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Arts First

For Arts students beginning their studies in fall 2018 or later:

Arts First is a course-based program that helps you build foundational competencies in communication and analysis during your first year at university, with a focus on practice-based learning.

Starting in Fall 2018, each incoming Arts student will take ARTS 130 (Inquiry and Communication) and ARTS 140 (Information and Analysis) in small-group classroom settings to fulfil the Communication Skills Requirement. These classes will be capped at 25 students and replace the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) and the ENGL 109 Intro to Academic Writing course.

How you'll learn

Classes focus on practice-based learning. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, you’ll be immersed in activities and exercises that require communication, problem solving, and the kinds of skills necessary for demonstrating comprehension and effective decision-making. Imagine a classroom where you and your classmates work together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor. This is how you'll experience ARTS 130 and ARTS 140. 

2018-19 topics

Note: Topics are listed in alphabetical order below, however for course selection in Quest they are not listed in alphabetical order.

Learning outcomes for ARTS 130

As an ARTS 130 student, you will:

  1. Understand your own diverse experiences, strengths, and goals as a communicator.
  2. Examine your views and perspectives and, through the practice of interpersonal communication, develop a deeper awareness of your role in the communication process.
  3. Look critically at context, audience, and genre and use that information to be more persuasive in your communications.
  4. Collaborate with your classmates and provide, incorporate, and reflect on feedback.
  5. Use communication to consider your own ideas and the ideas of others.
  6. Identify and work with different technologies that will help you communicate effectively.

Learning outcomes for ARTS 140

As an ARTS 140 student, you will:

  1. Access information and practice navigating library resources, including indexes and databases.
  2. Recognize, define, and reflect on the meaning of quantitative and qualitative data.
  3. Practice writing and speaking through communication assignments that will build your skills and confidence.
  4. Collaborate with your classmates and provide, incorporate, and reflect on feedback.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to reflect on how information, analysis, and communication lead to knowledge. 
  6. Assess, examine, and evaluate the uses of information, including distinguishing between facts and values.