I’ve rotated through a number of courses over my time at UBC, and I’ve got an old post here offering up some of my past syllabi. But I figure it’s about time for an update! So here are my course syllabi for the 2022-2023 academic year.
In many respects, the basic structure and readings for my undergraduate Built Environment and Urban Sociology courses remain largely intact from past years, mostly because I really like how they work together.
Built Environments: Sociology 364 Syllabus (2022-2023, term 2)
Urban Sociology: Sociology 425 Syllabus (2022-2023, term 2)
These courses overlap, but only in limited ways, with different readings and structure. Students often take both classes from me. Both courses draw a lot on empirical grounding in Vancouver, rooting students to our surroundings, but also extend to case studies elsewhere. My Built Environments course covers my book and a local field trip, while my Urban Sociology course picks up books based in NYC and Toronto, but also covers local readings and no less than two (!) field trips. Both courses are also intensively designed around student-led projects, with the Built Environment course involving group-negotiated construction, and the Urban Sociology course requiring students to curate and analyze a dataset on their own. As noted, there have been some updates, but not all of them are especially pronounced within the syllabi. More have been picked up via on-line support and powerpoints guiding the course and regularly updated to reflect news of the day (and carry me through the vicissitudes of the COVID era).
In another shift, I’m no longer teaching Sociology of the Life Course on a regular basis. Instead I’ve been rotated into graduate student teaching for our required introductory course for Quantitative Research. This is a tricky course to design, insofar as we bring in advanced students who often have little background or interest in quantitative methods (those who have stronger interests and backgrounds sometimes receive credit for this course elsewhere). So I’ve set things up to (re-)introduce students to a variety of basic concepts and a key statistical programming language and world (R and the Tidyverse), while celebrating the value of descriptive statistics and data visualizations. By the end of the course, I try to get students to produce their own data visualizations, ideally using R, and mimicking the format of a submission to Socius.
Research Design and Techniques (Quantitative): Sociology 502 Syllabus (2022-2023, term 1)
This syllabus is from my second time teaching the course, and represents a big shift from my first effort. But I suspect this one will remain pretty stable into my next time teaching the course, though I’ll likely look to incorporate a few more data management tools (Chapters 20-22 in the book). A big thanks to Harvard’s Rafael Irizarry for posting a great on-line text under a creative commons license that I’m using for the course!
Ok, with syllabi posted, here’s a tribute to getting through what I still think of as our Spring semester, featuring the Flowering Quince sure to await us on the other side, along with its powerful patron saint.