Brief description on UGS website: CONTAINS A SUBSTANTIAL WRITING COMPONENT AND FULFILLS PART OF THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT IN WRITING. SEMINAR CLASS DESIGNED TO INTRODUCE UNDERGRADUATES TO SCHOLARLY ANALYSIS FROM AN INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE. RESTRICTED TO FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.
"In our study of practical ethics we will be focusing on making real-life ethical choices concerning our use of animals (for food, clothing, pets, etc.). In addition, we will focus on three values of the university– leadership, discovery learning, and diversity — and we will expand our sense of this state, this town, and especially this university, as your place, your Alma Mater (nurturing mother)."
Detailed course description:
In 2004 the Commission of 125 recommended a new undergraduate core curriculum: so that students would be better prepared for a changing world: ”Our students live in a world that has undergone a technological revolution. They live in closer proximity to other nations and cultures. They live in a state and country that are more culturally diverse. And they study in an intellectual world where long-established boundaries between scholarly areas are less distinct. The core curriculum should . . . ensure that all of our students, whatever their areas of specialization, graduate with the flexible skills they need to be leaders in our communities.” The new curriculum includes required freshman signature courses to “expose each entering UT student to the broad goals and possibilities of a university education, while promoting a greater sense of intellectual community among undergraduates. They will make students aware of the high standards necessary for college-level academic work and help students cultivate skills to meet those standards."
Also required are courses marked by “flags” in six categories: 1. Writing—3 flags; 2. Quantitative reasoning ; 3. Global cultures; 4. Multicultural perspectives and diversity 5. Ethics and leadership; 6. Independent inquiry.
This signature course also earns you two of these required flag credits: writing and leadership/ethics, thus meeting three requirements for you.
For an Ethics and Leadership flag, at least one-third of the course grade must be based on work in practical ethics, i.e., the study of what is involved in making real-life ethical choices.” Perhaps the most important ethical questions of the last century or so are  What would I have done about the Holocaust if I had been in Germany and known what was going on at the time?  What would I have done about slavery if I had been in east Texas and known what was going on at the time? To experience something like these predicaments, the documentary Earthlings (selections available on YouTube) will raise our consciousness of the cruelty to animals going on around us right now and the related moral decisions we make every day concerning our use of animals for food, clothing, pets, entertainment, etc. Students will then write a formal essay about making real-life ethical choices such as these, though the essay need not be about cruelty to animals.
Writing. This seminar will be one of your three required writing courses at the university. Your formal writing assignments will be an essay on leadership and an essay on ethics. Each will be a minimum of four pages and be revised in response to peer critiques before being submitted to the instructor for his grading and critique. Inspired by the Leadershape program of the College of Engineering, we will write essays about leadership and ethics to motivate us during our college years and beyond.
You will get help from me, the class mentor, your classmates, and the Undergraduate Writing Center to improve your writing. Your mentor, Rachelle Wang, may be able to answer your questions better than I can, from the perspective of a former student.
Both formal and informal writing will require digital literacy (multimedia and web skills) as well as print literacy. Students should be familiar with keyboarding, operating systems, word processing, electronic mail, web-browsing, downloading and uploading files, Facebook, and Power Point. In addition,you will need to know (or learn how to), create simple, personal websites, blogs, and electronic portfolios, all with images. You will use U.T.’s Blackboard system for keeping track of your grades.
Reading. We will begin with learning how to read directions and complete assignments. Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will help us write about ethics and leadership, and the Alice books will be amusing and provocative guides to the college experience, diversity, leadership, and animal ethics. We will read the screen play of Earthlings and other selections comparing cruelty to animals to racism and anti-Semitism, and compare Hindu and Jain attitudes toward animals to our worship of Bevo. Reading comprehension will be tested by student blogs and by pop quizzes.
Grades. About 50% of the final grade will be determined by multimedia web projects (15% for each first draft—150 points each, 10% for each revision—100 points each), 14% by the portfolio (140 points); 36% by informal writing (360 points); and at least 10% by class discussion (100 points). 1000 points (out of 1,200 or more) are required for an A-; 900 for a B-; 800 for a C-; 700 for a D-. Because more than 1200 points will be available, students can emphasize formal over informal writing or vice versa, class discussion more than the portfolio, etc. However, at the end of the course, students will receive exactly the grade recorded in the online gradebook, even if it is one point short of the next higher grade.
Discovery learning. Students’ "formal writing," their multimedia web projects, will focus on discovering one’s passion, identity, ethics, and leadership vision. For these assignments especially, students should be prepared to think for themselves. Discovery learning means that there will be fewer instructions for projects than what students may be used to from other courses. This can be frustrating for some, especially those who want a detailed formula that will guarantee them a good grade. Instead students will be encouraged to be creative and write about what is most important to them.
Print Literacy. Required books consist of  the course anthology*;  The Annotated Alice (Norton, 0-393-04847-0 BUY ONLY THIS EDITION);  Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon and Schuster 2004 0-7432-6951-9);  Lester Faigley’s The Little Penguin Handbook (Pearson Longman any edition); and  the 2009-2010 Daily Planner,University Co-op.
*FOR THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, students will need the course anthology, which is a collection of xeroxed materials. It will be available a week before classes start from Jenn's, 2000 Guadalupe (basement of the Church of Scientology at 22nd and Guadalupe, 473-8669). It will cost about $50. Jenn’s takes major credit cards, of course. If you don’t get there within the first few days you might want to call ahead to make sure they have a copy reserved for you.
Digital Literacy. Because the "Five Characteristics of a Successful Student at U.T." include "Good computer skills" as well as "Strong writing skills," students will be expected to check their email frequently (maintaining the correct email address in the U.T. Direct system) along with the course Discussion Boards and Online Gradebook in Blackboard, all especially the day before class. Students will download pictures from our class web sites and use multimedia to fulfill all the writing requirements and ultimately collect everything on one portfolio web site. The portfolio will include some of the materials you uploaded to Facebook, where we will have a closed group "to help students develop a small community within the larger whole" (Carnegie's Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities ).
TO CREATE THE WEBSITES REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO ACQUIRE IN ADVANCE (AND LEARN HOW TO USE) A WEBSITE CREATION PROGRAM SUCH AS IWeb, Publisher, or Dreamweaver. Students who need more training in digital literacy are encouraged to take the tutorials for the program they choose and practice. For a few additional tutorials see http://www.utexas.edu/learn/
“The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471- 6259, 471-6441 TTY."
About the Professor. Jerome Bump has been awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a N. D. E. A. Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, the Jeanne Holloway Award for undergraduate teaching, the Dad's Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship for instructing freshmen, the Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellowship for directing the Computer Writing and Research Laboratory (devoted primarily to lower division instruction), and chosen as a Mortar Board Preferred Professor. He was an editor of Texas Studies in Language and Literature and has written Gerard Manley Hopkins and over fifty articles. For more information about him, his teaching philosophy, or his courses see http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~bump/ and facebook.com/jbump
About the Mentor. Rachelle Wang is, in many ways, the best student I have ever had in UGS 302. She will be your mentor for this section of UGS 302. Mentors do not grade, but do hold weekly office hours. The mentors are trained to refer a student to one of the various University resources when the situation calls for it. You may approach your mentor with any issue concerning you, from academic to social concerns. If you have questions about this course, you can email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) or talk to her on facebook. Facebook: Rachelle YeLv Wang.