Weekly Starting Assumptions
Think about what you know already about the culture and period, share your knowledge and experience with other students in the class
Due: Tuesday, 11:59 p.m.
Plan: 30 mins.
Science embodies its place, time and culture. The Starting Assumptions assignment begins with a video prompt to prompt reflection, sharing, and listening to what you and your classmates already know about the culture and period. You and your classmates already know a lot, more than you realize! In the Starting Assumptions assignment each week you will share your knowledge and interact with other students in the class about your experience, knowledge and interest in that week’s topics. Finally, you will complete the Starting Assumptions assignment by making a “Gradebook declaration” in the Quizzes section of Desire2Learn.
Learning Objective: The Starting Assumptions assignment gives you a chance to recall any previous acquaintance you might have with the period and culture we will explore, and to share your knowledge with other students in class. It is not really meant to introduce the science of the time and place, so much as the cultural context. Its chief purpose is to give everyone a better appreciation of the specific culture and period whose science will be studied during the given week.
Starting the week! The Starting Assumptions assignment is the first assignment you will do each week, and it is due at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night. (Yes, remember, the week "starts" on Tuesday; see Weekly Assignments and time management tips.) Why not do it on Monday, and work at least one day ahead all week?
Optional and required questions. A list of questions will get you thinking about what you might want to post as your Starting Assumptions. At least one of those questions will be **required** while the other questions are optional. Here's how to recognize which question is required: it will be marked in bold, with red asterisks. Your Starting Assumptions post must include some answer to the required question, along with comments about any of the other questions that catch your attention. Oftentimes the required question will come in several parts, phrased something like this:
**What are some similarities between ancient (fill in the blank) cultures and culture today? How might these similarities help us to understand ancient (fill in the blank) culture? What are some differences between ancient (fill in the blank) culture and culture today? How might these differences pose an obstacle to our understanding of ancient (fill in the blank) culture? What do you think is the chief barrier or prejudice that obstructs modern appreciation of science in the (fill in the blank) era?**
This required question really consists of three parts:
Please try to reply briefly to all three parts of this required question each week.
New Topic. Just click the New Topic button in Confluence. Each week you will create three New Topics on Confluence, when you post your (1) Starting Assumptions, (2) an Interpretation, and (3) a Reflection (weekly assignments).
Starting Assumptions responses. In addition to posting your own Starting Assumptions at the Confluence discussion board, you are also required to post responses to the Starting Assumptions of two other students. Just hit the Add Reply button, or you can click on the Add Reply link that appears as part of their post (just under their name on the left hand side).
Student-to-Student Interaction: You will be doing a lot of writing for each other this semester. I strongly believe that interaction with other students in a way that is not mediated by the instructor is one of the chief advantages of an online course. When you read others' Starting Assumptions, pause and do your best to understand where they are coming from. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know your fellow students; you will be "seeing" a lot of them online through the course of the semester. Many students find this student-to-student interaction to be one of their favorite aspects of the course!
Note: This page is a general description of the Starting Assumptions assignment. For the specific questions you are to respond to on any given week, go to the Starting Assumptions assignment page for that week.
Here are the instructions you will see each week for the Starting Assumptions assignment:
Instructions for Starting Assumptions assignment:
"Questioning is the most civilized and sophisticated of arts." John S. Mill
This course is currently undergoing major reconstruction to bring it into alignment with the new version of the course at Janux