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Online Learning

Course Number: PS 103
Course Title: Political Science
Fall: 2014

Professor

Fr. Peter Samuel Kucer, MSA STD, pkucer@holyapostles.edu

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

In this course, from a Catholic perspective, students will be introduced to the fundamental ideas, institutions and practical issues of politics.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • That students will have a basic knowledge of world political institutions and processes.
  • That students will have a basic knowledge of the method and theories in gathering and interpreting data pertinent to understanding political phenomena.
  • That students will demonstrate critical thinking skills when faced with multifaceted political scenarios.

3. COURSE SCHEDULE

Please note: Even though my lectures are sufficient in themselves, it is recommended that you read the chapters assigned in the textbook for further depth and resources.   In addition, all quizzes and the final exam are open lecture/book tests.

Week 1:

Process

  1. Read Chapter 1 Introduction: The Study of Politics
  2. Read Lecture 1
  3. Post response to discussion Lecture 1 questions
  4. Take Quiz 1

Week 2:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 1 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 2 The Idea of the Public Good: Ideologies and isms
  3. Read Lecture 2
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 2 and 3 questions
  5. Take Quiz 2

Week 3:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 2 and 3 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 3 Utopias: Model States
  3. Read Lecture 3
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 3 questions
  5. Take Quiz 3

Week 4:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 3 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 4 Constitutional Democracy: Models of Representation
  3. Read Lecture 4
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 4 questions
  5. Take Quiz 4

Week 5:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 4 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 5 The Authoritarian Model: Myth and Reality and Chapter 6 The Totalitarian Model: False Utopias
  3. Read Lecture 5 and 6
  4. Post response to discussion Lectures 5 and 6 questions
  5. Take Quiz 5

Week 6:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lectures 5 and 6 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 7 Parliamentary Democracy
  3. Read Lecture 7
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 7 questions
  5. Take Quiz 6

Week 7:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 7 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 8 States and Economies in Transition: Between Democracy and Yesterday
  3. Read Lecture 8
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 8 questions
  5. Take Quiz 7

Week 8:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 8 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 9 Development: Myths and Realities
  3. Read Lecture 9
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 9 questions
  5. Take Quiz 8

Week 9:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 9 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 10 Political Socialization: The Making of a Citizen
  3. Read Lecture 10
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 10 questions
  5. Take Quiz 9

Week 10:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 10 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 11: The Emergence of the Image: Modern Science and the Origins of Humanity Chapter 12 Political Leadership: The Many Faces of Power
  3. Read Lectures 11 and 12
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 11 and 12 questions
  5. Take Quiz 10

Week 11:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lectures 11 and 12 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 13 Issues in Public Policy: Principles, Priorities, and Practices
  3. Read Lecture 13
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 13 questions
  5. Take Quiz 11

Week 12:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 13 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 14 Revolution: In the Name of Justice and Chapter 15 War: Politics By Other Means
  3. Read Lectures 14 and 15
  4. Post response to discussion Lectures 14 and 15 questions
  5. Take Quiz 12

Week 13:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lectures 14 and 15 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 16 Terrorist: Weapons of the Weak
  3. Read Lecture 16
  4. Post response to discussion Lecture 16 questions
  5. Take Quiz 13

Week 14:

Process

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lecture 16 questions.
  2. Read Chapter 17 World Politics: The Struggle for Power and Chapter 18 International Organization(s): Globalization and the Quest for Order
  3. Read Lectures 17 and 18
  4. Post response to discussion Lectures 17 and 18 questions
  5. Take Quiz 14

Week 15

  1. Respond to the instructor’s feedback to the student’s post to discussion Lectures 17 and 18 questions.
  2. Take the Final Exam.

All questions of the Final Exam will be taken from the quizzes. Students will have two hours to complete the exam. As with the quizzes, this exam is open lecture/book. In order to complete the exam before time is up, it is important to not rely exclusively on looking up answers.

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • 30%: Chapter Quizzes
  • 30%: Lecture Questions for 18 Lectures
  • 20%: Final Exam
  • 20%: Response to Instructor’s feedback

5. RECOMMENDED READINGS and RESOURCES:

  • Magstadt, Thomas M.  Understanding Politics: Ideas, Institutions, and Issues: Tenth Edition. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2012.  ISBN-10: 1111832560 | ISBN-13: 978-1111832568 | Edition: 10 $13.48 rent, $9.98 - $42.09 used, $174.33 new

6. EVALUATION

(Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below). Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

Grading Rubric for the Summary of Presentation

CONTENT

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Absence of Understanding

Shows no awareness of the concepts addressed in the topic by shifting off-topic

Misunderstanding

Demonstrates a misunderstanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic through an inability to re-explain them

Adequate Understanding

Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic by a re-explanation of them

Solid understanding

Demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic and uses that understanding effectively in the examples it provides

Insightful understanding

Demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic through the use of examples and by making connections to other concepts

RESEARCH

 

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Missing Research

Summary shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; poor quality of chosen sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources; too many citation errors.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

Excellent critical research and documentation

Critically selected and relevant scholarly sources demonstrating extensive, in-depth research; sources skillfully incorporated into paper at all necessary points; all citations follow standard bibliographic format.

 

                     

WRITING & EXPRESSION

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Incomplete writing

Summary is only partially written or fails to address the topic

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Summary touches only on the surface of the topic and proceeds to talk about something else; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Summary is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment;  satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors

Solid writing with something interesting to say

Summary is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples;  level-appropriate syntax and diction;  mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error

command-level writing, making a clear impression

Summary is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development ; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage

7. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

8. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

9. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

10. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

11. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

Your instructor, Fr. Peter, is most eager to open your minds to politics from a Catholic perspective.  I hope this course will inspire you, if called, to actively engage in politics.

(860) 632-3010