Fall 2020: ITW 101

What Makes us Human?

This is the site for the course ITW 101-FYE2 taught by Dr. Karen Cangialosi at Keene State College. The TW stands for Thinking and Writing, and the FYE stands for first year experience, and the 2 means its the second section. The I indicates that it is part of the ISP (Integrated Studies) Program. ITW 101 is a foundational course typically taken by students in the first year. Each ITW has a particular theme. This course, ‘What Makes Us Human?, is an exploration of the influences of biological and evolutionary processes on human behavior. Read more about KSC’s Thinking and Writing 101 here.

We will explore questions like these: Does our evolutionary history play a role in explaining why we get lonely, or why are we attracted to certain people and not others?  Are there evolutionary advantages to being gay? To what extent (if any) do genes determine why some people are homicidal? Or racist? Or selfless and kind? Or jealous? Is there an evolutionary explanation for religious beliefs or drug addiction? When we read about these things online, how do we determine what is authentic and what is bullshit?

It’s an unusual year, and my courses are pretty unusual anyway, so get ready for a fun ride where we will creatively take advantage of what the web can offer us for learning!

Image: What Makes us Human? [CC 0] public domain

Spring 2020: INBIO 100

Evolution and Human Behavior

Building on foundational knowledge of evolutionary mechanisms/processes, and their influence on human behavior, we take a deeper dive into exploring the evolution of human behavior and the ways in which humans are and are not unique from other animals. Students in this course have the opportunity to leverage their skills in using open educational practices to produce knowledge, build a learning portfolio, and to share what they choose with the larger community beyond our classroom.  

Image: Work in progress by T. Michael Keesey (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)