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NS 304 Science, Technology, and Society
Caicco, Gregory P.


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

NS 304 Science, Technology, and Society

Semester

F2T 2006 DLB

Faculty

Caicco, Gregory P.

Title

Professor

Degrees/Certificates

PhD

Office Location

online

Office Hours

Office Hours: M-Th: 4–8pm [EST]; Sun: 5–9pm [EST]

Daytime Phone

514-273-6842

Other Phone

514-273-6842

E-Mail

gregory.caicco@park.edu

gregory.caicco@park.edu

gregory.caicco@park.edu

Semester Dates

10/23/2006 to 12/17/2006

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Required:   The Demon Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark  by Dr. Carl Sagan.  Published by Ballantine Books, New York, 1996.  ISBN: 0-345-40946-9.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Science for All Americans Online from the American Association for the Advancement of Science available in its entirety online at:

http://www.project2061.org/publications/sfaa/online/sfaatoc.htm

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.


Course Description:
Relationship between science, technology, and society. Topics include: the two cultures, the relationship between basic science and technology, the effects of technology upon society, and possible future technologies. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
I believe there is one thing that is absolutely essential for every functional, intelligent human being to know. They must know how to LEARN. Specifically, they must know: 1. How to acquire information from which to learn. 2. How to think critically to know what is worth learning. 3. How to organize their thoughts to make the best use of their learning. 4. How to communicate their learning to others in a clear, effective manner. So what does this mean in terms of a formal education? It means that when a student enters my classroom, I see them as a person who brings with them a lifetime of acquired knowledge. They are not an empty vessel waiting to be filled, in fact, they are more like a full keg of aged wine waiting to be tapped, savored and enjoyed. It means the learning experience goes both ways, and makes us both richer for the encounter. It means that the student and I have entered into a contract to share what we know. And finally, it means I expect them to work as hard as I do to make the most of the experience.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain concepts of how and why science works and the many ways that science and technology affect our lives.
  2. Define and explain the processes of science and scientific inquiry.
  3. Discuss and illustrate relevant impacts of science and technology on individual lives, professions, and the global society.
  4. Demonstrate the analytical and critical thinking skills essential to making informed judgments and informed choices regarding science and technology.
  5. Analyze and determine statements that are based on science versus those that are not.


Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Grading is as per the Grading heading below.

 

The midterm exam, course issue position paper, and proctored final exam are the major graded individual items.  In addition, homework assignments and online class participation and discussion also cumulatively account for 25% of the course grade.

 

In online assignments and discussion, research, analysis, study, discussion and debate of specific issues and cases relating to STS are emphasized.

 

Concepts are also developed through the text, online reference resources (provided by the instructor or discovered and shared by the participants), online discussion, online presentation and discussion of the position/ problem solution papers required for the course, etc.  

 

Participants are strongly encouraged to select or volunteer STS related issues and topics for online analysis and discussion.  Because the impacts of science and technology are so widespread and powerful, this gives participants substantial latitude for selecting and analyzing issues that are genuinely meaningful and personally relevant.

Because NS 304 emphasizes conceptual understanding and independent critical thinking, rote memorization of facts is kept to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to constructively disagree with the instructor, and with their NS 304 colleagues,  regarding S&T related issues that are examined and analyzed.


As long as participants first seek out, examine, and weigh evidence and arguments for conflicting positions on STS related issues, they are free to reach any position that their independent analysis and personal value system leads them to.  Even if it disagrees with the instructor's position.  (For example, participants are quite likely to arrive at conflicting positions on the desirability of fetal tissue research or human cloning, whether global warming is a real and very serious problem, etc.)  Constructive disagreement in an atmosphere of mutual respect -- "disagreeing without being disagreeable" -- is encouraged.  As Dr. Carl Sagan puts it, "Valid criticism does you a favor."

Grading:

Course Grading (in %'s):

Take-home Midterm examination 15%
Proctored* Final  examination 30%
Class online participation & assignments** 20%
Position paper 35%
100%

The grading scale is as follows:
A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0 -59.

**Important Note:     Because of the issue oriented, active learning approach of this course, every participant must actively and regularly participate in the online discussion and classroom.  This will maximize the benefit (and grade) to the individual student and the entire online class.

* Park Proctored Final Exam Requirement
Final examination - An examination will be taken in person during the 8th week of instruction at one of the
Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location approved by your Instructor where Park University sites are not available.
It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who will be accepted and approved by the instructor.  
Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found at the Park University Website.  For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.  A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to me for approval.  Failure to take a final proctored exam will result in an automatic "F" grade.
Proctored final examination - A computerized examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th (or 16th) week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location.  For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.  
Other Information on proctored exams:
• It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor.  
• Approval of proctors is the discretion of the Online instructor.  
• A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.  
• Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.  
• Some Graduate Online courses may not require a proctored Final Examination

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Our course week runs from Monday to Sunday.  Assignments are due at Sunday midnight.  Work must be submitted on time to be considered for credit. Late submissions are not accepted. (Technically, the course runs on U.S. Mountain time, but you are welcome to submit your assignments by Sunday midnight according to your local time.) 

It is very difficult to catch up when you fall behind in an accelerated online course. And our online interaction works best when we are all on the "same page".

However, I do recognize that many of you are actively serving in the U.S. military and may be assigned to TDY, be serving under hardship circumstances, or may have nonmilitary professional obligations, family emergencies, or the like that occasionally force you to delay your participation.

If you ever have circumstances which may delay your submission of work, or your online participation, please notify me via email as soon as possible, and, if your circumstances warrant, I will try to work with you.   Otherwise late submissions are not accepted.

IMPORTANT: Anytime you want to receive direct instructor feedback on anything that you post to our course conference area, please also submit a copy to the Dropbox for that week.  If there is no specific Dropbox that applies to your posting, please send a copy of your posting to your instructor via email.  When doing this, please include the following in the subject line for the email:  "NS 304 Feedback?"  

This includes any assignments that you are asked to post to the conference area, any questions that you post, or anything that you post for which you would like direct individual feedback.

Additional information on NS 304 course policies will be communicated in the course Welcome Message which will be emailed to everyone, and/ or posted in the online course.

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy.  If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

1.     The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.

2.     Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.

3.     In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".

4.     A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.

5.     Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.

6.     Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week

Assignments and Activities

1

BEFORE CLASS 1:

Because this is an accelerated class having just eight class meetings, you are asked to complete the following BEFORE class 1:

Please send an email to your instructor before the first class with the following information –

Your Name, Contact Phone Numbers, Preferred email address, Major, Class Standing (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior), What you want to gain from this class.

Week 1 Reading Assignment:

Read all of: Chapter 1, "The Most Precious Thing" and Chapter 2, "Science and Hope" and Chapter 21, "The Path to Freedom" in text (Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark).

Online Class: Introductory exercises. Science, technology and society - introduction to basic concepts. Course overview. Accessing and evaluating information. Class discussion.

Assignment for Week 2

Week 2 Reading Assignment:

Chapter 19, "No Such Thing as a Dumb Question" and Chapter 17, "The Marriage of Skepticism and Wonder." Skim read Chapter 23, "Maxwell and the Nerds" from text (Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark)

2

Assignment for Week 3

Read: Skim read Chapter 3, "The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars" and skim read Chapter 13, "Obsessed with Reality" in Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

3

Assignment for Week 4

Read: Chapter 12 carefully, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection". Chapter 12 is an especially important chapter in Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

4

Assignment for Week 5

Read: Chapter 14, "Antiscience" and Chapter 16, "When Scientists Know Sin" in text

"Takehome" Midterm Exam next week.

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

5

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

Midterm Exam

Assignment for Week 6

Read: Chapter 5, "Spoofing and Secrecy" in text.

Written assignment -- analyze impacts of science and technology on a career or profession of your choice. (More info on this within the online class.)

6

Technology and the nature of jobs and work. “How will science and technology affect “MY” (your) chosen career and how can I best prepare?” Discussion

Assignment for Week 7

Read: Skim Chapter 23, "Maxwell and the Nerds" and Chapter 25, "Real Patriots Ask Questions" in text

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

7

Course issue position papers due.

Online discussion of colleagues' course issue position papers begins.

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

8

Proctored Final Exam

Online discussion of course papers continues.

Written and discussion assignments detailed within online class.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

NS 304 is designed to develop your conceptual understanding, and to provide you with the analytical tools and critical thinking skills essential for effectively managing science and technology in your life and your profession.  By the completion of this course, you will be able to:



1. Discuss and explain fundamental concepts relating to how science works and why science works that way.



2. Discuss and illustrate some of the many ways that science and technology affect our lives.



3. Discuss and illustrate key characteristics of the nature of science and the fundamental processes of science, scientific inquiry and a "scientific approach".



4. Discuss and illustrate with examples relevant to your own life the enormous and pervasive impacts of science and technology on our individual lives, our professions, our society and the world we live in.



5. Discuss and illustrate with real life examples how and why technologies almost always have multiple impacts, including unintended consequences, or "side effects".



6. Discuss and illustrate with real life examples the strengths and limitations of science - what science can and can not do.



7. Demonstrate in depth the independent analytical and critical thinking skills essential to making informed judgments and informed choices regarding:



· The countless S&T related issues and problems that confront us individually and as a society.



· The multitude of conflicting and competing claims, often claiming to be based on science, that confront us.




These learning objectives reinforce Park's Goals for Science Literacy in the Curriculum:



"Understanding of the nature and role of scientific evidence in the pursuit of knowledge."



"Recognition of the importance of the scientific method of argument and modeling process."



"Appreciation of the origins of scientific inquiry and method and seeing their continuing presence in the mutual interaction between human society and its physical environment."



"Acquisition of tools for successful involvement in scientific pursuits of the scientific community." 
 



These overall learning objectives also reinforce the Park University Mission:



"The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community." 



 



Class Activities



Online analysis, study, discussion and debate of specific issues and cases relating to STS are emphasized. Concepts are also developed through the text, online reference resources (provided by the instructor or discovered and shared by the participants), online discussion, online presentation of the position/ problem solution paper, required for the course, etc.  Participants are strongly encouraged to select or volunteer STS related issues and topics for online class analysis and discussion.  Because the impacts of science and technology are so widespread and powerful, this gives participants substantial latitude for selecting and analyzing issues that are genuinely meaningful and personally relevant.



Because NS 304 emphasizes conceptual understanding and independent critical thinking, rote memorization of facts is kept to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to constructively disagree with the instructor, and with their NS 304 colleagues, regarding S&T related issues that are examined and analyzed.



As long as participants first seek out, examine, and weigh evidence and arguments for conflicting positions on STS related issues, they are free to reach any position that their independent analysis and personal value system leads them to.  Even if it disagrees with the instructor's position.  (For example, participants are quite likely to arrive at conflicting positions on the desirability of fetal tissue research or human cloning, whether global warming is a real and very serious problem, etc.)  Constructive disagreement in an atmosphere of mutual respect -- "disagreeing without being disagreeable" -- is encouraged.  As Dr. Carl Sagan puts it, "Valid criticism does you a favor."
 



Required Research Paper



One eight to ten page equivalent (approximately 2000 words) written "paper" is required.  Sharing these papers online and examining the issues and topics that they cover will be a major focus of the last two weeks of the term.  Also, this paper will help satisfy Park's requirements for a Liberal Learning (LL) course.



Students have substantial freedom to choose topics for the course paper that they find genuinely meaningful and personally relevant.  Topics should generally be S&T related issues or problems for which there is considerable disagreement or debate.  In writing these required papers, students must research, perform a balanced, objective and  independent critical analysis considering more than one position or "side",  and finally take and explain a personal position.  A "pro" and "con" format is one way, but not the only way, of approaching the paper.



Additional guidance on the NS 304 course issue position paper will be provided.  Students are encouraged to get a “running start” on their paper by selecting the same issue for their week 4 or week 5 issue analysis assignment that they will analyze in more depth in their course paper. 

Copyright:

This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:10/6/2006 4:28:28 PM