The Liberal Arts in the Contemporary World | Arts and Science Online

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The Liberal Arts in the Contemporary World

LIBS 300/6.0

A summative capstone course for the minor in Liberal Studies that will bring the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to bear on the study and interpretation of a contemporary global issue.

Learning Outcomes

After completing LIBS 300, students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast  the utility of the three liberal arts by applying them to a question of salient public interest addressed by the group project
  2. Critically apply each discipline’s approach to the group project
  3. Articulate each discipline's strengths and weaknesses
  4. Demonstrate the ability to provide constructive feedback to peers, to synthesize disparate forms of information, and to communicate such synthesis effectively
  5. Develop a collaborative multimedia presentation .


In this course students will draw upon the three knowledge traditions of the liberal arts—the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences—to explore and to explicate a question of global importance chosen by the course instructor—examples might include the fossil fuel economy, climate change, the rise of new diseases like the Zika virus, or global terror. Students will be placed in groups of five and each group will have to conceive, plan, and execute a multidisciplinary research project that will take final form in a digital format that can be made available publicly.  

At the beginning of the course the instructor will assign the groups a common question of present-day relevance, and the group will have to draw upon their knowledge of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to develop a multidisciplinary and learned approach to the question and that also provides conclusions that can be used to inform public discourse, recommend particular policy outcomes, or provide unique assessments of the question being explored.  The projects that the students design as their final summative project will be publicly available and will enable the course to contribute to ongoing public discussion of whatever question the project focuses on from year to year--on issues like global warming, pandemics, terrorism, economic calamity or creative solutions to urban poverty.


Fall-Winter 2018-19
Course Dates: 
Sept 6, 2018 - Apr 5, 2019
Exam Dates: 


30% - Group Discussion and Participation
10% - Annnotated Bibliography
10% - Peer Review of Projects
40% - Final Project
10% - Reflective Analysis

**Evaluations are subject to change.**


Professor Peter Anderson (

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 9-10 hours a week (114 hours per term) in study/practice and online activity for LIBS 300.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.