"What's the Point" is a series of one-page summaries of the readings assigned for each class period of 810. Written by your instructor, they will distributed at the end of each class period and will be the basis for a summary discussion. They are intended to be a memory crutch in the face of bounded rationality and limited information recall capacity. They are the file names to more details stored in your memory bank.

"What's the Point" is composed of three sections: Ideas, Sound Bites, and Applications. Ideas is a collection of key ideas and concepts in the readings in sentence form. Sound Bites are catchy metaphors and phrases (maybe dramatic) that hopefully will stick in our minds long after the articles, books, authors, even ideas are long gone. Applications are suggestions for using the ideas. What are these concepts good for anyway? They might be suggestions for framing a research question or an insight that helps organize our experience.

As an experiment in learning, I recommend that each student prepare their own "What's the Point" for each class period as part of their preparation for participation in class discussion. It need only have one item in each category of ideas, sound bites, and application. On the days that you write a two-page essay, the application section of the "What's the Point" might be an abstract of the essay. I would like to see these "Point" sheets, but they will not be graded. It will give me better ideas for how to communicate the material of the course. I often begin class discussion by asking a student to summarize what they considered to be the key ideas of the readings, and thus this "Point" sheet will focus your thinking so you can respond thoughtfully.