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PUB 303: Reframing Failure

Course Description

"When we start losing our tolerance for vulnerability, uncertainty, for risk - we move away from the things we need and crave the most like joy and love and belonging, trust, empathy, creativity." Taking Brene Brown's quote to heart, this course looks at examples of "failures," compels students to ask practitioners about past failures in their field as well as take a personal inventory, and requires students to think critically about theories of mindset, of "being wrong," and the successes that emerge out of those mistakes. This course also examines theories of learning failures by Warren Bennis and artistic and cultural failures examined by Jesper Juul and Judith Halberstam.

Prerequisite

Enrollment in Charter Oak’s partnership program with College Unbound. Completion of Cornerstone Course. The College Unbound program is a competency-based program that is a hybrid of on-site cohort support/online course system. With that, course materials are delivered online, but students are frequently asked to engage with fellow students and their communities’ in-person.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Develop the skills necessary to identify, analyze, and optimize the learning experiences from failure.
  2. Identify potential and actual failures in their early stages.
  3. Use shared experiences to analyze potential paths to mitigate emotional and financial losses.
  4. Develop, evaluate, and implement recommended options for preventing, reducing, and responding to failure.
  5. Evaluate and apply the five benefits of failure (clarity, champions, creativity, grit, freedom).
  6. Construct a case study of anticipated failure and project your response.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)Weight

Weekly Discussion Board and Participation

25%

Weekly Assignments

15%

Failure Resume - Unlike a traditional CV of accomplishments, here students are asked to outline and unpack projects that did not come to fruition in a similar fashion. This CV should be annotated with explanations of failures for each major project.

20%

Exhibition of Errors - Each College Unbound student presents a public exhibition of their project development every 8 weeks. Upon completion of this course, students are asked to present an outline of future possible shortcomings of their project.

20%

Failure Interview - Students must conduct at least one interview of a colleagues failure. (45 minutes)

10%

Portfolio Updates - Every 2 weeks students are asked to submit updates of their Action Research Project. (2 pages every 2 weeks)

10%

Total

Required Texts

  • Halberstam, Judith. The Queer Art of Failure. Duke University Press Books, 2011. ISBN-10: 0822350459 or ISBN-13: 9780822350453
  • Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor, 1995. ISBN-10: 0385480016 or ISBN-13: 9780385480017
  • Lewis, Sarah. The Rise. Simon & Schuster, 2014. ISBN-10: 1451629230 or ISBN-13: 9781451629231

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignment(s)

1

1

Remembering Failure

  • Overview:
    • During the first weeks of the course, you and your Academic Liaison are expected to hold a conference call with each member of your Learning Team to share your project's evolution and the Student Learning Outcomes of this course. By the 3rd Monday Seminar you are expected to come with a Research and Reading List that furthers your project within the goals of your project. By the end of Week 3, your Academic Liaison will clear your semester plan with the Faculty of Record for this course.
  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • None
  • Additional Readings:
    • Sim Sitkin’s Learning Through Failures -The Strategy of Small Losses. Journal of Research is Organizational Behavior
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit reflective short essay
  • Set up meeting with your Academic Liaison and Learning Team

2

3,5

Learning from Failure, Part 1

  • Overview:
    • During the first weeks of the course, you and your Academic Liaison are expected to hold a conference call with each member of your Learning Team to share your project's evolution and the Student Learning Outcomes of this course. By the 3rd Monday Seminar you are expected to come with a Research and Reading List that furthers your project within the goals of your project. By the end of Week 3, your Academic Liaison will clear your semester plan with the Faculty of Record for this course.
  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • The Rise - The Riddle (pages 1-60)
  • Additional Readings:
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit reflective short essay
  • Continue working on the Research and Reading List that furthers your project within the goals of your project.

3

2

Learning from Failure, Part 2

  • Overview:
    • During the first weeks of the course, you and your Academic Liaison are expected to hold a conference call with each member of your Learning Team to share your project's evolution and the Student Learning Outcomes of this course. By the 3rd Monday Seminar you are expected to come with a Research and Reading List that furthers your project within the goals of your project. By the end of Week 3, your Academic Liaison will clear your semester plan with the Faculty of Record for this course.
  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • The Rise - The Crucible (pages 60-118), Chapter 8
  • Additional Readings:
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit Research and Reading List
  • Submit Interview Preparation

4

4

Sharing Failure

  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • The Rise - The Gift (pages 119-195)
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit Interview Log and Brief Transcription
  • Midterm Exam - Skype or Meeting with Professor

5

1,4

Evidence of Failure

  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • Bird by Bird - Introduction (xi-xxxi) & Getting Started (pages 3-20)
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit Resume of Failures
  • Provide peer feedback for Research and Research Lists (Discussion Board)

6

3,5

Failure and Mindset

  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • Bird by Bird - Finding your Voice (pages 195-201), Giving (pages 202-207) & The Last Class (pages 225-237)
  • Read assigned material
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit progress report for Peer Review & Reflection
  • Submit Peer Follow Up and Feedback on Research

7

1

Failure as Framework

  • Readings from Textbooks:
    • The Queer Art of Failure (pages 88-121)
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit course content notes
  • Submit reflective short essay
  • Prepare for Exhibition of Errors

8

1,6

Documenting Failure

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussion Boards
  • Submit reflective short essay
  • Record and Submit your Public Exhibition
  • Complete course evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.