Syllabus for PSY-300

THANATOLOGY: AN UNDERSTANDING OF DEATH AND DYING


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying will provide you with a broad and general introduction to the study of death and dying. It is designed to help you understand the nature, course, and process of the experience of dying and death in our present society.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Recognize death as a universal phenomenon that is constructed differently among different societies and throughout history and examine the institutional structures of the death system in contemporary American culture.
  2. Assess the theories of death researchers and describe the views of people who are dying or have faced their own death or the death of loved ones.
  3. Develop self-reflection about death and dying on order to assess your beliefs and attitudes about the subject.
  4. Acquire consistency between your behavior and beliefs about dying and death in order to better prepare for your own mortality and become a compassionate caregiver.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the college's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  • Kastenbaum, R. (2012). Death, society, and human experience (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

ISBN-13: 978-0205001088

COURSE STRUCTURE

Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying is a three-credit course consisting of nine (9) modules. Modules include study materials, and activities.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and take two proctored online exams. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum, you are required to participate in five (5) graded online class discussions.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments: six (6) essay assignments and two (2) journal assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For each essay assignment, you must select two questions to answer from those that are listed. Read through the pertinent essay assignment questions before you begin each module. Your answers to these essay questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading material). When you feel it is appropriate to use material from your readings, be sure to cite it properly by giving page numbers in parentheses or using footnotes or endnotes. Your answers to each essay assignment question should be no longer than two (2) double-spaced, typed pages or equivalent. Please identify which questions you have chosen to answer.

For each journal assignment, you must answer one from each pair of questions. Preview the two journal assignments before you begin your first reading assignment. These journal assignments require self-reflection. You will improve your self-reflection by integrating the material you read in each module and applying your critical thinking skills. Your response to each journal assignment question should be no less than three (3) double-spaced, typed pages or equivalent.

Prepare your written essay and journal assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Examinations

You are required to take two (2) proctored examinations; a midterm and a final.

To prepare for both exams, it is suggested that you reread the relevant parts of the text, highlighting major points. You may also find it helpful for review to answer all the relevant essay assignment questions, even though you are to submit the answers to only 2 questions in each essay assignment.

Both exams require that you the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

 

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of your midterm exam week.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam consists of twenty (20) multiple-choice items (worth 60 points) and four (4) essay questions (worth 40 points). The exam is two hours long and covers all material assigned in modules 1-4. This is a proctored, closed-book exam.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers all material assigned in modules 5-9 of the course. The exam consists of twenty (20) multiple-choice items (worth 60 points) and four (4) essay questions (worth 40 points).

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

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 non-area of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

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 outlined 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 can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. 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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

 

Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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