With class registration approaching right around the corner, many students are wondering what general education course they should take next. They might think that they need to take the generic courses, COM 100, WRT 104 or BIO 101, but the truth of the matter is that there are many courses offered at the University of Rhode Island that will satisfy the general education courses.
While there are many courses available for this fall, here are just a few interesting courses with no prerequisites that will count towards your general education requirements, regardless of whether or not you are using the new general education requirements or the old).
RLS 226, Christian Thought – Agreements and Differences (3 crs.)
In the fall, the course will be taught by Fritz Wenisch, a professor in the philosophy and religious studies department. He explains that because this is a religion course being taught at a secular university, the course can neither attack nor defend any religion. Wenisch believes that his job is to report the information, but it is also up to the students to make their decisions by themselves.
The coursework in the class will focus on what the Christian denominations have in common, what the chief forms of Christianity are and what these forms teach. On e-campus, this course is described as a “non-sectarian study of the teachings and historical development of various Christian groups, including Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, major Protestant denominations and liberal Christianity.”
Wenisch stresses that taking a religion course is important for all students to do. “Whether or not you yourself are religious, you don’t need to be a genius to realize that religion has an enormous influence on how human beings live over the history,” he said. “If you have no idea about the forms of religion then you will misunderstand much of history.”
This course will satisfy either the A3 Humanities or B4 Information Literacy outcome requirements of the new general education requirements, or the Letters requirement of the old system.
AFS 105G, Food from the Sea (3 crs.)
A new course will debut this Fall in the Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences department, this course will focus on food production systems from the sea. Austin Humphries will be teaching this course, and he explains that this course will be used to introduce many students to the multidisciplinary nature of fisheries and aquaculture. “The idea is it gives them [the students] a flavor of fisheries and aquaculture and marine bio, resource economics, business, entrepreneurship,” said Humphries.
As a Global Challenge Course, the overarching question is how do we provide food for a growing population without destroying the environment. “That’s one of the largest challenges we have as a society today,” said Humphries.
Humphries expects this to be an active classroom even though there is not a lab component and that the students will learn through guided inquiry to help figure out the answer to the overarching question.
This course will satisfy the A1 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical Discipline as well as the Grand Challenge outcome requirement of the new general education requirement.
CSC 104, Puzzles + Games = Analytical Thinking (4 crs.)
If you scored at a high school algebra level or higher on the math placement test, you will be able to take a computer science course that focuses on the mathematics between puzzles and games. Edmund Lamagna, professor of computer science, created this course back in 2003 which has recently gained in popularity. In this course, students develop their mathematical thinking ability.
The course is described on e-campus as, “introduces mathematical problem solving and computational thinking through puzzles and games. Students work in small groups on activities to enhance their analytic abilities. Topics include numbers, probability, logic, algorithms and graphs.” No programming is required for this course.
Lamagna has found that by teaching an unconventional math course, many students are more motivated to learn the material and there is a more leveled playing field among his wide variety of students.
“It’s pretty much a lecture-less class,” said Lamagna. “It’s been found in many studies that students learn better through active learning.”
Through group projects, presentations and writing in the classroom, this course is now able to fill the communication requirement. Its satisfies the B3 Mathematical, Statistical or Computational Strategies outcome for the new general education system. It will also satisfy the Mathematical and Quantitative requirement for pre-2016 general education.