Thursday, 18 September 2014

Course Website FAQ

Here are FAQ about the course website.
  • The 5 most recent posts are displayed on the main page.
  • A permanent link list, "Res Perscribere", is always visible on the sidebar of the course website, containing direct links to crucial information.
  • Also on the sidebar, always visible, is the "Tabulæ" displaying direct dated links to all posts on the course website.
  • An "Older Posts" hotlink is always visible at the bottom of the main page which displays the next 5 most recent posts.

Course E-Mail Netiquette

The protocol for academic settings is the same as obtains in professional and other formal circumstances. As always, be very careful not to mistake e-mail, especially in formal or institutional situations, for the type of radical informality, or even discourtesies, apparently tolerated in on-line social media.  Nor is there any academic or professional place for the grotesque and brutish abbreviations which degenerate certain modes of electronic—and, alarmingly, now increasingly in spoken—communication.
  1. E-mail (indeed, all communication) between Instructor and student is a formal and professional exchange. Accordingly, proper salutation and closing is essential.
  2. Business e-mail is courteous but, of professional necessity, concise and direct. It rejects roundabout or ornate language, informal diction, and any appearance of what is termed in the vernacular, 'chat.'
  3. Customary response time for student e-mail to the Course Instructor is two to three business days. E-mail on weekends will ordinarily be read the Monday following.
  4. Use only your BCIT account for e-mail to the Course Instructor. All other e-mail is blocked by whitelist.
In general, Course e-mail is for matters of Course administration solely. It is not an alternative to, nor substitute for, face-to-face discussion on class days. All questions about understanding of lecture material, course reading, assignment criteria, and deadlines are reserved for one-on-one discussion at close of class on scheduled course days.

Missed classes and deadlines are not to be reported by e-mail: if a medical or bereavement exception is being claimed, the supporting documentation is handed in, along with the completed assignment, either in person or to the Instructor's mailbox in the SW1 & 2 Connector, 2nd floor..

Course Syllabus and Schedule of Readings & Resources

Two documents(i.) Course Syllabus and (ii.) Schedule of Readings & Resources—are available in this post and also directly under the links list, Res Prescribere.

Note that the the Schedule of Readings & Resources has you reading ahead: it thus has a one-week staggered difference with the material in the lecture weeks schedule.
Students will be given advance notice of any changes in either document,

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Weekly Writing Labs

LIBS 7007 has a strong writing component that reinforces the analytic reading techniques learned through engagement with the Course list of articles within the sociology discipline.

Each Course Week includes a classroom writing lab, structured around the technical principle that mastery of correct paragraph structure is the effective means toward command of academic English.
Paragraph and Essay, at the formal level, stand in relationship of Microcosm and Macrocosm.
The writing lab component is organised as follows.
  1. An analytical task is set on a section from Course Reader article.
  2. From the analytical reading, a topic sentence is created, on the model taught in lecture.
  3. From the topic sentence, a sequence of development sentences are devised proving the topic sentence by either reason or evidence.
  4. The paragraph is concluded with a linking sentence in the form of a summary.
The Labs teach paragraph structure week-by-week in sequentially advanced principles, on the understanding that non-fiction writing is techne: where mathematics is a formal rule-based system using number as its material, non-fiction writing is a formal rule-based systems using words as its material.

The student files each week's Lab work in a folder provided, and at Course Week Fourteen the sequence of filed work forms the material for a Final Examination preparatory Lab that presents and practices the relation of paragraph to essay: part to whole and microcosm to macrocosm. 

Weekly Lab work has no independent Grading consequence, but rather it forms a significant, and empirical, part of the 25% Participation  Grade for the Course.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Group Sociology Project

This project, done in groups of three members, is worth 30% of the total Course grade.

The project is a two-part engagement with any one of the sociology articles in the LIBS 7007 Course Reader.
  1. Phase One is a fifteen-minute seminar that presents an analysis and explanation of your selected article from the LIBS 7007, Technology & Society Reader in terms of its relevance to Mechanical Engineers.
  2. Phase Two is an engineered study guide which allows any Mechanical Engineer or Mechanical Engineering student to navigate, comprehend, and make workable sense of your chosen sociology article. In accordance with this purpose, the project form and platform will itself be immediately congenial to, and functional for, the specified population of users.
  1. Phase One of the project is delivered on a post-Mid-Term course Friday of your choosing. See the Course Syllabus for the sign-up date.
  2. Phase Two of the project must be completed by 23:59:59, December 14th 2014.
Grading Metric. The project effort will be considered to be 30% multiplied by the number of members in your group. So the three-member group will produce a project which is expected to represent 90% of a BCIT Course's effort. There will be one Group Grade that applies to all Group members.

Grading Criteria. The project will be graded on specific published criteria. TBA.

Delivery Requirements.The twin primary requirements for both Phase One and Phase Two of the project are comprehensibility and delivery of understanding. A secondary requirement is worth assessment: which will result from your Group's analysis of your selected sociology article. If in either Phase One or Phase Two your Group determines that you selected sociology article has no benefit for the working Mechanical Engineer, then that assessment will be a part of your deliverable. However, note that your assessment must be framed within the context of Course lecture on the basic Course concepts of (a.) technology and (b.) society

Project Group Management. Each group will organise itself collaboratively. Division of responsibilities and tasks, schedule of dates for progress and deliverables, decisions relating to the realisation of the project criteria, and personnel-related matters, are all the responsibility of the group members in consensus. Where a  decision is required that defies consensus, the Course Instructor is the de jure Project Manager.

Project Focus. In fidelity to the project criteria, the focus, philosophy, structure, and conceptualisation of the completed project is at the decision of the group. The primary focus, however, must be be on producing a result which makes your chosen sociology article accessible and functionally comprehensible to Mechanical Engineers in Canada.

Project Scope. The scope (and thus the size)  of the project is determined by (a.) the purpose and (b.) the grading metric detailed above. The Course lectures are the fundamental frame for the scope, but additional Group research in support will be assumed, to a degree set by the Delivery Requirements, above.

Project Work. Friday classes in LIBS 7007 will have fifteen minutes assigned for work on Phase Two of the Group Project. This quarter-hour can be used for the group to discuss and synthesise that week's lecture material in LIBS 7007 and to work on understanding, formatting, and incorporating that week's material into the project. The Instructor is, of course, available for consultation during the time.

It is expected that significant work on the project will also be done outside class-time, in line with the 30% of Course grading that the project represent per student.

Project Sign-Up. Sign Up for a Phase One date is in class Sept. 16th. A one- or two-page Outline for Phase Two of the project is due in hard copy at the start of lecture on Course Week Six, October 10th. Outline criteria TBA.
Dr. Stephen A. Ogden, BCIT LIBS