Course Exam—ANTH 275

(Faces of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)

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ANTH 275 is three-credit junior level introductory course in cultural anthropology that “focuses on the cross-cultural study of human diversity.  Study topics include patterns of social organization, the family, economics, politics, religion, the arts, and language.” The course has no pre-requisites and is available for challenge.

Who Should Take This Course and Why

For this course, we had the opportunity to interview Tom and Jessica, who are both currently teachers in Nunavut.  When we asked Tom why he enrolled in the course and who he would recommend it to he stated, “I’m enrolled in this course out of interest for learning about different cultures and how Western society has had a predominately negative effect on the world.  I would recommend this course to anybody who has a natural curiosity to learn about different cultures and societies around the globe.”

Jessica stated her reason for enrolling in the course is because “it is a very dense course which would be considered a survey: it covers everything from archaeology to ecological anthropology.  The main focus is on cultural studies that involve research on cultural practices and beliefs.  You will get an idea of particular societies that have been studied by cultural anthropologists, and it helps to gain a better understanding of how people think and feel.  I would recommend it to students who are adventurous and love to learn about other cultures.  It is useful to be informed and keep an open mind on differences that people don’t usually understand.”

Course, Assignments, Quizzes, Midterm and Final Exam Details

The course consists of eight units such as the Study of Human Ecology, Personality/Identity/Kinship, Social Groups and Stratification, Economics and Politics, Communication and Expressive Culture along with Worldview: Religion and Healing Systems.

There are three quizzes over the phone, each worth 5%.  The telephone quizzes will require students to answer questions on definitions, ethnographic profiles, and case studies from online journals.  There are also three assignments in this course, with the first one being a short essay worth 15%, the second one is a journal worth 20% and the last one is an annotated bibliography worth 20%.  One of the assignments will require students to answer three essay-based questions that require 750 words each.  There is an online midterm and final exam each worth 15%.  The midterm consists of multiple-choice questions, short answer questions and three essays questions.  The final exam is a 50 multiple choice questions and three short answer essay questions.

How to Be Successful in the Course

Tips from Course Coordinator – Dr. Janelle Baker

Dr. Janelle Marie Baker is the Course Coordinator for ANTH 275 with Theresa Ferguson and Lois Johnston as course tutors.  Dr. Baker is an environmental anthropologist and ethnobiologist who collaborates with First Nations communities in Alberta to monitor safety and security of bush (wild) foods.  Dr. Baker has mixed settler and Metis ancestry on her mother’s side.

Dr. Baker noted that “Intro courses like this one are deigned to give you a broad introduction to the important concepts of an entire field, so it’s important to do the readings and watch the films – to immerse yourself in a new way of thinking.”

Tips from Course Tutor – Theresa Ferguson

Theresa Ferguson is one of the course tutors of the course and her advice for students is to utilize the anthropology tips document that she sends out to students at the beginning of registration and keep it handy!

Student Tips

When we asked Tom and Jessica, the above mentioned teachers in Nunavut, for their tips for the course, Jessica stated, “It requires a lot of dedication to read and prepare for exams.  I would recommend between 11 to 12 hours of study per week: whether it is for assignments, quizzes, or exams.  Read and follow the study guides found in the textbook as it can be useful.  There is no need to rush through this course.  If you need an extension, then apply for it.” Jessica also mentioned her experience with her tutor was very positive, “The tutor is extremely patient and provides help and feedback to students that seek it.  She is very approachable and helpful.”

Tom suggested his tips for the course is, “Apply for extensions.  There is a lot of reading in this course.” Tom also have a positive experience with the tutor and stated, “Our tutor is very clear on explaining esoteric concepts.”

Thank you very much to Dr.  Baker, Theresa, Tom and Jessica for their contributions to the article!

Questions?

If you have any further questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Coordinator at janelleb@athabascau.ca.  Happy studying!

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