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If you need any help, let Erica (eellsworth@kaplan.edu) know.

New Ideas for CM103:

Project Ideas:
1. One possibility is a short summary project, due in Unit 3 or 4. Knowing how to summarize is an important skill. Students can have a choice of four to six articles on CJ and FS issues. The articles could be changed every year or so to prevent the reuse of essays. A summary project could easily fit into a thematic course and/or could jump-start the students into the final project research.
2. The information essay in Unit 9 could be shortened to about three pages, with a shorter draft due in Unit 7. The draft could be missing a full intro and conclusion; it could take the place of CM103’s Unit 6 outline.
A. Reasons to bring back a draft: the students can still work on their writing skills: developing ideas and using research to create a cohesive whole, but they wouldn’t have the pressure of building a five-page essay at this level. The draft would be helpful for them; we could do a check on how they are addressing and fleshing out the topics and integrating sources.

Discussion Board Ideas:
1. Describing a process would make a good Discussion Board item, and it could fit into a thematic course and/or fit in with the research topic choices.
A. The description of a process could be put into list form or a short paragraph, but it would require complete sentences.
B. Students could draw upon their job experience in CJ and FS
i. How to write a ticket
ii. How to put out a small kitchen fire
iii. How to handcuff a person
C. Students could describe everyday activities
i. How to cook a dish (include a reminder to avoid short “recipe-style directions”).
ii. How to change a tire
iii. How to wash and detail a car
iv. How to clean a bathroom

“Take a Break” Video Ideas:
1. More videos from YouTube: new technology in CJ and FS.
2. More videos illustrating quick lessons in punctuation and grammar.

Misc. Ideas
1. Rules for Writers is a keeper of a handbook!
2. The exercises could be given points for completion. Maybe credit/no credit?
3. A thematic CM103 would be great. My blunt, unthinking ideas during the phone meeting (May 9th) were referencing ideas from my alma mater. I was not referring to any thematic KU course, especially the successful earlier incarnation of CM223 with the NOLA theme. Students really enjoyed the mood and topics in that thematic course. The current Unit 4 assignment in CM223, in which students investigate a case of vandalism while serving as interns in the NOPD, is still very popular.

Many thanks for the opportunity to share these ideas!
Ann Reich