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SO 208 Social Inequality
Cummins, Kim D.


Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Course

SO 208 Social Inequality

Semester

F2T 2012 DLA

Faculty

Cummins, Kim D.

Title

Senior Instructor Sociology/Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

MA Sociology University of Central Missouri 1980
BS Criminal Justice University of Central Missouri 1978

Office Location

Virtual Office

Office Hours

Email is checked at least once every 24 hours; Virtual Office is checked at least once every 48 hours

Daytime Phone

618-398-2173

Other Phone

618-541-9438 (cell)

E-Mail

Kim.Cummins@park.edu

Semester Dates

22 October - 16 December

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Title: Social Stratification and Inequality: Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative, and Global Perspective – 8th Edition
Author: Harold R. Kerbo
Publisher: McGraw Hill

ISBN: 978-0-07-811165-5

 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

 
Internet Detective: Wise up to the web: http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/
 
Turnitin.com Research Resources: What is citation?: http://www.plagiarism.org/research_site/e_citation.html
 
 
OWL at Purdue APA Formatting & Style Guide: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
 
Landmark's Citation Machine: http://citationmachine.net/
 

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Course Description:
An analysis of patterns of social and economic inequality in American society as well as societies in other times and places. Examines theories of the causes of inequality for individuals and society, and the patterns and causes of social mobility. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:


My educational philosophy is one that reflects the facilitation of learning through learner interaction with course content, the facilitator, and other online learners. As a learner in my online classroom, you will be encouraged to explore new ideas and viewpoints, reason critically and objectively, apply, analyze, and synthesize what you have learned, and reflect on your learning throughout the course.
 
Class assignments are structured to provide a learning experience that is relevant and interesting. Topics are thought-provoking, and I encourage you to share you own experiences and points of view while at the same time respecting and valuing the experiences and viewpoints of others. I ask you to think beyond simple memorization of material to an application of what you are learning to you own experiences and to new or different contexts. You will be asked to apply theory and to compare/contrast similarities and differences in terms of individuals and group dimensions. The Core Assessment Essay is a measure of how well you are able to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the concepts and theories presented in this course with research information drawn from peer-reviewed academic sources.

The lessons and experiences from my own life form the basis of everything I do in the online classroom. I try to create a learning environment that is both challenging and encouraging. I believe my role is to guide or facilitate learning rather than to impart information. To that end, I also believe the corresponding role of the student is to actively participate in this course, share information and ideas with other learners, and to accept responsibility for his/her own learning. If you accept this challenge, you will find this course invaluable.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and explain different patterns of social and economic inequality, and formal and informal systems of stratification and opportunity structures, within their historical and comparative national and international contexts – especially in light of both absolute and shifting standards of relative deprivation.
  2. Explore and compare theories of the causes of and the consequences of inequality for individuals and society.
  3. Recognize the roles of status, power, and access to resources within a society, and illustrate these ideas with real world examples.
  4. Classify and understand various strategies of resistance commonly employed by subordinate groups; and evaluate their relative success.
  5. Explain the major causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression as they enforce existing patterns of inequality.
  6. Identify the operation of persistent modern forms of inequality, such as class, race or ethnicity, and gender, as well as more recently recognized systems of stratification.
  7. Analyze how culture, socialization, and false consciousness reinforce and perpetuate inequalities.
  8. Understand the mechanisms of intergenerational and intragenerational mobility and status attainment.
  9. Distinguish how relative status interacts with political participation, economic opportunity, educational attainment, and mass culture to reinforce, rectify, or create new inequalities.


Core Assessment:

SO208: SOCIAL INEQUALITY


Core Assessment (New for July, 2006)


 


GENERAL NOTES


The Core Assessment assignment for this class will be a major essay that integrates, analyzes, applies, and critiques several sociological concepts and research findings from this course individually, together, and with additional sources from your own literature review and archival study.


You must incorporate the findings from at least five outside sources of original academic research in this essay.  You may also include additional sources for examples or background information, but only reputable, peer-reviewed academic sources will count toward the reference requirements of your essays.  This means that magazines, newspapers, professional periodicals, or internet sources are only appropriate for examples and illustrations in this project — if you have any questions as to whether a specific source is acceptable for your essay, you should ask your instructor rather than guess.  Also, focus on articles or books presenting original research or theories, not on those reviewing others' works or editorializing about opposing approaches.  Reference works, textbooks, and literature reviews are all excellent places to begin your search, but you must find and read the original in order to develop your own reaction.  Ask your instructor for source approval if in doubt.


You should also consider incorporating relevant and reputable statistical and other social scientific data collected by researchers, governments, and other agencies and organizations.  A wealth of such archived data is publicly accessible through the Internet, and their use can help you better understand your issue and develop a stronger analysis and critique. Again, if in doubt, ask your instructor for approval of your data source.


If you do not properly cite those external sources that contributed to your work, then you are guilty of plagiarism.  This will not be tolerated and may result in immediate and serious academic penalties.  If you have any questions as to when and how to use citations and references in you essays, please contact your instructor.  Your final essay will also be formatted according to the relevant portions of the American Psychological Association Style Guide.  The main text of your essay will consist of no more than 3,500 words (or about fifteen pages).  While it possible to construct a successful essay in fewer words, this assignment is comprehensive and detailed enough that most students will find it a challenge to successfully address all of its points in the allotted space.  Begin work on your essay early and leave plenty of time for revision to assure the best possible grade.


 


SO208 CORE ASSESSMENT


Begin by identifying yourself on the dimensions commonly associated with social inequalities: social class (income, wealth, (current and intended) education level, occupational prestige (associated with current or planned career), race, ethnicity, and gender.  In addition, you might also identify yourself on dimensions associated with less traditional inequalities, such as national origin,, sexual identity or preference, age, weight, able-bodiedness, and so forth.  Explain where you fit and how that affects the life chances for you and others like you.  Use theoretical concepts and empirical findings from class materials, other relevant research, and archival data sources to describe and analyze your “place” in the world.  Why do you think our society stratifies individuals and groups on these dimensions and not others?  Use important theoretical concepts to perform this analysis.  Discuss how various ideas might be synthesized to produce a better explanation.


Then select two people who differ from you on several of these dimensions.  Talk to them and ask them where they think they fit in our society's opportunity structure and how they think it affects their life chances.  Compare their assessment with your own analysis of their position and with available data.  Compare and contrast all three of your positions in the opportunity structure.  Do they perceive themselves differently than you did?  Use the theories and concepts from the class to explain any differences between your respective objective chances and subjective assessments.  Do you each have accurate or inaccurate expectations?  Why?


Who has the greatest advantages and disadvantages among your three examples?  Why?  How?  Which attributes have given each of you the greatest advantages and disadvantages?  How do the dimensions interact with one another to produce additional effects (for example, it is different to be white and female, white and male, or black and male, etc.)?  Suggest what individual choices and public policies would be most likely to even out the life chances among your cases.  How likely are these to come about?


Project yourself twenty years into the future.  Are these inequalities likely to persist?  Why or why not?  Where would you expect each of you to be in that time?  Why?  How do these subjective expectations correspond with the major applicable theories of inequality and with relevant trend data?


Finally, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your analysis, and of the conceptual tools and social scientific data you used in your efforts.  If the general public, or members of the groups you analyze in your essay, were to know what you now know, what would be the individual and social consequences, if any?  Why?  Explain and justify all assertions with appropriate logic and evidence.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Chapter Discussions

There is a Chp. Discussion link on each of the weekly menus. When you access the Chp. Discussion link you will see the following:

  • A timetable (due date and time) for the completion of your chapter discussions (main postings) and your replies to classmates.
  • A Discussion Topic for each chapter due to be read that week from the text: Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. The successful completion of each Chapter Discussion assignment is worth 20 points for a total points possible of 160 points for the term. See rubric below for details on how you will be graded.


Chapter Discussion Topics Rubric

Points

Textbook -- Complete at least one Main Post of at least 2 quality paragraphs ( about 200 words) in ONE of the Chapter Topics by Thursday, 11 p.m. CT. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Quantity and quality will factor into your earned grade. More substantive posts will increase your points, but thoughtful and original posts that evidence critical reasoning, empirical evidence, and clear applications will increase your points significantly. These posts should refer to and provide information and concepts gathered from your text and relevant examples that demonstrate having read and understood the course materials.

10

Complete at least one reply of 1 quality paragraph (about 100 words) to a fellow student's Main Post by Saturday, 11 p.m. CT. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Respond to postings of your fellow students with information and concepts gathered from the text readings and relevant examples that demonstrate having read and understood the materials. Make sure your Reply goes beyond an agreement with your classmate and does not repeat what has already been said. It must add new ideas and information to the discussion as a whole.

5

On Time -- Five points of your score are allocated to meeting due dates & times for both Main Posts and Replies. No postings will be accepted after Sunday midnight CT in any given week. Discussion for the week closes at that time and cannot be made up in subsequent weeks.

5

Total Points Possible

20


Web Discussions

There is a Web Discussion link for weeks 2-7. When you access the Web Discussion link, you will see the following:

  • A timetable (due date and time) for the completion of your Web Discussion ("Main Post" and your Reply to classmate).
  • A topic for discussion, along with a Web-based reading/document you are required to read. You must post your "response" to the topic (this is your "Main" Post) AND at least one Reply to a fellow classmate's Main Post. The successful completion of each Web Discussion assignment is worth 20 points for a total of 120 points possible for the term.   


Web Discussions Rubric

Points

Web Discussions -- Each week there will be one web-based reading along with a topic/question to discuss. You are required to provide one Main Post for the topic/questions. The content and points you are to address are outlined in the Web Discussion forum each week. Postings must also refer to and relate the web discussion to materials in your text or other quality reference sources of your choice. These Main Posts should be at least two quality paragraphs (about 200 words) and are due by Friday, 11 p.m. CT

10

Complete at least one reply of 1 quality paragraph (about 100 words) to a fellow student's Main Post by Sunday, 11 p.m. CT. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Respond to postings of your fellow students with information and concepts the reference the weekly readings and relevant examples that demonstrate having read and understood the materials. Make sure your Reply goes beyond an agreement with your classmate and does not repeat what has already been said. It must add new ideas and information to the discussion as a whole.

5

On Time -- Five points of your score are allocated to meeting due dates & times for both Main Posts and Replies. No postings will be accepted after Sunday midnight CT in any given week. Discussion for the week closes at that time and cannot be made up in subsequent weeks.

5

Total Points Possible

20


Make sure that you access the Documents link on the Course Home menu, read, and print the Discussion Overview document. This explains all requirements for class discussion in detail. It is recommended that you keep a copy of this handy to refer to when composing your discussion postings and replies, especially for the first couple of weeks of the course. It is also recommended that you compose your discussion postings and replies in the form of a word processing document and save these to disk. Spell and grammar check your postings for errors prior to posting. Once you have done that, copy/paste your response into the classroom in the appropriate discussion thread. This will ensure that you do not lose your work and that you have a backup copy should something happen while you are trying to complete your assignment.

Writing Assignments Overview

There are several different types of writing assignments in this course. A brief description of those assignments is provided here. A more detailed description of these assignments appears in the classroom:

• Email / Student Introduction - The very first week of the class you will be required to use your Park Mail to send me an introductory message to which I will reply. This is to ensure that you can use Park Mail to communicate with me. You will also be required to "post" a Student Introduction using the Student Introductions link on the Course Home menu so all of us can get to know you better.

• Essay Assignments -Each week there will be an "essay" assignment that will need to be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by Sunday 11 p.m. CT. These assignments are designed to insure that you have read the chapters carefully and can provide quality answers and examples to demonstrate your understanding of the theories, concepts, and topics.

The Essay Assignment will consist of questions based on the assigned reading in the text. You will be expected to answer these in essay form, using information from the text and other weekly materials and supplying meaningful examples to demonstrate your understanding of the theory, concepts, and issues covered. Reference materials (the text or other appropriate sources) are required to support points you make, and you are required to cite your sources using APA format. The KEY to doing well on these assignments is to examine the grading rubric below to see how points are allocated. The successful completion of each Essay Assignment is worth 30 points. Total Points Possible = 240 for the term. Late essay assignments will be penalized 5 points. Late essays must be submitted by the end of the week following the week in which they are due in order to be eligible for credit.

 

 

    

Essay Assignment Rubric

   Components

Points

Knowledge and Understanding -- You must be able to answer the questions in a thoughtful and precise manner that demonstrates you have read, analyzed, and evaluated the material in the text and any other materials presented that week. This includes clearly identifying, defining, and illustrating any important concepts or theories and providing original examples . Always try to answer questions with a "sociological perspective" -- a view and vocabulary consistent with learning the key concepts and terms of Sociology. Your answers must demonstrate your ability to analyze and critically evaluate the concepts and their relationships and how they apply to your own life and experiences. They also need to be written in your own words and not copied from the text or other reference source. No more than 10% of your total essay should be directly quoted or closely paraphrased material or you will lose points.

15

Examples -- Your essay must clearly state your own examples (not from the book) that demonstrate directly your understanding of the theory, concept, issue, or topic. Theses examples need to be from your real life experiences or contemporary social events and/or action. If the question involves a theory or theories, you must explain how the theory or theories relates to what is happening in today’s society or your own life.

5

Writing Style -- Keep in mind this is an "essay" assignment. Your answers need to be clearly written paragraphs, not one or two sentences. Your sentences should be well structured and carefully focused, not long and/or rambling. Demonstrate college level vocabulary appropriate to the course and course content. Word processing skills, correct punctuation, correct usage and sentence structure, spell and grammar checking are expected to meet college level writing. Cite your text or other appropriate academic sources in supporting the points you make. These citations must follow APA format. It is necessary to cite sources in-text, even if you are not quoting word-for-word from them. A reference list is required. This is a list of all sources you have used and cited in-text.

5

 Deadlines -- Your essay is due Sunday 11 p.m. CT of the current week. Late essays are penalized 5 points. Any makeup essay must be completed by Sunday 11 p.m. CT following the week in which it was due.

 5

Total Points Possible

30

 
• Core Assessment Research Paper
This is a major assignment that is DUE Wednesday 11 p.m. CT of Week 8. No paper will be accepted after this date. Select the Core Assessment link on the Course Home menu to locate the instructions.  Read AND print the Core Assessment Research Paper document, which details the assignment. This assignment is worth 200 points or 20% of your grade. Carefully read and utilize the Core Assessment Rubric that appears at the end of this syllabus to make sure that you understand what is required. Below is a general point break down of the Core Assessment Assignment, but the rubric at the end of this syllabus is your guideline for successful completion of this major assignment.


Core Assessment Assignment

   Breakdown of Components

Points

Main Ideas/Content -- You must clearly communicate the central ideas and thesis of your paper. Part of this process is ensuring that the focus of your paper is narrow and that only one or two specific, well defined aspects of the problem/issue are covered. You must demonstrate understanding of the problem, its causes, and effects, and be able to critically evaluate any proposed solutions using concepts and theory from the course and the required academic resources. The final draft should incorporate at least 5 sources of original academic research (peer reviewed journal articles/books). Your text counts as one reference source.

120

Style -- Choose words for their precise meaning related to the problem/issue, create sentences of varied lengths, and avoid long-winded paragraphs. Avoid slang and remember you are writing for an academic audience. Use first or third person. Demonstrate competency in writing mechanics (spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and word usage) and in using APA format.

20

Organization and Structure -- The paper should be well written, structured, and organized. You are expected to have a title that conveys the key features of your paper, an introductory paragraph that contains your thesis, good transitions, organized sections that support your thesis and address the assignment requirements, and a concluding paragraph that suggests areas of future investigation/interest. An essay that devotes a paragraph to each major topic will get a better grade than one that jumps around from topic to topic in each paragraph and spreads coverage of a topic across paragraphs.

20

Analysis, Application, and Examples – You must be able to support your points of analysis and application effectively, providing quality evidence and relevant examples to support your main ideas and thesis. This includes the use of in-text citations to document any information you have used from your sources and creating an appropriately formatted references page at the end of the paper that meets the requirements of the APA format. The final draft must incorporate the findings from at least 5 outside sources of original academic research.

20

Evaluation and Critique - Part III should contain a conclusion in which you give an overview of how taking this sociology course has helped you to understand your own life. Alternately, you may argue that it has done little to help you with such understanding, but you will need to support that with the same type of documented evidence you have used in the rest of the paper.

20

Total Points Possible

200

    

Weekly Quizzes

Week 1 thru Week 8 will include a graded quiz covering key terms from the assigned chapter reading in the text. The quizzes will be taken online using eCollege. They will consist of 10 multiple choice questions. You will have 30 minutes to complete each quiz. It will be automatically graded and the score will appear in the gradebook, along with the correct answers. Each question is worth 1 point for a possible 10 points per quiz. The questions are chosen from a question "pool" for the assigned chapters. No student gets exactly the same quiz. Questions on the Final Exam will be taken from this same question pool. There are 6 quizzes during the term for a total of 80 possible points for the term.

Projects

There will be a Projects link on each of the weekly menus in weeks 1-7. When you access the document it provides some recommended web links and related materials for the chapters covered that week. They are presented as "projects" to ponder and work through to enhance your understanding of key concepts, theories, and issues for those chapters. These projects are not graded, but they should provide useful and thoughtful feedback regarding your learning and will provide meaningful supplemental resources beyond what you read in the textbook. They may also be of some use in answering Discussion Topics and/or Essay Questions.

Final Proctored Exam

There will be a required, proctored final exam, at the end of the semester. It will consist of Multiple Choice drawn from the pools of questions created for the Weekly Quizzes. On the Week 6 Menu a Final Review document will be posted, highlighting the information that will be covered in the Final Exam. Keep in mind that the Final Exam is CLOSED book, No Notes! Your job is to get your Proctor Forms completed as soon as they are available from the College of Distance Learning on the eCollege Homepage. The proctor system is closed Friday of Week 6, so the sooner you get this taken care of, the better! Total Points = 200.

The proctored examination 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. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Web Site. Acceptable alternate proctoring cites are limited to the following locations: college or university, public library, US embassy, US military bases. Approved proctors may include accredited college or university faculty/testing center administrators, certified librarians, US embassy officials, military testing control officer/unit education officer. Excluded from the list of approved proctors shall be family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers and/or supervisors,  K-12 educators or K-12 librarians, clergy, adjunct faculty members . This includes anyone who works within the same company or university. For military personnel in remote areas, you MUST have a commissioned officer proctor your exam. Your instructor makes the final determination as to whether or not your choice of proctor is acceptable. The final exam for this course will be a closed book, closed note, comprehensive exam of 50 multiple choice questions drawn from the pools of questions created for the weekly quizzes. Each question is worth 4 points for a possible 200 points or 20% of your grade. If necessary, the instructor reserves the right to curve final exam scores based on the performance of the class as a whole. No one will be allowed to pass the course without taking the final proctored exam. The final exam is to be scheduled during the 8th week of the course. Make sure that you schedule your final exam during the designated dates. If you are a special needs student and require special accommodations for your Final Exam, please notify the proctor/campus center at the time you fill out your proctor form.

Securing a Proctor: It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor by Friday of Week 6. Approval of proctors is at the discretion of the online instructor. If you live within 2 hours of a Park University campus site, you will be expected to arrange for a proctor there and should make every effort to take your exam there. If you are not close enough to a Park University campus site, you will need to arrange for an approved proctor outside of Park University. A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first or second week of the term. Proctors at our campus sites are automatically approved. For those requesting non-Park proctors, you will need to fill out and submit the online form, and it will come to me for approval. I may have questions regarding your proctor and may require you to provide additional information about your proctor before I approve your request. Please co-operate in this matter. I do not have to approve any proctor I feel could possibly compromise the testing environment. Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade for the course. Some graduate online courses may not require a proctored Final Examination.

Grading:

Breakdown of Points Per Assignment:
 


 Item/Assignment

 Points

Chapter Discussions (8 x 20) 160
Web Discussions (7 x 20) 120
Essay Assignments (8 x 30) 240
Quizzes (6 x 10)   80
Core Assessment Paper 200
Proctored Final Exam 200
Total Points Possible 1000











Course Grading Scale (Letter Grades):

 Points

 Letter Grade

900 - 1000 A
800 - 899 B
700 - 799 C
600 - 699 D
Below 600 F

Late Submission of Course Materials:


All assessments have posted day/time requirements for submission, including class discussion.  I do not accept discussion postings or replies to discussion postings after the week in which they are due. This applies to both Chapter and Web Discussion. The only exception to this is for students who enroll after the term begins and need sufficient time to make up Week 1 assignments. Any other late discussion is not accepted.  Any late submissions of a Weekly Essay assignment will result in an automatic 5-point deduction. You will need to contact me prior to the due day/date and time to let me know of any problem or issue that might prevent you from submitting an essay assignment on time in order for your assignment to be considered for credit. You may also be asked to supply documentation, depending on the circumstances. No core assessment essay will be accepted after Wednesday 11 p.m. CT of Week 8 without prior approval and appropriate documentation (deployment orders, death notice for death in family, hospital admission/discharge papers for medical emergencies, etc.)

Make sure you keep my phone number readily available should you encounter an emergency or difficulty getting online for some reason. When you are taking a face-to-face course and your car breaks down for some reason, you need a "Plan B" for getting to class. One of the nice things about taking classes online is that you do not need to get in your car and drive to class, but you still need to get to class. Just as in the traditional setting, problems may occur with your means of getting to class. This might be trouble with your computer, your ISP, cable modem or phone line. It might be a power outage that lasts for some length of time. I have experienced power outages of up to five days at a time while teaching an online course. I could not just say, "Oh, well, there is nothing I can do, and the students will have to fend for themselves." I have to have a "Plan B" and so do you. What is your "Plan B" if any of these things happen to you? Think carefully and begin now to make arrangements for an alternate means of completing your assignments and meeting your obligations in the online classroom. Make sure you have a secondary method of getting online (a friend or relative's house, a local library, or an Internet cafe, etc.). In addition to having a "Plan B" for getting online, you should also make sure to keep a backup copy of ALL of your work on disk so that your assignments can be accessed on another computer if you cannot use your own for some reason.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Learners are to treat each other and the instructor with consideration and respect. No offensive/inappropriate language or inflammatory remarks or personal attacks will be tolerated. If you have a complaint/difference of opinion with the instructor on an issue, you are encouraged to contact the instructor via email or phone. Please do not use the discussion threads for posting messages other than that related to the content of the course and especially not to "air your differences." Inappropriate, offensive, or plagiarized postings in the class discussion threads will be copied for documentation purposes and then removed from the classroom.  A student who posts anything offensive or who posts plagiarized material will receive one warning. If the inappropriate behavior persists, a report will be sent to the appropriate administrator and an Academic Director will be contacted. A student may be removed from the online classroom for failure to follow these rules of conduct. If you have personal comments or topics to discuss with classmates, please do this in the Virtual Cafe provided for this purpose.
 
Think Before You Post

There are both pros and cons to debating issues in the online classroom. One of the “cons” is the absence of visual and aural cues. It is helpful to be able to see and hear the other person because tone of voice and expression often communicate more than the text of our message. This can create misunderstandings when others read what we've written. They can take what is said in a way we did not intend. Our words may appear overly harsh or critical, or we may not take into account what effect our choice of words might have on some who read them.The advantage of this type of forum for debating issues is that we have time to both research the facts prior to responding, and we have the time to think about what we say before responding. This is a great advantage in terms of learning and also in terms of building trust in an online learning community.

This course encourages debate on issues that are controversial and sensitive to people. So often people avoid such debate and confrontation and perspectives are not shared, especially unpopular ones or those we might feel are not "politically correct." My style of teaching is more of a "Devil's Advocate" approach. I may challenge something you have written or suggest an alternative view. Sometimes students misinterpret this as my being "critical" rather than my attempt to get them to "think critically." This type of discussion can also create an "adversarial" climate if we do not take care to prevent it. I do not want to stifle debate on the issues, but I want to remind everyone to be cognizant of how what you post concerning various issues and groups can affect others in our classroom. Below is a list of things I would like us to share to ensure that our discussion is productive and stays at an amicable level. The goal of class discussion is learning--everyone's learning. A certain environment has to exist in order for learning to take place. People need to feel safe in expressing their views without fear they will be attacked personally. Reasoned argument is encouraged, but it should not turn into personal attacks. For example, the following statements represent personal attacks:

"I can't believe you wrote something so ignorant. You obviously haven't learned anything."
 
"Stupid people like you are the reason there is war everywhere."
 
"It's obvious you don't know what you're talking about. Let me educate you."
 
""What is your problem?"
 
"Why do all you people think alike?" (This goes beyond a personal attack to attack the person as representative of an entire group)
 
Such statements, rather than promoting understanding and encouraging open dialog, only antagonize the object of the remarks. It is hard to reach someone who has been antagonized. They are not open to listening to any reasonable line of argument. If the goal is to help each other learn, then another approach is necessary.

What are some things we can do to create and maintain trust in our learning community?

1. Wait before responding to something, especially if it creates an emotional reaction. Reread the posting several times before you assume you understand what is being stated. Give yourself time to reflect carefully before responding.

2. If something you read appears to be confusing, contradictory, or disturbing to you, ask for clarification: "When I read ____________, I was confused. Could you clarify what you meant by that?"

3. Focus your response or critique on the point being made by the other person and not the individual making the point:

"I see your point, and I would agree that some people are happy with the status quo. They see no reason to accept personal responsibility for social problems and may not be able to envision their role in bringing about social change. However, is this the failure of only one group? How do you think we can best educate all people to see we are "all in this together?"

4. Resist the temptation to make assumptions based on limited information. Some people are better at expressing their thoughts and ideas in writing than others. What they write is not always a true reflection of what they meant to say. That's why it is good to ask for clarification.

5. Avoid asking an individual to speak for his or her race, ethnicity, gender, etc. This assumes everyone who identifies with the race, ethnicity, gender, etc., thinks the same way. We "know" this is not the case, but we fall into this trap time and again.

6. Examine your postings for possible stereotypes or assumptions about people and their motivations for behavior. Though everyone is entitled to their opinion, one of our learning objectives should be to recognize and confront stereotypes. It is usually easier to see this in others as opposed to ourselves.

7. Before you craft a response, ask yourself, "What is it I want someone to understand and what is the most effective way to state my points to create that understanding? What is my motivation? Do I want to retaliate, prove I am right, or create understanding?

8. Keep an open mind. This is such a simple thing to say and such a difficult thing to do. We are passionate about our points and want people to understand where we are coming from. That is good as long as we don't allow it to close our minds to other points of view :-)
 
Thanks for making our learning environment a challenging and rewarding one!
 

Students are asked to complete their assignments in MS Word. Even though the eCollege classroom can accept MS Works, Word Perfect, or other types of files, be advised that your instructor may not be able to accept them. You should also keep this in mind in terms of being able to share documents with other students in the classroom. If you do not have MS Word and your documents are not compatible, you will have to save and submit your documents as RTF files. While this may work in terms of my ability to read and grade your assignment, you may not be able to read the comments I make or view the grading rubric that accompanies your returned assignment because I use MS Word for both. If you are using MS Word 2007, please save your document in an earlier version of Word.  These still need to be submitted as attachments that can be placed in the Dropbox basket or uploaded to the document sharing or discussion areas of the classroom. Students should keep electronic file copies of all assignments submitted until after the end of the term and grades have been received. NOTE: There is a time out feature for the eCollege classroom. If you are composing a response and are not moving around in the classroom, your session may time out after a period of time has gone by. When you go to submit your assignment, it may not submit and will "disappear" into cyberspace. For this reason, you should always compose and save your postings in a word processing program and then copy/paste them into the editor when you want to post them.

Computer Literacy

Students are expected to have frequent access to a PC with a modem and web browser and reliable Internet access. Computer literacy (ability to set up files, familiarity with search engines and browsing the Internet, and experience with downloading files) is expected. You are also expected to familiarize yourself with the features of the eCollege classroom by reviewing the Student Orientation Tutorial (CDL 300) made available to you on the Academics PSH Page. This is the page that lists the links to courses in which you are currently enrolled after you login at http://www.parkonline.org. This tutorial should appear under the heading "Special Courses" at the top of that page. If you have difficulty accessing certain features of the classroom, this may be due to the existence of a firewall or other security features on your computer. A document with instructions for troubleshooting such problems is located in the document sharing area of the classroom. Go to "Doc Sharing" tab at the top of the page when you login to the classroom. If you need help using the course tools (Gradebook, Drop Box, Discussion Threads) in the eCollege classroom, you can access that help by clicking on HELP icon at the upper right corner of the Course Home Page.

Communication--Park Mail

All students are given a Park Mail email account when they register for online courses. This is an outside email account through Google Apps. Your Park Mail address is the email address the administration uses to contact you. You should make a habit of checking your Park Mail account frequently for messages from the administration and occasionally from your instructor. You should utilize a Park Mail address/account for communicating with Park administrators. You may also send email through this account by using the email tab in the eCollege classroom. Remember to include your last name and ID number in the subject line of your email.

Course Announcements

Weekly reminders and other important announcements will be made in the Announcements section on the Home Page of the course (very top). Weekly announcements are posted at the beginning of each week. Other announcements may be added as necessary. Students are expected to look for new announcements each time they enter the online classroom. It is your responsibility to know the information contained in these announcements. Copies may be sent to your Park Mail address, but the main point of communication for these messages will be the Announcements section of the Home Page.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
You can avoid problems of plagiarism by writing your papers in your own words and using quotations sparingly, if at all. In this course, you are required to write the majority of your assignments in your own words. No written assignment or paper may be composed of more than 10% directly quoted or closely paraphrased material. Information from your references sources should be summarized and/or paraphrased in your own words and properly cited by using in-text citations in APA style. Those who choose to copy and paste material from their reference sources as a substitute for writing out their assignments in their own words will be given one warning and a zero on that assignment. If it happens a second time, the student will be referred to the proper Park administrator for disciplinary action.

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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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 .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Critically, creatively and thoroughly evaluates at least 3 well-selected course materials, and their application and conclusions, as used in the assignment.  Identifies and successfully defends at least 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses.  Goes beyond assignment expectations in the quantity and quality of critical evaluation.
•  Attempts to justify most arguments through the integrated application of comprehensive and detailed critical reasoning and scientific evidence beyond the level of a lower division course.
•  Reflexively and creatively evaluates at least 3 strengths and 3 weakness of their own and at least 3 others' assumptions, arguments, analyses, conclusions, and applications.
 
•  Critically evaluates appropriate selected course materials, and outside academic sources appropriate to a lower division course.  Identifies at least 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses of most concepts or positions, and justifies their evaluation through reason and evidence.
•  Attempts to justify most arguments through the application of critical reasoning and scientific evidence appropriate to a lower division course.
•  Reflexively identifies at least 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses of their own and at least 2 others' assumptions, arguments, analyses, conclusions, and applications.
 
•  Demonstrates little critical evaluation (perhaps 3 or 4 incomplete attempts overall), or such evaluation presented is inappropriate to the assignment or topic.  Fails to offer a balanced evaluation of some concepts or positions.  
•  Justifies no more than 4 or 5 of their arguments in an appropriate manner.  Fails to integrate appropriate and sufficiently detailed critical reasoning or scientific evidence.
•  Fails to demonstrate critical reflexivity, or presents biased arguments against those positions with which they disagree or for those arguments or evidence that supports their pre-existing biases.
 
•  Demonstrates no critical evaluation — or makes 2 or more  major, or many minor, critical errors.  Modes of evaluation are inappropriate to the assignment and level of the course.
•  Fails to offer any appropriate justification for arguments.  Uses little critical reasoning or scientific evidence, none at all, or such reason and evidence provided is wholly inappropriate.
•  May evidence merely seeking to confirm their pre-existing opinions without subjecting them to critical testing.
 
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Displays particular judgment in selecting and integrating at least 5 outside academic sources.
•  Integrates, compares and contrasts differing sources and perspectives with no major errors and no more that 2 minor errors.
•  Incorporates at least 1 or 2 sources from popular or mainstream media as particularly apt illustrations of course content.
•  Draws at least 4 accurate and defensible connections among the concepts and sources used.
 
•  Correctly integrates at least 4 outside academic sources appropriate to the assignment.
•  Integrates, compares and contrasts differing sources and perspectives with no major errors and no more than a few minor errors.
•  May also incorporate sources from popular or mainstream media, but correctly distinguishes between scientific and non-scientific outside sources, as appropriate, and uses the latter only for illustration and not justification.
•  Draws at least 3 connections among concepts and sources with no major errors.
 
•  Attempts to integrate 2 to 3 outside academic sources, but does so with at least 1 major error or with several minor errors.
•  Includes mostly sources on one side of an issue where there is legitimate and obvious disciplinary disagreement.
•  Evidences little discernment between academic and popular sources.
•  Draws no more than 2 or 3 connections among concepts and sources.  May contain a serious error or several minor errors.
 
•  No attempt to integrate outside academic sources.  Contains more than 1 major error or many minor errors.  No significant attempt at synthesis.
•  Evidences no discernment between academic and popular sources.
•  Draws no significant connections among concepts and sources.
 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Demonstrates exceptional command of at least 5 concepts and theoretical perspectives presented in the course.  Introduces at least 2 additional relevant findings or theoretical and conceptual distinctions.
•  Successfully analyzes at least 5 appropriate selected course materials, and integrates at least 3 outside sources into their analysis, without major error.
 
•  Demonstrates sufficient command of at least 4 appropriate concepts and theoretical perspectives presented in the course.
•  Successfully analyzes at least 4 appropriate selected course materials, and at least 2 outside sources, without major error.
 
•  Demonstrates insufficient command of appropriate concepts and theoretical perspectives with at least 1 major error or a few minor ones.
•  Analysis of selected course materials appropriate to a lower division course contains 1 or 2 major errors or several minor ones.
•  Uses inappropriate reason, evidence or justification.
 
•  Fails to demonstrate any sufficient command of appropriate concepts and theoretical perspectives.
•  Analysis of inappropriate course materials or contains at least 2 major errors or many minor ones.  No attempt at analysis of outside materials or examples.
 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Demonstrates and justifies command of factual course materials.  Employs at least 4 salient outside examples.
•  Applies course materials to at least 4 extended and developed personal, social, and historical examples without error.
• Illustrates and supports most points through examples, details, and supporting information.
• Effectively illustrates and supports most points through well-chosen and integrated relevant examples, details, and supporting information.
 
•  Demonstrates and justifies sufficient command of factual materials presented in the course, and 3 or 4 outside sources.
•  Applied course materials to at least 3 extended personal, social, or historical examples without major error.
•  Provides adequate illustration and support of all points through relevant examples, details, and supporting information.
 
•  Demonstrates insufficient command of factual course materials.  Fails to meaningfully incorporate outside examples (no more than 3 to 4 attempts).
•  Inappropriate or insufficient personal, social, or historical examples.  Any applications, such as there are, may contain 1 major error or several minor errors.
•  Provides inadequate illustration and support of a few key points or several minor ones.
 
•  Fails to demonstrate meaningful command of factual course materials.  Rarely justifies their inclusion or makes serious and consistent omissions.
•  Lacks meaningful, relevant, or significant personal, social, or historical examples, or they are completely inappropriate to the assignment or the level of a lower division course.  May contain 2 or more major errors or many minor errors in application.
•  Provides little, if any, support for even key points.
 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Responds fully and completely to the assignment using appropriate, direct language.  Includes all major assignment objectives.
•  Uses precise, accurate and expressive language.
•  Well organized, unified, focused, flowing, or has a particularly well-suited opening and closing.
•  Presents a balanced treatment of controversial research or policy issues.
•  Correctly utilizes technical terminology from the course and outside research in a precise manner exceeding the level of a lower division course.
 
•  Responds fully and completely to the assignment using direct language and expresses its purpose clearly at the level of a lower division course.
•  Well-organized, focused, and opens and closes effectively.
•  Presents one side of controversial research or policy issues well and completely, and makes a serious (though perhaps not completely successful) effort to communicate alternatives.
•  Correctly utilizes technical language from the course and outside research in a manner appropriate to the assignment and level of a lower division course.
 
•  Fails to respond fully or completely to the assignment.  Language is sometimes inappropriate, or confusing and does not express its purpose clearly at the level of a lower division course.
•  Lacks some organization or unified argument.  May be unfocused.  Has significant problem with flow or effective opening and closing passages.
•  Evidences bias or makes little effort to communicate serious alternatives.
•  Has at least 1 major, or, more than a few minor, terminological errors.
 
•  Falls significantly short of the assignment strictures and does not achieve the level of a lower division course.  Language is often inappropriate and confusing, and does not express a clear purpose.
•  Is disorganized, disjointed, unfocused, or stilted.  Unsuccessful or lacking in its opening and closing.
•  Evidences serious bias.  Makes no effort to communicate serious alternatives or digresses into mere opinion.
• Has at least 2 major, or many minor, terminological errors.
 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
•  Has no errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, structure and format.
• Evidences literacy, numeracy, rhetorical, and information processing skills beyond the level of a lower division course.
•  Completely and correctly acknowledges and documents (through in text citations and an accompanying references section) all directly and indirectly used sources.
•  No errors in the application of relevant portions of APA format.
 
•  Has no major errors, and no more than a few minor errors, in spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, structure and format.
•  Evidences basic literacy, numeracy, rhetorical, and information processing skills appropriate to a lower division course.
•  Consistently, but not completely acknowledges and documents (through in text citations and an accompanying references section) all directly used sources.  May evidence minor problems with indirect attribution or a few small errors in reference format.
•  1 or a few minor errors in the application of relevant portions of APA format.
 
• Has 1 or more major, or more than a few minor, errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, structure and format.
•  Incompletely or inconsistently displays literacy, numeracy, rhetorical, and information processing skills at the level of the course.
•  Incompletely or inconsistently acknowledges and documents (through in text citations and an accompanying references section) all directly used sources.  May evidence 1 major problem, or a few minor problems, with indirect attribution or several errors in reference format.
•  1 major error, or a few minor errors, in the application of relevant portions of APA format.
 
• Has 2 or more major, or many minor, errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, structure and format.
• Has 2 or more major errors, or many minor errors, in literacy, numeracy, rhetorical, or information processing skills, or fails to demonstrate most of these at the level of an introductory course.
• Has 2 or more major errors, or many minor errors, in acknowledging and documenting citations and references.  May evidence 2 or more major problems with indirect attribution or may misattribute sources.  Reference and citation format is inconsistent or incorrect.
•  Has two or more 2 major errors, or several minor errors, in the application of relevant portions of APA format.
 
First Disciplinary Competency                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Outcomes
3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Detailed and justified analysis of the roles of status, power, and access to resources within a society, illustrates these ideas with multiple real world examples, and evaluates possible consequences and solutions through well-developed reason and evidence (provides more than 3 extended examples). Analyzes the roles of status, power, and access to resources within a society, illustrates these ideas with real world examples, and evaluates possible consequences and solutions (provides 3 or more extended examples). Incomplete or unjustified analysis of the roles of status, power, and access to resources within a society (no more than 1 or 2 attempts at extended examples). Illustrations of these ideas are inappropriate, unclear, or unsupported.  Evaluation fails to develop and defend student assessment of consequences and solutions. No significant analysis, illustration, or evaluation of the mechanisms or consequences related to the operation of status, power, or resource inequalities. 
Second Disciplinary Competency                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
5, 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Detailed and supported discussion of the causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression as they enforce at least 3 patterns of inequality.  Specific analysis of the contributions of culture, socialization, and interactional factors in perpetuating inequalities. Explains the major causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, and aggression as they enforce at least 2 existing patterns of inequality. And analyzes how culture, socialization, and false consciousness reinforce and perpetuate inequalities. At least 1 major, or several minor, conceptual or evidentiary errors in their analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, aggression and inequality. More than 2 major errors or many minor errors in their analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, aggression and inequality. 

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Last Updated:10/7/2012 5:53:50 PM