English 239 01: The Quest

Watch out, folks: English 239 01 is not a traditional classroom lecture.

When you register in this section of English 239, you are joining an active quest for knowledge. You will learn to navigate the resources of the university library and the Internet and to master the skills of investigative reading, clear writing, persuasive speaking, and careful listening. You will use teamwork, the process of inquiry, and current technologies to create new knowledge. In this class, what you discover matters.

The Quest is ideal for people who are intrigued by intellectual challenges, are self-starters, learn best when they're asking the questions and finding the answers themselves, and want to create and share knowledge. There is no reading list for this course, there's no final exam, there are no lectures, and no one is holding your hand.

Working in a team, you will choose a book to investigate from the University of Calgary's online library of early printed books. It could be anything: a history, poetry, a joke book, a play, an alchemy textbook. Your quest is to find out what you can about that book. Sometimes you meet in the classroom with the prof, Murray McGillivray, who's there as a guide and research mentor; sometimes you work individually or with your team; sometimes you meet and discuss problems online. You create the questions with your team, ask them, and figure out how to answer them. The ultimate goal: to create a Web resource on the book that showcases the new knowledge you and your team have created. Along the way you read, you write, you present findings to your team, and you learn to use the resources of the University of Calgary libraries and the Internet with confidence.

The Quest will increase your information literacy, your English skills, and your teamwork skills. No particular level of technology-familiarity is assumed, and the course is suitable both for students who have recently completed English 30 in high school and for those who have some experience with University study.