What this Course is About
- This an online course, but no
classes on Zoom. (Therefore, no class attendance and no class participation). Super-important: You must have access to a reliable internet and a
No required textbooks. Instead, all class lecture and homework materials will be available online 24/7 to give you flexibility in how you manage your time. NOTE: For copyright reasons they will be available only via this class home page and NOT via UBLearns (see homework schedule below).
film/documentary homework assignment will usually comprise two
sections--either together within one video or sometimes separately.
Section one will comprise class lecture materials (notes, slides,
film/video excerpts, still images, slides, etc.), while section two will
be the film itself. NOTE: for test purposes both sections will be
- Important: you must download all homework materials to you computer, so you can have access to it 24/7.
this is an online course it will be heavily test-based to ensure that
you are doing your homework assignments. (See below for more about the
- Tests/quizzes altogether will be worth 80% of final course grade.
There will be an optional final exam
during exam week. If you choose to take it, it will serve as extra-credit.
There will be a two-part test-based term paper project, it will be worth 20% of your final course grade.
grade equivalents of percentage points: A =97-100 A-
=93-96 B+ =90-92 B =85-89 B- =80-84
C+ =73-79 C =66-72 C- =60-65
D+ =55-59 D =51-54 F =0-50
not use your phone to access homework materials and/or to do the tests.
communications about the course will be via course announcements on this page and via emails as it progresses.
You must read your emails from the instructor regularly AND save them in an email folder you must
create in your email account. IMPORTANT: See also note below about emails format.
- You must know how to navigate the internet, including accessing Brightspace (UBLearns). You must know how to read
text on a computer screen. You
must take notes on the homework material, but your notes must be very,
very brief (about two or three words per page or scene, as you go
through the material--taking detailed notes means you are not digesting
the material). You will need these notes for tests, since tests are open book.
- If you claim that you cannot see a link for
an item (or some other essential information), send me a clear
picture of your entire computer screen,
edge to edge (meaning EVERYTHING visible to you on your screen must be
included in the picture), as an email attachment. Reminder: IF, in the extremely rare instance,
there is a missing link
(or some other information) it will affect the entire class, not just
you. (The internet does not discriminate against specific individuals,
whoever they may be.)
- NOTE: When it is available, you will be asked to submit a disclaimer that you
read the syllabus diligently and will fully abide with all the course requirements.
- First, through the medium of audiovisual materials
(films, videos, etc.) this course will aim to explore select topics from
the historical and current experiences of Black people (that is
anyone whose ancestral heritage can be traced back to Africa). Second, since this
is a film course, it will also cover select introductory topics in the making of
films (e.g., the significance of the film score).
- This course is not intellectually demanding (in fact, compared to your other courses, it is probably the easiest course you will ever take in this school); however, it is designed for those taking
no more than 15 credit hours total, and do not have a full-time job.
Homework, on average, will require about one "concentrated" hour per day of your time
(which equals to about 7-8 concentrated hours per week--this is similar to doing 3
hours of class time, plus about 4 hours of homework for an in-person
class). Note: A concentrated hour is an hour that requires full concentration from you--that means no distractions of any kind!
About the Tests
- Tests will take place approximately every two weeks (see schedule below).
Tests will comprise multiple-choice questions. Note: majority of test questions will be aimed at determining if you did do the homework at all AND that you did the homework diligently.
- Tests will not be proctored.
- Tests will be open book.
will carry bonus points. Why? As an insurance against the possibility
that you, as an individual, may find one or two questions
confusing--assuming you did your all assigned homework diligently--repeat,
diligently! (Needless to say, if you did not study the homework at all,
or if you did not study it diligently, you will find all questions
- Tests will be available online only via the AAS 253 course page on Brightspace (UBLearns)--and not via this class home page.
Tests will usually take
place per your UB course schedule for this class; that is, on Mondays,
between 12:30 pm and 3:10 pm--however, the exact time and duration for each test will be specified (see below). NOTE: This day/time cannot be changed (to prevent cheating).
- Tests will be available only for the duration of the time allocated for the test after it
becomes available on Brightspace at the specified time; not
before and not after.
(Example: Supposing the test is 45 minutes long and it starts at 2:00
pm. It will close at 2:45 pm.) Once a test begins it cannot be
“reopened” if you step away from it for any reason. If, in my
estimation, you had a valid reason for stepping away from the test then a
new test will have to be constructed.
- Warning: Tests/quizzes will be very
demanding IF you don’t do your homework at all, or you don’t do it on on
time, or if you do it SWD (studying while distracted). NOTE: Since
tests will be every two weeks, attempting to cram about 14-15 hours of
homework (total time) into about 3-4 hours at the very last minute on test day will
NOT allow you to do well on the tests--in fact, you probably won't pass them.
- To foster professionalism, when you send me e-mails,
they must be in a professional format; otherwise, you may not get a
response. Example of
professional format: Begin with “Dear Instructor”;… and end with
“Sincerely”, …. Plus, your name as it appears in school records.
- Emails must be sent only via UB mail and NOT via UBLearns.
be read and answered on the days this course is scheduled. Again,
all e-mails must be sent via regular UB e-mail (and not UBLearns). The
subject heading of your email must always include these two items: the
course number, and what your email is about in a few words.
is an online course, therefore, do not send me emails with questions
that have already been answered. If you do, I will simply ask you to go
back and read the relevant announcement / instruction that answers your
question. Again, because this an online course, it is really important
that when you write about some clarification you need, you quote the
exact sentence or paragraph from the syllabus, announcements, etc. that
is relevant to your email. This is super-important. Otherwise, depending
on what your email is about, you may not get a response. (Quoting does
NOT mean taking a picture.)