS 143B - First-Year Seminar: “Stories from the Road: Transformation and Discovery”
Name of assignment: Core Values
Class size: 7
Last time class was taught & when it will be taught again:
Fall 2013, taught again Fall 2014
Learning goals of the assignment & briefly how they relate to the goals of the course:
The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students in the First-Year Seminar with the Core Values and Mission of the College during the first week of classes. The assignment also serves as an entry point to ongoing conversations about the liberal arts and the values and mission of the College and models the kind of critical in-class discussions I hope to foster throughout the semester.
Description of the assignment (e.g., when you give the assignment, if you scaffold the assignment):
I assign the College Mission and Core Values for homework on the first day of class. On the second day of class, I project the College website with the mission and core values in class and we read them together. Next, we unpack the text together with guiding discussion questions (see PDF below). Finally, at the end of class, I assign the first written Moodle forum homework assignment, which is focused on the core values and mission. We begin the next class time by sharing our responses to the forum posts and discussing the values that the students would either articulate in another way or are missing from the College’s statement and any other changes they would make and why.
What you like about the assignment & why you think it is effective:
The assignment introduces the new students to the culture of the College, their new community, through the College’s values and mission. Moreover, by critically engaging them at the outset of the semester and discussing the process of shared governance that creates statements of institutional identity, the students feel they too can have ownership over and voice in their new academic home.