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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ian Joseph Porter
B CUSP 120
Bothell Campus

Discovery Core III: The Portfolio and Experiential Learning in Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts

Evaluates progress at the conclusion of the first year through the construction of a portfolio and offers an experiential learning opportunity, either on- or off-campus. Prerequisite: either B CUSP 115, B CUSP 116, or B CUSP 117; may not be repeated. Offered: Sp.

Class description

THIS COURSE IS 25% HYBRID, meaning that CLASS WILL START AT 10 AM everyday, instead of at 8:45 AM.

The plural of ‘medium,’ the term ‘media’ signifies the various means, materials, and milieux of human expression and action. In his book Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan counts clocks, railroads, electric light, and bicycles alongside radio, film, and television as forms of media. If all of these things are media, what makes a medium a medium? What are the formal and cultural characteristics of a medium? More to the point, why is mediation seemingly so important in our everyday lives? In this class, we will answer these questions by reflecting on and interpreting media in everyday life, and we will also produce media to respond to everyday life. At its core, this class is about the critical and creative endeavor of interpretation. By interpreting media in everyday life, students will develop strategies to interpret their own first-year experiences as they produce the culminating CUSP Student Portfolio. As the keystone of the Discovery Core sequence, the CUSP Student Portfolio provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their first year experiences in order to better understand their own development and their goals for the future. In addition to the portfolio assignment, students will engage a variety of media theories and artifacts to develop their critical skills. Students will produce at least one media artifact, though no prior media production experience is expected.

Student learning goals

Reflect critically and creatively on one's own experiences -- in this case, by producing an electronic portfolio, which includes writing a reflective essay based on three artifacts of learning from one’s first year experiences.

Develop a practice of reflecting on and interpreting aspects of everyday life, particularly media and technologies of everyday life.

Analyze media forms through a critical lens by attending closely to cultural representations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability.

Develop one’s "response-ability" to everyday life by producing media in the form of texts, images, and sound recordings.

General method of instruction

We will undertake artful engagements of media in everyday life. Artful engagements, in this context, means creative ways of doing and making that reveal aspects of everyday life that are sometimes missed or ignored. In other words, this class is designed to be as "hands-on" as possible, with the understanding that close reading of texts is as "hands-on" as taking photographs or producing sound recordings.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ian Joseph Porter
Date: 01/27/2014