Syllabus for SOC-376

WOMEN AND SOCIAL ACTION


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Women and Social Action examines the ways women are challenging traditional gender stereotypes and the social structures within which men and women live, including the areas of education, the media, religious organizations, the criminal justice system, and the economy.

This course focuses on ordinary women who are working collectively in diverse settings to empower themselves and others. The course explores the barriers that women face, goals and strategies for social change, and the rewards and challenges of social action.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify the impact that gender stereotypes and barriers have on women's lives.
  2. Explain how gender stereotypes and barriers intersect with other social systems such as age, class, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  3. Analyze and evaluate whether the goals of methods of particular social actions are consistent with an empowerment model of social change.

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 Textbooks

  1. Moving the Mountain: Women Working for Social Change, by Ellen Cantarow (New York: The Feminist Press, 1980).

ISBN-13: 978-0912670614

  1. Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender, 8th ed., by Margaret L. Andersen and Dana Hysock (Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2009).

ISBN-13: 978-0205578726

Teleclass Study Guide

  1. Women and Social Action Teleclass Study Guide, 3d ed., authored by Martha E. Thompson; produced by Governors State University (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2003).

ISBN-13: 978-0757501500

Note: Please see the note about this study guide in the Strategies for Success>Study Tips section of this syllabus.

Video Programs

  1. Women and Social Action (24 one-hour video programs produced by Governors State University).

Note: The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through this course site. Each study assignment will include the necessary links for accessing the video stream.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Women and Social Action is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten (10) modules.  Modules include study materials and activities.

It consists of 24 study lessons, or classes; 4 essay assignments; 2 journal assignments; 5 graded online class discussions; and a midterm and a final examination. Study assignments include classes in the teleclass study guide together with their associated video programs and textbook reading.

Periodically, you will complete a written essay assignment or a journal submission and submit it to your mentor for correction and grading. You will also participate in online discussion assignments throughout the course. In addition, the course requires you to take two examinations: a proctored midterm and an unproctored online final examination.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five (5) graded online discussion forums, complete four (4) essay assignments, which consist of two questions each, complete two (2) journal submissions, which consist of 11 and 13 entries respectively, take proctored, online midterm and final examinations.  Read through the essay assignment questions and the journal assignments before you begin each class in the teleclass study guide.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class, you are required to participate in five (5) graded online discussions, each focusing on an issue related to women's studies.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. 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, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Essay Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) essay assignments. The four essay assignments are built around associated classes in the study guide. Each assignment requires that you to write two (2) complex essays that integrate concepts from the reading and viewing material.

Your answers to the essay questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Each essay should be a minimum of two (2) typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent. In your responses, give examples to support your arguments, elaborate on your ideas, and formulate opinions.

Journal Assignments

You are required to complete two (2) journal assignments. You are expected to keep a structured learning journal, which you will submit to your mentor in two parts. Check the course Calendar for submission dates. Journal Submission 1 covers Classes 1 through 11, and Journal Submission 2 covers Classes 12 through 24.

The journal will consist of your responses to the journal assignments that are presented in the boxes at the beginning of each class in the teleclass study guide. Your response to each journal assignment should be no more than 250 words (one typed, double-spaced page). That means that Journal Submission 1 should be no longer than 11 typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent, and Journal Submission 2 should be no longer than 13 typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent.

These journal entries will give you the opportunity to reflect on your own experiences and feelings. They should be a record of your own thinking during the course. Even though you will submit your journal entries in two groups, it is suggested that you complete each entry as you are doing the relevant study guide class.

EXAMINATIONS

You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use 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 exam weeks.

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Final Exam Module. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:

  1. The content of your exam will match the content of your course; the sample exam has some generic questions on art history, world history, and environmental science.
  2. Your exam is likely to include only one type or at most several types of questions (such as multiple choice or essays). The sample exam includes all the types that you might encounter in an online assessment at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. You will be able to enter and take your final exam just once—once you have entered the exam you must complete it. The sample exam may be taken as often as you like.
  4. There will be a penalty for exceeding the time limit in your actual exams whereas there is no corresponding penalty with this sample exam.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It covers material assigned through Module 5 from the teleclass study guide, the accompanying videos, and textbook readings. The exam consists of four essays. You are given two hours to complete it.

Statement about Cheating

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

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find the answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your online test. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take the exam.
  5. Copying any part of the exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at the exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

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.

Final Exam

The final is a closed-book, unproctored online exam. It is two hours long and consists of four essay questions. The final exam covers all material assigned in Module 6 through to the end of the course from the teleclass study guide, the accompanying videos, and textbook readings. Note, however, that one essay question in the final allows you to draw on information you learned before the midterm, if you wish. That item will be identified to you in the exam.

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Final Exam Module. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:

  1. The content of your exam will match the content of your course; the sample exam has some generic questions on art history, world history, and environmental science.
  2. Your exam is likely to include only one type or at most several types of questions (such as multiple choice or essays). The sample exam includes all the types that you might encounter in an online assessment at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. You will be able to enter and take your final exam just once—once you have entered the exam you must complete it. The sample exam may be taken as often as you like.
  4. There will be a penalty for exceeding the time limit in your actual exams whereas there is no corresponding penalty with this sample exam.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (5)—10 percent
  2. Essay assignments (4)—30 percent
  3. Journal assignments (2)—10 percent
  4. Midterm examination—25 percent
  5. Final examination—25 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:

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 nonarea 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:

  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.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examinations by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. 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.

  1. 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, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Typically, you will begin each class with the reading assignment (from Andersen, Cantarow, and/or the appendices in the study guide) and then write your journal entry. After that, you should read through all the study guide material for that class. The study guide will indicate when to view the video for each class.

  1. Please note: Do not use the study guide to get your reading assignments. You must refer to the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site for your textbook readings.

  1. This is because the course occasionally assigns additional readings in the Andersen text that are not listed in the study guide and because the study guide refers to an earlier edition of the Andersen text.

  1. Always answer the Review Questions within each class in the teleclass study guide. These review questions will help you assess your understanding of course concepts and will also help you prepare for the course examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

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 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 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.

Plagiarism

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 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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