HOW IS GWS 200 ONLINE DIFFERENT FROM THE IN-PERSON COURSE?
The online version of Gen&WS 200: Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies covers most of the same material as the in-person version of the course. However, instead of attending an in-person lecture, students engage with online course content such as mini-lectures and films. Instead of attending an in-person discussion section, students participate in small online discussion groups of 8-10 students each, moderated by a skilled GWS teaching assistant with oversight by the course instructor. Students also complete and submit all assessments through Canvas.
The online course is flexible: students do need not log on or participate at pre-set times. However, success in the course is strongly dependent upon regular (that is, daily) engagement with the course and self-directed time management.
IS THE ONLINE VERSION EASIER THAN THE IN-PERSON VERSION OF THIS COURSE?
No, if anything the condensed time frame makes the course more challenging. We hear from students that the online version of the course takes just as much time—if not more time—than a regular 4 credit course taught during a typical 15-week semester. Students should be prepared to invest substantial time into the class in order to succeed. (Remember that we’re condensing 15 weeks of material in to 8 weeks.) We’ll do our part to keep the course as interesting and relevant as possible for you along the way.
Review the syllabus to see if you are interested in the course content before enrolling. GWS 200 meets humanities or social science breadth for L&S and meets the university ethnic studies requirement.
Gathman, Cabell (editor), 2015. LGBTQ People & Issues: An Integrative Approach. Cognella. ISBN-13: 978-1634871198.
For folks in, or close to, Madison, the reader is on reserve at College Library and in the Physics Library on the 4th floor of Chamberlin Hall.
Are the readings available online?
Unfortunately, no. Students are required to use a reader for the course. Though we place many copies of the texts on reserve through the UW-Madison Library System, off-site students must either rent or purchase the text. If you cannot find a used copy in Madison or online, new copies are by far cheapest ordered directly through the publisher, Cognella.
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Do I have to be in Madison to take this course?
No. One of the best things about the online version of GWS 200 is that students can take the course from all over the world. However, a strong internet connection must be available every single day if you are to succeed in the course.
Can I take a vacation during the course?
Though the online course offers more location flexibility than an in-person course, daily interactions with Canvas and the course material are necessary. Thus, we encourage folks not to take vacations during the 8-week course. If you do choose to travel, it is your responsibility to keep up with all course material while away. Please note that because a major component of the course involves replying to discussion threads, it is often simply not possible to complete assignments in advance.
Can I complete the course in less than 8 weeks?
No, although you may find it helpful to read ahead if there are specific times during the session when you anticipate a busier schedule, the design of the course means that students must be actively engaged with the material and their classmates’ questions and contributions throughout the full eight weeks. For example, you need to respond to your peers’ discussion posts each week and also follow up to others’ replies — something you will not be able to do ahead of time.
Will I pass the class if I only log in once a week?
No. Required lecture materials and other videos include numerous attention checks, so it is in your best interest to consume them in many small chunks to get the most out of them and demonstrate thoughtful engagement. It’s very unlikely that you would be able to make it through a week’s worth of material in one marathon log-in session. Furthermore, as discussed above, the online version of GWS 200 is heavily dependent on small group discussion of our assigned materials. You can refer to the weekly course schedule for specific deadlines, but in general, you will need to log in most if not all days during the 8-week session in order to make your own discussion posts and reply to your classmates.
While the online course can provide greater flexibility than a traditional in-person course, the compressed timeline and online discussions necessitate multiple due dates each week.