Distance Learning

Distance Learning Center

Orientation Details

Online Orientation for HUMI-D016.-62Z
(It is highly recommended that you print out this page for future reference.)
Instructor Contact Information
Instructor Elizabeth Bresnan
Office Hours Mondays 10:30-11:30AM or by arrangement
Office Location Forum 2E
Office Phone (408) 864-8999 x3523
Email bresnanelizabeth@fhda.edu
Website http://faculty.deanza.fhda.edu/bresnanelizabeth
A Message from your Instructor

Welcome to Humanities 16. I look forward to guiding you in a thoughtful exploration of many beliefs, assumptions, ideas and values of 20th century and contemporary culture, as they are expressed in the arts. I hope you will find this an interesting and thought-provoking course as you learn to analyze and interpret a variety of art forms. We will consider not only how the arts may reflect their own cultural context, but how they can create new meanings as well.


A study of the arts should engage your heart and spirit, as well as your intellect. While many people appreciate different art forms as diversion and entertainment, it is our intention to look more deeply at the art, contemporary culture and ourselves. A real experience of the arts requires that the viewer be an active participant in the communication, not just a passive observer. You will not simply summarize or describe a work in this class, you will try to dig beneath the story or narrative layer to the deeper meaning. The story or plot or description is the device which an artist or writer uses to make much bigger observations or comments on the nature of the human experience. Most often the artist is suggesting questions for you to think about; they might be questions about the meaning of life, about the absurdity of life, about our values in life or about philosophical ideas. In other words, the meaning is much bigger than just the story or plot.


Your commitment to practicing ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION of the different art forms will yield a deeper and more interesting experience of the works. Each assignment will give you the questions and structure you need to explore the underlying meaning. Additionally, the FORUM DISCUSSION will give you the opportunity to exchange ideas and share insights with other students in the class, who are working on the same material. I truly believe that your future experiences of films, paintings, sculpture, and literature and music will be more thoughtful, more interesting and much more enjoyable as a result of your efforts in this course. Registered students will be able to login on Catalyst on the first day of the quarter, usually late morning. I look forward to meeting you there.


Important- be aware that you will need your textbook by the end of the first week of class. (Prior to beginning of the quarter, you can find information about the text on the instructor's website.



Note: THIS CLASS ALWAYS HAS A WAITLIST. Registered students must login to Catalyst no later than 9:00AM of the 4th day of classes (Thursday, Week 1), or they may be dropped from the class as 'Never Attended,' to allow waitlisted students to add the class.


Be considerate: If you decide not to take the class, please drop officially so that a waitlisted student can enroll.



Hours of Study
Be prepared to spend a minimum of 12 hours per week using and studying the course materials.
How to get started in your course

The course consists of the on-line learning program, which is hosted on Catalyst, and the textbook with its collection of images, poetry and literary works. Some courses activities are accessed on MyArtsLab, which is a separate website of resources associated with this text. The course also includes a film, an art exhibit, and a live performance of dance or drama, and/or a work of fiction. Assigned reading and activities will prepare you to successfully complete the requirements of this course, so it is important that they be done thoroughly and completely.


The curriculum has been selected to deal with modern and contemporary works of art; however, historical and technical background is also part of our study. This background will help you analyze, understand and appreciate the influence of the past, as well as the unique challenges of different artistic forms.


The course has been designed so that you can choose from a list of art exhibits, books, films, and performances for analysis and interpretation. This flexibility will allow you to tailor the course content to your own interests. The more interested you are, the more you will learn. If you have not already done so, please review the COURSE DESCRIPTION posted on the instructor's De Anza website: http://faculty.deanza.fhda.edu/bresnanelizabeth/


ONLINE DISCUSSION IS REQUIRED. The focus of the online FORUM DISCUSSION and the written assignments is the practice of analysis and interpretation. This will include some technical analysis, however, our chief focus will be an interpretation of the content, that is, the meaning and significance of the works. Additional Forum Discussions will be based on assigned readings relevant to 21st century culture (Possible topics: Nobel Prize winners & their achievements, creativity, neurophysiology, genetic science, artists and/or styles). Your ability to clearly communicate (in writing) your understanding and interpretation, supported by sound reasoning and evidence, will be an essential part of achieving the course objectives. (Analysis requires students to practice thinking critically about what they read. Merely memorizing or repeating what they read is not sufficient to earn a passing grade.)




COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS DURING THE FIRST 4 DAYS OF CLASSES:

  • NOTE THAT THE COURSE IS HOSTED ON THE CATALYST SERVER.
    Readings, study questions, exercises, tests, analysis papers, email, and class discussions are managed by the instructor on the Catalyst server and ALSO MyArtsLab server, which is hosts resources associated with your text. Therefore all communications in this class, including private messages between student and instructor, must be submitted via Catalyst. (i.e., Use the Catalyst EMAIL feature. Do not send messages to the instructor's De Anza email address.)

  • GET YOUR TEXTBOOK & ACCESS CODE. YOU NEED IT BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS. Instructor's website has for more information on text and access code, pricing and packaging options.)

  • LOGIN TO CATALYST & FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS TO SET UP YOUR BROWSER. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: YOU CANNOT ACCESS ALL OF THE COURSE FEATURES AND MATERIALS UNLESS YOUR BROWSER IS IN COMPLIANCE. (Check the browser on any/all computers that you use, if you use more than one.) Registered students will have access to the Catalyst site on the first day of classes. Read the instructions for first-time Catalyst users, even if you have used it before- This is a good review, and 99% of students do need to review it.

  • REGISTERED STUDENTS WHO DO NOT LOGIN TO CATALYST BY 9:00AM ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CLASSES (THURSDAY) MAY BE DROPPED TO ACCOMMODATE STUDENTS ON THE WAITLIST. add.

  • AFTER CHECKING YOUR BROWSER: READ THE STUDENT GUIDE & EXPLORE THE CATALYST SITE FOR OUR CLASS. NEARLY EVERY QUESTION YOU HAVE ABOUT CATALYST IN THE FIRST WEEKS WILL BE ANSWERED IN THE STUDENT GUIDE OR IN THE HELP SCREENS. EXPLORE THE CATALYST WEBSITE. GET A FEEL FOR THE WAY INFORMATION IS ORGANIZED. NOTE THE QUESTION MARKS IN A YELLOW CIRCLE: THESE ARE CONTEXT-SENSITIVE HELP SCREENS. CHECK THEM OUT AND NOTICE THAT AT THE END OF THE HELP SCREEN YOU CAN LINK TO AN INDEX OF HELP TOPICS.

  • READ THE WELCOME MESSAGE CAREFULLY & FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO COMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS DUE IN WEEK ONE. (All of these steps and more also appear on the Catalyst site.)
    You will be directed to the proper documents (Syllabus etc.) and learn the specific objectives, assignments, ongoing course requirements, due dates, late penalties, and how the grades are calculated. Note that you cannot get a passing grade unless you complete ALL of the course requirements. Skipping a written assignment or more than 1 test may result in instructor dropping you from the class with a W. After the deadline to drop with a W, the instructor is required to assign a grade, even if it is a failing grade, based on points accumulated.

  • CHECK THE COURSE CALENDAR AND NOTE THE IMPORTANT DATES: COPY THEM TO YOUR PERSONAL PLANNER OR POST WHERE YOU WILL SEE THEM DAILY.

  • COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENTS DUE IN WEEK ONE. Submit as instructed (NOT BY EMAIL).

  • YOU ARE EXPECTED TO LOGIN REGULARLY, AT LEAST TWICE PER WEEK AS A MINIMUM, TO CHECK for MESSAGES, GET INSTRUCTOR ANNOUNCEMENTS & PARTICIPATE IN DISCUSSION FORUMS.

    NOTE: You will not be able to login to Catalyst until the first day of the quarter. For late adds, it can take a couple of hours for your Catalyst account to be created, after you are officially enrolled in the class. Catalyst accounts are only processed during BUSINESS HOURS ON BUSINESS DAYS. So if you wish to add, don't delay in processing your add code.


  • Distance Learning
    Building: MLC 250
    Email: distance@deanza.edu
    Phone: 408.864.8969
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    Last Updated: 9/5/13