Introduction to Social Sciences, 03.100
Workshop Information Sheet

As set out in the course outline, workshops accompany the lectures for most weeks of the course (exceptions include the first week of classes, Thanksgiving, and the last week of each term when there are no workshops). The purpose of these workshops is to provide you with an opportunity to work in small groups with concepts and data related to the curriculum covered in the lectures. Our workshops focus on learning by doing. In the end, we anticipate that the workshops will help you to develop critical thinking, writing and research skills necessary for scholarship in the Social Sciences.

There are a variety of activities planned across the two terms including analyzing data about Carleton University, working with the Social Science computer network facilities, designing an ideal community, preparing interdisciplinary-research web sites, as well as participating in a workshop conducted entirely in the virtual space of our electronic discussion group. I am sure you will find our discussions and activities interesting and challenging.

As we will be spending 38 hours together in the workshops, the workshop activities constitute 50% of your final grade. Each of your marks is based on the assignments outlined below.

Assignments and Evaluation

Critical Reading Summary (5%)

As a community of scholars is also a community of writers (you are now a member of this community - you are scholars!), you will write often. We want you to see writing not just as a way of communicating what you know, but also as a way of coming to know; writing to learn, not just learning to write. So, we will begin our term with a short writing assignment. The first assignment is a written summary of the reading from your course reader - Fruits, Fruit Salads and Smoothies: A working definition of interdisciplinarity - by Moti Nissani. We will be discussing the writing of summaries in the second workshop (Week 3), and you will find more information about how to write a summary in Chapter Three of your book A Short Guide to Writing About Social Science by Lee Cuba.

The first draft of this summary is due Week 4 at your scheduled workshop. The final draft of the summary is due Week 5 IN CLASS LECTURE (October 6).

Library Archives Assignment (5%)

In order to help you develop the research skills you will need in the social sciences, Shelagh and I have been working closely with library faculty. As you will see throughout the year, our librarians will provide you with library-research training. The first part of this training in the third workshop involves using the documents found in the archives of our library to learn more about Carleton (librarian assistance will be provided). You will be required to write up the results of your research on a personal web site (which will be developed as part of our workshops in October).

The details of this assignment will be provided in your workshop session. Assignment due October 27, 1997 via email.

Computer Assignment (5%)

The fourth workshop in the course (Week 5, October 6) will introduce you to the Social Science Computer Network and the CHAT system at Carleton University. You will learn how to access the computer system, how to use electronic mail to communicate on campus and throughout the world, and how to set up your own course web site. Your assignments for this workshop will include a number of tasks that will demonstrate your skills in using this new technology. A detailed outline of the assignment will be provided at the workshop.

The assignment is due November 10, 1997 on your personal web site. Following this workshop, we will be actively using a CHAT course discussion group as part of our course activities. All of this will be explained during the third workshop, Introduction to Electronic Communities - CHAT.

Research Paper (15%)

At the end of the first term, we will begin work on a research paper. Based on lectures and workshops, you will be required to write a 1500-word essay on some aspect of community. This paper will be based on one disciplinary perspective (i.e., it will not be interdisciplinary). The details of topic choice and research strategies will be explained in the workshops. An outline of the paper is due for Week 1 of the Winter Term. The first draft of the paper is due Week 3, Winter Term, and the final paper is due Week 5 - Monday, February 2, 1997 IN CLASS LECTURE.

We will provide time in the workshops for writing conferencing early in the winter term. Details of paper format, style, etc., will be presented at the workshops.

Interdisciplinary Project and Presentation (20%)

One of the hallmarks of a scholarly community is that scholars communicate their research with one another. They do this through journal publications, books and conferences. At conferences, various scholars present papers and posters. A poster is a visual presentation of research results which is discussed with interested participants at scheduled times throughout the conference (it's a bit like a "science fair"). More recently, researchers have also been using the world wide web to present research results in both text and graphic format.

We will be communicating the results of our research in a similar fashion using the world wide web. Working in groups of three or four, you will be required to integrate your individual papers discussed above into a web site. How you will do this will be presented in the workshop sessions. It will suffice for now to know that you will plan your papers together on the same social-scientific topic to facilitate their interdisciplinary integration as a web site. The web-site presentations will be held in the workshops during Week 8 of the winter term (week of March 2nd). The evaluation for the web sites and presentations will be based both on the joint effort of the partners as well as individual contributions. Details of group work will be presented during workshops.

Well, that's it as an overview for the workshops. The course outline distributed in class contains the weekly schedule for workshops. Please, if you have any questions, contact me during office hours (Tuesday 1330-1430), by phone (613-520-2600 ext 1403), or by email at

Professor Tim Pychyl

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