SO302 The Study of the Family

for F1T 2005

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Park Vision/Mission Statement

Park University Vision

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Park University Mission

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Instructor Information





Professor Lisa McDonnell

Phone 520-574-2755

 Fax 520-574-2755

 Fall I 2005

Instructor Information

Developer Name

John W. Noren

Course Description

A study of the family as a social institution and a social group in terms of cross-cultural, historical, and contemporary perspectives. Current controversies concerning male-female roles, sexual morality, reproduction and other issues are considered.


NOTE: Students are encouraged to print a hard copy of the syllabus immediately following confirmation of their registration.

Overview and Course Goals

Welcome to the Park University course The Study of the Family, online! The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the impact of societal changes on the definition and functioning of the family and to encourage students to think critically about the structures and patterns of family relationships.

This course is a Multi-Cultural Liberal Learning course in the Park University curriculum and, as such, intends to enhance an understanding of the family from the perspective of other cultures and seeks to enable the student to make informed judgments about the major issues facing families today.

Please read the syllabus carefully. As an enrolled student, you are expected to read the assigned text, complete the assignments and interact online with the instructor and your fellow students. I look forward to sharing this experience with you, as together we examine the changes in cultural values, norms and attitudes that have occurred in recent decades and determine the impact these changes have had on the family.

Core Learning Outcomes

Each course has core learning outcomes that have been decided by department and university curriculum committees.

Required Texts/Materials

Skolnick, A. S., & Skolnick, J.H. (2005). Family in Transition (13th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

ISBN: 0-205-41823-6
Text Ordering:

Image of cover of text

Course Policies

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy.  If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Online Course Policies

Grading Policy


Grading Criteria –  

1. Completion of weekly reading assignments, discussion questions and replying to classmates  (20%)

2.Completion of Writing Assignments including the Annotated Bibliography  and the Peer Review  (30%)

4. Completion of Research Paper  (20%)

5. Completion of Final Exam  (30%)

Course Grading Scale

A =

 90- 100% 

B =


C = 


D =


F =

 < 60% 

          Assignments - Each week assignments will be given to you.

Late Work:  NO LATE WORK IS ACCEPTED.  You have 7 days to complete assignments that are given to you for the week.  If you do not complete them on-time, you will earn a zero. 

NOTE:  Once the end of a week has passed, you will NOT be able to access that particular week again as all access will be cut off by midnight on Sunday. For example, if week 2 has just ended and we are in week 3, you will NOT be able to go back into week 2 to make up work as week 2 will be NO longer be available.  This is why it is important that you turn your work in on-time.


Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is the prerequisite for academic study. Academic dishonesty is inimical to the spirit of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from the university.

Plagiarism, the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work, sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance. This does not make it less serious. However, students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their faculty member

This course requires a considerable amount of writing, as is appropriate for a 300 level, Liberal Learning course. Your writing must be your own and all sources must be cited. The use of commercially prepared term papers or copying and pasting papers from the Internet is, of course, unacceptable and I will check the authenticity of papers through the use of online plagiarism detective programs.


Professors are required to keep weekly attendance records and report absences throughout the term. Excused absences may be granted by the instructor for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands including temporary duty. However, the student is responsible for completing all missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, 2 weeks in a single term, will be reported to the university administration for appropriate action. Any student failing to attend class for two consecutive weeks, without an approved excuse, will be institutionally withdrawn (unofficially withdrawn) and notified by email that an "F" will be recorded.

Students are expected to spend a substantial amount of time online and offline each week including but not limited to responding to the weekly discussions in the discussion threads, sending and receiving email, reading and reviewing online lectures, completing online quizzes and tests, and conducting research over the World Wide Web. A rule of thumb is that you should spend approximately 4-5 hours per week online reviewing course content and engaging in group work and discussion and an additional 4-6 hours per week on readings, preparing assignments, or completing papers or examinations.

A class week is defined as the time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of class and ends at midnight the following Sunday. Writing assignments should be submitted so that I have them no later than Sunday midnight of the class week in which they are due.

Since this is an online course, it is preferred that you submit assignments via the Internet. You must make arrangements with me prior to submitting assignments in some other fashion. If you have problems submitting assignments, contact me immediately and we will attempt to resolve the problem.

Student Resources

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.

Park University Online Bookstore - Select "Distance Learning - Graduate," or "Distance Learning Internet," and then click on the appropriate course code (ex. AC 201, PA 501) to see the list of required and optional texts for each course that you are enrolled in. 

Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Your Campus Center Administrator can provide advising to you, please contact them for assistance.  If you need contact information for your Campus Center, click here.

Online Tutoring Services - Park University has arranged for Online students to receive five hours of free access to Online tutoring and academic support through Smarthinking. If you would like Online tutoring, please contact me to receive their recommendation and information on how to access the Online tutoring.

Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.

Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom or your proctor form, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275).

Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email the Park Helpdesk or call 800-927-3024.

My Bio


Professor Lisa McDonnell 

Teaching Experience: 8 plus years (on-line, traditional, self-pace, accelerated, via inter-active television)

Areas taught: Sociology, Law, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Mathematics

Education: Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Law and Society

                        Minor: Criminal Justice and Professional and Technical Writing

                Master of Art  in Sociology (Emphasis: Criminalogical theory and gender)

                Juris Doctorate  (Emphasis: Criminal Law, Family Law, Corporate Law)

                * Working on second Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction of Adult Education with an emphasis in Mathematics Education

Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy for on-line teaching includes emphasis on presentation, interaction and evaluation.  The delivery of instruction for this course includes colorful visual materials,   personal lectures and supplemental outside sources/references. This variety is used to support different learning styles.   Interaction will include both asynchronous and some synchronous techniques to help build an on-line community.  These include utilizing an announcement page, weekly discussion threads, an on-line lounge, e-mails and whiteboard for chats.  These combined techniques will help develop deep levels of interaction.  Evaluation will include both formative and summative forms.  Formative assessment will include feedback on assignments such as discussion questions and homework.  Summative assessment will focus on the evaluation of papers and the final exam.