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GGH 200 Geography of US and Canada
Fox, David P.


Mission Statement: 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.

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

Course

GGH 200 Geography of the United States and Canada

Semester

FA 2008 HO

Faculty

Fox, David P.

Title

Assistant Professor of Geography

Degrees/Certificates

(PhD student Geography, University of Kansas)
MA, Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia
BA, Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia

Office Location

Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC) 003B

Office Hours

M/F 11:00-12:30, T/R 11:30-1:00

Daytime Phone

(816)584-6813

E-Mail

david.fox@park.edu

Semester Dates

Aug. 18 - Dec. 12, 2008

Class Days

M/W/F

Class Time

8:00-8:50 AM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

McKnight, Tom L.  Regional Geography of the United States and Canada (4th edition).  Prentice Hall, 2004.
 
Regional Geography of the United States and Canada (4th Edition)

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Recommended Book:
Garreau, Joel.  The Nine Nations of North America.  Avon Books, 1981.
 
Websites:
United States Geological Survey - www.usgs.gov
 
United States Census Bureau - www.census.gov
 
Natural Resources Canada - www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca
 
Canada's National Statistical Agency - www.statcan.ca
 
See Webliography page in the course eCompanion website at www.parkonline.org for additional websites that may be posted throughout the semester.
 

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.
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.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
This introductory course is designed to closely examine variations in cultural and physical differences in North America. Topics will include water supply, climate, dialect, economics, and population. 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

"Education must, then, be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world and a strengthener of the will to explore them." -- Jerome S. Bruner
 
"Education is the art of making [humans] ethical." -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
 
My educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, and writings.  My goal is to create a positive, interactive, challenging, engaging, lively, and even, at times, confusing (believe it or not) classroom environment.  But my success in doing so is largely dependent upon you--your willingness to engage in class discussion, to ask questions, to share your opinions and knowledge from other learning experiences.  I believe that education is most effective when approached as a process during which the teacher and students share equally in contributing to the learning that takes place.  Rather than being the "sage on the stage" or a "fountain of wisdom" (neither of which I am), I will attempt to guide, encourage, and facilitate your learning.  Therefore, you will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss, debate, reflect on, analyze, evaluate, and question the readings and other class material every bit as much as I am.  Put simply, I believe that you will get out of this class what you put into it.

This course is designated as a Social Science (SS) General Education course.  "General education at Park University is education that develops an awareness of human potentials. It also develops proper attitudes for realizing such potentials through critical and informed judgments that foster concern for individual and social well-being. It develops a love for learning by encouraging activities that promote knowledge of the basic concepts, methodologies, and rewards of learning. It builds skills and competencies that help students acquire the distinctive outcomes defined in the university mission statement. These outcomes include open-mindedness, professionalism, and aesthetic, civic, critical, science, and values literacy. A General Education Course at Park University therefore is one that aims at meeting the definition of general education above in its discipline or area of learning. While it may emphasize the literacy of its discipline (aesthetic, civic, critical, science, or values literacy), it should develop concern for individual and social well-being, and foster open-mindedness and professionalism."  Therefore, this course is designed to fulfill the guidelines for general education courses at Park and addresses the following questions:
 
  • Does the course identify basic vocabularies of its discipline?
  • Does the course present a historical perspective of its discipline?
  • Does the course present a diversity of concepts in its discipline?
  • Does the course promote critical thinking, computing, or communication skills?
  • Does the course clarify values of/in its discipline?
  • Does the course promote awareness of the scientific method and the impact of technology on its discipline?
  • Does the course promote civic awareness and responsibility?
  • Does the course promote understanding and appreciation of the arts?
  • Does the course promote individual expression or creativity?
  • Does the course include multicultural or global dimensions?
  •  
    The Core Assessment for this course, in particular, is designed to help fulfill the civic and values literacies.
     
    In addition, students should be aware that this course is a part of the core curriculum for the Geography Program at Park University.  This course is specifically designed to meet the “Places and Regions” Program Competency, which states that our students will be able to: Formulate regional generalizations, supported with physical and human local specifics, to describe and analyze places at various scales of inquiry. 

    Learning Outcomes:
      Core Learning Outcomes

    1. Describe and identify the basic characteristics of North American regions.
    2. Identify North American countries and major physiographic features by name and map location.
    3. Analyze the characteristics, distribution and cultural complexity of North American populations.
    4. Evaluate the North American role in the global community.


    Core Assessment:

    Homework Assignment Portfolio – collection of 4 assignments, as well as a learning essay.  Each assignment is related to each of the core learning outcomes.

    Link to Class Rubric

    Class Assessment:

    Learning Activities & Discussions:  A variety of different assignments will be given during selected class periods.  Some are designed to reinforce or extend learning about particular concepts or information being discussed, while others may be meant to help you prepare material for the Core Assessment assignment.  Some activities may require student use of the eCompanion website outside of the regular class period.  The dates for these activities will most often be unannounced.  All students will be allowed ONE opportunity to complete a make-up assignment for a missed learning activity.  Only those students who have provided appropriate notificiation to the instructor for multiple excused absences (such as a medical problem requiring hospitalization or participation in Park University athletic competitions) will be allowed any additional make-up assignment opportunities.

    Quizzes: A total of 5 quizzes will be given consisting of multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions.  Typically, quizzes will range from 5-10 questions in length and will cover the material presented in class since the previous quiz.
     
    Exams:  Mid-term and Final exams consisting of multiple choice, true/false, map location questions, short answer, and short essay questions.
     
    Portfolio (Core Assessment):  Students are required to complete a portfolio project which is designed to challenge students to thoroughly investigate various aspects of the geography of this major world region.  The portfolio consists of 4 individual assignments done during the course of the semester and a 250-500 word learning essay.  Each of the assignments is designed to focus on one of the Core Learning Outcomes.  The portfolio, therefore, is the Core Assessment for the course and is worth 20% of the course grade.  Directions will be discussed in class and a detailed explanation and set of instructions for each assignment will be made available to students in the course eCompanion website.

    Grading:

    30% Learning Activities & Discussions
    15% Quizzes
    15% Mid-term Exam
    20% Final Exam
    20% Portfolio (Core Assessment)
     
    Final grades will be based on the following scale:
    A = 100-90%
    B = 89-80%
    C = 79-70%
    D = 69-60%
    F = 59-0%

    Late Submission of Course Materials:
    Assignments submitted at any time after the announced due date may be penalized 10% of the grade for each day they are late.  If you have arranged for or been granted an excused absence by the instructor, then you must submit the work by the alternate date arranged with the instructor.  Failure to do so may result in a 10% deduction per day after the alternate due date.

    Classroom Rules of Conduct:

    The following rules of conduct always apply:

    1) Demonstrate respect for yourself, your classmates, and your instructor.

    2) Be honest with yourself and others.

    3) Keep your sense of humor.

    4) Participate in discussions and activities, and invite others to participate as well.

    5) Respect the ideas and opinions of other, even when you do not agree.

    6) Contribute to an atmosphere conducive to learning, including eliminating distractions such as electronic devices (such as cell phones, iPods, etc.--i.e., turn them OFF), and off-topic conversations with others. 
     
    7) Arrive on time for class and do not leave early unless you have a valid excuse.
     
    8) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, plagiarize.
     
    - Class participation is considered an essential part of the learning process.  Part of your course grade specifically consists of your participation in class discussions and learning activities and you can only earn this credit if you are present (exceptions will only be made for those students who have properly submitted documentation for an excused absence).  Also, be aware that the instructor is required to submit attendance for each class period and that the Park University attendance policy will be strictly followed.  This policy states that any student who has two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences will be administratively withdrawn.   

    - The instructor strives to create an informal and non-threatening classroom environment for class discussion.  Since this is an educational forum, the instructor expects each student to act accordingly.  Therefore, students will be expected to treat fellow students and the instructor with respect.  Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward another student or the instructor will not be tolerated, and the offending student(s) will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of the period (which will affect the student's class participation score).  Repeated occurrences of such behavior will be grounds for further administrative action as allowed by the Park University student code of conduct. 

    - All students will be held accountable for any material presented or discussed or through assigned readings.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all materials and information missed during a class session, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused by the instructor.  Failure on the part of the student to acquire missed information – for any reason (excused or unexcused absence, leaving class early, etc.) – will not excuse the student from questions over that material on any assessment activity (quiz, exam, portfolio assignment, etc.).
     
    - Students will be expected to use the eCompanion website for the course available at www.parkonline.org.  Some assignments/activities may be required to be completed online either during or outside of the regularly scheduled class time.  Students are expected to notify the instructor in advance of the due date of any questions or concerns accessing this website.

    - Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  However, students must recognize that technology can also be problematic.  Students are expected to be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technological problems that may be encountered.  Therefore, computer problems will NOT automatically be considered grounds for having late work excused.  Be sure to save copies of your work to both a disk and your computer hard drive and print extra paper copies for backup purposes. 

    - Repeated failure to adhere to any of these guidelines for classroom conduct may result in a deduction of one letter grade to the student's final grade for each occurrence after the instructor has discussed the issue with the student.

    Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

    Below is the tentative schedule for the semester. Adjustments may be made if deemed necessary by the instructor.

    Week 1 - Chapter 1: North American Continent
    Week 2 - Chapter 5: Regions - Quiz #1
    Week 3 - (Labor Day) Chapter 2: Physical Geography
    Week 4 - Chapter 3 Population - Quiz #2
    Week 5 - Chapters 4 & 8: Megalopolis
    Week 6 - Chapters 6 & 7: Atlantic Northeast & French Canada - Quiz #3
    Week 7 - Chapters 11 & 9: Southeast & Appalachia
    Week 8 - Review & MID-TERM EXAM
    Week 9 - (Fall Recess)
    Week 10 - Chapter 10: Inland South
    Week 11 - Chapter 10: Heartland - Quiz #4
    Week 12 - Chapters 13 & 14: Great Plains & Rocky Mountains
    Week 13 - Chapters 15 & 16: Intermontane West & California - Quiz #5
    Week 14 - Chapter 18 & 19: Pacific Northwest & Boreal Forest
    Week 15 - Chapters 20: Arctic - Quiz #6 (Thanskgiving Recess)
    Week 16 - Core Assessment due (Wed.); Wrap-up & Review
    Week 17 - FINAL EXAM, Dec. 8, 8:00-10:00AM

    Academic Honesty:
    Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
    Students will receive a zero (i.e., no credit) for any assignment that has violated the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism policies in any way.  In addition, the student may be reported to the Dean for any additional disciplinary action that is deemed appropriate by the university.

    Plagiarism:
    Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
    ANY INSTANCE OF PLAGIARISM WILL RESULT IN A ZERO (i.e., NO CREDIT) FOR THE ASSIGNMENT ON WHICH IT OCCURS.  IF YOU ARE AT ALL UNCERTAIN ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU MAY BE COMMITTING PLAGIARISM AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ASK THE INSTRUCTOR BEFORE SUBMITTING THE WORK FOR GRADING.

    Attendance Policy:
    Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

    1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
    2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
    3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
    4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
    5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
    6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

    Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

    Disability Guidelines:
    Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


    Attachments:
    Core Assessment Description/Instructions

    Rubric

    CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
    Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Written work provides clear and effective discussion of the overall learning achieved through the completion of each of the assignments within the portfolio Written work generally provides clear and effective discussion of the overall learning achieved through the completion of each of the assignments within the portfolio, although discussion may be vague or incomplete for 1 of the assignments Written work provides vague or superficial discussion of the overall learning achieved through the completion of each of the assignments within the portfolio; or discussion is not included for 2-3 of the assignments Written work does not provide any discussion of the overall learning achieved through the completion of each of the assignments within the portfolio 
    Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Written work clearly and effectively integrates the concepts identified in all of the core learning outcomes Written work appropriately integrates the concepts identified in at least 3 of the 4 core learning outcomes Written work demonstrates minimal evidence of integrating the concepts identified in at least 3 of the 4 core learning outcomes; or only integrates concepts from 1-2 core learning outcomes Written work does not indicate an integration of concepts from any of the core learning outcomes 
    Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Written work provides clear, accurate, and relevant analysis of the issues and concepts addressed by all of the assignments in the portfolio Written work generally provides clear, accurate, and relevant analysis of the issues and concepts addressed by all of the assignments in the portfolio; or written work does not provide analysis for one of the assignments in the portfolio Written work provides vague or superficial analysis of the issues and concepts addressed by the assignments in the portfolio; or written work does not provide analysis for 2-3 of the assignments in the portfolio Written work does not provide analysis of the issues and concepts addressed by the assignments in the portfolio 
    Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    All assignments within the portfolio demonstrate a clear and appropriate application of the geographic concepts and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes All but one of the assignments within the portfolio demonstrate a clear and appropriate application of the geographic concepts and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes 2-3 of the assignments within the portfolio fail to demonstrate a clear and appropriate application of the geographic concepts and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes None of the assignments within the portfolio demonstrate a clear or appropriate application of the geographic concepts and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes 
    Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Multiple examples of terms discussed through the course that are relevant to each assignment and the core learning outcomes are used appropriately throughout the written work A variety of terms discussed through the course that are relevant to each assignment and the core learning outcomes are used throughout the written work, however 1-2 may be incorrectly used Only a few terms discussed through the course that are relevant to each assignment and the core learning outcomes are used in the written work; or 3-5 of the terms are incorrectly used Written work within the portfolio contains numerous errors in the following format items: MLA or APA citation format, length, works cited, internal documentation 
    Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    All written work within the portfolio is entirely error-free in the following format items: MLA or APA citation format, length, works cited, internal documentation Written work within the portfolio contains only 1-2 errors in the following format items: MLA or APA citation format, length, works cited, internal documentation Written work within the portfolio contains 3-4 errors in the following format items: MLA or APA citation format, length, works cited, internal documentation Written work within the portfolio contains numerous errors in the following format items: MLA or APA citation format, length, works cited, internal documentation 
    First Literacy: Civic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    All of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly address a recognition of the existence of diverse alternative systems and their necessary global relationships, an appreciation of the geographical and historical roots which are shaping these systems, and demonstrate that the student is able to see the complexity of social, political, and economic systems and problems on the national and international scene At least 2 of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly address a recognition of the existence of diverse alternative systems and their necessary global relationships, an appreciation of the geographical and historical roots which are shaping these systems, and demonstrate that the student is able to see the complexity of social, political, and economic systems and problems on the national and international scene Only one of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly address a recognition of the existence of diverse alternative systems and their necessary global relationships, an appreciation of the geographical and historical roots which are shaping these systems, and demonstrate that the student is able to see the complexity of social, political, and economic systems and problems on the national and international scene None the artifacts within the portfolio clearly address a recognition of the existence of diverse alternative systems and their necessary global relationships, an appreciation of the geographical and historical roots which are shaping these systems, and demonstrate that the student is able to see the complexity of social, political, and economic systems and problems on the national and international scene 
    Second Literacy: Values                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    All of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of value systems and their interconnection with the cultures in which they are found, yet openness to the possibility that there may be common goals and principles that can serve as the basis for intercultural judgments and demonstrates that the student is sensitive to value questions. At least 2 of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of value systems and their interconnection with the cultures in which they are found, yet openness to the possibility that there may be common goals and principles that can serve as the basis for intercultural judgments and demonstrates that the student is sensitive to value questions. Only one of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of value systems and their interconnection with the cultures in which they are found, yet openness to the possibility that there may be common goals and principles that can serve as the basis for intercultural judgments and demonstrates that the student is sensitive to value questions. None of the artifacts within the portfolio clearly demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of value systems and their interconnection with the cultures in which they are found, yet openness to the possibility that there may be common goals and principles that can serve as the basis for intercultural judgments and demonstrates that the student is sensitive to value questions. 

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    Last Updated:8/15/2008 4:26:29 PM