Lesson One: Course Mechanics

  1. The nature of this course: This course is a workshop in skill development. Each class period will be devoted to discussion of skills and of exercises which develop those skills. Text material is to be studied ad learned outside of class. There will be at least one written assignment designed to enhance your skill development due each time the class meets. Each day’s assignment must be completed and handed in on time to receive full credit.
  1. The place of this course in your life this semester: This course should be your principal academic focus for the semester. You should plan on two to four hours outside of class for every hour spent in class.
  1. Religion: Religion and theology will be frequent topics of discussion, but you will not be held for any religious knowledge or commitment. We will begin each day’s class with prayer.
  1. Seating: Please sit where you like, but be found in that same seat each day thereafter.
  1. Learning this material:
    1. The best way to learn this material is to teach it to someone else on a daily basis.
    2. Next best is to form a study group of members of your class to review the skills and concepts.
    3. Regular private review is indispensable. A careful review the next day, then the next week, followed by a careful review after one month will enable you to fix these matters in your mind more or less permanently.
  1. Grading: You will be graded on a point system, your final grade being determined by your cumulative point total. Notice that the grading is weighted to balance personal discipline with competence. Points are assigned on the following basis:

Out of this world:                                                     12 points
Superlative:                                                               11 points
High A                                                                        10 points
Low A                                                                          9 points
B                                                                                   8 points
C                                                                                   7 points
D                                                                                   6 points
Failing grades                                                            0-5 points
Papers turned in late during class:                        -1 point
Papers turned in after class within one week:     Half credit
Papers turned in after one week or not at all:      -5 points

The Target Skills of this Course

  1. Key Questions: The careful formulation, asking and answering of questions which elicit key information about a subject in order to facilitate effective and efficient learning.
  1. Concept formulation: The precise shaping and reshaping of important ideas.
  1. Assertion formulation: The translation, classification and analysis of communication situations, usually focusing on sentences used in a specific context.
  1. Capture: Asking and answering the questions which adequately summarize the essence of a message.
  1. Systems formulation: Seeing things one wishes to understand as related functioning parts of a larger functioning context of related parts.
  1. Presupposition formulation: Making explicit the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical commitments which are assumed by the deliverer of a given message.
  1. Expansion: Adding to a body of knowledge through one’s own investigative efforts.
  1. Evaluation: Establishing the comparative value of an idea, deed or message by comparison of it with some accepted standard.
  1. Oral communication: Thoughtful use of spoken language to facilitate learning and cooperation by fitting deftly into a given oral/aural context.
  1. Written communication: Creation of a written representation of a message in such a form that the message is clearly and powerfully represented. Written messages generally create their own immediate context but must also fit into a larger cultural context.

Question: The word “formulation” has or could have been used in the description of each of the skills mentioned above; why is this appropriate?

Question: What is formulation?

Question: What is the relationship between formulation and information?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *