Syllabus and Contract Outline
READ WITH CARE - GRADING INFORMATION
TEXTS AND FILMS:
Scott, Ridley Blade Runner
Scott, Ridley Alien
Bradbury, Ray The Martian Chronicles
Miller, Walter Canticle for Leibowitz
Dick, Philip K. Man in a High Castle
Jones, L. Q. A Boy and His Dog
Leguin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness
Card, Orson Scott Ender's Game
Hill, George Roy Slaughter House 5
Gibson, William Count Zero
You are expected to read or view assigned materials in the order assigned
above, to visit relevant web sites, to send reports of those visits to
your instructor and to participate in discussions by posting on our Science
Fiction Forum. Brief informational quizzes on assigned materials must
be completed as well. Finally you will have to write, and submit by e-mail,
a final examination. All the films are available on reserve in the library in DVD format and from Netflix and Blockbuster. Both of these vendors have 1 month trial memberships which allow free rentals and/or on demand
In order to take quizzes and view instructor videos students must have the Apple Quicktime player installed on their computer.
The final examination requires you to integrate a variety
of course materials into an essay that presents and discusses
your views about one of the following questions.
In writing your answer you must refer to the The Matrix and at least four of the novels you read and three of the films you viewed
for this course, explaining how each novel or film illustrates
some of the points you are making. Specifically, you will need to explain
how this scene from The Matrix (56k
Band) demonstrates the fundamental way science fiction explores
change and its effects on all of us. YOUR EXAM MUST BE AT LEAST
1500 WORD IN LENGTH.
1. What changing attitudes toward religion are
conveyed by the science fiction writers and film makers studied in this
2. What changes in the concept of the hero are
revealed by examining the science fiction written and produced during
the last 50 years?
3. Discuss the changes in attitude toward cultural
differences and relationships between aliens, colonized people or various
classes of people found in the various novels read and films viewed
for this science fiction class.
4. Explain how the science fiction read and
viewed for this course uses adventure and/or wonder to entertain readers
and/or engage in social criticism while exploring the effects of change
on human beings.
A modified contract grading system will be used in determining final
grades for CSt 3030 - Science Fiction. Essentially students will have
to earn a specified number of points to qualify for A, B, or C grades.
In computing the final grade quiz/discussion points will be weighed equally
with points earned on the take home final examination. The following point
- grade requirements will apply:
In order to qualify for an A grade students must
earn a minimum of: 220 quiz/commentary points
In order to qualify for a B grade students must
earn a minimum of: 180 quiz/posting points
In order to qualify for a C grade students must
earn a minimum of: 120 quiz/posting points
In addition to the scheduled quizzes
students must submit web assignments and postings on any materials they are reading or on
films and videos seen as part of the course. The postings are made
on our Science Fiction Forum. The instructor will award quiz\posting
points for well written thoughtful postings of at
least 300 words.
Web assignments are submitted by email to the instructor.
You are free to work at your own pace, but I suggest you do one lesson every week. Everything is due in the order of the assigned films and texts. Start with Blade Runner, finish with Count Zero and The Matrix.
Postings are scored according to a general rule of thumb which is: 15
points for an A, 10 points for a B, and 5 points for a C. There is, however,
no upper limit for the number of points which can be earned on a posting
or on the number of postings that students may submit.
Web assignments are scored according to a general rule of thumb which
is: 10 points for an A, 8 points for a B, and 6 points for a C. Only one web assignment can be submitted for each of
the works assigned
Points earned on postings and web assignments
will be added to the points earned on the quizzes and the final.
To earn an A students will need a minimum of 440
To earn a B students will need a minimum of 360
To earn a C students will need a minimum of 240
All students must complete all scheduled quizzes
with a total of 130 points to earn an "A"; a total of
110 points to earn a "B": or a total of 90 to earn a "C".
must complete all web assignments and Forum postings with a total of 70 points in each category to
qualify for an "A"; all but one with a total of 60 points in each category
to qualify for a "B": or all but two with a total of
50 in each category to qualify for a "C".
In order to request an extension to complete the course after the end of the term (August 2, 2013), students must have completed all assignments for five of ten lessons. Students requesting an extension will then receive an I (Incomplete) grade which will change to an "F" 6 weeks after the end of the term (September 14, 2013) if they do not complete the course requirements. Only one such extension will be granted. If students do not request an extension before the end of the term, an F grade will be submitted if their coursework is incomplete.
SPECIAL FACILITIES AND/OR ARRANGEMENTS: If you have a physical or cultural condition, either permanent or temporary, which you believe makes it difficult for you to participate in and/or complete the requirements of this course in the time and manner prescribed, please let me know by the end of the first week of instruction. Adaptation of methods, materials, or testing may be made as required. It is your responsibility to contact the Access Center for advice regarding adaptations.
The following University
policies related to teaching and learning apply in this course:
Teaching & Learning: Instructor and Student Responsibilities:
UMD is committed to providing a positive, safe, and inclusive place for all who study and work here. Instructors and students have mutual responsibility to insure that the environment in all of these settings supports teaching and learning, is respectful of the rights and freedoms of all members, and promotes a civil and open exchange of ideas. To reference the full policy please see: http://www.d.umn.edu/vcaa/TeachingLearning.html
Academic dishonesty tarnishes UMD’s reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students. Academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense by all members of the academic community. UMD’s Student Academic Integrity Policy can be found at: http://www.d.umn.edu/conduct/integrity
Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials:
Taking notes is a means of recording information but more importantly of personally absorbing and integrating the educational experience. However, broadly disseminating class notes beyond the classroom community or accepting compensation for taking and distributing classroom notes undermines instructor interests in their intellectual work product while not substantially furthering instructor and student interests in effective learning. For additional information, please see: http://www.d.umn.edu/vcaa/ClassNotesAppropriateUseof.html