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The Assignment: Watch the TED talk “What is a College Education?” by David Ray. Then write the following four paragraph short paper:

In paragraph one, explain Ray’s argument. Be clear about what he is trying to convince us of, and the reasons he gives. 

In paragraph two, give your own view on the topic. What do you see as the purpose of college? You do not need to agree with Ray; the goal is for you to give your honest thoughts. You should as be clear as you can, and give reasons to the best of your ability.

In paragraph three, explain what your goals and expectations are for this class and the instructor, given the model of education you offered in the second paragraph. Are you looking to work on any particular skills? Do you have expectations about earning a particular grade? What do you think adequate communication and feedback between student and instructor looks like? I’m not fishing for anything in particular here, other than clarity regarding your expectations and some explanation of the way that connects to how you think education and learning should work in a college setting.

In the final paragraph, you should inform me of anything you think might impact your learning this semester and what, if any, accommodations you are looking for. I am not saying I will just give you whatever accommodation you request, but we can start the conversation there. This is a good place to let me know about things like work and family commitments, if you have jitters because you’re new to online classes, or to give me a head’s up that you could potentially be triggered by any of the topics we are covering this semester. This is also a place to let me know if you have preexisting knowledge or experience with this subject matter, from another class or elsewhere, that it would be helpful for me to know about.