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Open Classrooms

The annual Open Classrooms program generates an overwhelmingly positive response from both faculty who visit classrooms and from the Open Classrooms hosts. Simply put, faculty learn best from their peers!

How it works

Faculty from across the university volunteer to open one or more of their classes to their peers. The CTE will post these class descriptions on this page and visitors then use our handy online sign-up sheet to visit a class. This is a great opportunity to share teaching practices and generate new ideas.

Open Classrooms 2020 | Feb. 18-28

Please sign up by Wednesday, February 12. Scroll down to read class descriptions. Please keep in mind that some classrooms may only be able to accommodate a set amount of visitors. CTE will be in touch to confirm your visit Friday, February 14. We hope this is a great opportunity to share teaching practices and generate new ideas.

Open Classroom Visitor Form Spring 2020


Class Descriptions

CS 212 Software Development | Sophie Engle | CO 214

This course gives students experience with advanced programming topics, including inheritance and polymorphism, multithreaded programming, networking, database programming, and web development. Students will also learn techniques for designing, debugging, refactoring, and reviewing code.

CS 360 Data Visualization | Sophie Engle | CO 107

This course introduces both undergraduate and graduate students to the fundamentals of data visualization. This includes discussion of perception, design, and evaluation. Students will also be introduced to a variety of visualization techniques for high-dimensional, temporal, hierarchical, network, and/or geospatial data.

Entrepreneurial Management | Monika Hudson| MH 122

Capstone class for business students. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a general understanding of the rationale, methodology and benefits of operating plans, as opposed to strategic plans which are studied in the Strategic Management course. This course integrates subjects previously learned throughout the business curriculum and requires the students to develop realistic cases of business plans. Examples of start-ups, small or medium sized firms and particular ventures within corporations (e.g., export/import project) will be adopted in this course to foster integration of business themes.

RHET 103 - Public Speaking | Michelle LaVigne | LM 352

This class meets the CORE A1 LOs for oral communication and in it students not only learn and practice the "art of speech" but also study the ethics of public speaking as a civic practice that helps us advocate for change, provide information, deepen traditions and more.

PHIL 251: Mind, Freedom, Knowledge | Rebecca Mason | KA 363

In this course we will consider questions drawn from three major branches of philosophy: philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology. Philosophy of mind is the study of mental phenomena and their connection with the brain and behavior. We will consider questions such as: What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Can a machine think? Can science explain consciousness? Metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality. We will focus on one metaphysical question in particular: Do we have free will? Are we the ultimate source of our desires, or do they arise from something outside of our control? If we don't have free will, is punishment justified? Epistemology is the study of knowledge, belief, and justification. We will consider questions such as: What is knowledge? When is a belief justified? Can we know anything at all?

PHIL 256: Existentialism | Marjolein Oele | LM 344

This course offers an examination of themes crucial to existentialism. Existentialism may be described as a literary, artistic and philosophical movement, but a movement that is rather “loose” and devoid of a central doctrine. While some associate the movement particularly with 19th or 20th century thinkers such as Nietzsche, Sartre and Camus, for others the problems touched upon in existentialism – the possibility of human freedom vs. determinism, the need for introspection, the importance of passions and moods, and skepticism of science and rationality – find their early formations in the writings of St. Augustine and Blaise Pascal. Ultimately, this class does not just intend to offer a theoretical overview of reflections on existentialism, but seeks to place existentialist concerns as central to how we live our own lives.

Introduction to International Studies | John Zarobell | KA 111

The course addresses broad international issues that affect many aspects of our everyday lives, often in ways that are not easy to understand. Issues of cooperation and conflict among states, globalization, economic development, human rights protections, and environmental degradation all encompass global concerns that directly impact individuals at the local level. This course will provide grounding for students to consider these issues from different angles and approaches.

Open Classrooms 2019| Feb. 4-15, 2019

Sign-ups open Jan. 30th 2019

Open classrooms use a sign-up sheet with limited spaces available. If a class is full, please email the CTE to be added to a waitlist and we will be in touch.

Open Classroom 2019 Sign-Up

Open Classrooms 2019: Class Descriptions

Seminar in Western Art Music
Alexandra Amati (Arts & Sciences: Performing Arts)
A seminar for upper division music majors about western art music, seminar style, discussion and score study.

Modern African History
Chase Arnold (Arts & Sciences: History)

Rhet 310 Bus and Tech Writing
Roberta D'Alois (Arts & Sciences: Rhetoric and Language)
This class focuses on business and professional writing and is geared for management students, but in truth many students in arts and sciences choose it. Both sections are comprised primarily of international students, many from China. In my past experience the students in this class love visitors!

NewMedia/YouMedia: Writing in Electronic Environments
Cathy Gabor (Arts & Sciences: Rhetoric and Language)
On this day, the class will collaborate to establish grading criteria for the current assignment. This helps clarify expectations and engender student buy-in.

Written Communication II (RHET 120)
Jonathan Hunt (Arts & Sciences: Rhetoric and Language)
This a required writing class that fulfills the Core A2 requirement (Written Communication). The class is activity-based: students do a lot of individual and group work during class. Visitors are invited to participate in activities.

Human Rights Education: Pedagogy & Praxis
Susan Katz (Education: International & Multicultural Education)
This is a highly interactive course where we focus on two different case studies of human rights issues (mass incarceration in the US and displacement due to armed conflict in Colombia) and examine pedagogical approaches towards teaching this content. In particular, we collaborate with Voice of Witness to explore the use of oral history as a powerful methodology for human rights education.

TEC 621 Early Literacy
Helen Maniates (Education: Teacher Education)
In this course, teacher education candidates learn to teach beginning reading (grades PK-3) from a developmental, technical and sociocultural perspective. The course covers comprehension, emergent literacy, phonics, fluency, writing, and vocabulary instruction as well as classroom practices, children's literature reflecting diversity and reading assessment of children's assets and next steps.

Cognitive Psychology
Mathew Mitchell (Education: Learning and Instruction)
Doctoral level course that explores cognition research into learning strategies. Most of the student content-delivery is done outside of class (via audio, video, readings) and the classroom experience focuses more on active learning approaches for diving deeper into the content.

Written and Oral Communication II, Rhet 131
Michael Rozendal (Arts & Sciences: Rhetoric and Language)
In this class, we are building toward brief Pecha Kucha speeches, visually intensive talks. We will be considering some of the ethics of images, hear a speech from a former student, visually pitch the topics for their speeches, and dig into a way to reimagine visuals.

Communication and Everyday Life
Allison Thorson (Arts & Sciences: Communication Studies)