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This course is an exploratory approach to the humanities, with a focus on the special role of the arts. The relation of the humanities to values — objects and events important to man are emphasized, and a basic distinction is made between the role of artists and that of other humanists. Artists reveal values; the other humanists study or reflect upon values.

Various art forms are explored individually — film, drama, music, literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture — with the relationships of subject matter, form, and content in each of these arts supplying the framework of the analysis.

Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Exhibit a keener awareness of values, self, and society.
  • Develop critical skills that will be useful in making decisions that have a positive effect on self and society.
  • Enhance personal stimulation and enjoyment.
  • Appreciate the arts from a historical perspective, with emphasis on those periods and events that best reflect how man's thinking about himself has changed.
  • Identify the elements that are basic to each art form, as well as those common to more than one and those that are unique to a particular art.
  • Identify the form employed by the artists and interpret the meaning revealed in some specific works of art.
  • Use evaluative criteria to help participate better with a work of art.

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Major Course Topics

  • Characteristics of the forms of art: film, drama, music, literature, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, and dance
  • The nature and characteristics of critical evaluation
  • Overview, history, of various art forms
  • Review the class“What you should know before you register” section of the Distance Learning Homepage.
  • This course is not self-paced. See the Assignment Schedule for due dates for assignments and exams.
  • There are no required campus meetings scheduled for this course.
  • This course does not require “real-time” chats.
  • This course does require participation in on-line threaded discussions for each unit.

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  • This course does not have a required face-to-face orientation. See the on-line orientation schedule on course homepage.

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Course Requirements

Course is broken down into twelve units.  Student is required to complete readings in Reality through the Arts corresponding with each unit.  Grading will consist of ten assignments from the textbook, ten online discussions and ten short quizzes.  A final exam, worth 20% of grade, will be administered at the test center on the HCC campus

  • Read the Text Chapters that correspond with the unit.
  • Participate in graded discussions for each unit.
  • Complete assignments and quizzes for each unit.
  • Utilize My Humanities Kit-the online text supplement--as a resource for assignments, assessments and discussions.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Complete final exam at the test center.

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Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Internet Explorer
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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Exams : Summary of Course Requirements

Assignments and quizzes based on textbook readings and resources 20% of grade

Online Discussions 20 % of grade

Two Projects 40% of grade (20% of grade each)

Final Exam
20% of grade


If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to
Heidi Vornbrock Roosa,

Last updated on 20-Jun-11
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