Conceptual Exercises


Assignment Overview

During Friday sessions, you will meet with the instructors and students in the sections—designated by the course reference number (CRN)—in which you enrolled for the class. During selected sessions (please refer to the calendar), you will be asked to complete an in-class "conceptual exercise". The exercises will address issues raised in the readings, lectures and discussions on Wednesday, and in the assigned readings for Friday. In addition, the exercises will serve as both the partial basis for our discussions on Monday, and will help provide the basis for particular questions found on your exams.

Learning Goals

In completing the conceptual exercises, we will practice strategies that will help enable you to approach and analyze the issues and arguments raised in the complex social interchange among humans, science, technology and the environment. The learning goals of the conceptual exercises are:

    • To develop approaches to examining issues involving humans, science, technology and the environment;
    • To refine, through collaboration and specified outcomes, conceptual approaches for analysis;
    • To compare conceptual approaches in how we understand, communicate about, the dynamic involving humans, science, technology and the environment.

Exercises Protocol

During nine selected Friday sessions, you will be asked to complete a conceptual exercise. The conceptual exercises will result in a specific outcome that will be uploaded to Scholar. However, students and instructors in each of Friday session will approach the exercises as they determine best.

The conceptual exercises will fold directly into the conduct of our Monday sessions. Selected individuals, or group leaders, will be called upon to discuss the outcome of the conceptual exercise. Our discussion and analysis of the exercise will connect to the reading assigned for that day. In addition, the conceptual exercises will play a role (to be defined) in our exams.

Assessment of the conceptual exercises will be based on the total number completed. However, if we determine the outcome of the conceptual exercise to be clearly neglectful, the exercise will not count. Please avoid any problems by completing the exercises as fully as possible within the constraints that result from a populated fifty-minute class session. Your instructors well and, generally sympathetically, understand and will work through these constraints. Please refer to the syllabus regarding assessment criteria.

If you have any questions about the assignment, please contact Jim Collier (jim.collier@vt.edu).

Introduction to Humanities, Science and Technology