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IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 1 Discussion
The Power of Telling Your Own Story
The combined experience of all of us in this classroom is staggering. Between us, we have decades (maybe centuries!) of experience in various career fields, higher education, community and civic engagement, raising families, military service, and much more. Successes, failures, and everything in betweenthese experiences make us who we are. In fact, your prior experience is your greatest asset as a learner. To set the stage for our academic and career futures, then, we must first recognize and appreciate our own past. Begin by viewing Dominic Colensos TEDx talk The Power of Telling Your Own Story (11:47 mins), below.
Colenso, D. (2017). The power of telling your story (Links to an external site.). Tedx Talks via Youtube. [Video: 11:47 minutes]. Transcripts Download Transcripts.
Discussion Instructions
Before getting started, please take a moment to add an image to your Canvas Profile so we can get to know one another.
Initial Post: By Thursday of Module 1, create an initial post that addresses each bullet point below:
What aspects of Colensos talk resonated with you? Do you agree with him about the value of sharing more of our stories with one another?
Then, reveal a bit about your past and how it relates to your present in the style Colenso suggests. For example, how did you get here? What prior knowledge, credit-taking, military, career, or real-world experience do you bring with you today? How did your family and other loved ones impact your story?
Give a glimpse into your future: What do you plan to do next in your degree path and career? How do you think acknowledging and leveraging your story can help you succeed in those goals?
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 1 return to this thread and reply to your peers posts and those who replied to you, finding commonalities in your stories and engaging with their thoughts about the video. Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 2 Discussion
Self-Regulated Learning
The baby is crying. Your older daughter is complaining that her stomach hurts. Dirty dishes from breakfast are piled up in the sink. Your phone rings and its your spouse who has to work late unexpectedly. And amidst the chaos, you remember that you have a paper due tomorrow.
Take a deep breath
As an adult student, you have likely already developed coping skills to help you get through even the toughest of circumstances. The theories of self-regulated learning help you to apply these strategies to an academic learning environment, whether its scheduling to block out chunks of time, minimizing distractions, relying on support networks, using practice tests and note taking strategies, or something else. Your ability to self-regulate is not fixed you can hone the underlying principles of metacognition and motivation, use resources to improve, leverage your areas of strength, and develop learning strategies to help you succeed.
Discussion Instructions
Make sure you have completed page 2.10 of the webtext before beginning this discussion. This section will walk you through the steps of the DAACS activities listed below.
Initial post: At the start of the week, by Thursday evening of Module 2, complete the following steps for this discussion
Take the DAACS Self-Regulated Learning Assessment (Links to an external site.). (If you have already completed it before taking this course, thats ok! You can either choose to retake it to see how youve changed or used your prior results for this activity).
Review your Results in the areas of Motivation, Metacognition, and Strategies.
Then, complete the DAACS Writing Assessment (Links to an external site.), in which you will write 350 words reflecting on your Self-Regulated Learning results.
Once you have finished your essay and submitted it through the DAACS site, copy/paste the full text of your Writing Assessment essay into this discussion board as your initial post. (If you completed the Writing Assessment in a previous session, go to the feedback area and click on Summary in the Content section this will display the whole text of your essay which you can copy/paste into the discussion board.)
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, for the remainder of the week, by Sunday evening, go back into your DAACS dashboard (Links to an external site.) and review your Writing Assessment results (in the areas of content, organization, paragraphs, sentences, and conventions). In your replies, engage with your peers about both the self-regulated learning and writing feedback and how each can help you maximize your strengths going forward. Consider the Writing Refresher section of this course in particular, how can you use these resources to improve your writing? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 3 Discussion
Point/Counterpoint
If youve been on any social media platform, youve undoubtedly seen it happen: an argument breaks out between friends or family members on different sides of an issue. Differing opinions become rigid dividing lines; participants split into opposing camps. Facts and evidence are used subjectively; logical fallacies abound. Some participants resort to emotion or even name-calling. At the end of the day, everyone is angry, and no one has changed their mind about the issue at hand. If anything, people have dug their heels in even more.
How can we continue to disagree, and engage one another in a debate, without devolving into the scenario above? One solution is to just disengage or retreat into the so-called social media filter bubble of like-minded perspectives. But arguably our future as a country, or even as a global community, depends on the free exchange of ideas and a willingness to question, learn from, and challenge one another.

So in the discussion this week, well put the critical reading, thinking, and argumentative reasoning skills we learned this week to work to engage in a civil debate on one of two topics relating to the future of our society. Before beginning, remember: the goal here is to maintain good netiquette and avoid the common pitfalls of arguments name-calling, appealing to emotion, ignoring or distorting the facts.
Discussion Instructions
Initial post: Begin by reading pages 3.6 through 3.8 of Chapter 3 in the webtext. Then, by Thursday of Module 3, choose 1 of the 2 topics listed below, and click on the link below to go to the forum associated with that topic to make your initial post.
If your last name starts with A-K you will argue the pro position. If your last name starts with L-Z you will argue the con position.
Should we implement a junk food tax?
Should the legal age of alcohol consumption be 18 rather than 21?
Include in your initial post:
An argument for why your side is correct. An argument for why the other side is incorrect. Make sure to use at least 1 credible, relevant source to back up your points. Use this Tip Sheet for a Great Debate Download Tip Sheet for a Great Debateto make sure you are following best practices to engage in an academic debate effectively.
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 3, engage in respectful back and forth debate on your topic with your peers, offering additional arguments to rebut their points.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 4 Discussion
From a Post-Truth World to a Pro-Truth World
Today, the prevalence of social media, the rise of algorithms, filter bubbles, bots, and international hacking efforts have brought the issue of fake news to the forefront of our national and international consciousness. As you read in the webtext this week, the spread of misinformation is not an entirely new problem and it does not have one simple solution. However, there are changes all information consumers can make to how they engage with stories, facts, and data that can lead us from a post-truth world to a pro-truth world.
Begin by reading chapter 4 of the webtext and viewing all of Professor Alex Edmans TED Talk What to Trust in a Post-Truth World, below.
Edmans, Al. (2018). What to trust in a “post-truth” world (Links to an external site.). TedTalk. [Video: 17:40 minutes]. Transcripts Download Transcripts.
Discussion Instructions
Initial post: By Thursday of Module 4, create an initial post that responds to each of the prompts below:
Edmans argues that confirmation bias causes us to believe information that confirms our point of view, which sometimes leads to accepting and sharing information that is fake, misleading, or misrepresentative. Think of an example of this from your own life. How did confirmation bias shape your understanding of an issue?
How do you think we can move beyond confirmation bias to make sure what were accepting and sharing is true?
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: From Friday through Sunday of Module 4, reply to your classmates initial posts and engage with them in a conversation about the future of this topic. Do you think the problem of confirmation bias and fake news is likely to get better or worse in the future? Why? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 5 Discussion
This is Water: The Purpose of an Education
The real value of a real education… has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: This is water. This is water.
-David Foster Wallace
What is the purpose of a college education? This has been and will continue to be, one of the fundamental questions facing the future of higher education.
Is it “utilitarian- to prepare students for a particular job or career path, or is it utopian- shaping students character and values to prepare them not just to be good workers, but also good thinkers, good citizens, and positive contributors to our local, national, and global societies?
In this module, we learned a lot about the value of general education skills, like writing, ethical reasoning, and quantitative reasoning, for students current and future career paths. Excelsiors general education career competencies even include career right in the title to emphasize their utilitarian value. But is that the only value of general education? Is that the only value of an education in general?
Begin by viewing this excerpt of David Foster Wallaces famous commencement speech This Is Water given in 2005 at Kenyon College.
Mosley, CD. (2013). This is Water! by David Foster Wallace (Links to an external site.). YouTube. [Video: 9:22 minutes]. Transcripts Download Transcripts.
Discussion Instructions
Initial post: Then, by Thursday of Module 5, create an initial post that responds to each of the prompts below:
What do you believe the true purpose of a college education is today? What do you think it will be in the future?
Do you believe colleges have a responsibility to teach concepts like global understanding and cultural diversity and expression? Why or why not?
What do you hope to get out of your general education experience by the time you graduate?
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 5, reply to your classmates initial posts and engage with them in a conversation about the purpose of higher education in 50 or 100 years do you think it becomes more utilitarian or more utopian as our global society changes? Why? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 6 Discussion
Oral Communication – Our Career Futures
In Module 5, we examined Excelsiors General Education Career Competencies and learned how these skills will be beneficial in the future of work. One of the most important competencies is oral communication. In fact, according to an Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2018 survey of business executives and hiring managers (Links to an external site.) the ability to effectively communicate orally was the most important skill for college graduates entering the workforce. It ranked ahead of critical thinking, ethical decision-making, teamwork, time management, and written communication. So, in this discussion, you will practice your oral communication through a video post. Youll get another chance to practice this skill in the Module 8 discussion, so dont worry if you havent quite mastered it this week.
Begin by reading pages 6.3 through 6.10 in the webtext on career planning and page 6.11 on the oral communication discussion.
Now, put yourself in the mindset of your future self. Pretend that it is a few years in the future once you have completed your college degree (and any subsequent degrees you plan to attain) and are now entering your chosen career field or positioning yourself to advance in your current field. For this discussion, you are interviewing for an ideal job in your field.
Discussion Instructions
Initial post: By Thursday of Module 6, create a 2-minute video clip with a text transcript speaking as your future self, answering the following questions from the hiring manager:
Why do you want to work in this career field? What sets you apart from other candidates?
As a graduate of Excelsior College, what are the most important skills you learned from your education? How do you plan to apply these to your work?
What do you think the future of this career field/industry will be in 10, 20 or even 100 years? How can you help us plan for that future?
NOTE: You will need to include a transcript or closed captions with your video in order to make it accessible for people with hearing disabilities. The easiest way to do this is to write out a script in advance and attach this to your post as a transcript. Use the Audio Script Writing Guide for help creating a script.
NOTE: Read the resources below for help with creating your video (or if a video is not possible an audio file) If you experience trouble uploading your video file to Canvas directly because of a slow internet connection, read option 4 in the Tips document below.
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 6, reply to your classmates videos with text replies. Comment on similarities and differences in your answers to the questions, and give some positive feedback about their oral communication skills what did they do well? How did they communicate their points effectively? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.
Resources:
Tips for Creating a Video (also includes information on audio-only alternative)
Audio Script Writing Guide

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 7 Discussion
Better Together GECC
Last week we discussed our personal career futures. This week well focus on the broader societal landscape and what value diversity and inclusion play in the future of work. Diversity in the workplace does not just refer to race, sex, religion, class, and age. A commitment to a diverse working environment also acknowledges the importance of the diversity of perspectives, cultures, backgrounds, and strengths.
Begin by reading pages 7.1-7.7 of the webtext for this week and viewing the video, “Inclusion Starts with I.”
Accenture. (2017). Inclusion starts with an I. (Links to an external site.) YouTube. [Video: 3:28 minutes]. Transcripts Download Transcripts.
Discussion Instructions
Initial Post: Then, by Thursday of Module 7, create an initial post that responds to each of the prompts below:
Have you ever encountered a situation like the ones highlighted in the video? How did it impact you?
What demographic groups, backgrounds, or perspectives are underrepresented in your career field? Why?
What are the benefits of working in diverse groups? What are the challenges?
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 7, reply to your classmates initial posts and engage with them in a conversation about the future of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Do you think our workplaces will become more or less diverse and inclusive in the future? Why? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 8 Discussion
Oral Communication – Final Project Presentation GECC
At the end of last week, you submitted the culmination of 7 weeks of thinking, research, and writing. You should be proud of what youve accomplished! This week, youll get the chance to share your Final Project with your peers in a short “elevator pitch” video presentation.
An elevator pitch is a very short synopsis of your topic, something that could convince an audience during an elevator ride. To create one, youll need to think about the most important points of your argument to get across to your audience, and remember that your audience has not done the same amount of reading on your topic as you have over the last 7 weeks, so youll need to make sure your explanations make sense to a non-expert.
Begin by reading page 8.10 in your webtext and looking back at your final project and reflecting on its most important points.
Discussion Instructions
Initial post: Then, by Thursday of Module 8, create a 2-minute video clip (and a text transcript) that addresses the following:
Convince the audience of your thesis argument for your final project in a short elevator pitch. To do this youll need to introduce your topic and thesis statement, then articulate the main arguments in support of it in a way that non-experts can understand.
Then, reflect on the research process in this course what was the most important thing you learned through the last 7 weeks of research and writing and how do you plan to apply it in your future coursework and beyond?
NOTE: You will need to include a transcript or closed captions with your video in order to make it accessible for people with hearing disabilities. The easiest way to do this is to write out a script in advance and attach this to your post as a transcript. Use the Audio Script Writing Guide for help creating a script.
NOTE: Read the resources below for help with creating your video (or if a video is not possible an audio file) If you experience trouble uploading your video file to Canvas directly because of a slow internet connection, read option 4 in the Tips document below.
You will not be able to see posts written by your classmates until you create your initial post.
Replies: Then, from Friday through Sunday of Module 8, reply to your classmates videos with text replies. Comment on their elevator pitch and self-reflection. Comment on specific aspects of your peers oral communication skills what did they do well? How did they communicate their points effectively? How have they improved since Module 6? Please be sure to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts.
Resources:
Tips for Creating a Video (also includes alternate audio-only information)
Audio Script Writing Guide

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 1 Assignment
Course Project – Milestone 1
Starting Your Research
Over the next 7 weeks, you will be working toward completing a final paper. Right now the idea of writing an independent research paper might sound daunting, but dont worry! This course breaks down the steps toward that paper into manageable bite-sized pieces (called milestones) each week. Along the way, you will learn the crucial skills of effective searching in the Excelsior College Library; source evaluation, analysis, and attribution; outlining; paraphrasing; and evidence-based argumentative writing.
Begin by reading about all of the Final Project Milestones.
Make sure to read pages 1.9 through 1.13 of the webtext before beginning this assignment.
Next, choose one of the topics from this list (this list also appears in Chapter 1 of your webtext). Each of these topics relates to our course theme of the future of our society as well as to one of Excelsiors General Education Career Competencies. You will learn more about these competencies in the coming weeks and learn how to articulate your newly acquired skills in these areas to employers through your e-portfolio, where you will submit your completed final project at the end of the term.
This week, your job is to select a topic and do some preliminary thinking about it. Click on the link for your topic choice and read the linked research starter article.
While you may have some initial gut reactions or preformed opinions about this topic, consider other ways of thinking about it, even ideas you may think you disagree with at first. When you begin a scholarly research project like this it is crucial to start with an open mind. Trying to remain objective and skeptical allows you to let the sources guide your argument instead of the other way around. If you start with a pre-set opinion, your biases may influence your source selection so that you only choose sources that confirm your point of view.
Note: The topic you choose for this research project should be used ONLY in this class. If you are taking other classes that also require a research paper or presentation, the topic(s) you choose for them should be different from the one you select here. See Excelsiors Academic Integrity Policy (Links to an external site.) for more information.
Submission Instructions
Now that you have read about your topic a bit and considered multiple perspectives related to it, you are ready to put together your Module 1 assignment.
The following components should appear together in one document in your submission. Use the Milestone 1 Template Download Milestone 1 Templateto assemble your finished product:
The topic you selected (it must be one of the choices from the provided list)
At least three questions you have about this topic and how it might impact the future of our society. You do not need to have answers to these questions yet, just pose the questions for now. Aim for why questions rather than what. These are the questions that will drive your research in the next few weeks and help you to find the most useful sources.
A short paragraph (approx. 150 words) reflecting on this process. Consider the following as you reflect: Why did you choose this topic? Do you think you have any biases toward a certain perspective on it? How will you try to minimize your own biases as you conduct research? Did you find it difficult to come up with facts and questions about your topic or to think about how this topic relates to the future?
Put all three components into the Milestone 1 Template Download Milestone 1 Templateand submit the finished document to the dropbox by Sunday night of Module 1. Scroll to the top of the page to locate the submission button.
You will receive feedback from your instructor during the first half of Module 2. Make sure to read and utilize that feedback as you work on the next milestone in Module 2.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 2 Assignment
Brainstorming and Searching for Sources
Last week you chose a final project topic and began the research process. This week you will narrow your focus and find some preliminary sources.
Make sure you read and incorporate your instructors feedback on your Milestone 1 submission. You will receive a grade and feedback by Thursday of Module 2 at the latest.
Begin by reading pages 2.11 through 2.13 in the webtext and then begin the steps below.
Step 1: Freewriting
The first step to brainstorming is to harness your brains energy around a topic (aka create the storm). Many professional writers do this by freewriting about a topic for a set amount of time. This helps exercise your writing muscle and broaden your thinking on your topic. For this exercise, set a timer for 10 minutes. During this time write down anything that comes to mind about your topic. Dont stop until the timer goes off! You dont need to worry about proper spelling or sentence structure, just think broadly, pose questions, wonder, consider, and write what you already know about your topic. Think about the facts and questions you posed last week and how your instructor responded to them. You can choose to do this with a pen and paper or on a computer. You dont need to submit this step with your finished product so feel free to experiment.
For example, if my topic choice is climate change my freewrite might look something like this:
I chose climate change as my topic. I dont know much about it; but I know that when people say climate change they really mean warmer temperatures on Earth, sometimes its called global warming. I have heard that sea levels are rising and the ocean is getting warmer. This is causing ice caps to melt. What is causing it? The article I read last week talked about greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. Does everyone agree that climate change is happening? I dont think so. Sometimes you hear on the news that politicians or TV personalities talk about climate change being made up, Im not sure if thats true. It seems like when you hear scientists talk about it theyre more certain that its a problem. Why does it seem like everyone talks about climate change as a problem but nothing ever actually changes? I think electric cars are a good idea but too expensive for me to buy, I wonder how they can bring them down in price so more people will switch from gas. I saw that movie that Al Gore made about global warming, but I dont remember what it was called. Are alternative energy sources like wind farms and solar power really enough to make a big change? What are other countries doing? What would it take to end climate change entirely at this point or is that impossible?
The end result might be a mess! It might look nothing like the example above. Thats ok! The purpose of this activity is to get your thoughts out on paper so you can begin to filter and narrow them.
See the Milestone 2 Template Download Milestone 2 Templatefor examples of each of the steps below:
Step 2: Making a List
The next step is to use your freewrite paragraph to help narrow your area focus. The topic choices from Module 1 are too broad to cover adequately in a short research paper, so you need to find one subject or idea within that topic. Pull out the important ideas from your paragraph that could be useful directions of focus. Aim for at least 5 different ideas to pull out and list in bullets.
Step 3: Describing Your Topic and Finding Your Keywords
As youve been working on this you may find that certain ideas are standing out to you as more intriguing avenues for research. Now, pick one of these ideas and write one to two sentences describing your narrowed topic.
Step 4: Thinking of Synonyms
Next, underline at least 4 phrases or words in your 1-2 sentence description. Then, for each underlined word, come up with at least two synonyms, abbreviations, acronyms, or alternative terms to describe it. You can use a thesaurus (Links to an external site.) to help you with this. This step is crucial to finding useful sources to use in your paper because the sources youre looking for may not appear if you search for one keyword but will appear with another.
Step 5: Searching the Library
The synonyms now give you a great list of keywords to use to search the Excelsior College Library for sources.
For this stage, we will NOT be using Google or other internet search engines to find sources. It is important to first understand how to effectively use our Excelsior College Library to find appropriate, scholarly sources. While you can find these types of sources through a Google search as well, you often have to search through and distinguish between many inappropriate sources as well. In later weeks, well learn more about assessing the validity of information on the internet.
For now, begin by going to the Library Homepage (Links to an external site.) and using the OneSearch tool. Try several combinations of your keywords and synonyms to see what types of sources come up. Tip: view Library searching tips and tricks (Links to an external site.) and try using search tricks like AND, OR, *, or to change your results.
Then, find at least 5 sources that are relevant to your topic. They can be books, journal articles, encyclopedia articles, news, and periodicals, etc. These may not end up being the final sources you use for your paper, but they are a good way to get started.
In your list of sources, make sure to include the URL (use the Library’s Permalink button to generate a stable URL (Links to an external site.)), the author (if there is one), the title of the article/book, and date. It does not need to be in proper APA format yet, but you are encouraged to practice this skill since youll need to use it later on in the course. * Note: Not all source types require a URL in APA format, but make sure to include one for this assignment so your instructor can view your source if needed.
Resources:
Milestone 2 Template Download Milestone 2 Template(Word document)
Thesaurus (Links to an external site.)
Library Homepage (Links to an external site.)
Library Cornerstone Research Guide
Library searching tips and tricks (Links to an external site.)
Instructions for Linking to Items in the Library (Links to an external site.)
Submission Instructions
Once youve completed the steps above, submit the following in one document to the dropbox by Sunday evening of Module 2. Use the Milestone 2 template Download Milestone 2 template to assemble and submit the final product:
Your list of at least 5 narrowed ideas on your topic from the free write activity
Your 1-2 sentence description of your narrowed topic with at least 4 key terms and phrases underlined
At least 2 synonyms for each of the 4 key terms or phrases
Five sources on your topic from the Excelsior Library search (including author, title, date, and URL)
Put all four components into the Milestone 2 Template Download Milestone 2 Template and submit the finished document to the dropbox below by Sunday night of Module 2.

IND101 CORNERSTONE A: FOUNDATIONS
Module 3 Assignment
Thesis Statement Draft and Source Evaluation
In Modules 1 and 2 you chose a final project topic

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