Syllabus for GLB-301



The study of global issues is more critical than ever now that we have truly become a "global village." The decisions that we make in the next few years—whether those decisions are made in Beijing, Brussels, Brazil, or Buffalo—will determine the collective future of this village. Together we are confronted with many pressing and often competing global challenges that demand thoughtful responses and solutions.


Population is growing at an alarming rate in some regions; environmental concerns are everywhere; global resources appear to be dwindling; national security eludes many countries, especially as terrorism has become an international phenomenon; and human rights are violated in a variety of ways. These crises certainly represent significant problems facing our world today; at the same time, they provide opportunities for us to bring about changes that will significantly increase the ongoing quality of life around the world.  


The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent citizens and leaders. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Most important, students will be asked to think deeply about their world (including its future, current issues, its impact on their local area, and our personal responsibility as global citizens).  


In examining the crises cited above, and other global issues currently facing humanity, this course will attempt to achieve the following goals.  



Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe important global issues and their present and future impacts.
  2. Describe the relationships between and among global issues.
  3. Explain global issues in their geographic, historical, and cultural contexts.
  4. Describe how one’s own culture and history affect one’s worldview and expectations.  



Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Employ information related to global issues.
  2. Evaluate the integrity of information about global issues.
  3. Think critically and ethically about global issues.  



Upon completion of the course, students will be disposed to:

  1. Be intellectually curious about global issues.
  2. Value different cultural perspectives on global issues.
  3. Take action based on ethical analysis and empathy.  

In attempting to accomplish these objectives, we will incorporate a variety of learning activities, all of which will be organized online. The Internet provides an invaluable source of information regarding global issues, and you will be provided a rich repository of Web-based resources and guidance in searching for additional resources. These resources will be organized within the Epsilen Web site. Students will also be encouraged to participate in additional outside learning activities, such as attending presentations and using interactive technologies to understand global issues.  



You will need the following materials to do the work of the course.

Global Challenges by the American Democracy Project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). (Washington, DC: AASCU Sourcebooks).

ISBN: 9781402284168

E-ISBN: 9781402284168

The required textbook is available for $14.99 as an e-book only from

VitalSource Store

(The URL for the VitalSource store is:


Students are encouraged to participate actively in this class. Please engage in the online learning activities in a timely manner. If you have ideas on how a certain topic might be presented and applied, please express them; if you are aware of learning resources that are not being used, please suggest them as well. If we work together, this can be a very interesting and rewarding class for all of us.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Global Engagement scholars have created the materials for this course as part of their effort to educate globally competent citizens. Although the text is of value to anyone interested in increasing his or her knowledge of global challenges facing the  world today, it is designed for use in college settings. The goal of this book and of this course is that the student will gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with become a globally competent citizen.                        

This course uses the framework of the seven global challenges, seven challenges that will shape our world by the year 2025:

  1. world population growth
  2. scarce global resources
  3. advancing technology and its diffusion
  4. the flow of information and knowledge
  5. global economic integration
  6. the nature and mode of conflict
  7. the challenges of governance


Because of the diverse nature of the seven global challenges students will be exposed to multiple academic fields of study. The objective of this interdisciplinary course is that students will develop both a comprehensive understanding of some of the major global issues and a heightened appreciation for how diverse topics are interrelated.

Global Issues and Society is a three-credit online course, consisting of nine (9) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, a study outline, and activities (forums, written assignments, and blogs). Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Introduction
  2. Module 2: Population
  3. Module 3: Resource Management
  4. Module 4: Technology
  5. Module 5: Information
  6. Module 6: Economics
  7. Module 7: Security
  8. Module 8: Governance
  9. Module 9: Global Citizenship


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, participate in the Global Village blog activity, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in nine (9) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete nine (9) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignment activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Global Village Activity

One way to gain a valuable perspective on the world is to examine how people in different countries are affected by global issues and trends. Within your class, you will act as a particular member of a global village that is representative of the seven billion people who live on Earth. Your mentor will assign you a villager role, and you will use various Internet resources to investigate the characteristics of that villager as well as how various issues affect your villager. You will publish your findings on your own Google blog site. (Directions for creating this site are in Module 1 of the course. ) You will be able to read and comment on the postings of your classmates as well.

Final Project

There is no midterm or final exam in this course. Instead, you will write a 2000- to 2500-word paper (with a typical font and spacing this will be a paper of 8 to 10 pages) integrating your learning from this course in four areas: your perspective as a global villager, your analysis of global issues, your views of global citizenship, and some thoughts about what you have gained from this course.

Detailed information about this assignment is found in the final project area of the course site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (9)18 percent
  2. Written assignments (9)36 percent
  3. Global village activity—21 percent
  4. Final project25 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments and posting discussions.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlines procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.


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