Focus courses identify important skills and discourses necessary for living and working in diverse communities. In addition, a course may have more than one Focus designation.
Proposing a course
Focus proposals requesting designations will be reviewed by all applicable board(s) if submitted by the priority deadline. Proposals may be submitted up to the final deadline with the understanding that there may not be time for the negotiation that is sometimes necessary to secure approval.
Focus sections are designated every semester based on the course/instructor information found in Banner/MyUH.
Faculty members with current, active approvals do not need to submit a Focus proposal form. As long as they are listed as the section’s instructor of record in MyUH before continuing student registration begins, their approved Focus designation(s) will be added to their section(s).
Faculty members who do not have active Focus approval for their course (or whose approval has expired) should submit a “Focus form” to request a Focus designation for their section(s).
Department Chairs may submit a “STAFF” form if the faculty member is unknown, or a “COURSE-based” form if the department wishes to designate all sections of a course every semester.
Requests to remove an active Focus designation from a section must be received by the General Education Office before the designation has been “advertised” to students on Class Availability.
Learning Objectives, Hallmarks, and Explanatory Notes
Contemporary Ethical Issues
Students will be able to:
ELO1. Identify ethical issues within a given discipline or context;
ELO2. Use tools/processes/frameworks to deliberate on ethical issues;
ELO3. Express an ethical judgment that informs thinking and actions;
ELO4. Critique and evaluate their own thinking, behavior and ethical identity using ethical tools and reasoning practices.
The faculty on the Contemporary Ethical Issues Focus Board use these Hallmarks when evaluating proposals for the “E” designation.
|E1. Contemporary ethical issues will be presented and studied in a manner that is fully integrated into the main course content.|
|E2. The disciplinary approach(es) used in the class will give students tools for the development of responsible deliberation and ethical judgment.|
|E3. Students will achieve basic competency in analyzing and deliberating upon contemporary ethical issues to help them make ethically determined judgments.|
|E4. The equivalent of one semester credit-hour or 30% of a 3-credit course will be devoted to contemporary ethical issues.|
|E5. A minimum of 8 hours of class time will be spent in discussing contemporary ethical issues.|
|E6. The course will be numbered at the 300- or 400-level.|
- The goal of E courses, at least in part, must be to equip students with some degree of proficiency in ethical deliberation. These courses should not be purely descriptive, merely characterizing, for example, the moral beliefs of person or peoples. Nor is it intended that the pedagogy be value-free, using approaches that maintain an “arms-length” relationship with current ethical issues.
- Course materials must be pertinent to the ethical issues under review. While well-selected philosophical and literary texts would serve, so would case studies, judicial opinions, statutes, codes of ethics (and commentaries), film, works of art, performances, as well as a broad range of other readings.
- Different academic approaches and methodologies can be used to give students tools for the development of responsible ethical judgments. Approaches might include small group discussions, formal debate, round-table discussions, Socratic questioning, etc.
- E course may be associated with particular disciplines, professions, and larger enterprises: the ethics of human and animal research, medical ethics, bioethics, biotechnology, business ethics, engineering ethics, ethics in government, and journalistic ethics, for example. Still others might look at ethical issues that emerge at cultural interfaces, such as war, evangelism, colonialism and multi-cultural societies, etc. Contemporary ethical issues must be fully integrated into the main course content and must be tied to activities that develop students’ proficiency in forming sound ethical judgments.
Hawaiian, Asian, & Pacific Issues
Students will be able to:
HLO1. Explain the intersection of Native Hawaiian issues with Asian and/or Pacific Islands issues;
HLO2. Analyze issues using the conceptual and ethical frameworks and practices of the cultural perspectives, values, and world views of the Indigenous peoples of Hawai‘i, and the Pacific and/or Asia;
HLO3. Integrate the histories, cultures, beliefs, arts, social, political, economic, or technological processes in their analysis of Hawai‘i, and the Pacific and/or Asia; and
HLO4. Demonstrate respect and empathy as defined by the Indigenous peoples of Hawai‘i and the Pacific and/or Asia in interpersonal and intergroup relationships.
To fulfill the Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues Focus requirement, at least two-thirds of a class must satisfy the following Hallmarks:
|H1. The content should reflect the intersection of Asian and/or Pacific Island cultures with Native Hawaiian culture.
|H2. A course can use any disciplinary or multi-disciplinary approach provided that a component of the course uses assignments or practica that encourage learning that comes from the cultural perspectives, values, and world views rooted in the experience of peoples indigenous to Hawai’i, the Pacific, and Asia.|
|H3. A course should include at least one topic that is crucial to an understanding of the histories, or cultures, or beliefs, or the arts, or the societal, or political, or economic, or technological processes of these regions; for example, the relationships of societal structures to the natural environment.|
|H4. A course should involve an in-depth analysis or understanding of the issues being studied in the hope of fostering multi-cultural respect and understanding.|
- The concept of intersection of Native Hawaiian culture with either or both of the other two regions is key. A course exclusively about Hawai’i, the Pacific Islands, or Asia is not eligible for an H designation. A course that does not include relationships with Native Hawaiian Culture is not eligible for an H designation.
- The course design must include both the Native Hawaiian voice and the native voice from the indigenous people of the area of intersection. These could be represented through publications, videos, guest speakers, or field trips, for example.
Students will be able to:
OLO1. Present information orally in an organized manner appropriate for intended a) audience and b) purpose;
OLO2. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal delivery techniques;
OLO3. Select and use appropriate content for oral (presentation) activity/context; and
OLO4. Generate/use/develop visual aids and handouts appropriate to the rhetorical situation that promote clarity, interest, and comprehension.
The faculty on the Oral Communication Focus Board use these Hallmarks when evaluating proposals for the “O” designation.
|O1. Each student will conduct or participate in a minimum of three oral communication assignments or a comparable amount of oral communication activity during the class. In addition, at least 40% of the final grade for a 3-credit course will be a function of the student’s oral communication activities (30% for a 4-credit course; 60% for a 2-credit course; 100% for a 1-credit course).
|O2. Each student will receive explicit training, in the context of the class, in oral communication concerns relevant to the assignment or activity.
|O3. Each student will receive specific feedback, critiquing, and grading of the oral communication assignments or activities from the instructor.
|O4. If instructor feedback primarily involves individual or paired students, enrollment will be limited to 20 students. If instructor feedback primarily involves groups of students, enrollment will be limited to 30 students.
|O5. The course will be numbered at the 300- or 400-level.|
It is assumed that O classes will develop assignments responsive to student needs and to the professional demands the students will face. Consequently a variety of assignments can be designed to satisfy the O requirement, which must be viewed and evaluated by the instructor.
- Individual creative/aesthetic performances (e.g., storytelling, performance of literature, interpretations and readings)
- Group presentations– incorporating individual presentations
- Facilitating/Participating in group discussions and community gatherings
- Chapter/Section presentations to class
- Individual presentations/Speeches– formal/informal
- Panel discussions
- Engaging in outreach activities that incorporate oral communication skills (e.g., community teaching, coaching, presenting)
- Various forms of interviews/interrogations
- Press conference
- Various persuasion/influence appeals (e.g., sales presentations, solicitations, motivational presentations)
- Debates (individual and team)
- Oral critiques of and responses to others’ performance, presentations
Students will be able to:
WLO1. Adapt writing to a clearly identified purpose and audience, according to disciplinary conventions and genres;
WLO2. Develop and organize appropriate and relevant content;
WLO3. Evaluate and integrate supporting materials from appropriate sources, and credit them appropriately according to the genre and discourse requirements of the field; and
WLO4. Control style and mechanics to communicate effectively.
The faculty on the Writing Focus Board use these Hallmarks when evaluating proposals for the Writing-intensive designation.
|W1. The class uses writing to promote the learning of course materials.
|W2. The class provides interaction between the instructor and students while students do assigned writing.
|W3. Written assignments contribute significantly to each student’s course grade.
|W4. The class requires students to do a substantial amount of writing—a minimum of 4,000 words, or about 16 pages.
|W5. To allow for meaningful professor-student interaction on each student’s writing, the class is restricted to 20 students.|
- Instructors assign formal and informal writing, both in class and out, to increase students’ understanding of course material as well as to improve writing skills.
- Types of interaction will vary. For example, a professor who requires the completion of one long essay may review sections of the essay, write comments on drafts, and be available for conferences. The professor who requires several short papers may demonstrate techniques for drafting and revising in the classroom, give guidance during the composition of the papers, and consult with students after they complete their papers.
- Only students who satisfactorily complete the writing assignments should be allowed to pass the course with a “D” or better. Thus, the Board recommends that writing assignments count for at least 40% of the course grade. Alternatively, the Board recommends that if writing assignments count less than 40%, the course instructor state explicitly on the syllabus that “students must adequately complete all writing assignments to pass the course with a ‘D’ or better. Students who do not complete all writing assignments will get a D- or an F and will not earn W Focus credit.”
- The types of writing assigned will vary and may include formal and “informal” (writing that is not revised) writing. Depending on the course content, students may write analytic essays, critical reviews, journals, lab reports, research reports, reaction papers, etc.