Pols 1101—American Government



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POLS 1101—American Government

The University of North Georgia

Fall 2014; Three Credits- HYBRID (Classes will not meet on highlighted dates)

Section D1 MWF 10:00am-10:50am Young Hall 203

Section D2 MWF 1:15pm-2:05pm Young Hall 214
This course is clearly designated as a HYBRID course (which means that the course has a substantial online component). We will not meet for class on scheduled HYBRID days but you will be responsible for completing all assigned work outside of class (including exams, quizzes, and participation in online discussions).
Instructor: Maria Albo, MPA

Phone: 706- 867-1782 office

Email: maria.albo@ung.edu

Office: 314 Hansford Hall (located behind Price Memorial)

http://www.northgeorgia.edu/uploadedFiles/Campus_Info/CampusMap.pdf (building #32)

Office Hours: MW 2:30pm-5:30pm

**and by appointment



Undergraduate Bulletin Course Description: An intensive examination of the Constitution and the three governmental divisions. The course includes a study of the national government in its relation to the states. Examples from the government of Georgia are included.

course objectives: Surveys have shown that American’s know very little about how their government actually functions. As college students, it is imperative that you understand the basic structure of your government and outside influences on the political process. In this course, we will:


  1. Gain a better understanding of our government and the principles of democracy;

  2. Understand the intentions of the Founding Fathers in drafting the U.S. Constitution and their influence on the modern U.S. government;

  3. Develop essential knowledge of the structure of the U.S. government and its three branches;

  4. Discuss historical events and their influence on the political process and modern society;

  5. Discuss the impact of political socialization, political parties, interest groups, the bureaucracy and the media on the U.S. political system;

  6. Gain a better understanding of political ideologies;

  7. Explore the policy making process and discuss the current policy initiatives for the State of Georgia;

  8. Encourage you to participate in the political process and enable you to understand current political events;

  9. Learn how to articulate your political beliefs effectively and tolerate opinions that differ from your own;

  10. Develop the information literacy skills necessary to become fully engaged citizens.

Success in this Course


You will earn a good grade in this course (A or B) by doing the following: 1) showing up consistently for class; 2) completing all the assignments and readings on time; 3) actively participating in group projects and online class discussions; 4) downloading any presentations available on D2L prior to class; 5) taking good notes; and 6) having an open mind. The key to this class and ultimately the key to succeeding in college (and life) is showing up and paying attention.

I COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Assigned Text:

Carl D. Cavalli, ed. (2013). The Basics of American Government. Dahlonega, GA: North Georgia Press.



Grading Criteria:

Grading in this class will be done on a point scale. There are 600 possible points that can be earned in this course. 

A: 600 – 540 Points

B: 539 – 480 Points

C: 479 – 420 Points

D: 419 – 360 Points

F: 359 – 000 Points

Total Possible Points: 600



Breakdown of Points:

  1. Exams 300

  2. Class Participation 75

  3. Online Discussion Board 75

  4. Midterm Essay 75

  5. Final Essay 75


A. Exams: This class will have three exams each covering a specific section of the course. Each exam will be worth 100 points. All exams are timed at 50 minutes. Answers submitted after time has expired will not be accepted. The exams will consist of a combination of multiple choice, true/false and short/long answer questions administered via the D2L quizzes tool.  Please note, you are responsible for all information contained in the assigned readings and hybrid assignments for your exams. All exams will open at the start of your scheduled class time and will close at the end of your scheduled class time. Students must log onto D2L to complete the exam on the scheduled date and time.  Students will have one opportunity to log in and submit the exam.
Please note, assessments will not be reopened for completion unless there is a technical problem with UNG or the main D2L server (the instructor will verify this issue and determine an appropriate course of action, if necessary).  Any questions answered after the allotted time period expires will not be included in the student’s exam score.  Students are responsible for using a reliable computer and internet connection. 
Except for extenuating circumstances, students will not be permitted to make up any missed exams. If you must miss a scheduled exam due to extenuating circumstances (defined under make up work), you will be given the opportunity to complete a make-up exam that will consist of two essay questions (worth 50 points each) during my scheduled office hours. If you know you will miss a scheduled exam due to a university commitment, it is your responsibility to notify me at least one week in advance to make alternative arrangements.

B. Discussion Board (75 points): This course has five required online discussion postings this semester and each will be worth fifteen points. You are expected to complete these class discussions on your scheduled HYBRID days. Each discussion will cover a policy issue of your choice that you will research throughout the course of the semester. You will use the online discussion postings when preparing your final essay.
Please note that these points must be earned through thoughtful and intelligent responses to the proposed questions—you will not be awarded points simply for posting a response. For full credit, initial postings should be about 2-3 paragraphs in length and include references in APA format to all of the required readings. You must complete two responses to your classmates and each response should be about one paragraph.
Please reference the discussion rubric on your class D2L page for specific grading criteria.
Each discussion will open on Monday of the scheduled week and close Friday at the end of your scheduled class time (see class schedule). I encourage you to post your initial response by Wednesday evening in order to facilitate a meaningful class discussion.
The discussion board will close at the end of your scheduled class time on Friday of the scheduled date and will not be reopened. Late postings will not be accepted.
C. Class Participation (75 points): Participation an integral part of this course as your exams are derived from lectures, therefore, if you miss a class you will miss potential test material.

Students will not be permitted to “make up” class participation points and/or missed assignments on HYBRID days (see make up policy).
Class participation points are broken down as follows:
Worksheet Quizzes (20 points): This class has four worksheets to be completed throughout the semester on scheduled HYBRID days and each will be worth five points. The worksheets are designed to introduce you to the information available on various webpages.
All worksheet quizzes will open at the start of your scheduled class time and

close at the end of your scheduled class time on the scheduled date.

Quizzes not completed during scheduled time will not receive credit.
Worksheet quizzes are administered electronically through D2L. You should complete all parts of the worksheet before attempting the online quiz. All quizzes will be timed at 50 minutes. Students will have one opportunity to log in and submit the quiz. 
Please note, quizzes will not be reopened for completion unless there is a technical problem with UNG or the main D2L server (the instructor will verify this issue and determine an appropriate course of action, if necessary).  Any questions answered after the 50 minute time period expires will not be included in the student’s exam score.  Students are responsible for using a reliable computer and internet connection. 
Group Presentations (20 points): The requirements for this assignment are located on your course D2L page. Group presentations are required to be uploaded to the class discussion board PRIOR to your scheduled class presentation time. Group assignments will be available on your class D2L page after the first week of classes.

You must be present to receive credit for the group presentation. Group members who are not present for their assigned presentation will not be assigned any points.
Group Member Feedback (5 points): You will be given the opportunity to evaluate your group members after completing your group project.
Attendance Points (30 points): These are random points assigned throughout the semester through in class quizzes on lecture material/ worksheets/assigned readings, online lecture quizzes and/or on scheduled group work days.

D. Midterm Essay (75 points): Requirements for the midterm essay are available on your course D2L page.

The midterm essay must be submitted to turnitin.com no later than

Monday, October 6th BEFORE your scheduled class time. 

Late submissions are subject to a 10 point per day penalty starting at the start of your scheduled class.

E. Final Essay (75 points): Requirements for the final essay will be available on your course D2L page after the semester midpoint.

The final essay must be submitted to turnitin.com before the end of your

scheduled final exam time (see final exam schedule).

Failure to submit a final essay is the same as missing the final exam, therefore, final essays

WILL NOT be accepted late under any circumstance.

II ATTENDANCE POLICY
Attendance is an important part of this course and is strongly encouraged. Attendance will be taken regularly throughout the semester through attendance exams, group projects and other in class assignments. There are no make-up provisions for missed attendance points (see make up policy).

Missing class regularly will affect your participation grade and your overall performance in this course. Regular class attendance is imperative to your success in this course. You are responsible for all assignments, notes and announcements made during classes and posted on the class D2L page.
III OTHER POLICIES
Written Work:
All written work (midterm and final essay) for this course must include the following for full credit:


  • Cover page with your full name, course number and title.

  • Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced, with page numbers.

  • Reference page.

All written work (midterm and final essay) must be submitted to turnitin.com.


Failure to conform to the above will result in a 3 point deduction per infraction.
This course requires the use of APA format for all written work. Please review rules for APA format on your class D2L page and/or view the following resource: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/
Make-up Work: In order to reach all of the learning objectives for this course, it is imperative that assignments be completed on time. Missing assignments will negatively affect your grade and overall experience in the course.
Make-up work may be assigned (at the discretion of the instructor) if the student demonstrates extenuating circumstances (i.e. serious illness, family emergency, jury duty, etc.)*. Students will be expected to provide proof of extenuating circumstances in order to schedule any make up work.
Please notify me via email if you are unable to complete an assignment due to extenuating circumstances (as described herein) and can provide a verifiable (written) excuse for missed work. Alternative assignments may be assigned for missed work with a verifiable excuse, at the discretion of the Instructor. If the Instructor chooses to accept the late assignment a penalty of ten (10) points per day may be applied.
Assignments due on scheduled HYBRID days are in lieu of attending scheduled class, therefore, you will not be able to make up missed assignments (as missing an assignment is the same as missing a class).
THERE ARE NO MAKE-UP PROVISIONS FOR ONLINE DISCUSSION POSTINGS, WORKSHEET QUIZZES, MISSED GROUP PRESENTATIONS AND/OR ATTENDANCE POINTS.
*If you are absent due to a university commitment you will be permitted to make up in-class work with written documentation. No special provisions will be made for any other assignments as all of the assignments will be available well in advance of their scheduled due date. You are responsible for notifying me at least one week in advance of any university excused absence. Please see me if you need any clarification of this policy.
Class Notes: Outlines of class lectures will be available on D2L. It is strongly suggested that students download these outlines prior to attending class. These outlines are designed as a resource for students to obtain presentations used in class.  These notes are not a substitute for attending lecture classes.  Rather, these notes are designed to supplement the lectures and facilitate productive class discussions.  If you miss a class for any reason, you should obtain a complete copy of all notes from a classmate. The Instructor will not provide complete copies of lecture notes under any circumstances.
You are responsible for all information contained in the class notes and online assignments.
Course Technology: Please note that UNG email and D2L are the official means of communication within UNG. Class cancellations and/or occasional announcements will be sent through D2L. Students are expected to check their course sites frequently and consistently.
Students should check their course D2L page regularly for class announcements.
Please send all class related email to me via UNG email to ensure a prompt response.

Email sent to or from non-University addresses will not be opened.

It is imperative that your D2L account is fully functioning for this course. If you cannot resolve your problems with the above suggestions, you must call or visit the IT Helpdesk (located in the Library Technology Center, room 164).


Phone: 706-864-1922 (http://ung.edu/information-technology/it-service-desk.php)

Please note, “Technological Difficulties” will not be accepted as an excuse for missing an assignment deadline. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to allow for any “technological difficulties” and save your work frequently to avoid data loss.

If you experience “technological difficulties” while completing an assignment, I strongly recommend contacting the IT Helpdesk and opening a ticket prior to contacting me.

Opportunities for Extra Credit: I will not accept requests for extra credit from students, however, extra credit may be offered throughout the semester. All extra credit opportunities will be announced in class (or via D2L) and cannot be “made up”.

Individual vs. Collaborative Work Policy: Unless specifically stated otherwise, students should work individually on any and all assignments submitted for credit.

Cheating and Plagiarism: Any instance of cheating or plagiarism will result in a zero grade for the paper or exam and/or an “F” grade for the course at the discretion of the Instructor. All instances of cheating and plagiarism will be reported to the Honor Council.

Course Grades: Final grades are available on BANNER usually within 2 days after all finals have ended. I CANNOT communicate with you about your grades via e-mail or phone, so please do not ask. If you have a question about your grades, please come by my office during my office hours.
Classroom Etiquette: I expect all students to adhere to the Code of Conduct established by UNG.

Disrespectful and/or disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated. Violations will be dealt with by the instructor and may be elevated to the Departmental Chair and or Dean of Students for additional action.  All options remain open to the instructor up to and including an administrative withdrawal from this class.

While we may not always go to the end of class, we will begin every class period at the assigned start time. Please be prepared and in your seat at the scheduled start time. Please do not use cell phones in class and make sure all phones are turned to “silent”.* Please exhibit common courtesies to your Instructor and your classmates at all times. In addition, please note that political science is by nature a very political and emotional subject. We may at times discuss topics out of our comfort zones including issues such as: race, gender, political ideologies and unfortunate historical events. Please use this class as an opportunity to learn about yourself and others.

Note: Laptop computers and mobile devices are not permitted in this course.

*Please let me know if there is some sort of circumstance that requires you to monitor your phone.

Communication on discussion boards takes special consideration. Please read the short list of tips of network etiquette below:


  • Don't use all caps. It is the equivalent of screaming.

  • Be sensitive and reflective to what others are saying.

  • Don't flame - These are outbursts of extreme emotion or opinion.

  • Think before you hit the post (enter/reply) button. You can't take it back!

  • Don't use offensive language.

  • Use clear subject lines.

  • Don't use abbreviations or acronyms unless the entire class knows them.

  • Be forgiving. Anyone can make a mistake.

  • Keep the dialog collegial and professional.

IV Institutional Information

See Supplemental Syllabus (ALL INFORMATION IS INCORPORATED INTO THIS SYLLABUS)

http://ung.edu/academic-affairs/policies-and-guidelines/supplemental-syllabus.php

V CLASS SCHEDULE (CLASSES DO NOT MEET ON SCHEDULED HYBRID DAYS). ALL ASSIGNED WORK MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME. THERE ARE NO MAKE UP PROVISIONS FOR MISSED ASSIGNMENTS ON HYBRID DAYS (SEE MAKE UP POLICY).


WEEK

Assigned Chapters

MONDAY

WEDNESDAY

FRIDAY

August 18









INTRODUCTION CLASS

LECTURE 1.1: INTRODUCTION TO DEMOCRACY & PUBLIC POLICY

August 25


CAVALLI


(CHAPTERS 1 & 12)

LECTURE 1.1: INTRODUCTION TO DEMOCRACY

& PUBLIC POLICY

LECTURE 1.2: INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION




H1: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

ONLINE QUIZ (5 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

September 1



CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 2)





NO CLASS: LABOR DAY HOLIDAY


LECTURE 1.2: INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION

LECTURE 1.2: INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION

September 8



CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 2 &3)



LECTURE 1.2: INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION


LECTURE 1.3: FEDERALISM



H2: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

DISCUSSION BOARD REQUIREMENTS (15 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

September 15



CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 3)



LECTURE 1.3: FEDERALISM


CATCH UP: REVIEW FOR EXAM ONE




HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

EXAM ONE (100 POINTS)

(EXAM WILL OPEN ON YOUR D2L PAGE AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME)

September

22

CAVALLI


(CHAPTERS

4 & 15)


LECTURE 2.1: POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION & THE MEDIA


LECTURE 2.1: POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION & THE MEDIA


DISCUSS MIDTERM ESSAY



H3: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

ONLINE QUIZ (5 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

September

29




MOVIE: THANK YOU FOR SMOKING


MOVIE: THANK YOU FOR SMOKING




H4: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

DISCUSSION BOARD REQUIREMENTS (15 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

October 6



CAVALLI (CHAPTERS

5 &6)



MIDTERM ESSAYS (75 POINTS) DUE AT THE START OF SCHEDULED CLASS TIME TO TURNITIN.COM
LECTURE 2.2: INTEREST GROUPS

LECTURE 2.3: POLITICAL PARTIES & ELECTIONS



H5: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

ONLINE QUIZ (5 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME
LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW WITH W

October 13



CAVALLI

(CHAPTERS

6 &7)

LECTURE 2.3: POLITICAL PARTIES & ELECTIONS (FINISH)


LECTURE 3.1: CONGRESS



H6: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

ONLINE QUIZ (5 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

October 20



CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 7)



LECTURE 3.1: CONGRESS


CATCH-UP
GROUPWORK DAY



H7: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

DISCUSSION BOARD REQUIREMENTS (15 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

October 27





MEET YOUR CONGRESSMEN: GROUP PRESENTATIONS (GROUPS 1-10)

20 POINTS

5 POINTS FOR GROUP FEEDBACK


MEET YOUR CONGRESSMEN:

GROUP PRESENTATIONS (GROUPS 11-20)

20 POINTS

5 POINTS FOR GROUP FEEDBACK


HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

EXAM TWO (100 POINTS)

(EXAM WILL OPEN ON YOUR D2L PAGE AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME)

November 3



CAVALLI

(CHAPTERS 8 & 14)



LECTURE 3.1: THE PRESIDENCY & EXECUTIVE AGENCIES




SPECIAL GUEST STAR:

DR. JON MINER
LECTURE: AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY



H8: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

LECTURE 3.1: THE PRESIDENCY & EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (3 POINTS)

SPECIAL ONLINE LECTURE WILL OPEN AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

November 10



CAVALLI

(CHAPTERS 8 & 9)




VIDEO: FOOD INC.


VIDEO: FOOD INC.


H9: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

DISCUSSION BOARD REQUIREMENTS (15 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

November 17



CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 10)




LECTURE 3.2: THE COURTS


H10: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

LECTURE 3.2: THE COURTS

SPECIAL ONLINE LECTURE WILL OPEN AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

H11: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

COMPLETE

DISCUSSION BOARD REQUIREMENTS (15 POINTS) BEFORE END OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

November 24






NO CLASSES: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

NO CLASSES: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

NO CLASSES: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

December 1

CAVALLI

(CHAPTER 11)



LECTURE 3.3: CIVIL RIGHTS & LIBERTIES




H12: HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

LECTURE 3.3: CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

SPECIAL ONLINE LECTURE WILL OPEN AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME

HYBRID/ NO CLASS MEETING:

EXAM THREE (100 POINTS)

(EXAM WILL OPEN ON YOUR D2L PAGE AT THE START OF YOUR SCHEDULED CLASS TIME)


THE FINAL EXAM (75 POINTS) FOR YOUR COURSE IS DUE

SECTION D1: MONDAY, DECEMBER 8TH AT 12:20PM



SECTION D2: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12TH AT 2:40PM

http://ung.edu/academic-affairs/final-exam-schedules.php
FINAL EXAM ESSAYS ARE DUE TO TURNITIN.COM AT THE SPECIFIED TIME.

FINAL ESSAYS ARE NOT ACCEPTED LATE.





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