Course Syllabus

Course Information
Course Expectations

Course Information

Course Description

Learning and Transformation is intended to help learners understand and practice artistic, spiritual, and psychological knowing. Offered in five modules, learners will creatively introduce themselves, learn to use different styles of meditation, understand the root of behavior in making change, and the complexities of functioning as a learner at work. In addition, students will be introduced to meditation as a way of centering and the spiritual concept of awareness as a way of being in the world. Finally, learners will study and apply transformational learning theory as a means of competently transversing major changes in their lives.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to

Required Readings:

Other Resources/Podcasts/Audios:

Course Outcomes

In this course, you will develop the following skills:



Use meditation as a tool for self-reflection.


Understand and apply three specific ways of knowing.


Understand several theories of adult developmentand apply one in one's life.


Understand the source of one’s behavior and the means to change those behaviors no longer useful in one’s life.


Understand the intellectual challenges facing adults and apply them in regard to one's own work.


Reflect on the place of spirituality in higher Education.


Use Transformational Learning theory as a means of negotiating major life shifts.


Use your new skills in the completion of your degree.


Apply at least 2 learning and adult development theories to your experience.

How the Outcomes will be Demonstrated in this Course

Each module will include assignments that link the learning activities to the outcome.  Understanding the complexity of learning and the application of different kinds of learning is the main course objective.  Learners will engage in and reflect on individual and group activities, share those outcomes on their own assignment page and the D2L Discussion Board, and submit three reflective papers  and a 5-7 page final paper on their application of the material.

Course Structure

This course consists of 5 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is approximately 3 days.

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1:

Introduction to Meditation














View Podcast #1

Lawrence, Randee. "Adult Learning Through Artistic Expression." e-reserve

Piver, Susan. Quiet mind. New York, N.Y.: Random House, 2008, pp 1-33

Practice meditation



1.1 Introductions using imagery

1.2 Meditation as a way of spiritual learning

1.3 Meditation Discussion




Week 2, Module 2:


Adult Development



Piver, Susan. Quiet mind. New York, N.Y.: Random House, 2008, pp. 33-41

Power Point on multiple Theories of Adult Development

Keegan, Robert. In over our heads: the mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA. 1994

Practice meditation

2.1 Meditation as a way of spiritual learning

2.2 Meditation Discussion

2.3 Reflection on Adult Learning

2.4 Adult Learning Discussion

2.5 Learning to Cope with Personal Work Demands

2.6 Personal Work Demand Discussion

Week 3, Module 3:

Changing Behavior









Piver, Susan. Quiet mind. New York, N.Y.: Random House, 2008, pp. 45-51

Practice meditation

View Rokeach Podcast #2

3.1 Meditation as a source of spiritual learning

3.2 Meditation Discussion

3.3 Understanding the Source of Our Behavior

3.4 Understanding the Source of Our Behavior Discussion

Week 4, Module 4:


Spirituality and Transformational Learning






Piver, Susan. Quiet mind. New York, N.Y.: Random House, 2008. pp 67-79

Tisdell, Elizabeth J. (2003). Exploring spirituality and culture in adult and higher education. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. (e-reserves)

Mezirow handout on steps to Transformational Learning.

View PowerPoint audiocast on Transformational Learning

4.1 Meditation as a source of spiritual learning

4.2 Week Four Meditation Discussion

4.3 Spirituality in Higher Education Discussion

4.4 Transformational Learning

Week 5, Module 5:

Wrap Up





Piver, Susan. Quiet mind. New York, N.Y.: Random House, 2008

Read Levoy on myth

5.1 Meditation

5.2 Meditation Discussion

5.3 Write Your Myth

5.4 Wrap Up Discussion

5.5 Final Paper (due end of week 6)


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Assessment of Learning

In assessing work like that described above, your instructor will look for:

Evidence of one of these elements equates with a C; evidence of two with a B: and evidence of three with an A.  In making such assessments your instructor will strive to be clear, flexible, forthright and empathetic.

Point Distribution of Assessments

Individual reflections


Participation in group discussions


Short reflection papers


Final paper


Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit at the School for New Learning.

Grading Policies and Practices

Participation in discussions is integral to your success and will be based on the quality and frequency of your postings and your interactions with others.

All Podcasts are required.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All written assignments will be assessed for:

Your written work will be evaluated as follows:

Assessment Criteria for your Final Paper or Project by Outcome

Along with the criteria immediately above:

Online Discussion

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

Participation In the online discussions: your responses will be assessed on whether one or more of the following are present:

  1. Offering ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them
  2. Asking challenging questions
  3. Articulating, explaining and supporting positions on ideas
  4. Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples
  5. Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinions
  6. Offering a critique, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others
  7. Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings
  8. Summarizing previous contributions and asking the next question
  9. Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed

The above list was adapted from Gilly Salmon’s book E-Moderating: The key to teaching and learning online.
London: Kogan Page: p.143 (2000).

When you respond to a classmate's post, refrain from simple phrases like, "Great ideas!" or "I like that." Refer to the 9 points above and use words like, "But," "Additionally," "I agree and," "However," "What about," etc.

Discussion Rubric – Criteria for Feedback/Evaluation




Comment is accurate, original, relevant, related to experience, teaches us something new and is well written. “Four point” comments add substantial teaching presence to the course and stimulate additional thought about the issue under discussion

Above Average

The comment lacks at least one of the above qualities, but is above average in quality. A ‘three point’ comment makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the issue being discussed


The comment lacks two or three of the required qualities. Comments that are based upon personal opinion or personal experience ONLY often fall within this category


The comment presents little or no new information; however, ‘one point’ comments may provide important social presence and contribute to a collegial atmosphere.


The comment doesn't do anything for anybody

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Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

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Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

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Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

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This course was designed and produced by faculty and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

© 2012 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNLDCM. Printed in the USA.

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