Designers of Honors syllabi should strive to give their courses the following common characteristics:
We suggest at least three readings of pertinent core texts (to be determined by the department and instructor) beyond the usual textbook or other regular course readings.
NOTE: A text can be any length and any genre, and it can originate from any time period (including the present). Texts might also include films, paintings, seminal articles from journals, classic experiments, important case studies, great musical compositions, etc.
We suggest at least one additional reading assignment (beyond the three core texts above) in the history of the discipline or history of ideas.
We suggest at least four assignments (with a written or oral deliverable) that require students to R.E.A.S.O.N. (see below) per the QEP.
Reflect -- on information presented in diverse media and diverse frames of reference to identify main ideas, themes, and assumptions and make comparative judgments from data.
Evaluate -- the validity and limitations of assumptions in relation to evidence and identify limitations and contradictions in an event.
Argue -- to effectively advocate ideas and alternative solutions; identify, develop, and evaluate arguments and issues.
Solve -- problems in creative, efficient, and effective ways to demonstrate creative problem-solving skills.
Obtain -- desired goals or outcomes by assessing potential deviations from such outcomes; evaluate and implement a plan to work towards a goal or conclusion.
Network -- to communicate ideas, alternative solutions, and desired outcomes in a variety of media and in diverse frames of reference; communicate the results, findings, and recommendations in a variety of media.
We suggest students write at least two essays per course (free of significant errors) beyond the writing requirement already in place for the regular course. These two essays may be included in the QEP assignment total. This writing might be in the form of lab reports or problem sets for science or math courses.
We suggest students do and present (as appropriate) research in the pertinent discipline(s). Students should be literate in information technology, i.e., the proper methodology for doing advanced library and internet-based research.
We suggest an experiential, relevant, co-curricular component that is academically significant and coordinated with Honors College (including DNIMAS) programming. This may include service learning or civic engagement activities.
We suggest the infusion of technology that is appropriate, state-of-the-art and well understood by faculty and students into Honors courses across the disciplines.
We suggest that discussion of the scientific method, paradigm shifts, and the role of science in public life be incorporated into Honors courses across the disciplines.
We suggest that Honors courses emphasize interdisciplinary perspectives whenever possible.
We suggest that Honors courses be attractive to students and academically rigorous.