Liberal Studies Survey

By 11:59pm on the day of Session 1, students will be asked to complete an online survey (link on D2L) about their knowledge of and expectations for liberal studies. 

This assignment will be evaluated for completion.


Degree Plan

By 11:59pm on the class day between sessions 5 & 6, each student should submit to the D2L Dropbox a degree plan. This assignment is complex and will likely require at least 3 hours of work, so please do not wait until the last minute to start it. The assignment consists of 4 parts, as follows:

Part 1: explanation essay (submitted as a Word document)— Students will need to compose a short essay (approximately 300 words) describing how they hope to contribute to the world. This essay should have 3 paragraphs which answer the following questions:

  • paragraph 1) how/what will you contribute to the world through your career?
  • paragraph 2) how does your chosen degree major prepare you for that career?
  • paragraph 3) how does your chosen minor or focus area add to that preparation?

Part 2: annotated Academic Advising Report (submitted as a PDF document)— For this assignment, students will be required to add comments to the PDF version of their AAR.

To access the PDF version of your AAR, navigate to the "Student Center" page in WINS. Then, in the "Academics" area of the page, select "AAR (Advising Report)" from the dropdown menu and click the arrow button. A new page will load, and you will need to click the green "View as PDF" button. That will generate the PDF version of the AAR. You will then need to select "Print" from your browser's menu to save the document to your computer. This will not actually print a hard copy of the document, but a new window will pop up, and you should find "Save as PDF" in the dropdown menu at the bottom left of the window. Selecting "Print" and "Save as PDF" instead of "Download" will help you get around settings that prevent you from annotating the document. Once the document is saved as a PDF on your computer, you should be able to add comments or annotations to the document via Preview (on a Mac) or Adobe (on a PC).

Students who encounter problems may need to find other online instructions (through Google, YouTube, etc.) or call the help desk. If all else fails, the PDF may be printed in hard copy, then written on by hand, then scanned and uploaded, then converted to PDF. Assignments submitted in any file format other than PDF will not be accepted.

Note: If your AAR does not show the degree, major, and minor that you will graduate with (either because you recently changed your major or plan to do so in the near future), you should contact the instructor at least a week before the assignment is due so she can create a "What-If AAR" for you so that the requirements for the degree, major, and minor you plan to graduate with are displayed.

Once the PDF of your AAR is accessed, two types of annotations need to be added:

  • Annotation Type 1: Advisor Info, comments/required moves, & questions —>
    • 1) At the top your AAR, indicate who your advisor is and when the last time you met with them was.
    • 2) Throughout the document, add notes to explain any courses that you believe need to be moved to other requirement areas. [Note: If all courses are already showing up in the correct places, that needs to be explicitly stated.]
    • 3) and questions you may have about your remaining requirements.
  • Annotation Type 2: Highlighting --->
    • Find the list of all of your courses at the end of the AAR.
    • Pick 4 highlighter colors to indicate University, College, Major, or Minor Requirements.
    • Highlight each course in the list at the end of the AAR to show which requirement they are being used to fulfill. If there are any courses left unhighlighted, that means they are not being used to fulfill any requirements. In that case, those courses need to be evaluated to determine if they can be used somewhere. [Note: Even if you are graduating, you still have to complete this highlighting.]

Part 3: tentative semester-by-semester timeline for completing the degree (submitted as a Word document)— This timeline may change based on which courses are offered each semester, but you should try to list which requirements you will try to fulfill during which semesters (include Summer or Winterim if necessary). [Note: If you are graduating after this semester, that needs to be explicitly stated.]

Part 4: list of 3 artifacts that will be saved to use in the Capstone portfolio (submitted as a Word document)— These could be essays, awards, or a description of an event or experience. You do not need to turn in the actual artifact, just list what will be saved. [Note: If the student will not be taking the Capstone course, they should list 3 artifacts that could be shown to a potential employer.]

Additional information about this assignment can be found in video form on D2L. 

This assignment will be evaluated as follows:


Final Essay Presentation

So that students may learn from each other’s ideas, at the end of the semester, each student will present information about their final essay. Students should plan to speak for approximately 5 minutes.

  • For face-to-face sessions/sections: 

    • All students should be prepared to present at the beginning of the scheduled presentation times. The instructor will determine the order of presentations from there.
    • Students should speak from prepared notes, and Power Point presentations are optional.
  • For online sessions/sections:

    • Students will post videos of their presentations to the relevant discussion forum.
    • Each student’s video may be a recording of the student (speaking from notes) or a screen recording of the student speaking through a power point presentation (the student should not simply read the power point however).
    • The recorded presentations will function like discussion leadership (so everyone is a discussion leader), and everyone should also respond to other people's presentations with the usual 2 participation posts.

This assignment will be evaluated as follows:


Final Essay

By 11:59pm on the day of our Finals Week meeting time, each student should submit to the appropriate D2L Dropbox a final essay that responds to the following prompt:

Imagine you have received a one-time grant from the United Nations in the sum of 100 million US dollars. The grant stipulates that the funds will be disbursed in a lump sum and that the funds must be spent on education (directly or indirectly) at any level (primary, middle, secondary, or post-secondary).

Mechanical requirements:

  • The funds must be spent outside Wisconsin (this encourages you to do some research!).
  • The essay must be at least 1200 words and should be formatted as a formal academic essay.
  • Students will need to use 3+ sources for their essay and include a Works Cited or Bibliogaphy page. Any essay that utilizes less than 3 sources will receive a 0 for the assignment.
    • At least 1 source must be from our assigned class texts (reading or video).
    • At least 2 other sources must come from texts outside of those assigned for this course.
    • Students may choose to use MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style but must be consistent throughout the essay.

Content requirements:

  • Clear Agenda for Spending— Students should articulate a detailed proposal for the use of the funds.
  • Rationale for the Urgency of the Issue Chosen— The proposal should include an argument for why the particular agenda chosen would be the most effective use of these funds for promoting education. If the proposal includes spending the funds at a school/program nearby, an explanation of why that school/program’s needs are urgent will be necessary; proximity is not sufficient explanation, and familiarity is not a substitute for research.
  • Realistic Understanding of How Much the Money Could Buy— 100 million dollars is enough money to do something, but not enough money to do everything. Therefore, students need to research how much things actually cost and use real numbers in the essay.
  • Consideration for Economic, Political, Cultural, and Disciplinary Challenges— Students will need to demonstrate understanding of potential backlash, corruption, or disagreement and articulate a plan to deal with those challenges if they arise. This will require discussion of relevant readings/issues discussed throughout the course. Omission of relevant course readings will result in the loss of points.
  • Consideration of Impacted Communities— Students will need to identify the impact of their investment. Questions to consider are: Who or what will be impacted? How will lives be improved? Will damage be caused? Will there be ripple effects that spread in to other industries or geographic regions?

Students might consider composing a separate paragraph at the end of their proposal that considers whether or not they would personally donate to whatever issue they have written about. This is optional but encouraged.

Additional information about this assignment can be found in video form on D2L.

This assignment will be evaluated as follows:


Extra Credit Opportunities

Opportunity #1: By 11:59pm on the day of Session 1, each student may post a video introducing yourself to your classmates in the "It's lovely to meet you..." discussion forum. This video is worth up to 10 bonus points.

Opportunity #2: By 11:59pm on the day of Session1, each student may complete a quiz covering the content of the syllabus. This quiz is worth up to 20 bonus points.

Opportunity #3: By 11:59pm on the day of Session 13, Students may submit to the D2L Dropbox a portfolio of support services available to students. The goal of this assignment is for students to learn about and interact with some of the resources available to them through UW-W offices and centers. Some examples of support services might be Health and Counseling Services or the Academic Support Center. For each office/center listed in the portfolio, the student must 1) list the types of services available from that office/center and their cost, 2) identify the ways that a student might sign up for those services, and 3) include a signature from someone at that office/center (demonstrating that student actually spoke to someone there). Students may include up to 5 offices/centers. This assignment will be worth a maximum of 50 points, with 10 points earned for each office/center included in the portfolio.