Spring 2009, Online English 2
instructor: david hurst

English 2 Overview and Course map

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The world around us is filled with unwritten expectations and assumptions. We are increasingly bombarded by ever more sophisticated advertising, political messages, news stories and other media that may or may not contain factual content and which may only exist to convince us to do, buy, or believe something. Learning to read the unspoken assumptions, messages, and values in the world around us keeps us in charge of our own lives and empowers us to choose our own future.

What hidden messages influence us (either positively or negatively)? How do we choose what to believe? What beliefs do we take for granted? This course will focus on these three questions as a means of shedding light on the world around us so the choices we make can, in fact, be those that are in our best interest.

This is not a course that will expect you to change your mind about your own deeply held beliefs. We all come from different circumstances and thus have different views about many things. Fox NewsWhat this course will expect is that the arguments you make for what you believe are grounded in good reasoning and reflect your ability to analyze both your own thoughts and the world around you.

Primarily, this class will discuss, through reading and writing, what we think we know about three aspects of our modern social and political world: advertising, news media, and the internet. We will be focused on helping ourselves and others learn to navigate the unwritten elements of these media.

This class is reading and writing intensive. This means you will do a LOT of reading and a LOT of writing every week. You should be prepared to spend about 15 hours per week on this class to be able to pass.

One final note. This course utilizes the Blackboard course management system at COS and you should be familiar with logging in to that site--you will need to log in 4-5 times per week for assignments. Additionally, all communication from me will go to your giant.cos.edu email address. If you can't or do not access that email, please notify me what email to use when I contact you.

A graphic illustration of the connected elements of this course appears below. You can drag and recenter the image and zoom in or out as needed. Notice that the Website and Blackboard sides of the course are separate, but linked. The main navigational structure is that the Web side has a lot of information that doesn't change, while the Blackboard side will change as assignments are posted and discussion board forums are filled.