Unlike a typical undergraduate University course, the Honors Seminars focus on the discussion and group examination of the class materials. Furthermore, this year we are in a situation where we are doing this discussions entirely online via Zoom. Please review the following to help be an effective participant in these events.
Technology & Software
Make certain that you obtain access to hardware (computer/tablet/phone) and a connection that allows you to communicate with the class. If you are concerned about your ability to connect remotely for this course, please consult the following information about solutions provided by the Division of Information Technology:
How to mute/unmute sound and turn cameras on and off
(Virtual Backgrounds are not a necessary feature, and not everyone's hardware set up allows them to be used properly, but they can be fun. They are not a necessary function for this class, however!)
How to Rename your profile for the meeting. In particular, the preferred style with be "Your preferred first name" "Initial of your last name" "(pronouns)". So Iron Man's civilian identity would be "Tony S. (he/him)".
How to use Gallery view vs. Speaker view. (In a class this small, Gallery view will allow you to see everyone's screen at once.)
How to use Chat (including how to post a file or link to Chat and how to chat with a single individual vs. sending a message to the whole group)
How to use the Participants function (including how to "raise hands" and how to use the other indicators and emojis)
How to work in a Breakout Room (including how to "Ask for Help" from within that Room)
In order to be an effective participant in this seminar, please:
Arrive on time. If you are having difficulty getting to the room, please email Dr. Holtz to let me know that there is a problem.
Do not leave before the session ends. Expect to use the full seminar time; that said, some may actually end early.
Be prepared to participate. That is, when there are assigned readings/videos, make sure you have read/screened and understood them. If there is a project due, make sure you have it
completed. And always be prepared to discuss the previous week's lectures! You will called upon to discuss your assignment, and you should be ready to add additional information/observations to the class if you think it is relevant.
Be courteous. Obviously this includes general courtesy: don't insult each other; be respectful of each other; etc. But specifically, express academic courtesy:
Make sure each person is allowed to express their thoughts. In other words, don't monopolize the discussion and don't interrupt each other.
Be respectful of other people's right to hold beliefs different than your own.
Similarly, remember that it IS okay to confront a belief if you have actual evidence, but confront the belief itself, not the person or people who hold it.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you yourself states something incorrect, it isn't the end of the world. If someone else states something incorrect, that doesn't mean that they are incompetent. Be prepared to learn from your own mistakes, and the errors of others. That is a big part of the learning process (uncomfortable as it might be at the time...)
Everyone is expected to participate. Ideally you will do so willingly and graciously. But if you are sitting their passively trying to be invisible (we've all been there at some point...) you still might be asked to give your response/answer/whatever. Please do so.
Help each other out, so long as it isn't an academic honesty violation! A big part of the role of discussion sections is to generate and promote collective learning: by interacting as a group, you help reinforce learning you have already done, and get a chance to learn new ideas, concepts, and approaches.
Stay engaged. Please eliminate or reduce as much as feasible other distractions. For instance, please stay away from social media, non-emergency texting, emailing, and phone messages, doing homework for other classes, etc., during the time in our session. You may sometimes need to have access to online materials (papers, ELMS, etc.) during class, of course: that is part of the meeting itself.
Use the Chat box to ask questions or share feedback.
Mute your microphone when not speaking to the group. For Breakout Rooms and other small groups this is less necessary, but in larger assemblies the little noises from each of our environments can add up.
Activate your camera if you feel like it. However, don't feel obliged to do so. Ideally we'd all like to see each others' faces and reactions during class time, but there are plenty of reasons (glitchy connections; bad hair day; etc.) when each and any one of us might not want to be visually present.
Please do not record the meeting without all participants approval. There is the temptation to use this technology so that you can go back and review the material at a later day. But by law you need the approval of all members of the group before you record them; technically speaking, recording these sessions without such approval is illegal.
By the way, if you feel like there are additions or modification to this list, bring them up with Dr. Holtz and we'll see about such changes.