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2017-2018 Common Read Learning Activites

This LibGuide is an easy way to access all of the Learning Activities available for Out of Chaos, the 2017-2018 Common Read.

Mankato State College

For background on Mankato State College, read the following sections in Out of Chaos

1. Dan Quillin pp. 119-126)
2. Mehr Jay Shahidi (pp. 130-136)
3. Roger Smith (pp. 144-151)

Minnesota State University, Mankato History

A. Roger Smith talks about the growth of Minnesota State College and the Mankato community. On page 144, Smith describes Mankato State College's two campuses one on the hilltop, the current site of Minnesota State Mankato, and one in the valley. Dan Quillin and Mehr Jay Shahidi provide additional information about the college in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

You can learn more about the history of Minnesota State University, Mankato by reading the brief article "A Look at MSU's History."

  1. In addition to having an "upper" and "lower" campus, what other campus changes are mentioned for the late 1960s and early 1970s?
  2. How do you think campus today compares with the campus described by Dan Quillin, Mehr Jay Shahidi, and Roger Smith?

Instructor Evaluations

B. Dan Quillen describes student advocacy efforts, such as student representation on campus committees and the "blue book" of faculty evaluations (page 120-121). These efforts attempted to empower students on campus. 

Read these short articles from the Mankato State Daily Reporter student newspaper about the Blue Book. Reflect on the questions and think about the role an impact of instructor evaluations in past and present times. 

  1. Based on this article, what challenges do you think students faced in compiling and publishing the Blue Book?
  2. What are the benefits of an organized and open evaluation of faculty?
  3. In the second article, what issues does Professor Dooley present about the evaluations?
  4. When multiple instructors teach the same class, how do you choose which section to take? What sources of information about faculty do you use when choosing classes?
  5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the information sources you might use to select an instructor today?

Student Government

C. These readings talk about student involvement at Minnesota State College. One of the ways students created change on campus was through Student Government. 

  1. Dan Quillin mentions the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) on page 121. MSCSA is now a student government organization for students at two-year colleges. What is the name of the student government organization at Minnesota State Mankato today?
  2. Go to the website for Minnesota State Mankato's student government organization. This page lists several programs and services. Which two programs or services are most interesting to you? Why? 
  3. Skim the minutes from two recent student government meetings. What dates did you select? What topics were discussed? What would you like the student government to talk about at an upcoming meeting? Why?

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