How Much Work is a 3 Unit Course?
According to the UC Davis General Catalog (see this link), units of credit are assigned to courses based on 1 unit of credit for three hours of work by the student per week. Usually this means one hour of lecture or discussion led by the instructor and two hours of outside preparation by the student. In the case of SAS004, the course is 3 units.
- Unit 1: Each week we screen a movie that is 1.5-3 hours long plus a movie log assignment, so we treat that pairing as fully consuming 1 unit.
- Unit 2: Each week there is a 50-minute discussion section and associated with that is a reading or set of readings as well as preparation time for one oral presentation to your discussion section. The length of the readings is designed to consume up to 2 hours of your time outside of class in preparation for the discussion section.
- Unit 3: Each week there is a 50-minute interactive lecture. Associated with this are two writing assignments and a final exam. There are 10 interactive lectures, so that means you have 20 hours designated to complete these three assignments. Depending on your productivity and efficiency, it might take you more or less time than this to complete the work.
The course begins with an introduction during the first discussion section, so be sure to go to that. Read the first reading in the course reader before the first full-class meeting on Wednesday night. On the first Wednesday class, there will be a 50-minute presentation by the professor to further introduce the class. Then the first movie, Chinatown, will be screened. Students work on their Movie Log assignment during the movie and in the following week. Students should read the next reading before their next discussion section. At the next discussion section, 3-4 students will give presentations about the screened movie and there will be discussion about the movie and reading. Movie logs are due at the beginning of the next Wednesday class. Finally, the professor wraps up the topic by giving a presentation about the previous week's topic. Some students find lectures boring, but the student consensus of the pilot course in 2005 was that students wanted to hear the professor's scholarship and perspective as one aspect of the course. Then it is on the next screening and the cycle repeats itself.
I give my presentations using MS Powerpoint with a lot of color imagery and I do not have a high speed color copier to make >200 sets of slides for every student, so I will not be passing out lecture notes on paper. Instead, I will make the slides available to you as digital handouts in PDF format with 2 slides per page. Then you can choose to view them on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone in class OR you can print them and bring the paper version to class to take notes on. The material on the slides is covered on the final exam, so you do want to have the ability to take notes during class to supplement your understanding of the slides as you see fit.
The lectures will be posted to the SAS004 SmartSite 'Resources' page, where there is a folder for the lectures. I do update the material each year, so sometimes they are not available until a day before the lecture.
This courses uses the UC Davis Smartsite tool to provide you with many features, including announcements, email communication, a chat room, and all of the proprietary course materials (except the reader). On Smartsite, go to the Resources folder to find the lecture slides and movie logs. Please try to keep space available in your email inbox to make sure you do not miss any important course announcements. Check the Smartsite page weekly as well.
There is no textbook for this course, but there are a variety of readings drawn from different sources. A complete list of the readings with guidance on how to obtain each reading and when to read them can be found on the SAS004 readings page.
Did you Miss a Movie Screening?
All UCD students are eligible for a free Amazon Prime account, which provides you with a free streaming movie service. Many of the movies in this course are available on that service, so you can access those freely. All of the movies are available from the commercial service Netflix (some by streaming and some by DVD), if you subscribe to that. One set of all movie DVDs is available for viewing at the Reserves desk in Shields Library. DVDs are available for use in the library for 2-3 hours. depending on the movie.