How is GWS 103 online different from the in-person course?
The online version of Gen&WS 103: Women, Gender, Bodies, and Health, 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 online discussion groups of 20 students, each of which is moderated by a skilled GWS teaching assistant. And instead of taking in-class exams or handing assignments into an instructor, students complete and/or turn in all assignments and exams via 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 3 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 103 meets natural science breadth for L&S.
Read through the campus resources available for students taking courses online so that you feel comfortable with the format.
- Norsigian, J. (editor), 2011. Our Bodies, Ourselves. Simon & Schuster. ISBN-13: 978-1439190661
- Gathman, Cabell (editor), 2016. Women, Health, and Healthcare: Readings on Social and Political Issues. Kendall-Hunt, 2016. ISBN13: 9781524904166
Highly Recommended (not required):
- www.ourbodiesourselves.org web companion for Our Bodies Ourselves
- www.nwhn.org National Women’s Health Network
For those of you in Madison or close to town, the course textbooks are available at A Room of One’s Own Bookstore, 315 West Gorham Street (just off State Street, a few blocks down from the UW Bookstore), 608-257-7888. Texts are also on reserve at College Library (Helen C. White).
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Will all the readings be available online?
Unfortunately, no. Students are still required to use textbooks 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 textbooks in order to succeed in the course. The publisher of one of the course texts offers an e-book option.
Do I have to be in Madison to take the course?
No. One of the best things about the online version of Gen&WS 103 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.
Can I complete the course in less than 8 weeks?
No, although you may be able to read ahead to some extent. Though students can work ahead to some degree, the design of the course means that students must be engaged in all 8 weeks of the course. For example, you need to respond to your peers’ discussion posts each week — something you will not be able to do ahead of time.
Will I be able to pass the course if I only log on once a week?
No. the online version of Gen&WS 103 involves smaller, ongoing assignments, discussion posts, quizzes, and other assessments that you must complete every day or two in order to succeed in the course. Think of online Gen&WS 103 as requiring daily—but light—touches with the course material.
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.