In the 2019-2020 Academic Year, the FYS Task Force will be assessing Core 6b. Faculty teaching CORE 100 should be prepared to complete a Qualtrics survey about their work on this SLO. Questions will be added to all FYS student evaluations as well, to help the FYS Task Force assess our achievement of this SLO.
CORE 100 courses should introduce, at a basic level, a multi-disciplinary approach to the seminar topic. At least two disciplines should be incorporated through reading and discussion in a substantive way. You may do so through collaborations, events, or your own expertise. The precise nature of the multi-disciplinary approach is left to the discretion of the instructor. For example:
“Vocation” is broader than preparation for a major or a job. A key part of the Xavier mission is to challenge and support students as they cultivate lives of reflection, compassion and informed action. Accordingly, in CORE 100, students should consider how the study of the seminar topic connects to the larger world. In addition, First-Year Seminar students should also be given the opportunity to engage in questions about how their scholarly endeavors--in the seminar and at the university more generally--speak to their own sense of purpose and their ability to contribute to the betterment of society. We might ask them, in a number of ways, "Who are you now?" At an introductory level, the articulation of vocation and aspirations to contribute to the world might involve:
CORE 100 supports students’ ethical reflection and growth and prepares students for their further intellectual and ethical development through E/RS. Therefore, in all CORE 100 seminars, students will critically assess an ethical issue--more specifically, an aspect of the theme of “the greater good.” At an introductory level, this means that seminar discussion and assignments should help students to articulate:
We live and work in an era where the concepts of “texts,” “reading,” and “interpretation” are understood very broadly. Interpreting challenging readings may involve reading words on a page, discussing them orally in class, and responding in depth by producing a written interpretation. However, acceptable texts for FYS may also include paintings, sculpture, music, songs, films, graphs, maps, reports, computer programs, etc. Likewise, acceptable forms of interpretation may extend beyond writing papers to any number of interpretive exercises: oral presentations, visual displays, creative performances, etc. It may also be useful to provide a variety of secondary texts to supplement your study of primary texts. For instance, an album by Bob Dylan is likely to be interpreted in very different ways by musicians, rock critics, literary scholars, philosophers, sociologists, and theologians. Invite students to see how different perspectives can yield substantially different interpretations.
What makes any of the above “challenging”? It could be the level of difficulty. Unpacking a dense passage from a philosophical tract and teasing out its various meanings would be one such example. Articulating the many broad issues raised in a text would be another. Tackling a complex mathematical theorem and understanding its various premises and calculations would be yet one more example. But sometimes a deceptively simple text can be rendered challenging if examined carefully and critically enough. Analyzing panels from a graphic novel to see how the juxtaposition of specific words and images create an effect greater than the sum of its parts would certainly count as interpreting a challenging reading. Examining a series of sexually provocative advertisements to reveal the gendered assumptions behind their marketing message would be another such example. Texts that are not only challenging to interpret but are also likely to challenge pre-existing student assumptions are especially useful.
The selection of texts and the methodological approaches to them are left to individual instructors, so long as interpreting challenging readings is an important facet of every CORE 100 section. See "Teaching Difficult Texts" box under the "Assignment Ideas" tab.
One of the goals of CORE 100 is to help students learn how to conduct college-level research. We encourage you to contact the library liaison for your department and invite them to provide library research instruction and assist with the creation of assignments that incorporate research and information literacy skills. These skills should be used with at least one specific assignment, rather than a general skills overview. While the assignments are left to the discretion of the instructor, we strongly recommend the following:
The following resources can help instructors design assignments:
An assignment may include:
The Library is offering a prize for the student paper that makes the best use of library resources. Please see the prize announcement for details.
Keep in mind that many students taking CORE 100 will not yet have completed Composition or Rhetoric. In fact, many will be enrolled in ENGL 101 or 115 at the same time they are taking your class. Therefore, unlike most other classes you teach at Xavier, you cannot assume that students in this class have had much instruction or practice in university-level writing. In other words, you will need to provide more explicit and more basic writing instruction than you are probably accustomed to if you expect students to write well in CORE 100.
One key element of academic writing that should be emphasized across all CORE 100 sections is argument. While not every assignment in your course needs to adhere to this SLO, every CORE 100 should provide, in one form or another, some attention to constructing arguments supported with evidence. Here are some suggestions for meeting that expectation:
Sole authority for specific assignments resides with individual instructors. Just remember to pay attention to constructing arguments supported with evidence in each CORE 100 section.