Indiana University Northwest

X 155 Critical Reading and Research


Indiana University Northwest

Critical Literacy Program




X 155 Critical Reading and Research
Summer 2013


Instructor Name: Dianna Atrosh, diddicki@iun.

 and Cathy Hall,
Phone: 219-980-6531

Office: Hawthorn Hall 449 by appointment


See the **Course Guide/Schedule**for
session themes, readings, resources, and all assignment due dates.

Instructor Bio

Both Mrs. Atrosh and Mrs. Hall have been teaching this course in a traditional classroom for over 3 years. 

Course Description


This course is designed to help you develop critical thinking and reading skills. These are skills that you will need to be effective in your courses, in particular, those that require you to read and write intensively and analytically and conduct research. This means learning how to focus your attention, develop curiosity by asking the right questions, and generate interest in the subject of inquiry. It includes learning how to present information and ideas accurately.

Course Goals and Objectives

This course is designed to help you define and develop Critical Thinking skills to use in both academic and daily activities. 

You will:

  • become familiar with the OnCourse learning environment
  • learn netiquette and respectful ways to communicate
  • be able to define and develop critical thinking skills
  • learn to use a rubric to evaluate critical thinking skills
  • learn how to apply critical thinking skills to current issues and other challenging topics
  • learn to write a summary/response paper


Course Topics

Topics covered during the course are:

-      What is Critical Thinking and why do we need it

-      How do we recognize, develop, and use critical thinking skills

-      Perception Management

-      Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR)

-      6 core Critical Thinking skills

-      Inductive and deductive reasonings

-      Positive and Negative Habits of Mind

-      Language Communities

-      Critical thinking in the media, advertisements

-      Vocabulary

Course Materials

Required Text
Facione, Peter, Think Critically, Prentice Hall, 2011 (textbook provided and available in Hawthorn 449)

Recommended Texts

Handouts or internet readings as assigned – supplemental website

Grading Information

Grades will be determined as shown in the following assignment chart.  Detailed descriptions of assignments are available below and from the assignment links in the chart. Due dates are detailed in the Course Schedule.



Discussion participation

600 pts

Chapter tests

160 pts


160 pts


40 pts

Final examination

40 pts


1000 pts




Grade              %                               Points

A          (93-100)                  930-1000

A-         (90- 92)                    900 - 920

B+       (87-89)                      870 - 890

B          (83-86)                      830 – 860

B-        (80- 82)                     800- 820

C+       (77-79)                      770 - 790

C          (70-76)                      700 - 760

F          (69 or below)          690 and below
FN = Failure for nonattendance
I = Incomplete
W = Withdrew

Class Policies Regarding Graded Work

**The following policies are in effect for all deadlines throughout the semester, unless noted otherwise. **

***Late Work***


Late work with not be accepted without documentation.  Please contact either Mrs. Atrosh or Mrs. Hall with any questions about this policy.

***Original Work***

Plagiarism is a very serious academic offense, and the consequences are severe: depending on the nature of the offense, you may receive a failing grade for the assignment or a failing grade for the course and a referral to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.



Incompletes will only be given with documentation.  Contact the instructors.


NOTE: The instructor will keep students apprised of assignment grades via the online class Grade book. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor if they do not receive any grade by 10 days after the assignment submission date.




Course Requirements

Discussion: Students are expected to participate in in-class discussions in a constructive, thoughtful manner.   All discussions will take place in the Forum section of Oncourse site.

Modules: It is crucial that students follow the weekly modules.   The modules provide a detailed schedule for the week and instructions for the weekly assignments. This is also where students will find the powerpoints, additional readings, and links to videos for the week.

Announcements: It is essential that students read all messages posted in the Announcements section of the Oncourse site.

Students need to make sure they keep with Forum posting and due dates for all assignments.  If any student has a problem, they are responsible for contacting the instructors as soon as possible. 


Participation:  600 pts

  • Thoughtful responses
  • Post on at least 2 different days
  • Answer the 2 forum discussions questions (worth 20 pts each for a max of 40 pts)
  • Respond to at least 2 of your classmates (worth 10 points each for a max of 20 pts)
  • Meet the length requirement

Participation is very important in this class as the forum is where we have our classroom discussions.  You are expected to log in at least 3 days out of the 7.  We will be logging in daily to comment on the forum posts and to answer any questions you might have. 

You are required to post on AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT days a week, which means posting in the weekly forum on two different days.  The more you read and post, the better you will do in the course. 

We suggest you schedule your online time just like you would any other course. If you get in the habit of checking OnCourse at certain times on specific days, you will find the course easier than randomly checking in.  

Answers should be in the range of 100 words.

The most important part of forum discussion posts is the quality but the post also has to meet the length requirement for maximum points.  You are expected to respond to both forum questions (Except for week 1) and you must also respond to your peers. Short responses to discussion questions will not earn full points. Once you meet each week’s minimum posting requirements (2 discussion questions and 2 quality responses to your peers), don’t worry about having some shorter posts to your peers or to me.

You may use whatever font/color you prefer, just make sure any fonts/color you use are readable.  You may also use emoticons or graphics if you like.

Exams:  200 pts

4 exams - 40 pts each

Final Exam – 40 pts

Quizzes: 40 pts

4 vocabulary quizzes – 40 pts each

Each exam and quiz will be taken online.  You may only do exams/quizzes one time. 

Other Assignments: 160 pts.

Papers – 100 pts

4 short papers @25 pt each

Journals – 20 pts.

5 Journal entries @ 4 pts each

Vocabulary – 40 pts

4 vocabulary quizzes

The Course Evaluation

Many students disregard course evaluations as an optional part of taking a course. At IUN, and especially for online classes, completing the course evaluations is not optional.  Your input, suggestions, opinions matter and are taken seriously. We cannot continue to promote online course offerings if students do not complete their course evaluations because departments are held accountable for having adequate response rates and instructors are also affected by low response rates. Please do your part in understanding that it is part of your duty as a student to complete every course evaluation, regardless of how you personally feel about the course or the instructor. They are that important.



IU Academic Policies

This course is governed by IU academic policies in the following areas:

  • Grading Guidelines
  • Writing Standards
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Course Evaluations
  • Students With Disabilities




You are required to earn a C or better in this course to complete your Critical Literacy/Guided Studies requirement.  You may only take this course twice.

Additional Information


The home page of Oncourse has links, video tutorials and several tips and updates to help you navigate the website. IU has prepared a reference page containing links to information about a variety of resources to help you function successfully in your online Oncourse class.

Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.

Campus support office:

Student Support Services, HH 29, (219) 980-6798
Student Support Services