The Honors College will accept Honors 3260 course proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year starting in the fall of 2020. Please contact Interim Associate Dean Marise Parent with any questions.
Proposals are welcome starting now. The deadline to submit your proposal is February 2, 2021, at 5 p.m. (Eastern). Decisions will be released no later than early March 2021.
This course is intended to provide Honors students with the opportunity to explore a compelling scholarly topic or question from an interdisciplinary perspective. Honors seminars are led by a faculty member, but frequently include guests from other disciplines and professions in the Atlanta community. Seminars should foster critical thinking and writing and should inspire deep discussion among students and faculty members. The theme of the course may grow out of the faculty member’s research interests, but the course content and requirements need to be accessible and achievable, respectively, to students across majors. We encourage proposals that relate broadly to the university’s strategic focus on complex challenges in cities and global perspective, which could be accomplished by including a Virtual Exchange component. We also welcome proposals that facilitate digital literacy and/or encourage GSURC proposals submitted by individual students or student groups for presentation in spring 2022. (Students may submit proposed work). Instructors are encouraged to design courses that incorporate university and Honors College events, helping students to cultivate a life of the mind; for example, assignments might be to attend a campus lecture or research workshop and write a reflection essay or iCollege discussion post.
- Honors 3260 seminars meet for 2.5 hours (either once or twice a week), for three hours of elective credit.
- Classes are limited to 15 or fewer students; grading is by letter.
- Seminars are defined by shared responsibility and active participation; thus, attendance and active participation should account for a significant portion of the final grade.
- Courses must link course objectives with college to career learning objectives. Faculty can use this tool to easily accomplish this goal. Assessments of learning must align with the course-linked college to career objectives and should produce evidence of learning suitable for students’ Portfolium accounts.
- Seminar-style learning spaces available in the Honors College for all Honors 3260 sections that have a face-to-face component.
- Funding available for course activities (dependent on available budget).
Course requirements should demonstrate growth in knowledge and critical thinking through writing and oral discussion or presentation. Requirements should be creative and allow students to explore the seminar topic through various methods. Small group projects tend to work very effectively in these seminars and class time can be devoted to group work. For example, groups could use the first 30 minutes of class time to meet and report their progress to the full class, and set goals to accomplish within the next week. Small group projects can be defined by students, within parameters, and can span the semester.
Other requirements should ask students to demonstrate learning through creative, non-traditional ways. We discourage proposals for courses that include traditional end of semester research papers or examinations unless the faculty member has had past success with these forms of assessment in this seminar. Instead, we encourage proposals that use individual or small group work that builds collaboration skills, etc., along with writing and presentations.
Some examples of non-traditional ways of assessment are an end of the semester class presentation, a book club embedded within the course, and small group projects that span the semester. For example, several courses have had tremendous success with an end of the semester class presentation, often attended by others in the university community or from the larger Atlanta community. These presentations work particularly well when members of the audience have been class guests. One seminar used a book club format, where small groups each read a different text, then presented their analysis of the text. This strategy exposed students to more content than could otherwise be accomplished, and the presentations enticed most students to read at least one of the other texts in full. Another example is an assignment where students research a psychologist who has not been recognized commensurate with her accomplishments. Students must use original source material to write a compelling memo to a publishing house to material on the psychologist in their next introductory to psychology text. They must specify where and how the information would be incorporated. Any writing assignments should include the opportunity for revision. Students may be from diverse backgrounds, the opportunity for revision provides students unfamiliar with another discipline’s conventions important feedback.
Proposals should respond in some way to the theme of civic responsibility/civic virtue. The entire course does not have to be centered around this topic, but some aspects of civic responsibility/civic virtue should be addressed. Two resources to help you consider how you can approach this theme include an article published by the American Bar Association on an alternative view of civic duties and a document from Tennessee State University defining citizenship and civic responsibility.
Course objectives should be aligned with college to career learning objectives. Faculty can use this tool to easily accomplish this goal. Assessments of learning must align with the course-linked college to career objectives and should produce evidence of learning suitable for students’ Portfolium accounts. Proposals that include a Virtual Exchange component support GSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan to develop Global/Intercultural Fluency Career-Readiness Skills.
This year, the Honors College encourages proposals that integrate Virtual Exchange into the curriculum, either partially in the form of modules or completely. Virtual Exchange is an exciting teaching and learning method that connects students and faculty at Georgia State to students and faculty at an international university to work collaboratively on some project tor theme. Virtual Exchange promotes students’ intercultural competence using a variety of teaching strategies, such as peer review, cooperative learning, online discussions, project-based learning, service-learning, and co-teaching.
Benefits to students:
- Increases global competency and engagement
- Promotes digital literacy
- Fosters cultural appreciation and understanding
- Develops professional skills
- Facilitates intercultural collaboration and communication
Benefits to faculty:
- Offers an economical way to bring in content and practicing expert
- Builds research and teaching networks at international institutions
- Creates professional development opportunities
- Globalizes your curriculum.
In collaboration with the Office of International Initiatives, the following support will be provided to faculty: 1) help finding an international partner, 2) one-on-one discussions on potential topics, best practices, and implementation, 3) introductions to other faculty with experience using this format including a Faculty Teaching and Learning Community for Virtual Exchange, and 4) assistance with technological issues.
For more resources on Virtual Exchange, see:
The Honors Digital Literacy Initiative provides unique resources to faculty who plan to teach Honors courses in the 2021-2022 academic year. These resources offer increased opportunities for students to participate in active learning, engage in new approaches to their disciplines through digital discussion and problem solving and obtain skills important to academic and professional success. Resources include:
- eText and Course Development Assistance: The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will provide resources to assist faculty with creating their own eTexts or developing other course materials and ideas.
- Technology-Equipped Academic Spaces: Participants will be eligible to teach in flexible classroom spaces that include technologies such as touch screens and classroom recording.
- An Exceptional Environment for Educational Research and Publication: This initiative provides many opportunities to conduct evidence-based research into how evolving digital tools affect learning. Help with preparing publications will be available.
Find out how even small changes to how you ask students to demonstrate evidence of learning can have a big impact. Discover more about digital pedagogy and resources for faculty from CETL. Explore classroom projects from the DL initiative at Edge Magazine.
Our goal is for the following outcomes and objectives to be met through our Honors College courses;
- Developing proficient written and oral communication through attention to organization, presentation, and style; use of compelling and credible content, sources; and clear, cohesive, and compelling language and a well-supported, memorable central message
- Gaining interdisciplinary understanding by synthesizing ideas and experiences and learning to reach conclusions by combining examples from more than one field.
- Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills by cultivating the mental habit of stating problems and issues clearly; proper sourcing of information and questioning of expert opinions; analyzing personal assumptions; and reaching logical conclusions and solutions.
- Nurturing creativity by pursuing assignments or research in potentially risky, untested ways; integrating divergent or contradictory ideas; extending a novel question, format, or product to create new knowledge; and producing transformative ideas or solutions.
- Cultivating a global perspective through study abroad experiences; seeking insight into personal cultural values; interpreting intercultural experience from more than one viewpoint; and negotiating a shared understanding of differences with openness.
Honors College Interim Associate Dean Marise Parent is available to consult with faculty developing course proposals. The Honors College librarian is also available as a resource to faculty members during the course development process.