Contact us at: 660-785-5406 or email: tiacademies@truman.edu

Home » Courses of Study » Session I Course Descriptions

Session I Course Descriptions

Advocacy, Argument, and Persuasion:
Classical Rhetoric in Contemporary Times

debate 2In a culture of 24-hour news, larger-than-life pundits and a blurring of the line between news and commentary, rhetoric and argumentation are a way of life in modern America. Argument now occurs in settings such as the halls of Congress, evening news talk shows, popular sports programming, and local city councils. Advocacy, in the form of advertising, is everywhere.  As consumers of media and participants in an increasingly adversarial culture, learning the critical principles and practices of advocacy and persuasion provides a basis for informed involvement in the world around us.

This course utilizes a perspective rooted in classical rhetorical theory as a mode of critical thinking and public involvement to study the processes of argumentation and persuasion in various interpersonal, political, academic and pop culture settings. Students will begin by engaging theories rooted in the classical rhetoric of the Greeks and Romans and evolve through contemporary models of argument. As a complement to this discussion of argumentation theories, students will employ various models of debate as a means to practice the ideas they learn.  Students will engage in argument by participating in visual argument, in-class debates, political debates and even humor to test their skills. Finally, lessons learned in all settings will be utilized as a framework from which to engage political discourses and persuasive popular media campaigns.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
Thank You for Arguing

Instructor
Jay Self, Associate Professor of Communication, Truman State University.  B.A., Truman State University; M.S. Texas Christian University, Ph.D., University of Kansas


An “Animated” Course

animation

An “Animated” Course is an introduction and exploration of traditional cell frame animation. Drawing and sketching skills are recommended. Fundamentals of cartooning, character development and storyboarding will be explored and experienced. Photographic and claymation animation techniques are also topics for this course. Students will use Macintosh computers utilizing Adobe Photoshop and Apple iMovie to prepare digital animation reels of the final projects.

The class will be watching a documentary movie about animator Chuck Jones and his long career animating Loony Tunes characters for Warner Brothers. Chuck will impart vital animation tips and secrets. Yes, we will watch some classic cartoons in addition to viewing the summer’s best animation offering at the local theater.

Students should be confident in drawing and/or interested in making their drawings and characters come to life.

Enrollment limited to 20 students. Course fee for supplies and materials is $65.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
Character Animation Crash Course

Instructor
Rusty Nelson, Professor of Art, Visual Communications. B.F.A. Fort Hays State University; M.F.A. Kansas State University

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Biomusicology: The Study of Music from a Biological Perspective

music study

How does music affect the brain?  Why is memory enhanced by musical cues?  Exactly how does music function as a form of communication for humans, as well as other species?   The emerging field of Biomusicology addresses such questions from a biological point of view, and music is studied as a natural system that is indispensable to human cultures.

Throughout the course we use readings and research projects, as well as guest lectures by musicians and medical professionals, to investigate the origins of music; the question of animal song; the functions and uses of music; and the universal features of the world’s musical systems and musical behavior.  An important component of the course is an overview of neuromusicology: the study of brain areas involved in music-processing and the cognitive processes associated with music-making.

In Biomusicology, we study many kinds of music made by societies worldwide and consider how people use music in their ritual, cultural and social lives.  Also, as part of our applied study, all students have regular access to the latest instructional technology available in Truman’s Basic Keyboard Skills Lab.  As a class, our goal is to apply specific theories of biomusicology to gain insight into the following:  the therapeutic uses of music in medical treatment; the widespread use of music in audiovisual media such as film and television; the role of music to influence mass behavior; and the use of music to enhance learning.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
This Is Your Brain on Music;  a course pack developed by the instructor.

Instructor
Shirley McKamie, Instructor of Musicology, Truman State University.   B.M., University of North Texas; M.A., Truman State University

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Can You Say That With Your Hands?  An Introduction to American Sign Language and Deaf Culture

signThis course will introduce students to manual communication skills utilized by the Deaf community.   In addition the course will provide insight into the diversity of individuals using manual communication in their unique culture. As a result of this course, students will learn to communicate in conversational situations utilizing finger spelling and American Sign Language.   Students will play word games, role play scenarios, interpret poems or songs and present a children’s book in sign language.  Students will experience communication barriers that will give them a greater understanding of the importance common communication systems.  Videos, lectures and learning opportunities will give insight into the pride of Deaf individuals, the history of Deaf culture and how technology is changing Deaf communities.

This course would be appropriate for individuals investigating numerous careers including Sign Language Interpreters, Audiology, Deaf Education, Speech/Language Pathology, and Special Education.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
Learning American Sign Language, 2nd Ed; Levels I & II – Beginning & Intermediate

Instructor
Sheila Garlock, Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders, Truman State University.  B.S.E., Truman State University; M.A., Truman State University.



German Language and Culture

German clip

This course introduces students to first-semester college German and the rich cultural heritage of German-speaking countries. Students will develop skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing via the “immersion method.”  Every morning session will be conducted as much as possible auf Deutsch: the teacher, preceptors, and students will all communicate in German.  By the end of the three-week session, this intensive approach to language learning will allow students to navigate the German Sprachraum. You should be able to find your way around town, order a meal in a restaurant (and pay for it), and get what you need at the grocery store.

Afternoon sessions will be conducted in English and devoted to German culture. We will touch on German art and history, from the first mentions by Roman writers, through the Dark Ages, the High Middle Ages and into the present. Other activities will include a field trip to a part of Missouri where German was until quite recently the local language, and adventures in cooking and other aspects of daily life.

Textbook
TBA

Instructor
Adam Davis, Professor of English, Truman State University.  BA, MA University of Michigan, PhD University of Missouri

 


Introduction to Chemistry

Science and Chemistry Icons

The course will introduce you to the scientific process by exploring several concepts in chemistry in the context of contemporary environmental and societal issues.  A broad range of topics will be explored throughout the session, including the atom and atomic structure, molecules and chemical bonding, chemical nomenclature, writing and balancing chemical equations, the mole and molarity, and the relationship between chemical structure and function. You will participate in several laboratory experiences in which you will learn to work safely in the laboratory and make careful observations of chemical reactions and phenomena in order to draw useful conclusions from your experiments.

A component of the course involves inquiry based learning, as you will conduct an environmental study of local streams and/or lakes by collecting samples and analyzing them using different techniques.  Other experiments include determination of citric acid in fruit juice, exploring chemical reactions of inorganic compounds, paper and column chromatography characterization of food coloring, analysis of artificial blood, the study of dyes through the making of tie dye T-shirts, as well as a peer group project to develop and perform a demo show.

Textbook
The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry and a course packet which includes laboratory experiments and supporting materials for the lecture.

Instructor
Brian Lamp, Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Truman State University.  B.A. Augustana University (SD), Ph.D. Iowa State University


Psychology Through Science Fiction

brain2Would we be happier if we could take pills that made us smarter?  Could you fall in love with a robot? Would we go crazy if we were prevented from dreaming?  This course uses science fiction to raise many questions like these, and psychology to provide possible answers. While we use science fiction to introduce the topics, the main goal is to explore the vast world of psychology. Students will learn about experimental design, states of consciousness, how the brain directs behavior, how stable personality is, and many, many other subtopics within psychology.

Psychologists learn by performing experiments, and we will demonstrate some classic findings in class.  But some experiments we’d like to do just can’t be done on this planet. Others would be unethical, because psychologists do not deliberately cause harm.  This is where science fiction comes in.  It poses questions about what life would be like in very different circumstances.  In other words, science fiction scenarios are often just psychological thought experiments.

During class, we will read several science fiction stories and watch science fiction television episodes and movies.  Then we will do activities, demonstrations, and have discussions that uncover the psychological concepts within the science fiction tales. For example, students will take personality and IQ tests that challenge their understanding of what it would be like to be smarter and more outgoing.  We will test our memory and perceptual abilities. Students will practice speaking, writing, and internet search skills. Throughout the course, we will talk about robots, aliens, computer chips inserted into brains, and other truly weird stuff.  But by the end of the course, you may conclude that we – humans – are more amazing than anything our imaginations can dream up.

Textbooks
50 Short Science Fiction Stories; 50 Myths of Popular Psychology

Instructor
Karen Vittengl, Professor of Psychology, Truman State University.  B.A., Hanover College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The Science of Secrecy

Crypt clip 2Can you keep a secret a secret?

Suppose you need to get an important message to your best friend Remington, but you are afraid that your arch-nemesis, Sly (a master of cryptanalysis!) might try to intercept the message and read it for his own evil purposes.  How can you encode your message so that Sly will not be able to decipher it?  What if your friend Natasha, who lives far away, needs to get a secret message to you?  How can you provide her with a method to encode her letter so that you will be able to decipher it, but no one else will, even people who know how Natasha encoded the message?

In this course we will study the mathematics of cryptology as we look at the most famous methods of encryption dating back two thousand years to the age of Caesar right up through high-tech applications for securing communication on the internet.  Students will have opportunities to make and break many of the codes we study.  We will discuss dramatic historical events in which cryptography played a key role, including the breaking of the German Enigma code in World War II.  Along the way we will see how methods of cryptanalysis were used to interpret Egyptian hieroglyphics, and we will study unusual methods of encryption, such as the use of the Navajo language during World War II.  We will also consider First Amendment issues raised by attempts to limit the use of the virtually unbreakable codes we have available to us today.

Textbooks
Cryptological Mathematics ; The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography 

Instructor
Anthony Vazzana, Professor of Mathematics, Truman State University.  B.S., University of Notre Dame; M.S., Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Theatre: Onstage and Off

acting 2This course introduces the many facets of theatre from basic acting techniques to theatrical designs.  We will explore principles in the art of acting, engaging students in a variety of valuable pursuits of practical application to every other study in life: cooperative discipline and trust, freeing the imagination, “inhabiting” great ideas, appreciating alternative views, gaining confidence in public communication, and, most importantly, greater physical, vocal, and personal self-awareness.  Our work will include reading and discussion in theory and technique from Stanislovski and more recent masters but will emphasize active workshop learning through extended series of improvisations, physical and vocal imitations and character analysis.  In addition, students will research the many design elements needed to produce a play; scenery, lighting, costumes and make-up.  The best way to learn and understand what it takes to do theatre is by doing!  So, not only will you study theatre, you will be involved in a full-scale production with scenery, lights, sound, costumes and make-up performed onstage to your peers!

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Supplies
Make-up Kit (The Truman Bookstore will have this available for purchase with the textbooks at check-in.)

Textbook
A course packet prepared by the professor.

Instructor
Ronald M. Rybkowski, Professor of Theatre, Truman State University.  B.A., Whittier College; M.F.A., California State University, Fullerton


Why We Fight: A Historical Perspective of Crusades and Jihad

war-peace-2-aWe explore the ideology and history of war from antiquity to the present.  We begin by considering the ideas in On Aggression, an influential work by the Nobel Prize-winning zoologist, Konrad Lorenz. We then look at reasons to fight beginning with Homer’s Illiad—a tale of war that both entertained and educated ancient Greece. A radically different form of combat confronts us in the 9th-century conversion literature, The Heliand. We next discuss the 12th-century Song of the Nibelungs, the heroic epic that advocates a Germanic warrior ethos tempered by a knightly code of honor. In the same century, the Islamic jihad of Saladin retakes the Holy city of Jerusalem city. We examine his motives and justification for fighting.  We compare them with the aims of the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic superpower of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries whose expansion culminated in the blockade of Vienna. Finally, we explore the reasons to fight during the First and Second World Wars. The course concludes with an inquiry about how our course might relate to contemporary events in the 21st century.

Textbooks
On Aggression; Iliad; The Heliand: The Old Saxon Gospel; The Song of the Nibelungs; All Quiet on the Western Front

Instructor
Ernst Hintz, Professor of German, Truman State University.  B.A. Fordham University, M.A Ruprecht-Karl Universität Heidelberg, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison