Syllabus

Survey of Buddhism

1151-REL3340VC1151-17669

    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    Erin Weston
    (305) 348-1329
    DM 322B
    Tuesday & Thursday 2-3 pm and by appointment
    Please use Blackboard Messages

    Course Description And Purpose

    This course is a general introduction to Buddhism historically and philosophically.  Students will explore the main tenets, symbols, and practices of Buddhism from its time of origin until today. The course will examine the central themes of the main schools of Buddhism developed in India, Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea. The themes will be evaluated from religious, historical, and philosophical points of view.

    Course Objectives

    Students will be able to:

    • Identify the core principles of Buddhism
    • Describe the basic Buddhist worldview
    • Summarize the historical development of Buddhism
    • Explain regional and national variations in Buddhist philosophy and practice
    • Differentiate between the various Buddhist schools of though
    • Analyze Buddhist symbols in rituals, art, architecture, and other aspects of culture

    Important Information

    Policies

    Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses.

    Technical Requirements & Skills

    One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

    Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

    Accessibility And Accommodation

    Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

    Please visit Blackboard's Commitment Accessibility webpage for more information. 

    For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

    Course Prerequisites

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

    Proctored Exam Policy

    Please note that the information contained in this section applies only if your course requires a proctored exam.

    Through a careful examination of this syllabus, it is the student’s responsibility to determine whether this online course requires proctored exams. Please visit our Student Proctored Exam Instructions webpage for important information concerning proctored exams, proctoring centers, and important forms.

    Textbook

    Textbook Image
    Buddhism
    Kevin Trainor
    Oxford University Press, 2004
    ISBN-10: 0195173988
    ISBN-13: 9780195173987
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.
    Additional Notes
    Textbook Image
    What the Buddha Taught
    Author
    Grove Press, 1974
    ISBN-10: 0802130313
    ISBN-13: 9780802130310
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.
    Additional Notes

    Expectations Of This Course

    This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

    Students are expected to:

    • Review the how to get started information located in the course content
    • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction video in the appropriate blog
    • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard
    • Interact online with instructor/s and peers
    • Review and follow the course calendar

    The instructor will:

    • Log in to the course at least 5 times per week
    • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 3 days or sooner
    • Respond to [emails/messages] within 3 days or sooner
    • Grade assignments within 2 weeks or sooner of the assignment deadline

    Course Detail

    Course Communication

    Communication in this course will take place via Messages.

    Messages is a private and secure text-based communication system which occurs within a course among its Course members. Users must log on to Blackboard to send, receive, or read messages. The Messages tool is located on the Course Menu, on the left side of the course webpage. It is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication. 

    Visit our Writing Resources webpage for more information on professional writing and technical communication skills.

    Discussion Forums

    There will be five discussion topics. The topics will be posted on "Discussion Topics" folder in the Course Content. Students must post well thought-out comments based on the required work throughout the semester. Participation is required and represents 20% of your final grade. Both the quantity and the quality of your posts will contribute to your grade. All students are required to participate in all the five topics (at least 200 words). Discussions must be posted during the period they are assigned and are due by 11:59 pm on the Monday after the end of the lesson.

    Once you have composed your original posting, take some time to carefully review other postings within your discussion group. Pick two that are most interesting to you and provide meaningful, detailed, and constructive feedback.

    Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

    Assignments

    There will be one essay assigned throughout the semester, which is aimed at assisting in comprehension and retention of the ideas. This essay will be at least 1500 words long (6 pages double-spaced) and will be worth 20% of your grade. This is a formal academic essay and students must cite their sources. MLA is the preferred citation style in Religious Studies. There will three possible types of papers: historical analysis, contemporary applied analysis, or cultural anthropology/participant observation. After completion of the paper, students will do a virtual presentation for the class.

    Submission: Students must submit their essays to Turnitin.com via Blackboard's Assignment Dropbox.

    Late Papers: Late papers will only be accepted for the first 3 days after the due date and will be dropped one letter grade per day. Students are responsible for reading their blackboard messages and all announcements posted by the instructor. The instructor also reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus by means of announcements or messages with ample time allowed for students to respond and adjust appropriately.

    Plagiarism: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism, or attempting to pass off another's work as your own, falls into three different categories:

    A written work that is entirely stolen from another source;

    • Using quotations from another source without properly citing them; and
    • Paraphrasing from another source without proper citations.

    Students are expected to understand the definition of plagiarism. See the University Code of Academic Integrity if you need further clarification. Offenders will receive a grade of F for the plagiarized assignment, and possibly the course.

    **Students may not submit work from a previous semester or from another class for this assignment or any other assignment in this course. It will be flagged for plagiarism by Turnitin.

    Extra Credit: No Extra Credit work will be accepted in this course.

    Quizzes

    There will be ten online quizzes covering each section. Your quiz scores will be averaged together for a final quiz score worth 20% of your final grade. All quizzes consist of 10 questions (multiple choice, true/false and fill in the blank questions), and each question will be worth 10 points. A quiz will be available from Thursday 12:00am till Sunday 11:59pm of the given week. Once you open a quiz, you will have 20 minutes to complete and submit it. You will have two attempts to take a quiz. The highest score will be counted.

    Note: Quiz resets will not be granted for technical issues. You will receive two attempts to complete each quiz, if you are logged offline or you have technical failure while attempting the quiz, then you still have the second attempt to complete the quiz. Resetting quizzes after they have passed will require a serious and verifiable reason (death in the family, hospitalization, serious accident, etc.)

    The correct answers for quizzes will not be released to students. Students will be able to see their submitted answers only. Students should refer to their course materials for the correct answers, in order to study for the midterm and final exams.

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

    Exams

    There will be two exams based on the readings and materials covered throughout the course. Each exam will be worth 20% of your final grade. All exams consist of multiple choice, T/F, fill-in-the-blank, and short essays questions and each question will be worth 2 points. Exams will be available for two days from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm. Once you open an exam, you will have 60 minutes to complete and submit it.

    Note: Resetting exams after they have passed will require a serious and verifiable reason (death in the family, hospitalization, serious accident, etc.)

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

    Survey Of Buddhism Library Guide

    This Survey of Buddhism Library Guide is especially tailored with resources meant to benefit this course. There are links to important Buddhist journals, websites, and videos. There are pages designed for each of the main content sections covered throughout the semester. There are also important library resources that will help you to do research for your assignments and make sure that you are properly citing your sources.  Please refer to this page often.

    Course Requirements

    In addition to the completion of writing assignments, discussions, quizzes, and exams, a key requirement for successful completion of this course will be an open mind. Students are expected to exhibit respect to all religious traditions and peoples at all times. Thus, disrespectful or derisive commentary will not be tolerated in this course. Religion is, after all, a very personal and sensitive subject for many.

    On the other hand, class participants can expect academic freedom to express their views. Although religion can be personal, this is an academic course taken for college credit and thus students are expected to examine the topics rigorously. Religion shall not be exempt from the scrutiny placed on any and all academic subjects.

    Adobe Connect Pro Meeting

    Adobe Connect is an online meeting room where you can interact with your professor and fellow students by sharing screens, sharing files, chatting, broadcasting live audio, and taking part in other interactive online activities. We will be utilizing this tool to conduct live discussion meetings and office hours.

    Requirements for using Adobe Connect:

    • Disable any window pop-up blocker.
    • Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Adobe Connect meeting. You can test your computer to make sure your computer and network connections are properly configured to provide you with the best possible Adobe Connect meeting experience.
    • Use of a combination headset and microphone with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties.

      Reference Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help) to learn about the tool, how to access your meeting rooms and recordings.

    Grading

    Course Requirements # of Items Weight
    Midterm Exam 1 20%
    Final Exam 1 20%
    Quizzes 10 20%
    Essay 1 20%
    Discussion/Student Biography Participation 7 20%
    Total 20 100%
    Letter Range Letter Range Letter Range
    A Above 93 B- 80 - 82 D+ 67 - 69
    A- 90 - 92 C+ 77 - 79 D 63 - 66
    B+ 87 - 89 C 73 - 76 D- 60 - 62
    B 83 - 86 C- 70 - 72 F < 59

    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    ***The professor retains the right to make changes to the schedule and assignments until the beginning of the class. Please make sure to print an updated version at the beginning of the semester.

    Date Tasks
    Introduction
    January 12 – January 19

    Course Introduction

    • Review and fully familiarize yourself with the course and site. Print and read the course syllabus and course calendar.
    • Obtain texts and read ahead for Part 1

    Read:

    Tasks:

    1. Student Introduction due Monday, January 19 by 11:59 pm
    Part 1 - Origins
    January 19 – January 26

    View:

    • PowerPoint: Origins of Buddhism

    Read:  

    Videos:

    Tasks:

    1. Quiz 1 – Origins of Buddhism - Due: Monday, January 26 by 11:59 pm

    Part 2 - Principles & Practice
    January 26 – February 9

    View:

    • PowerPoint: The Four Noble Truths

    Read:

    • Chapter 1 – The Human Condition              
    • Chapter 2 – The “Four Noble Truths”
    • Rahula - Chapter 1 – The Buddhist Attitude of Mind
    • Rahula - Chapter 2 – The First Noble Truth
    • Rahula - Chapter 3 – The Second Noble Truth
    • Rahula - Chapter 4 – The Third Noble Truth
    • Rahula - Chapter 6 – The Doctrine of No Soul
    • Enlightenment Stories

    Videos:  

    Tasks:

    1. Discussion 1 – Due: Monday, February 9 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Quiz 2 - Beliefs – Due: Monday, February 9 by 11:59 pm
    The Eightfold Path
    February 9 – February 16

    View:

    • PowerPoint: The Eightfold Path

    Read:

    Video:

    Tasks:

    1.  Quiz 3 – The Eightfold Path – Due: Monday, February 16 by 11:59 pm
    The Buddhist Community
    February 16 – February 23

    View:

    • PowerPoint: The Buddhist Community

     Read:  

    • Chapter 5 – The Buddhist Community
    • Chapter 6 – Buddhism in Practice
    • Rahula - Chapter 8 – What the Buddha Taught and the World Today

    Videos:

    Tasks:

    1. Quiz 4 – Community – Due: Monday, February 23 by 11:59 pm
    Introduction to Theravada Buddhism
    February 23 – March 2

    View:

    • PowerPoint: Introduction to Theravada Buddhism

    Read:  

    Video:

    Tasks:

    1. Quiz 5 - Theravada – Due: Monday, March 2 by 11:59 pm.
    Midterm
    March 2 – March 9

    Tasks:

    1. Midterm Exam - Available Monday, March 3 – March 9 by 11:59 pm.

    Spring Break
    March 9 – March 16
    Spring Break
    Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism
    March 16 – March 23

    View: 

    • PowerPoint: Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism

    Read:

    Video:

    Tasks:

    1. Discussion 2 (Venn Diagram or Infographic) – Compare and Contrast Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism – DUE: Monday March 23 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Quiz 6 – Mahayana – Due: Monday, March 23 by 11:59 pm.
    Introduction to Zen Buddhism
    March 23 – March 30

    View:   

    • PowerPoint: Introduction to Zen Buddhism
    Read:   Videos:

    Tasks:

    1. Discussion 3 (Zen Exercise) - Due: Monday March 30 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Quiz 7 – Chan and Zen – Due: Monday, March 30 by 11:59 pm.
    Introduction to Tantric Buddhism
    March 30 – April 6

    View:

    • PowerPoint: Introduction to Tantric Buddhism

    Read:  

    Video:

    Tasks:

    1. Paper Due: Monday, April 6 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Quiz 8 – Tantra – Due: Monday, April 6 by 11:59 pm.
    Part 3 - Holy Writings
    April 6  - April 13

    View:

    • PowerPoint: The Buddhist Scriptures

    Read:    

    • Chapter 1 – Assembling the Dharma
    • Chapter 2 – The Three Baskets
    • Chapter 3 – Mahayana Scriptures

    Video:

    Tasks:

    1. Discussion 4 (Scriptural Analysis Exercise) - Due: Monday, April 13 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Quiz 9 – Buddhist Scriptures - Due: Monday, April 13 by 11:59 pm.

    Part 4 - Buddhism Today
    April 13 – April 20

    View:

    • PowerPoint: Buddhism Today  

    Read:    

    Videos:

    Tasks:   

    1. Quiz 10 – Buddhism Today - Due: Monday, April 20 by 11:59 pm.
    2. Discussion 5 (Case Study) - Due: Monday April 20 by 11:59pm.
    Presentations
    April 20 – April 27

    Tasks:

    1. Discussion 6 - Assignment (2 Parts) Presentations
      Due - Thursday, April 23 at 11:59 pm.
    2. Comments Due by Sunday, April 27 at 11:59 pm.
    Final Exam
    April 27 – May 2

    Tasks:

    1. Final Exam: Monday, April 21, 2015 – Thursday, April 24, 2015 by 11:59 PM