The faculty will log into ANGEL and check our e-mail on a regular basis. Please use the e-mail feature in ANGEL as the primary means of contacting us. Unless you want the message to go to a specific faculty member, please click on “all course faculty” when you compose and send an e-mail message in ANGEL. That way, any of us can read and respond to the message and copy each other so that we know someone has responded.
We have adjusted our settings so that all e-mail messages sent through ANGEL will be forwarded to our regular MSU accounts. You should also adjust your personal settings under the Preferences/ System Settings links in ANGEL so that e-mail messages generated in ANGEL will be forwarded to your preferred e-mail account (e.g., MSU Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Earthlink, AOL, etc.).
I am fully committed to being available to all my students. For those of you on campus, my regular office hours in Room 430 Baker Hall will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. However, because I am often required to attend meetings or travel out of state, I strongly recommend that you schedule appointments to meet with me to avoid wasting trips to Baker Hall, only to find that I’m not in.
You are also always free to call me at my posted MSU office number if the matter is something you prefer to discuss by phone. I have voicemail, and usually check for messages every weekday. As a general rule, I will try to respond to e-mail or voicemail messages by the next day. I do not use a cell phone on a regular basis.
I am also available for personal meetings on campus by appointment at the MSU Library, Union, International Center or other appropriate location if that would be more convenient for those of you who reside at or near the MSU campus or in the local area. This is not intended to slight those who live too far away to visit MSU in person. Because all coursework and communication is conducted online, there should be no relative advantages or disadvantages for local or distance-learning students, so there is no reason to deny local students this access.
One textbook is required for this course:
Bullock, J.A. and Haddow, G.D. (2009). Introduction to Homeland
Security: Principles of All-Hazards Response, 3rd ed. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier).
This is the second semester in which this 3rd edition will be required for this course, so used copies should be available. Copies of the older 2nd edition are also available, but even though chapter organization is the same, page numbers and some content are different. One copy of the required textbook will be available at the Reserved Reading Desk on 2 West of the Main MSU Library on 2-hour check-out for the convenience of on-campus students who can’t find or afford the textbook.
A variety of other electronic resources will be used to supplement these texts, and will be provided through ANGEL at no additional cost to you. These include PowerPoint presentations, and links to relevant URLs, electronic libraries or databases, articles, case studies, and official government documents posted in ANGEL.
This course provides both traditional students and current practitioners with a broad, up-to-date, multidisciplinary overview of homeland security as a contemporary subject of intense interest and inquiry, and as an emerging academic discipline. The course synthesizes a variety of sources, themes, methodologies and online learning activities, including presentations, assigned readings, Internet research, assessments, informal class opinion polls, threaded discussion forums, and case studies. Issues of public policy, public administration, law, criminal justice and the social/behavioral impacts of terrorism and homeland security will be considered throughout each module.
Homeland Security (CJ-439) is one of three core courses in the graduate-level, online Certificate in Homeland Security Studies offered by the MSU School of Criminal Justice. The other two courses are Issues in Terrorism (CJ-838) and Public-Private Sector Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security (CJ-491/809). Enrollment is open to both graduate and upper-division undergraduate students, including current MSU students and Lifelong Education students not currently admitted into any degree-granting program at MSU. However, eligibility for the certificate is limited to graduate and Lifelong education students. The application for the certificate is accessible at www.homelandsecurity.msu.edu.
Course Goals and Objectives:
This course will provide both traditional students and professionals currently working in the field with a comprehensive overview of, and an opportunity to evaluate and critique, the major themes and issues considered essential for understanding homeland security.
You should derive a “big picture” view through exposure to multi-disciplinary perspectives on a variety of topics through access to primary sources and recent scholarship in this field. Even students with advanced degrees or extensive professional experience in some specialized field related to homeland security should benefit from exposure to a generalist perspective. Students will also learn from each other through sharing experiences and dialogue in online discussion forums. Consistent with adult learning principles and also with MSU’s land grant mission and practitioner-oriented focus on outreach and applied research, students with “real world” professional experience are strongly encouraged to draw from their own experience and apply course concepts and research to their own jobs and organizations.
Each of the ten sequential modules will include specific objectives. However, following are the major topics or issues to be covered:
The definition and historical evolution of homeland security from its origins in civil defense and emergency management.
The modern threat of international and domestic terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Fundamental principles of emergency management and homeland security for all man-made and natural hazards and disasters, including terrorism and WMD.
The national homeland security system, including federal, tribal, state and local agencies, organizations and programs within the broader context of the American system of federalism and separation of powers.
The role of the military and National Guard in homeland defense and security, including military support to civil authorities.
The role of public health, medical response and environmental protection in homeland security.
Legal, legislative and criminal justice issues in homeland security, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the challenges of balancing security with constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties.
The challenges of harnessing the intelligence and law enforcement communities and functions for counterterrorism.
Special topics such as cyber-terrorism and cyber-security; food safety and security; supply chain and packaging security; critical infrastructure protection; and emergency management/ homeland security program standards.
The importance of public-private sector partnerships in emergency preparedness and homeland security.
Science, technology and research issues in homeland security.
Public policy and public administration issues or perspectives.
Future or emerging trends in homeland security.
Course Schedule, Format and Methodology:
The course will consist of 15 weeks of instruction and coursework for the online equivalent of 45 total contact hours, plus one week for final coursework to be submitted. It is expected that you will spend a reasonable number of additional hours reading, conducting research, participating in online course activities, and typing exams or papers. A good estimate would be 2-3 additional hours for every contact hour, for an average combined total of 9-12 hours per week.
Recognizing that you all have other important obligations and demands on your time, every effort will be make the workload challenging, but not unreasonable or overly burdensome.
Following a brief orientation module, there will be 10 successive modules organized among four general units. You will complete these modules according to a progressive schedule, which is outlined in a separate attachment. Each module has its own checklist, introduction, objectives, presentation or resource links, tasks or learning activities. A new module will be activated in ANGEL and completed approximately every 10 days, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.
Drops and Adds:
The last day to add this course is the end of the first week of classes. The last day to drop this course with a 100 percent refund and no grade reported is Thursday, February 4. The last day to drop this course with no refund and no grade reported is Wednesday, March 3. As a courtesy, I would appreciate a short e-mail from you if you decide to drop the course at some point.
Online Delivery in ANGEL:
The course will be presented entirely online in asynchronous format, meaning there will be no class meetings required on campus and no requirement to log in on specific days or times for live chat rooms or other exercises. We will use MSU’s established ANGEL (A New Global Environment for Learning) course management system as our online platform. I will use ANGEL to maintain an electronic grade book and to generate useful reports such as attendance and tracking.
Technical support for ANGEL is available online or by phone nearly around-the-clock. You may always call the ANGEL Help Desk directly toll free at 1-800-500-1554 (from anywhere in North America), or at the local Lansing-area number of 517-355-2345.
Once you are enrolled in the program with MSU Net ID and PID #s, you will automatically have access to this course in ANGEL at: https://angel.msu.edu/default.asp.
If you are new to ANGEL or need an orientation to the current version (ANGEL 7.4), just click on the HELP key on the ANGEL home page (the Question mark icon in the button on the left side of the home page), then on the STUDENTS tab for further guidance.
You will use ANGEL for accessing PowerPoint presentations; linking to URLs and other electronic resources; sending and receiving e-mail messages; participating in discussion forums; posting announcements; submitting case studies; completing online assessments and informal opinion polls; and for submitting final essay exams (for undergraduate students) or research papers (for graduate students) into electronic drop boxes. Most of this content and these online activities will be accessed under the LESSONS tab for this course in ANGEL. Once activated, all content for each module will remain accessible until the end of the semester.
Computer and Technology Requirements:
The ANGEL website provides information on computer and technology requirements, including recommended browsers. Online activities for this course are based on the “least common denominator” of Internet access for students. Advanced features such as video-clips or web-streaming certainly add variety and vitality to delivery of online material, but not all students have T-1 lines, high-speed cable or DSL Internet access, or easy access to computers on campus. Thus, we will generally rely on text sources and avoid hi-tech “bells and whistles” to reduce frustration for those who would be unable to download videos or other sophisticated graphics. Most activities will involve linking to PowerPoint presentations (with the option to listen to corresponding audio presentations in Adobe Presenter), text files, PDF files or Web links that most students should be able to access.
Occasional or temporary computer hardware or software failures, Internet connectivity problems, and quirks or glitches in accessing ANGEL or its features are probably inevitable for everyone at some time during the semester. ANGEL is often “down” for routine maintenance for a couple of hours in the early morning each week. Each student ultimately remains responsible for notifying me of problems with securing reliable access to a computer and the Internet in order to keep up with the online elements of this course.
Printing and Saving Course Documents/URLs:
We recommend that you print a copy of the course syllabus and schedule for reference throughout the course. You are not required or expected to print copies of any of the other electronic documents or Web pages used as resource material in this course, but many people feel more comfortable reading longer documents on paper rather than on a computer screen. It is your personal choice. Remember, if you try to print every document, this will run into potentially hundreds of pages, which may be costly and overtax your printer.
This course and its content will eventually become inaccessible to you after the end of the semester. Many of you will want to save or bookmark various URLs used as resources here as favorites on your own computer, but this is problematic when the link is made through ANGEL. Therefore, I have established each link to an e-resource using a new window so that you will be able to bookmark as favorites any links of special interest for future reference. Remember, the URLs and documents may eventually expire or change, including those on government Web sites.
Course Activities and Grading:
You will be expected to participate in and complete a variety of online activities that reinforce and demonstrate learning in place of the traditional classroom discussions and paper-and-pencil testing normally conducted in on-campus classes. Grading will be based on your participation in ten module discussion forums, and your performance on ten module assessments, one case study, a final essay exam (for undergraduates) or final research paper (for graduate students), and your overall course participation. All these categories or assignments except the module assessments are scored on a subjective—but not arbitrary—basis according to detailed scoring rubrics (i.e., tools with specific criteria for helping instructors make more objective, consistent, qualitative assessments of student work), requirements and expectations. The ten module assessments are objective, multiple-choice quizzes, automatically scored by ANGEL.
Consistent with accepted standards for academic rigor, graduate students will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of critical thinking, theoretical analysis and conceptual skills in their work, and may be assigned different or additional readings or exercises than for undergraduate students.
The following is the breakdown of the basis and weights for grading:
Participation in Discussion Forums: (100 points) 25%
Assessment s: (100 points) 20%
Case Study: (50 points) 20%
Final Exam or Research Paper: (100 points) 25%
Overall Course Participation: (25 points) 10%
Total: (375 points) 100%
Each area will be scored as points or percentages according to the default system in ANGEL. The course Grade Book feature in ANGEL will automatically convert the points to percentages and maintain a running overall average according to the weighting scale described above. You can view your own grades and instructor feedback at any time through the REPORTS tab on the course home page.
The grading scale or range of percentages used for calculating final grades is as follows:
94 -100% = 4.0
88 - 93% = 3.5
82 - 87% = 3.0
76 - 81% = 2.5
70 - 75% = 2.0
65 - 69% = 1.5
60 - 64% = 1.0
00 - 59% = 0.0
This is an accredited course that must meet acceptable academic standards, and credits earned for this course may be applied or transferred toward a degree program at MSU or another academic institution. Therefore, there are no differences in workload, grading standards or expectations for Lifelong Education students versus students enrolled in a degree-granting program at MSU.
Lifelong Education students who already possess a bachelor’s degree will be expected to complete the coursework requirements for graduate students (i.e., a final research paper); while those who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree should complete the coursework required for undergraduate students (i.e., final essay exam).
Following are more detailed descriptions of the requirements and expectations for each of the five graded categories or assignments:
Participation in Discussion Forums:
A significant opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and critical thinking is provided in the module discussion forums. Each of the ten modules includes a discussion forum in which one or more questions is posed by the faculty to start a threaded discussion.
Depending upon the total enrollment and composition of the class, the class may be divided into two or more small groups or teams for the module discussion forums, each facilitated and scored by one of the faculty team. Graduate and Lifelong Education students may be grouped together, and may be assigned different readings and discussion forum questions than undergraduate students in the other groups. The group/team roster will be posted under the LESSONS tab by the first week of the semester, and may be revised or “reshuffled” at mid-term. You will be notified if groups/teams are changed.
Discussion forums for each module and group will be activated within the main folder for each respective module under the LESSONS tab in ANGEL according to the schedule posted in the Course Curriculum and Schedule. The schedule is designed to allow you sufficient time (about a week) to complete the assigned readings and assessment for each module before posting comments in the discussion forum. Considering that each module requires about ten days, in an effort to maintain some consistency, the schedule is designed so that original responses and replies to other students in discussion forums will always be due either on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, depending on the module.
You may earn a maximum of ten points for participation in each of the ten module discussion forums, for a maximum overall total of 100 points for all ten modules combined. Participation in discussion forums comprises 25% of your final overall grade for the course.
Following is a detailed description of the requirements, expectations, and guidelines participation in the module discussion forums:
Each module discussion forum will include one-three questions pertaining to assigned readings and key concepts or issues covered in that respective module. The questions are intended to begin a threaded discussion to elicit your own analysis and critical thinking rather than mere summaries or regurgitation of facts, and to help you teach and learn from each other. You will be expected to post original responses to my questions, and then post replies or comments to at least some of the responses of other members of your assigned small group or team.
You will not be able to view the responses from your teammates until after you have posted your own original responses. You will be able to view and respond to questions and comments only within your assigned group or team. This restriction has been found necessary in past semesters to reduce plagiarism.
At a minimum, you are expected to post at least one original comment or response to one of the questions for each forum, and post replies to the responses from at least two other members of your own assigned small group or team by the deadline indicated in the directions for each forum.
You should post original responses to my questions by the recommended initial deadline specified in the directions for that forum. You should not reply to other students’ postings until after that date so that you have most of your group’s comments available to select from for interaction. However, you must post your original response and any replies to other students by the final deadline indicated for each respective module forum.
We will not deduct points if you post your original comments after the recommended deadline for original postings, so long as your original postings and replies to other students are made by the final deadline stipulated for each module. However, successful dialogue depends on all of us accepting responsibility for timeliness. If most students wait until a few hours before the module deadline to post original comments, then no one will have much time to reply to other members of their own group. If you do wait to the last minute before the final deadline to post your original response and reply to others, it may affect your score for course participation for that particular unit.
Although each discussion forum will remain accessible for the remainder of the semester once it is activated, faculty can determine the dates and times of your postings from the tracking features in ANGEL. Unless an extension has been approved by the faculty member assigned to monitor your group or team, two points will be deducted for each calendar day that your postings are late, regardless of the quality and volume of postings you eventually submit. Postings more than five days late without approved extensions will result in a score of “0” for participation for that particular module. Late participation or failure to participate in the module discussion forums will also affect your score for course participation for that particular unit.
Rather than participate directly in the threaded discussions and risk skewing your subsequent comments, I will post my own overall comments at the conclusion of each discussion forum to provide general feedback on your collective responses and to illuminate what I intended for you to learn from each discussion forum. You will each receive more specific, brief feedback along with your individual score, viewable under the REPORTS tab.
A recommended guide for length of original postings would be approximately 100-300 words. Please type directly into the discussion forum box, rather than uploading your responses as an attachment. Replies to other students’ postings will probably be somewhat shorter—perhaps a couple of sentences or a brief paragraph. Short comments such as “I agree” or “No way!” would not be considered adequate replies.
The appropriate style for discussion forums is more formal than for casual e-mail, texting or IM messages, but less formal and structured than for case studies and research papers. Editing for proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice and sentence structure is always important for clear communication.
It is not essential that you use other sources or references for your postings, but this is encouraged. When you do quote or refer to ideas from other sources, be sure to use proper APA or MLA source citations. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Scoring will be based on: level of participation (i.e., number and length of postings); on the quality, relevance and clarity of responses or comments; on evidence of accurate understanding and application of course concepts; on critical thinking and analytical or conceptual skills; on the contribution of the comments to learning for the class; and on use of appropriate style and source citations. Minimal participation, or even extensive participation that is of poor quality, will not earn maximum scores. In other words, if you post an original response to only one of my questions in the forum, and reply to only the minimum of two other members of your group, or even if you post numerous responses but they are poorly written or superficial, you will not earn the max of 10 points. A detailed scoring rubric for participation in the discussion forums will be posted under the Module Discussion Forums Information folder.
Although the discussion forums provide an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate critical thinking and your grasp of key issues pertaining to each module, it is impossible to ask questions that encompass all of the specific objectives and assigned readings for each module. Therefore, to ensure that you achieve the basic learning objectives for Modules 1-10, each module includes a short, objective, online learning assessment (formerly called a quiz) in ANGEL, consisting of ten multiple-choice questions pertaining to the assigned readings for that module.
The assessments will be activated within the main folder for each respective module under the LESSONS tab. In terms of a scoring rubric, each item is worth one point, with ten possible points for each assessment, and a maximum possible total of 100 points for all ten modules. Your total combined score from all ten assessments will comprise 20% of your final grade.
Following are the guidelines, expectations and requirements for the module assessments:
You will have two attempts to take each assessment. Each assessment is “open-book” and self-paced. This means that you can open each assessment and print it (if you wish) as soon as the particular module becomes activated, complete the assigned readings and research the answers, then complete and submit the assessment. However, it must be your own individual effort. No teamwork is allowed, and no cheating will be tolerated.
You must take each assessment in sequential order (i.e., first the assessment for Module 1, then the assessment for Module 2, and so on). You must achieve a minimum score of 70% before you can open and take the next assessment. In other words, you cannot jump back and forth or skip any assessments before moving ahead. If you try to take them out of order, you will find them password-locked. If you take them in proper order, the password is automatically inserted for the next assessment without becoming visible.
You should try to complete each assessment by the end of the respective module as posted in the schedule, or at least within a week following the end of the module. Timely completion of each module assessment according to this guideline will be one of the factors considered in grading overall course participation for each of the four main units. Experience shows that waiting to take all the module assessments together at the last minute is not a good choice. However, that is up to you to manage your time and effort. You will not be penalized in your individual or combined assessment scores if you do take longer and wait to the last minute to complete the assessments, but it may cost you points in your overall course participation scores as described in that section of this Syllabus. In terms of absolute deadlines, you must complete all of the assessments for Modules 1-5 in sequence no later than Monday, March 22, a week after the end of Spring Break. Similarly, you must complete each of the assessments for Module 6-10 in sequence no later than Friday, May 7, the end of Finals Week.
ANGEL will provide instant feedback regarding any incorrect answers, but it will not reveal the answer key. Thus, if you miss any questions, you have the option (this is your choice, and not required) of researching the correct answer for any questions you missed, then retaking and submitting the assessment a second time to improve your score. The ANGEL Grade Book will be set to automatically use the higher score for grading.
If you begin answering the questions in an assessment and then need to log off temporarily with the intention of resuming the assessment later, make sure to click on the “Save” key or you will lose all the answers entered to that point. Once you have completed the entire assessment to your satisfaction, click on “Submit.” ANGEL will warn you of any unanswered items.
Case studies provide an excellent opportunity for you to conduct more in-depth research and analysis on a relevant homeland security topic or incident that is of particular interest to you, but more concise and focused than for a major research paper. Thus, every student—undergraduate, graduate, and Lifelong Education—is required to select and complete one case study according to the guidelines below.
To assist you, a Case Studies folder has been established under the LESSONS tab. This folder includes nearly two dozen options for case studies for you to choose from on a wide variety of topics relevant to this course. Some are also briefly described in the required textbook. You may select the case study option that interests you most, and/or which pertains most closely to your profession or research interests.
You may earn up to a maximum of 50 points for the case study, which will comprise 20% of your final overall grade for this course.
Following are guidelines, expectations and requirements for completing the case study:
To help limit and focus the scope of your research, each case study option provides links to one or more electronic resources such as journal articles, after-action or “lessons learned” reports, government documents or other sources pertaining to that option that should serve as the basis for your research. However, you do not have to use or cite every one of the potential sources I have provided. You are also welcome, but not required, to research other, additional sources to expand or balance your analysis. Please do not use your required textbook as a source for the case study.
Your papers must reflect your original work, and may not be completed or submitted as a team project.
You must include proper source citations within the text and a list of references or bibliography in proper APA or MLA style. Wikipedia and blogs are not considered a valid source for academic papers. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
The directions for each case study option will include questions or suggestions to guide the focus and scope of your analysis. The recommended length for your concise analysis of each case study is approximately six-eight pages, in Times New Roman 11 or 12 font, paginated (i.e., with page numbers inserted), double-spaced, with 1” margins.
More detailed guidelines for organizing and formatting your case study will be provided in the Case Studies folder. This will include a title/cover page with your name, the option selected, and the date submitted. You will also be expected to “break up” and organize your narrative using appropriate subject headings in bold print.
The case study must be completed and submitted as a Word document in the drop-box provided under the Case Studies folder no later than Monday, March 22, about one week after the end of Spring Break. Extensions of that deadline require prior approval from the faculty.
If you receive a lower than desired score on your initial case study submission, you may opt to either revise and resubmit the same case study based on our feedback or critique, or, you may submit a new, substitute case study and request that the lower score be “thrown out” (i.e., deleted from the grade book) with grading based on your higher case study score.
Scoring will be based on our subjective (but not arbitrary) evaluation of: the quality and clarity of analysis and logical argument; evidence of critical thinking and accurate understanding or application of course concepts; appropriate style and source citations; and effective communications skills (i.e., proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and syntax). A detailed scoring rubric for the case studies will be posted in the Case Studies folder prior to Spring Break.
Final Essay Examination (Undergraduate Students):
Undergraduate students will be required to complete and submit a final comprehensive essay examination during Finals Week, with a final deadline or due date of Friday, May 7. The test questions will be posted in ANGEL at least two-three weeks before the final deadline date. Additional details concerning the final essay exam will be announced in ANGEL later this semester. Alternate arrangements or deadlines must be approved by the lead faculty facilitator.
(Note: Undergraduate students are welcome to pursue the option of submitting a final research paper in lieu of the final essay exam if you prefer, but this is not required. If you choose this option, you must follow the guidelines and requirements described below in the section on Final Research Paper for Graduate Students.)
The exam will consist of a series of ten questions that require essay-style responses—similar to traditional “blue book” exams, but submitted online through a drop-box in ANGEL. Each question will include a synthesis of the major issues, questions and sub-topics of one of the sequential module discussion forums. You must respond to any five questions—you may select which you prefer.
Each exam item will be worth a maximum of 20 points, for a maximum total of 100 points possible for the final essay exam, which will comprise 25% of the final grade for the course.
Following are the guidelines, expectations and requirements for the final essay exam:
The final essay exam will be “open book” to the extent that you may refer back to earlier discussion forums, and consult other references, with proper attribution. You may borrow from your own postings in prior discussion forums without the need for source citations, but you should not merely copy and paste your earlier discussion forum postings into the exam. Since few of you will have responded to every possible question in each discussion forum, it is likely you will have to expand or rethink your answers anyway to be responsive to the final essay exam questions.
You will have only one attempt to submit the exam. The answers must reflect your own, original, individual work with no team efforts allowed. Cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated, and will be penalized in accordance with MSU policies.
Your response to each of the five questions you select should be approximately two pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11 or 12 font, paginated (i.e., page numbers inserted), with 1” margins. You will need to be thorough, but also concise and focused.
You may either download and save the final essay exam itself, typing your responses directly into the exam for the five questions you have selected and deleting the rest, or create a new document for your responses. You must save this as a Word document, and submit it into the Final Coursework drop-box no later than Friday, May 7. The document must include the title “Final Essay Exam,” your name, and the date submitted.
Grading will be based on our subjective evaluation of: the quality and clarity of analysis; the extent to which each response demonstrates understanding and the ability to synthesize concepts learned in the course and covered in the corresponding module discussion forums; proper use of source citations (if any); and overall written communications skills (i.e., grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and syntax). The exam will be scored according to a detailed rubric that will be posted under the Final Coursework folder after mid-term.
Final Research Paper (Graduate Students):
Instead of the final essay exam required for undergraduate students, all graduate students—including Lifelong Education students who already have a bachelor’s degree—will be required to submit a major research paper on a relevant homeland security topic of their choice.
It is highly desirable that your topic would have application or relevance to your current or intended profession or agency, or to your own academic research interests on a major policy, administrative, operational or organizational issue relating to homeland security. You are encouraged to select a topic, conduct your research and organize your paper with the thought of eventually publishing your work in an appropriate journal or other forum.
You may earn up to a maximum of 100 points for the final research paper, which will comprise 25% of your final overall grade for the course. The paper will be scored according to a detailed rubric that will be posted under the Final Coursework folder after mid-term.
Following are the expectations, requirements, criteria and guidelines for the final research paper:
A concise proposal (approximately 1-2 pages) including your proposed topic or title, draft thesis or problem statement and a preliminary bibliography for this paper must be submitted in the Final Research Paper Proposal drop-box by March 22, and approved by the instructor before you complete the paper itself. I may be able to offer suggestions regarding possible references or how to focus the scope of your papers, but I’ll avoid imposing my own idiosyncrasies on your proposals.
The final research paper itself must include the following elements, similar to a “mini-thesis”:  a cover/title page including your name and the date submitted,  a short abstract (less than 250 words);  a short problem statement or thesis;  a concise literature review;  the main body of the paper, divided into subject headings that are logical and appropriate for organizing your narrative;  a final section for your summary, conclusions or recommendations;  appendices (if any—not required);  a bibliography or list of references (may also be titled as “Sources Consulted” or “Works Cited”). There are many good guides available through the MSU Library or on the Web for organizing research papers, writing abstracts and literature reviews, and developing your thesis and bibliography.
Typed as a Word document in Times New Roman 11 or 12 font; double-spaced; paginated (i.e., page numbers inserted); all titles or subject headings in bold; 1” margins.
Minimum of 15 pages, maximum of 25 pages (not including cover/title page, list of references, or any appendices).
The narrative must be clear, concise, and logically organized, with correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.
All acronyms, abbreviations or technical terms must be defined clearly when first introduced.
Minimum of 10 appropriate scholarly or official sources used. Appropriate sources include books, peer-reviewed journal articles, statutes or congressional testimony, executive orders or directives, and official Web sites, reports, plans, white papers, policies, standards, strategies or guidelines by government agencies, think-tanks, associations, etc. Articles in trade journals or popular media (e.g., magazines, newspapers, etc.) may also be used on a limited basis to supplement or reinforce scholarly sources. Wikipedia and blogs are not acceptable sources. The required textbook for this course should not be cited or included as a source. If oral interviews are considered, these must be described in the proposal and approved in advance. A significant proportion (e.g., 25-50% or more) of the sources must derive from the MSU Library e-resources databases or catalog, or from other databases and sources linked in this course in ANGEL. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and will result in penalty grades for this assignment and the course.
All in-text source citations and bibliography/list of references must be in consistent, proper, APA (6th ed.) or MLA style.
Graphs, tables, charts, maps and appendices are not required, but may be included if necessary or helpful. If included, these must be clearly and consistently labeled, and must be referred to within the narrative to establish relevance.
Submitted as an attachment in the Final Coursework drop-box in ANGEL no later than May 7, 2010. Do not type or paste the paper directly into the drop-box. Requests for extensions must be approved in advance by the instructor.
The paper must display your grasp and application of key concepts from this course, along with evidence of your own analysis, evaluation, and critical thinking regarding the issues addressed in your paper.
Overall Course Participation:
This is a totally asynchronous online course with no on-campus classes and no online activities such as “live” chat rooms or web-conferences scheduled at specific days or times. You are not required or expected to log into this course every day. This is intended to provide you the flexibility for managing your own schedule. You all have other professional, personal, academic or family obligations, and some of you may be located in geographic locations or different time zones that would preclude you from attending meetings at the MSU campus or even participating in synchronous or “live” activities online. Also, you each have unique or different class or work schedules, times for computer/Internet access, “online attention spans,” and a different pace for online work, which may vary from week to week.
However, regular online “attendance” or participation (i.e., logging into this course, participating in and completing required assignments in ANGEL) is absolutely essential for your individual success, and the success of this overall course. You must log in with some regularity each week in order to keep up with course announcements, e-mail messages, assigned readings, assessments, presentations, and to participate in module discussion forums. If the faculty notices that you are falling behind in your work and a check of the tracking feature shows that you have not been logging in, we may contact you by e-mail to investigate and to explore possible solutions.
I also fully expect that some of you may have to be “off line” for reasonable periods during the semester—perhaps for several days at a time—due to required business travel, scheduled family vacations, injuries or illness, attending funerals, or other circumstances where it would be impractical, impossible or unreasonable to access a computer and the Internet to log into ANGEL every day.
There is generally no need to notify the faculty of short “online absences” of a day or two unless you will be disconnected from this course for long periods due to serious circumstances, and you wouldn’t be able to keep up with the coursework schedule. In such cases, we will work with you to make reasonable accommodations, or pursue grading options such as “Incomplete” (for undergraduate students) or “Deferred Grade” (for graduate students only) as appropriate according to university regulations.
We understand that “things happen” from time-to-time that would hinder your ability to keep up with the coursework according to the prescribed schedule. We promise to remain flexible and accommodating—within reasonable limits—but you must take responsibility for notifying us seeking approval for extensions.
In order to reinforce the need and motivate you to participate, you will be scored on overall course participation five times during the course—once upon completion of the Orientation Module, and also following completion of each of the four major course units, each consisting of two or three modules (i.e., Unit 1—Modules 1 & 2; Unit 2—Modules 3, 4 & 5; Unit 3—Modules 6 & 7; Unit 4—Modules 8, 9 & 10).
You may earn a maximum of five (5) points for course participation each time, for a maximum possible combined total of 25 points for the Orientation Module, Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, and Unit 4. Course participation will comprise 10% of your overall final course grade.
Following are the factors, guidelines, expectations, and scoring rubric for course participation:
Online “attendance:” (i.e., frequency, regularity and duration of logging into this course in ANGEL). As a general rule, I would expect that you would log into ANGEL a minimum of twice per week—not necessarily at any specific days or times, but on a regular basis, and for more than just a couple of minutes. Please notify us of any circumstances that might prevent you from participating in any given week that could be considered as an “approved absence” from the course. ANGEL has a tracking feature, which allows faculty to track the dates, times and duration that each student logs into ANGEL. We will use this feature to determine how often and how long you log in for assessing your online “attendance,” and in determining your score for course participation. You may earn a maximum of two (2) points if you exceed the minimum expectation for attendance; one (1) point if you log in at least once or twice for a reasonable amount of time; zero (0) points if you fail to log in without an approved absence.
As described in the section on Assessments above, you must complete and pass each of the ten module assessments in sequence. The absolute deadline for completing the assessments for the first half of the course, Modules 1-5, is March 22, a week after the end of Spring Break, and the assessments for Modules 6-10 must be completed by the end of the course on May 7. However, as stated in that section, it is strongly recommended that you complete each assessment by the end of the corresponding module, or at least within a week of the end of the module, rather than waiting to the last minute to do all five of the first five assessments just prior to March 22, or all five of the final five assessments just prior to May 7. You will not be penalized on the assessments themselves if you do wait to the last minute, but you must complete them in a timely manner as we go along as described above in order to earn points for course participation. You may earn a maximum of two (2) points if you complete all the assessments for a given unit by the end of that unit; one (1) point if you complete some of the assessments for a given unit within that timeframe or all of them within a week of the end of that unit; and zero (0) points if you fail to complete any assessments, or wait to the last minute to complete all the assessments by the ultimate deadlines listed in the Syllabus (i.e., completing the assessments for Modules 1-5 on or just prior to March 22, and for Modules 6-10 on or just prior to May 7).
It is also expected that you would complete all other required coursework in a timely manner according to the deadlines stated in the Course Curriculum & Schedule, and in the instructions for each unit, module or assignment in ANGEL. This would include posting your bio in the Orientation Module, completing all module discussion forums, submitting your case study by March 22, and submitting your final essay exam or research paper by May 7. You will not be penalized if you have approved absences or extensions. You may earn one (1) point if you participate in module discussion forums and submit all other required coursework for a given unit on time according to the stated deadlines; and zero (0) points if you are late or fail to participate in module discussion forums or to submit other required work.
Group or Team Projects:
Many online training and education programs require team projects or “newsgroups” consisting of two or more students. Peer-to-peer learning and collaboration are important. Thus, you will be interacting with each other in small groups or teams on a formal basis through threaded discussions in module discussion forums, and may also communicate informally through the ANGEL e-mail chat room systems.
However, scoring in this course will be based on individual performance on threaded discussions, case studies, assessments, essay exams or research papers, and overall course participation. You will not be required to complete and submit work in teams, other than in the context of participating in your respective team’s discussion forums. There can be definite benefits to learning from other kinds of team projects, but this class is typically too large from the perspective of span of control for me to manage and assess the specific contributions of individual team members, or the aggregate performance of each team or small group.
You are encouraged to get to know each other online and engage in informal communications as collegial relationships develop. You may always communicate with each other privately be e-mail, whether through ANGEL, the regular MSU system or other Internet addresses, and in online chat rooms available through ANGEL. Informal chat room discussions among students will not be graded or evaluated in any way, although you may be counseled privately regarding offensive or inappropriate chat room comments.
Online Etiquette and Behavior:
Participation in this course requires that you post comments or responses to my questions and replies to other students’ comments in threaded discussions. Inevitably, you will disagree with something you read. It is just as important to remain constructive and respectful online as in person to maintain a positive, open learning experience.
Please think and consider the tone and potential impact of your comments before you post them to make sure that your tone and word choice are appropriate, and unlikely to be misinterpreted, hurtful or antagonistic. If we read inappropriate, harmful, offensive or hostile messages, we will contact you privately by e-mail to counsel alternative approaches. We want everyone to feel comfortable, welcome and open for honest intellectual debate and discussion, and the importance of respecting our common and individual human dignity should go without saying.
Although written primarily to deter disruptive behavior in classrooms on campus, the following language could also be construed for application to an online course:
Article 2.3.5 of the Academic Freedom Report (AFR) for students at Michigan State University states: "The student's behavior in the classroom shall be conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned." Article 2.3.10 of the AFR states that "The student has a right to scholarly relationships with faculty based on mutual trust and civility." General Student Regulation 5.02 states: "No student shall . . . interfere with the functions and services of the University (for example, but not limited to, classes . . .) such that the function or service is obstructed or disrupted. Students whose conduct adversely affects the learning environment in this classroom may be subject to disciplinary action through the Student Faculty Judiciary process.
Scholarly Sources and Source Citations:
It is preferred that all source citations in threaded discussions, case studies, research papers or other written work should follow current APA (American Psychological Association) style as commonly used in the social sciences. However, MLA (Modern Language Association) style is also acceptable. If you are rusty or unfamiliar with either of these styles, you may consult concise guides posted under the RESOURCES tab at the top of the home page for this course.
Please contact me by e-mail if you are much more comfortable and familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, or the Council of Science Editors (CSE) citation-sequence method because of your own academic discipline. I can also accept and interpret any of those methods as long as you are clear, correct and consistent according to the guidelines for each respective style.
Consistent with the common view held by faculty within the School of Criminal Justice, blogs and Wikipedia—although easy to search and often helpful—are not considered appropriate sources for reference citations in scholarly, academic papers. Official agency or association Web sites, government reports and documents, monographs, and peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles are preferred. Trade journals and popular media such as newspapers or magazines may also be appropriate to a limited degree in certain cases to supplement or reinforce scholarly sources. Please avoid citing the required textbook in your case study or final research paper. For further explanation or comparison/contrast between scholarly, popular and other sources, please consult the MSU Library guides linked under the RESOURCES tab at the top of the home page for this course.
Academic Honesty and Integrity:
Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." In addition, the School of Criminal Justice adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: www.msu.edu.)
Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including assignments, assessments, and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the http://www.allmsu.com Website to complete any work in this course.
All quotations or ideas borrowed from any published or unpublished sources, including books, articles, theses, papers, blogs, Websites, or any other hard-copy or online sources, must be given proper attribution with source citations. Failure to do so will be considered evidence of plagiarism. Definitions of plagiarism and MSU policies regarding plagiarism may be found at http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/plagiarism.html.
Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including—but not limited to—a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work (See also http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/honestylinks.html).
We will use plagiarism detection search engines to examine any suspicious text. I also have saved electronic copies of all case studies, final essay exams and final research papers submitted in past semesters for easy comparison, and I change some requirements for these assignments each semester, so copies from past semesters will stand out. We will confront students privately online in any cases of apparent dishonesty or plagiarism. Depending upon the nature and extent of any such plagiarism, consequences may range from no credit for the particular assignment to a failing course grade or further administrative disciplinary action consistent with MSU policies.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:
Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a disability specialist, call 353-9642 (voice), 355-1293 (TTY), or visit http://MyProfile.rcpd.msu.edu.
Commercialized Lecture Notes:
Commercialization of lecture notes and university-provided course materials is not permitted in this course.
At the end of the semester, you will have an opportunity to evaluate the course and the faculty online through the prescribed MSU Student Instructor Rating System (SIRS) and Student Opinion of Courses and Teaching (SOCT). Your feedback will be especially helpful in making necessary improvements to course content, format or methodology in order to better address students’ needs.
Changes to the Syllabus:
Like our federal and state constitutions, this syllabus is our primary guiding course document, but it may be subject to later amendments and interpretations as necessary. As we proceed, we may determine that mid-course corrections are needed to achieve our overall goals.
Therefore, I reserve the right to make necessary changes to this syllabus and our course schedule and curriculum as necessary. Everyone will be notified of any such changes in a timely manner through announcements and/or e-mail messages in ANGEL. I will make every effort to avoid penalizing students in grading for any perceived noncompliance with expectations that are not clearly expressed or implied in this original syllabus, or in announced changes, or because of possible technical glitches in ANGEL.
CJ Student Listserv:
The CJ-Student listserv is an electronic forum just for criminal justice students. If you subscribe, you will receive information about scholarships, graduate assistantships, job opportunities, classroom and scheduling changes, upcoming school events, and more. You will also be able to distribute information related to your educational experiences at MSU. Faculty and staff will frequently distribute important information via Listserv, so all CJ students are strongly encouraged to sign up.
To subscribe, send an email to: email@example.com. Leave the subject line blank, and write this message in the text:
SUB(space) cj-student (space) your name
Example: Sub cj-student John Doe
Once you subscribe, you will receive a welcome e-mail. You will also receive additional information about the list and instructions for receiving and posting messages. If you have any questions regarding your subscription, send them to Tim Homberg at Tim.Homberg@ssc.msu.edu