CWID 101: Connecting with Ideas

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Term - 2016 Fall Semester
Subject - Connecting With Ideas
Section - Matching your topic choice

Connecting with Ideas (CWID) helps students become engaged members of the academic community at College of Western Idaho and cultivates the habits of mind for lifelong achievement and success. The course encourages students to claim their education through learning how to learn.  By linking critical and creative thinking with writing and discussion, students will explore thematic content in order to develop their own perspectives on learning and success.  The course addresses academic expectations and strategies, college resources and services, as well as personal responsibility and engagement to prepare students for navigating college life and life beyond college.

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Class Formats Available:

  • Traditional - Classes are held on campus with a designated meeting time and offer a face-to-face learning experience.
  • Online - Online Sections are intended for students in fully online degrees and will include content geared to the fully online student. Provides computer-based instruction with electronically facilitated contact with the instructor and other students.
  • Hybrid - Combines face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning. A portion of the course is scheduled on campus, and the rest is completed online.
  • Cohort - Cohort sections offer students the opportunity to form a learning community with students who are taking the same collection of classes. CWID section numbers in the 500 range are part of a cohort. Any student may enroll in one of the cohort sections, but the student must also enroll in the matching section number for ENGL 101 and COMM 101.

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The Interconnectedness of Society

The Art of Influence

“I haven't the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” ― David Sedaris, Naked.  This course will assess the elements necessary to create lasting and meaningful change in yourself and the world around you.  We will delve into the topic of what makes change happen and how the world around us is uniquely designed to influence our behaviors. Using this knowledge, you will create unique projects of influence and change intended to make a positive difference in your life. 

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
014 APIN Traditional M/W 4:00 PM-5:15 PM Amie Longmire
028 APIN Traditional M/W 5:30 PM-6:45 PM Amie Longmire


Heroes and Villains

What does it mean to be a hero or a villain?  We will consider both famous and obscure examples of unique individuals and their circumstances.  Heroic stories can inspire us to be persistent and resilient in the face of trials, whereas stories of villains can serve as a warning and strengthen our resolve.  What factors lead to an individual’s success or failure?  Various case studies will be examined relating to topics such as culture, opportunity, personality, genius, persistence, and achievement.  This is an interdisciplinary course, primarily drawing from sociology, psychology, and history.  You will be able to develop practical tools to define your own personal and professional goals and determine how you can overcome obstacles to achieve your goals.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
005W   Online   Allison Molitor
015W   Online   Allison Molitor
058W   Online   Alicia Cowger
504H APIN Hybrid/Cohort T    8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Kim Johanek


Media Literacy

Media are central to culture and contribute daily to our communication, socialization, and core beliefs.  This course is designed to help students develop skills to effectively analyze media messages for function, intent, and bias, and understand how this information contributes meaning to the lives of individuals and society as a whole.  Students will also create a personal media project to demonstrate concepts covered in the course.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
002 APIN Traditional T/TH 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Abigail Wolford
502H APIN Hybrid/Cohort TH 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Janel Holt


Myth Busters in Criminal Justice

Are you a crime drama junkie?  Do you think you know all there is to know about the criminal justice system?  This course will explore and dispel common myths in the criminal justice, such as crime rates, Miranda warnings, and the death penalty.  Additionally, we will critically examine statistics and research, as well as look to Supreme Court cases for explanations. 

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
018H NCAB Hybrid W 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Stephanie Breach


Reading and Navigating through Idaho Whitewater

Idaho is considered the "whitewater playground" for river enthusiasts.  The state boasts numerous whitewater river trips that are readily available for day or multi-day trips.  River adventures will provide an experience you will never forget.  How you remember the trip entirely depends on your planning, preparedness and appreciating the force of Mother Nature. Those who take the time to understand, respect and utilize the energy of the river will undoubtedly return time and again to create memories that last a lifetime. This course will compare the enthusiasm of whitewater rafting to the enthusiasm of higher education learning. Both fields require extensive research, planning, goal setting, mentoring, first-hand experience, support, and navigation to have a positive, successful experience. Each concept of whitewater rafting preparation will parallel an idea of preparing for and being successful in college.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
033 NCAB Traditional W 7:00 PM - 9:45PM Megan Hudson


Rated (R)eality: Exploring Controversy in Media and Society

 “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

  • Morpheus, The Matrix

For some, the experience of becoming a college student can be very different than what they had expected or imagined. We all hold ideas and assumptions about the way things “really are,” and about how the world works. When those ideas and assumptions are challenged, it can be both uncomfortable and liberating. This course introduces students to the college experience, and to ways of thinking and learning that can be both challenging and rewarding. By sociologically exploring interesting (and sometimes controversial) topics that are relevant in contemporary media and society, students will develop strategies for success in college as well as gain new and important insights into the ways in which they are shaped by - and connected to – the community, society, and culture in which they live.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
024H NASP Hybrid TH 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Jacob Armstrong
066 NASP Traditional M/W 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Jacob Armstrong


Journalism in the 21st Century

Understanding how to construct journalistic content in the 21st century is more important now than ever given the increasing numbers of outlets and audiences.  In particular, this course will focus in on three primary topics: First, how to write media content using journalistic principles, second, how to deliver that message effectively, and finally, how to apply ethical standards to ensure the message is fair, accurate and objective. We will also examine how these same topics can be applied to success in college and beyond.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
046 NCAB Traditional M/W 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Jim Poston
054 NASP Traditional M/W 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Jim Poston


Media and the Art of Lying

Media and advertising companies pour millions of dollars into video content designed to engage and entice viewers. Are the designers’ tactics sincere and honest? Or is there another side to this explosion of video content?  What is the real effect of media on our thoughts and decisions?   This course will take a look at the methods used to sell the individual and society products and ideas.  Students will learn to analyze and evaluate various types of media and become more conscious viewers. Ultimately participants will learn how to make educated decisions and to use those same analytical skills to be more successful in college.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
035H NCAB Hybrid W 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Marianne Daugharthy
071H NCAB Hybrid T 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Marianne Daugharthy

Scientific Explorations

Beginner's Rocket Science

While you learn strategies to be successful in college, this course will also take you on a journey to learn what is needed to get into space.  Lessons will begin with an introduction to some basic math and physics so you can build your first rocket.  Along the way, we will discuss historical connections and discoveries so you can better understand the process of traveling to space and staying there.  Eventually, you will be ready to take on a much larger mission as you work with your peers in a simulation to land a person on the moon. 

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
001 APIN Traditional M/W 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Eric Smith


Periodic Madness

“Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession.”-The Disappearing Spoon


In this course, we will spend the semester following the elements laid out for us on the periodic table. We will see the role these elements have played in both our past and our future. The course will utilize a project-based learning approach and culminate with a project focused on a single element within the table. Ultimately, students will gain a new understanding of how the atoms in the periodic table create the world around us.


Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
009 NCAB Traditional T/TH 1:00 PM-2:15 PM Nicole Frank/Bryan Hess


Poison and Murder: Toxicology in the Jazz Age

 “Dosis facit venenum” or “The dose makes the poison.” - Paracelsus

The course will use case studies from the text The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in the Jazz Age to both humanize scientists and to show real-world applications of scientific research.  A project during the class will reinforce these ideals by recreating a simulated murder investigation.  The focus of this course is to learn the beginnings of the scientific method, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and interdisciplinary science by studying accounts of poisoners and the scientists who caught them.  Students will explore success strategies for the class through group work and research using online and real world tools provided by the college.


Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
022W   Online   Andy Jensen
023W   Online   Andy Jensen


Where Art and Humanities Intercept Life

Beyond the Academy Awards: Movies and Culture

Most Americans, by the time they’re eighteen, have watched more than a thousand movies.  They can quote lines from Batman Returns and sing the entire soundtrack from Frozen. But do movies simply reflect our culture, or are they much more powerful, influencing the way we think, the choices we make, and how other people treat us?  The purpose of this class is to examine these questions using a variety of contemporary American films, both narrative and documentary, as records of social attitudes and as a means for self-reflection and decision-making.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
010 APIN Traditional M/W 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Sharon McMorrow
074 APIN Traditional M/W 11:30 - 12:45 PM Sharon McMorrow


The Creative Spark

Michael LeBeouf, author of Imagineering, writes, “The heart of all new ideas lies in the borrowing, adding, combining, or modifying of old ones. Do it by accident and people call you lucky. Do it by design and they’ll call you creative.” In this course, we will explore the creative process and look at the characteristics of highly creative people. How does creativity help us to be better problem-solvers and better students? We will also explore the challenge of being original in a digital age. Students will learn how to “steal like an artist” and other methods of unlocking their creative potential.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
031 NCAB Traditional T/TH 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Brenda Fisher


History of Animation

Animation is a popular medium in our contemporary world and it has been for hundreds of years. During this time animated movies have made a huge impact on our popular culture. This course will explore the origins of animation and its history. We will look into various different genres, styles, media, and techniques in regards to animated movies and their evolution over time. Animation is an international global medium, and therefore in this class we will examine various different leading practitioners from all over the world. Through the examination of animated movies we will gain an insight into various social and cultural contexts in which these movies were created.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
051 NCAB Traditional F 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM Goran Fazil


Fantastical Futures and What They Teach Us

Science fiction is a genre that explores not only a fantastical future or alternative present, but it also plays a pivotal role in critically examining our current societies. Through literature and film, we will investigate the larger questions of what it means to exist on earth today. How are science and technology shaping our societies? What are humanity’s greatest challenges? What role can science fiction play in helping us understand our own communities and ourselves, and ultimately, what it means to be human?

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
011 NCAB Traditional T/TH 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Carl Della Badia
045 NCAB Traditional M/W 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Carl Della Badia
503H NCAB Hybrid/Cohort TH 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Cynthia Palmer


Music and Politics: From Beethoven to Bono

Can Bono save the world? That’s the question Time magazine asked in 2002.

Whether he can or not, the activities of musicians like Bono illustrate how music and politics are deeply connected. This course examines the relationship of music and musicians to the brokers of power during the past 200 years of Western music history. Also explored are the ways musicians have negotiated the issues of patronage, censorship and propaganda. The course will also discuss the role of musician as the voice of the people through the music of protest and patriotism and examine how music has been used in political campaigns.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
017 NCAB Traditional T/TH 1:00 PM-2:15 PM Jeffrey Davis


True Lies: Short Fiction about Real Life

According to Stephen King, “Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.”  In this course, we will examine stories that walk the line between fiction and nonfiction and how contemporary writers illuminate real-life difficulties.  We will read Tim O’Brien on war, Lorrie Moore on cancer, Amy Hempel on her worst secret, and Sherman Alexie on leaving home. We will explore the kinds of truths that might lend themselves to fiction and discuss how fiction helps us to navigate our lives and our world.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
060 APIN Traditional M/W 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Malia Collins


Humor in American Culture

“Good satire goes beyond the specific point it’s trying to make and teaches you how to think critically. Even after your favorite cartoonist retires or [Stephen] Colbert wraps it up, you’re not left believing everything they’re telling you.” –Aaron McGruder, creator of “The Boondocks”

In this course we will examine satirical works such as The Daily Show, The Onion, and South Park to think critically about American culture and to explore important moments and transitions in our history as well as in current events. We will analyze the impact of these works on us as media consumers—how do they change the way we think about our culture and events? Why do so many Americans get their news from humorists instead of or in addition to traditional news outlets? Why does an Onion article prompt us to think about an issue in a way that a New York Times article doesn’t? To answer these questions, we will examine satire as a literary genre and art form in political cartoons, film, journalism, television, and social media.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
049W   Online   Christina Newberry
052W   Online   Christina Newberry


Beyond Downtown Abbey

It’s fun to speculate how the other half lived, and none lived more lavishly and more fully than the British aristocracy. Downton Abbey shows us the lives of one family living before and through the interwar period. The family represents a class of people that was poor in cash but rich in power, property, and peerage. This course will look at the people that made up this class, analyzing what levels of power and control they had after WWI and through the interwar period; what ideals, thoughts, and structures made up the aristocratic sensibilities; and how their power declined after WWII. We’ll not only look at the mainstream aristocrats but at radical political rebels and empowered women.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
053 NCAB Traditional M/W 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Michal Yadlin


You Are What You Eat: Exploring Our Relationships with Food

This course explores the complicated relationship between humans and their diet, using Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma as a guide. In 21st century America, we have nearly limitless choices about what to eat. But those choices come with hidden costs. What we choose to eat affects everything from our personal physical and mental health to our communities to the global environment. Our diet may reflect deeply held ethical or religious beliefs. It may indicate our economic status or our cultural background. Or it may represent a mindful choice designed to fuel a healthy lifestyle. In this course, we will learn where our food comes from, how diet impacts our health, and what our individual diet choices mean within a global context. We will also learn practical tools and strategies to promote success in college and in life.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
038 APIN Traditional T/TH 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Liza Long

The Numbers around Us

Cryptography: Secret and Not-So-Secret Codes

Throughout history, cryptography has evolved from messages written on the shaved heads of servants to highly robust computer encryption.  In this course, we will examine the history of cryptography, study several cryptosystems, and practice techniques for cracking those cryptosystems.   In addition, we will be exploring our current level of dependence on cryptography, for instance, in our banking systems and cell phones. The mathematics required to understand and implement these cryptosystems is the equivalent of four years of high school mathematics. This class is designed to appeal to both history and math/science buffs alike!

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
021 NCAB Traditional T/TH 10:00 AM-11:15 AM Maia Kelley


Determined Destination

This course will provide guidance in career choice and job-searching skills. Students will use career planning tools to find an answer to the question, “What do I do now?” We will learn to avoid roadblocks on the path to a well-chosen career, increase motivation, and build self-awareness, self-confidence, and patience. We will also discuss how to turn rejections into successes, write resumes and cover letters, and how to plan an education to best match a future career. Students will also learn to navigate Microsoft Office and goal-setting tools.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
006W   Online   Kevin Rensink


Digital Citizenship: How to Maximize My Networking Skills

The focus of this course will be a fun and provocative look at how technology is changing us inside and outside of the classroom. Networks are resources that provide you with valuable information. Networking is not just about computers, cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter. Networking is also about finding help through services you might not have considered yet. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Did you consider privacy, security, and ethical issues of your networks? This course will address networking as a concept, not just as a technical option. You will learn how to use computer-and non-computer-related networks available to you as a CWI student. You will learn how to take responsibility of learning in the classroom with technology, and how to use online applications for email, note-taking, word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations to find, sort, manage, evaluate, and create information in digital forms.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
019 NCAB Traditional M/W 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM Lex Mulder
047 NCAB Traditional T/TH 2:30 PM - 3:45 AM Lex Mulder


Money Math

Many students ask “why do I have to take math?”  In this class, students will explore the math they are currently using and gain a better understanding of the need for math in their personal lives, while managing their money, while planning for their future and in different careers they haven’t thought of.  We will use spreadsheets to develop a budget and track expenses to estimate money needed for short-term and long-term goals. Students will also read a book from a selected list of personal finance self-help books and write a short report. They will be sharpening their math skills by practicing adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimal numbers, fractions, ratios, percentages and variables.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
004 APIN Traditional M/W 7:00 AM - 8:15 AM Randal Wagner
016 APIN Traditional F 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM Randal Wagner


What Are the Chances?

Newspapers love to splash big headlines about death by shark, but did you realize that you are more likely to be killed by a statistician than by a shark? This topic will take a light-hearted but rigorous approach to probability, giving students the opportunity to exercise some simple mathematical operations while thinking about complex ideas. The theme will be approached from a variety of disciplines, looking not only at the mathematical concepts of probability, but also at its historical and philosophical underpinnings. Don’t be afraid to sign up just because your math background is shaky! All calculations will be done with calculators, and nothing is more complex than simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. About two-thirds of the material in this course is not covered in any other math course at CWI.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
056 APIN Traditional T/TH 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Gary Thomas


What am I worth?

You have worked hard to get an education (or…you are working hard to get an education) and it’s time to exchange your knowledge with a paycheck. A paycheck is just a bunch of dollars until you use them. Are these dollars a tool or a convenience? Will you tell your money where it will go? Or will you wonder where it went? You will gain tools in this course to manage your personal financial cash flow in addition to gaining tools to help you navigate through your CWI experience.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
030 AMAL Traditional T/TH 4:00 PM-5:15 PM Jorene Batali


Failing to Succeed: Learning from Failure in Engineering and Life

What would you do if you saw a 10-foot wave of molasses coming towards you?  That’s the question citizens in Northeast Boston had to answer in 1919.  What does that incident have to do with Hitler’s invasion of France in 1940?  What can comparing those two events teach students about success in college?  In this class we will examine multiple failures in engineering materials and systems; compare them with failures and successes in history, literature, politics, business, and popular culture; and learn what skills students need to succeed both in college and in their careers.  Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills during the course, and they will learn to use both failure and success to their advantage.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
003 CCC Traditional T/TH 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Lance Curtis
055 NASP Traditional T/TH 4:00 PM-5:15 PM Lance Curtis

Investigations of Identity

Movies that Move Us

Do you like films that are inspiring, uplifting, and intriguing? Do you wonder whether movies can move people to action? The classroom, with all its inherent drama, conflict, and diversity, has provided the perfect setting for many books and movies in our culture. In this course we'll explore how education portrayed in cinema and literature compares to the real world, and we'll have some fun along the way. Additionally, we’ll discuss how adults learn, in both a traditional and online environment.  Students completing this course will be better prepared to succeed in college, and in life. Whether you are you are just curious about how movies influence our lives or perhaps you are considering a career in teaching, join us to uncover the tips and tricks to achievement in school, and beyond.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
029W   Online   Scott Straub
067W   Online   Scott Straub
065H APIN Hybrid TH 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Scott Straub


Language and Identity

How literate are you? What parts of your life does literacy affect? What role do a person’s speech and writing play in first impressions and stereotypes? Does your lexicon determine whether or not you get a job? A date? Should it? What causes linguistic stereotypes, such as French being the language of love and German the language of war? These questions and more will be addressed through movies, social media, and literature. We will explore how the basic building blocks of language affect communication and how language and culture impacts a person’s identity and their perspective of the world. Students will learn how an awareness of language and identity can help them to navigate better and participate in a multilingual world.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
501H NCAB Hybrid/Cohort T 10:00 AM-11:15 AM Amy Vassar


Making Millions: Understanding Wealth

This course equips students for college through the history, context, and modern reference points of capital as it moves through their lives. The origins of money, modern myths about wealth, disparities between and among groups, genders, ages, and cultures, taboos, vices, principles, manias, and more will be explored, allowing students to begin to build a values structure and personal concepts around worth, priorities, and reliance on self and others. Students will come away having participated in robust dialogue around money and will have an opportunity to explore realistic dimensions of wealth and value, and the chance to construct a perspective on assets that can serve them reliably throughout their lives.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
012 APIN Traditional T 7:00 PM – 9:45 PM Roya Camp
021 APIN Traditional TH 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM Roya Camp


YOLO: Existing in the Modern World

"You only live once” is a popular tag line of our modern society. While some say it just started with a rap song, Soren Kierkegaard, a dusty old Dane who lived more than 150 years ago, had some ideas that look remarkably like the phrase we use today.  Through a study of some of his main themes of philosophy such as ”passionate inwardness,” ”subjectivity,” ”the individual,” and ”the leap of faith,” we will go on a cultural treasure hunt to see these very popular themes reflected in the movies, music, and short stories that are all around us. By the time you have finished this course, you will be able to decide for yourself if Kierkegaard was indeed the first one to claim YOLO.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
039W   Online   Harold Wilson


I’d Rather Be Gaming

The gaming industry is booming and some believe that to neglect students who have a passion for gaming is a travesty. This course seeks to engage gamers and non-gamers alike and connect their strengths in the gaming world with those needed to succeed in college. This course will examine the different sides of the argument, “is gaming a waste of time?” Students interested in gaming will be given the opportunity to evaluate their academic strengths and personality and understand how they align with world of gaming. All students will complete the course better prepared to win in college, and with good time management, students might even learn how to reserve some time to play.

Section Location Format Date & Time Instructor
027W   Online   Carol Billing
008W   Online   Carol Billing