GGP315 World Physical Geography

for F1T 2006

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GG 315 World Physical Geography


F1T 2006 DLA


Allison, LeAnn

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

08/21/06 - 10/09/06

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Geosystems (6th edition)
Robert W. Christopherson
ISBN:  0-13-153117-4

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

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Course Description:
Examination of the major physical elements that comprise the earth's environmental surface on a global basis-water, landforms, climate, vegetation, and soil; their continuous interaction and relevance to man's occupancy of the earth on a global basis. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Participation and interaction with classmates creating a positive enviroment for the student.  Create a learning environment as close to the on-campus classroom as possible.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. • Explain the basic processes of, and interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. • Evaluate geographic patterns to the earth's physical environment (soil, vegetation, climate, earthquakes, winds, etc.) that result from various processes. • Assess the effects humans have on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. • Solve problems or make predications by analyzing the physical geography of a particular place.
Class Assessment:
INTRODUCTION:  Introduce yourself to the rest of the class by entering the introduction thread found under Course Home.  This will be graded as part of participation, and is due at the end of the first week.

DISCUSSIONS:  Discuss the reading, lectures, and student research progress each week with the entire class.  Weekly units include a discussion board for you to participate.  At least three entries on research, reading and lectures or news items of interest are due by the end of each week.  One sentence answers will not be counted as participation.  Any relevant discussion, whether questions, comments answers or all three, will earn full points as part of your participation grade.  

REASEARCH PROJECT:  Thoroughly investigate the physical geography of one place on earth, such as the area of a National Park, the area around a city, or a county area.  The project includes weekly Research Progress Reports and a FINAL RESEARCH PAPER.

 **Research Progress Reports:  A weekly Research Progress REport is due at the end of weeks 1-7.  To make a report, download a form, fill it out, and drop it in the weekly drop box provided. Specific grading criteria are listed in the form.
 **Final Research Paper: The research paper is due by Wednesday of week 8. The final paper is a compilation of all of the weekly Research Progress Reports and should be a final, polished example of your own writing and research. Submit the final Research Paper as a file in MS Word format using the drop box provided. The research paper has the following format:
  --File type: Submit the paper as a word document.        
  --Cover page: Include a cover page with the following information: title, author, date, class
  --Abstract: Include a 1 page abstract. An abstract is a fact-rich synopsis of the paper. The abstract does not tell the reader what the paper is about; rather it provides the reader with a condensation of the actual facts and conclusions presented in the paper.
  --Text: Include the equivalent of 8-10 double spaced pages of text. Other parts of this paper, such as cover page, abstract, summary, references cited, and illustrations do not count as text. There is a maximum of 15 pages all inclusive.
  --Headings: Use headings at more than one level. A heading is an internal title to a section of the paper. This instruction sheet has 2 levels of heading. The text you are now reading is contained under the first level heading of "Course Requirements" (see this heading), under the second level heading of "Research Paper" (see this heading) and under the third level heading of "Headings:" (which is the highlighted word at the beginning of this paragraph). Note that different levels of heading are indicated by different font formatting, alignments and relationships to text. You are free to choose the formatting of different headings, and most word processors have built-in heading styles. It is important to be consistent.
  --Citations: Include at least 10 citations in the text; and at least 6 citations from primary sources. A citation is an annotation which indicates that information was taken from a particular source. Any fact that you obtained from researching should appear in the paper accompanied by a citation. Citations generally refer back to a "References Cited" list. One format for citations is: "author (YYYY)" or "(author, YYYY). An example: "It rains a lot in Brazil (Smith, 1999)". Another method is to assign each reference a number, and to insert these numbers after facts as superscripts after the fact is mentioned in the text. An example: "it does not rain a lot in the Sahara1". the superscript "1" will correspond to an article listed in the References Cited section. Use any format you like, but be consistent.
  --References Cited: Include at least a 1 page list of references for which citations exist. Note that a list entitled References Cited is not exactly the same as a bibliography though they are similar. Both contain enough information about each source that the source can be identified and found by the reader. However, each source listed in a References Cited must actually have a citation in the text. Formats for a reference list vary radically; choose one that is sufficient to identify each source and stick to it. If you use numbers to identify references in the text, be sure to include them prominently in the list of References Cited.

Quizzes: To test your understanding of the reading materials, there will be a weekly multiple choice quiz for weeks 1-3, 5-7. This weekly quiz is due at the end of the week.  You may take the quizzes as many times as you would like.

Midterm Exam: The midterm exam is comprehensive through week 4, and includes multiple choice, short answer, and essay type questions. It is an open book exam and is due at the end of week 4

Final Exam: The final exam, administered and due during week 8, will be comprehensive and will include multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. You will have two hours to take this proctored exam, and it will be a closed book/ closed notes exam.  Here is more information to help you prepare for and take the final proctored exam:
The final proctored exam will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location.  Photo identification will be required at the time of the test.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.

Other Information on Proctored Exams:  It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor by the 6th week of the term, which is accepted and approved by the course instructor.
Approval of proctors is the discretion of the online instructor.  
A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of the term, so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.


Failure to take the final proctored exam or final project will result in an automatic "F" grade.

Item                  Number     Each   Total Points    Percentage
Introduction                1           9               9               0.9
Weekly Discussion     8         12             96               9.6
Weekly Quizzes         6         15             90               9.0
Weekly Research       7         15            105             10.5
Final Paper                1       200            200              20.0
Midterm Exam           1       200            200              20.0
Final Exam                1       300            300              30.0

TOTAL                                            1000              100.0%

Criteria for grading Introduction, Weekly Discussion.
These are participation items, and receive full points for all entries that are relevant.

Criteria for grading Quizzes, Midterm, and Final:
These are quiz items and each question will be clearly associated with a point value. Multiple choice questions receive full points or no points; short answer and essay questions may receive partial points. If total possible points for a quiz or exam do not add up to the points listed above, then score will be normalized before posting in the grade book.

Criteria for grading Weekly Research Progress Reports:
Item                                                             Points
Assignment Submitted                                         5
For Content (broken down in each week)          10

Criteria for grading Final Research Project:
Item                                                          Points
For Following Proper Format  
Title Page                                                      10
Abstract                                                        10
Headings                                                         5
Adequate Length                                           10
Citations in Text                                             15
Quality of Sources                                          10
Total for Following Instructions                   60
Quality of Content  
 Location                                                       16
 Climate                                                        16
 Hydrology                                                    16
 Biology and soils                                          16
 Geology                                                       16
Total for Quality of Content                        80 

Grammar & Organization 
Writing Quality Basic Grammar                     30
Advanced Grammar/Rhetoric                        20
Quality of Organization                                10
Total for Grammar & Organization            60

Total Points                                              200

Overall Grade
A    100-90%
B   89.9-80%
C   79.9-70%
D   69.9-60%
F   59.9-0%


Late Submission of Course Materials:
Given the possibility of late adds and problems with ordering books, there is an automatic one-week grace period for the first two weeks of work. Because grades are due immediately after the end of term, work may not be accepted after the last day of the term, Sunday night, week 8. Normally work is due at the end of the week that it is assigned unless otherwise indicated. Work submitted after the deadline is subject to up to a 10% per day penalty. Work that is more than a week late may not be accepted. Late penalties may be waved for medical and work emergencies, at the descretion of the instructor. If you anticipate problems finishing any work on time, contact your instructor to make arrangements prior to due date.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
8/21/06-8/27/06: Week 1/Earth systems, maps, the seasons/Chapters 1, 2/discussion, quiz, research report
8/28/06-9/3/06: Week 2/Atmosphere, heat, temperature/Chapters 2,4,5/discussion, quiz, research report
9/4/06-9/10/06: Week 3/Wind, water, weather/Chapters 6,7,8/discussion, quiz, research report
9/11/06-9/17/06: Week 4/Water and climate/chapters 9,10/discussion, midterm exam, research report
9/18/06-9/24/06: Week 5/The solid earth and the crust/chapters 11,12,13/discussion, quiz, research report
9/25/06-10/1/06: Week 6/Surficial processes/chapters 14,15,16,17/discussion, quiz, research report
10/2/06-10/8/06: Week 7/Soils, ecosystems and biomes/chapters 18,19,20/discussion, quiz, research report
10/9/06-10/15/06: Week 8/The Human denominator/discussion, term paper, final exam

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

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 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 "W".
  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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2006-2007 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: .


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Last Updated:8/14/2006 1:33:37 PM