Dr. Jhennifer A. Amundson, Professor of Architecture

Contact options:

  • email answered during normal business hours on the week days
  • chat immediately after class
  • weekly drop-in times: 10:30 AM - 12 noon on Fridays in 402 Hitch or via open zoomcall (access via Blackboard)
  • by appointment scheduled via email


I am so excited to welcome you to the first cohort of architecture majors at Belmont University! ARC 1015 is the first required course in our brand-new architecture program. In addition to achieving discrete learning goals, it serves to introduce students to the values of architectural education as expressed at Belmont. The curriculum responds to the University's mission as "a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith" and strives to manifest the University's vision to bring together "the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service." While ARC 1015 is the first course in the professional B.Arch. curriculum, it draws from the liberal arts and emphasizes the importance of faithful learning and service to the practice of architecture.

Course Description

Histories and current condition of architectural education and the profession. Investigates options for career goals within a study of Christian vocation. In addition to regular course work, students will attend guest lectures and field trips. They will also be introduced to the ePortfolio concept that will serve as a unifying foundational requirement through all ARC courses to foster opportunities for self-critique and the development of reflective practices that bring coherence to, synthesize, and integrate learning inside and outside of the classroom. Note for fall semester 2020: some activities will be necessarily curtailed due to health concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

This course has been created around objectives that will both to welcome you to the vast and diverse fields of architectural education and practice and also encourage you to begin thinking critically about the specific path you want to take to achieve your particular and personal goals. The course objectives and student learning outcomes (as well as the unit-level outcomes that you will find in the weekly lessons) are based in the theory of learning codified by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy.

During the course of ARC 1015, you will encounter:

  • Histories of architectural practice from its beginnings in ancient craft traditions to contemporary regulations for professional practice.
  • Legal requirements for professional licensure in the United States and chart your future course to attaining licensure.
  • Alternate fields aligned with architecture.
  • Notions of professional vocation as related to the traditions of Christian service in general and as applicable to personal goals
  • Vocabulary for, and approaches to, various means of aesthetic judgement.
  • The main realms of sustainability, their relationship to traditions of architecture, and applicability to future practices.
  • Reflective practices to enhance learning

At the successful conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the historic development of architectural practice [UNDERSTAND] by recalling important steps in the development of the profession of architecture from its ancient foundation in crafts and building trades, through the era of professionalization, and to the present day [REMEMBER].
  • Explain how the legal requirements for professional licensure in the United States [REMEMBER] are accomplished by your plan to achieve licensure [APPLY].
  • Articulate alternate approaches and options to practice in fields aligned with architecture [UNDERSTAND].
  • Recognize opportunities for service and vocation, understood in the context of Christian traditions, within the context of twenty-first century architectural practices [UNDERSTAND] and manifest your understanding in a personal mission statement on professional/vocational goals integrating faith commitments and professional aspirations [CREATE].
  • Explain approaches for aesthetic judgement [UNDERSTAND] by using discipline-specific vocabulary [REMEMBER] and employ them to evaluate architecture [APPLY].
  • Cite the realms of sustainability [REMEMBER] and interpret their manifestations in a variety of approaches to architecture [UNDERSTAND].
  • Engage and demonstrate the efficacy of reflective practices to learning [APPLY].

A consideration of the aims of ARC 1015 reveals that its focus is in the realms of remember, understand, apply, and create.

Course Structure/Procedure

Under normal conditions, this 3-hour (credit) class would draw all students to meet once weekly on Tuesday afternoons while also pursuing extended content, individually and in groups, synchronously and asynchronously, via online resources. To accommodate advice and follow regulations set by federal and local authorities during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the structure of the course will be changed somewhat to achieve social distance guidelines. In brief, the class population will be divided with alternate groups attending face-to-face meetings on alternate weeks.

Resource Materials & Technical Requirements

I strive to make use of a wide variety of useful and relevant resources as the vehicles of content and assignments in my courses. We will all make use of the following:

This website: A significant portion of the course is delivered via this website and links provided within it.  Bookmark it!

The course Blackboard site: Find it by clicking through one of the sequences described under "Computer Access" here.

Email: Because I often send important information electronically using the University’s email system, you are responsible for checking your Belmont email account daily.  I will do the same (although not often between the hours of 5 PM and 8 AM. so you can use email to be in contact with me, too, either to ask simple questions or to arrange meeting times to address lengthier concerns.

Technical Requirements: To fulfill the technical requirements of this hyflex/hybrid course, students will need regular access to mobile internet-ready devices (e.g. laptop, tablet) for use at home and in the classroom as well as reliable, high speed internet. If you have any technical challenges along these lines, please notify the professor at once. Most of our collaborative, synchronous work will be conducted via Zoom (which you can access via the course Blackboard site). In case of problems with Zoom, we will utilize the Collaborate tool embedded in Blackboard. Watch your email for updates in times of trouble.

Required Materials/Tools: You will need to acquire the following:

Curricular Requirements

The following policies are in place to support your success in the course and to achieve a mutually-beneficial environment among all class participants; related assignments and activities will be assessed to assign student grades.

  • Attendance and participation (passive and active) is expected in every class meeting and exercise.  For face-to-face meeting, make sure to sign in before the start of class.  Because they have been designed to meet the same objectives, you should consider online and face-to-face meetings to be equivalent and treat them as such (e.g., take notes, participate). For HyFlex/Blended and all-Zoom class sessions, attendance will be taken via an online mechanism like Padlet or the Zoom chat feature. 
  • Readings are assigned from the textbook and other sources, many of them online.  It is essential for you to stay current with the readings and complete them thoroughly.  We meet (online and face-to-face) to add to the knowledge base that you will gain from the weekly readings.  In addition to the textbook, which is a secondary source (written by historians who have a distance from their material), you will read primary literature (historic materials) distributed in-class or electronically. Treat online resources (e.g., SmartHistory, VoiceThread, and YouTube videos) like texts.
  • Quizzes usually test recognition and memory. Quizzes tend to be section-specific.Tests assess the variety of information and ideas through a variety of question types, including essay, and cover only the material presented since the time of the last test. Tests tend to be cumulative.
  • Assignments include discussion boards, concept maps, short essays, and other activities that ask you to engage the course material in different ways.
  • Projects are completed individually or based on group work, conducted in class with external preparation, with individual reflections to follow. To serve your creative strengths, you will usually have a choice of different kinds of projects to fulfill the goals of different assignments.

(Proposed) Letter-Graded Requirements for 2020 (other assignments are assessed for completion): 

  • Weekly exercises (e.g., Google quizzes, VoiceThread, etc.): roughly 40%
  • Assignments (e.g.,  discussion boards & projects): roughly 30%
  • Tests: roughly 30%

Note: assignments delivered by email should be turned in during a 12-hour window ending with the stated deadline; in other words: by 11 AM on the date listed but no earlier than 11 PM the night before.


Even without a pandemic to make a blend of online and face-to-face learning an attractive option, I have offered my courses as hybrid to take greater advantage of the opportunities to learn and to reflect on learning by leveraging online resources and activities prior to meeting in person. The pandemic makes the need to manage face-to-face meetings differently than I might otherwise, but in general, the class will be very much as it would be if COVID was not an issue.

Organization: With this approach to designing a course (which may be rather different than the courses you have taken elsewhere), the workweek begins the day following a F2F meeting and concludes with the next in-class meeting. As you'll see on our course calendar, the week "begins" on Wednesdays and concludes on Tuesdays. Assignments will be due on specific, regular days in the midst of the week to keep you engaged with the course and ensure your continued learning in it.

Time requirements: As with any 3-credit class offered in a conventional semester, you should plan to spend 9 hours (on average) per week on this course: roughly 2 hours in F2F meetings and 7 hours completing online work and other independent study outside of class time. The compressed semester for fall 2020 requires a similarly compressed workflow; see this document for more details.

For each weekly unit, expect the following general activities:

  • Read the textbook(s) (preview chapter sections, make note of subject headings and illustrations that will begin to form a mental outline; return for careful reading and note-taking).
  • Engage online work: watch videos, VoiceThreads, visit websites (etc.) as directed in each module, in the order in which they are listed. Give them your full attention; take notes; avoid multi-tasking.
  • Take online comprehension quizzes; print or take notes on your results for future reference.
  • Post on the discussion forums according to prompts. Treat these with the care and formality that you would dedicate to a traditional paper turned in for a grade. When you leave comments on colleagues' work, give the kind of critique that you would like to receive: fair, in-depth, encouraging, and constructive. Return to the discussion to review comments made by colleagues & Dr. Amundson.
  • Note: Take care when posting words and images that are not your own. For text, provide credit lines according to the CMS (see format guide elsewhere in this syllabus). To make sure your use of images is legal, when you search, use filtering criteria (in Google Images, navigate through Tools > Usage Rights > Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification).
  • Consistently review and study to reinforce your learning.

Note: Having tech problems? For BU service issues, contact the Helpdesk; for specific applications, troubleshoot via web services; for missing/broken links on this website, email Dr. Amundson.


One goal of this course (actually, of all that I teach) is to encourage you to reflect on your learning. This kind of activity is called "metacognition" and it has been proven to encourage longer-lasting benefits of learning. We will have regular times for you to reflect on your insights for each unit; I encourage you to keep this prompt near you at all times, since asking these questions will be helpful any time you read, study, or participate in the coursework for this class:

  • What should I do first? (How can I develop a general understanding of the concepts at hand, and then elaborate on them with greater detail and depth?)
  • Is anything confusing to me? (After concluding a reading, video, or class presentation: what was fuzzy? Any concepts or vocabulary? Where can I find the answer to understand?)
  • Why did I get this answer wrong? (Did I read the prompt incorrectly? Was I misinformed? Where can I find the correct information?)
  • Can I explain what I've learned to another person? (Do I understand this material well enough to teach it to someone else?)
  • Can I apply this in different settings? (Likewise: do I understand this material well enough to distill its concepts and apply them in another context?)
  • How can I do better next time? (Are there concepts or vocabulary I need to command better to explain myself or feel more confident?)

Honor Pledge

Belmont University community is committed to personal integrity in the pursuit of knowledge. This requires intellectual honesty and transparency in the scholarship of students. To that end, the university has adopted the following Honor Pledge for both academic work associated with a particular class (Coursework) and co-curricular requirements for graduation such as Convocation, internships, and the like (Co-Curricular Requirements). Each student pledges to uphold the Honor Pledge as a condition of membership in the community:

In affirmation of the Belmont University Honor Pledge, I pledge that I will not give or receive aid during examinations; I will not give or receive false or impermissible aid in course work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other type of work that is to be used toward my grade; I will not engage in any form of academic fraud in the fulfillment of requirements for graduation whether curricular or co-curricular. Furthermore, I will uphold my responsibility to see to it that others abide by the spirit and letter of this Honor Pledge.


"Assessment" refers to the process of reviewing material to understand what you know, understand, and can do with knowledge gained in a course. Ultimately it is a way to guide your development in the course, based on your performance--but you should always remember that the results of an assessment (a grade) reflects the degree to which certain criteria were achieved in a given assignment; it's not a reflection on you as a person. Note that the descriptions below reflect on the "student performance" in a given task or assignment.

A: Student performance demonstrates excellent familiarity with and understanding of facts, concepts and theoretical issues, and produces creative, stimulating, well-organized, thoughtful, and factual work; assignments are completed with care, accuracy and creativity; students offer intelligent discussion on a regular basis.  “A” indicates overall excellence demonstrated in an assignment.

B: Student performance reveals above-average familiarity with, and understanding of, concepts, facts, and theoretical issues; assignments are factual and well as well-written; graphic work is above-average; students take part in discussion.  “B” indicates good, above-average success in all aspects of an assignment.

C: Student performance exhibits a general understanding of basic concepts and facts; assignments are complete and factual; graphic work is competent; students may occasionally take part in discussion.  “C” indicates average work and completion of minimum requirements.

D/F: Student performance exhibits little or no understanding of basic concepts and facts; assignments are incomplete and/or inaccurate; graphic work is poor; students do not add to discussion.  “D” indicates poor work and a failure to complete minimum requirements for a given assignment; "F" usually reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the assignment at hand.

Note; A grade book spreadsheet will be posted regularly on the course website so that you can keep track of your performance with a great degree of precision.  Participation in this posting is optional; participants will each choose a pin to maintain their anonymity. 

Classroom Policies

Like the curricular requirements, the following policies are in place to support your success in the course and to achieve a mutually-beneficial environment among all class participants

  • Late Work: If your absence during an exam is unavoidable due to a situation beyond your control, contact me via email as soon as possible.  If you know in advance that an event will call you away from campus, usually you can arrange to take the test prior to your departure. If a school-related activity will take you away from campus when an exam is scheduled, you must complete the assignment prior to departure.  The grades of late and incomplete projects will be reduced every day they fail to appear in complete form and cannot be resubmitted (an option sometimes available for some assignments).
  • Extra Credit: There is no extra credit. Concentrate on the regular credit. (There may be optional bonus assignments, but those are different, and offered earlier in the semester, not as a last-ditch-effort to make up for end-of-semester panic.)
  • Style Guide for Written Work: All written work (as well as visual work that requires documentation) will abide by the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and use the “Notes and Bibliography” format.
  • Recordings: Any reproduction (audio or video) of any class or seminar, or portion thereof at Belmont University without the faculty member’s permission is prohibited unless required by the university. A student violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action, as provided in The Bruin Guide.
  • Personal Presentation: Shoes are required.  Hats are discouraged. Class members logging in via Zoom should present themselves as they would in a face-to-face setting.
  • Electronic Devices: Phones, laptops, or other devices may be used from time to time for special activities but are discouraged for habitual note-taking. If you know that you have trouble staying focused on one window when the whole world is only a click away, please be considerate of those around you, as well. Laptops provide distractions to the user and people around her as well as the professor.  It is human nature to give in to distractions, and distraction inhibit your ability to participate in class and learn.  Furthermore, studies show that note taking by hand increases comprehension because the note taker must be selective and actually think while he is writing.  Research also suggests a strong correlation between comprehension of paper material vs. digital versions.. Some exercises make use of on-line reading material; you may comprehend more by using a paper copy. Cell phones should be silenced during class.
  • Images and Use Thereof: It is important to remain within the bounds of lawful use of images. Images used in these classes may be under copyright protection.  When you make a digital copy of them, it is like making a photocopy from a print source and subject to certain regulations.  You are welcome to use these images for your own academic purposes.  Those on the course website have been screened for proper usage rights, but you are responsible for your use of them; you are also responsible to ensure that images you find and use in your own work (e.g., papers and projects for class) are eligible for this use. To make sure your images are not prohibited, select the proper filters during your search (look for "usage rights" as an option in your search menu).  As soon as you place a copyrighted image in a context in which it could be viewed by anyone from outside of the course community you are breaking the law.  People who are part of a faith-based community and interested in living biblically will want to think very clearly, and be very careful, about image use as a matter of integrity.

Especially important for distance-learning courses conducted via zoom, please adhere by the following netiquette:

  • Turn on your camera during zoom meetings. If you have a reason to have your camera off, please contact Dr. Amundson as you would to explain an absence from a traditional class meeting.
  • Please wear earbuds (or similar) to cut down on ambient noise; keep yourself muted when not speaking.
  • Dress and groom yourself as if you were going to campus.
  • Curate your setting: either prepare your natural habitat in a way that you would not mind visitors walking into, or use a blurred background, or a virtual backdrop. Here are instructions how to do so and some backgrounds to use if you'd like to show your Belmont pride; you can also think of this as a design exercise or a way to express your personality.


Everyone needs help from time to time. I strongly believe in providing equitable access for all students in the class. Here are some of the primary sources of assistance; if you have a need that falls beyond the capacity of these individuals, please let me know so I can help you get the support you need:

  • Dr. Amundson:  For all concerns about the course or curriculum.
  • Learning Centers: students who need extra assistance with their writing or study skills are encouraged to visit the Learning Centers early and often in the semester.You can also find a wealth of information online, starting with Harvard's Writing Center, which provides good advice on how to write a thesis, for example.
  • Accommodations of Disabilities: In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Belmont University will provide reasonable accommodation of all medically documented disabilities. If you have a disability and would like the university to provide reasonable accommodations of the disability during this course, please register with Office of Accessibility Services. The staff may be reached by calling (615) 460-6407 and is located on the second level of the Beaman Student Life Center within the Office of the Dean of Students, Suite 200.

Institutional Statement on Student Class Attendance & Absences

General. Belmont University is committed to the idea that regular class attendance is essential to successful scholastic achievement. Absence is excused only in cases of illness or other legitimate cause. Attendance is checked from the first class meeting. Late registrants will have accrued some absences prior to formal registration in the course. In the case of excused absence from class, students have the right and responsibility to make up all class work missed.

Provost’s Excused Absences. If a class absence is necessary because of an activity by another class or university organization, the sponsor of the activity will provide a detailed memorandum on the letterhead of the unit to the Provost at least two (2) weeks prior to the event. The memo will provide the names of students involved, the type of event, and the date range of the event. If approved, the Provost will countersign the memo, generating a Provost’s Excuse, and the sponsor will provide copies to each student to present to their course instructor as a Provost’s Excused Absence with the allowance for the student to make up missed class work.

Final Note

This syllabus is not a legal contract, but serves as a general outline for the semester.  The professor reserves the right to make adjustments to the course as the need arises.