Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Blinn College logo

Distance Education · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Summer I 2019
  • Section N01 CRN-30035
  • 3 Credits
  • 06/03/2019 to 07/01/2019
  • Modified 06/15/2019

Meeting Times

Internet Class. Available 24/7. URL: (Use this link to go straight to class!)

Course runs Jun 3 - Jul 1, 2019

This is an online distance education course.  It is open throughout the semester but there are assigned due dates for submitting assignments and tests.

FYI: The last day to drop this class with a "Q" is June 21

Contact Information

Professor's Name: Eric Miller

Office Number: A-272 (Academic) Office Hours: By Appt for summer...
Office Phone: 979-209-7330 Office Email: [email protected]

STUDENTS! Please try to use eCampus whenever possible to e-mail me. (That's [email protected] if you need it.)

ALSO: Please set up "forwarding" on your eCampus e-mail so you don't miss anything!

I am often online in eCampus- I'll be more than happy to set up a chat if asked. Other arrangements may be made as needed.

-->I'm on the Bryan Campus. Shoot me an e-mail if you want to meet...!


Government 2305 is a study of the organization, functions, and administration of the several branches and agencies of the national government, including a study of the federal constitution. The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction of these subsystems. 48 contact hours. Credit: Three semester hours.


Student must be college reading ready according to Texas Success Initiatives Standards (TSI). Please see the Catalog section under Texas Success Initiative.

Core Curriculum Statement

Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge in human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning. For details relating to this core course, please see:


Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.

Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.

Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.

Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.

Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.

Analyze the election process.

Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.




  • EDITION:   11E
  • ISBN:   9780393622850


Course Requirements

Please note: Generally each "module" is open for only for a set number of calendar DAYS. There may be some overlap from one "period" to the next. This is a a SUMMER semester class.

Assignments are "assigned" during the specified period- some assignments are due during the period while others (generally writing assignments) are due at the end of the period. The Schedule below has additional notes- please pay attention to them. I want you to maximize your points!

YOU are responsible for getting the work completed during the period it is available. PLAN ACCORDINGLY!!!!

Failure to complete assigned work during the period may result in an absence. See the Absence policy below.

Final note: There is a "Course Access Assignment" that must be completed to gain access to the course materials in eCampus. All the directions and requirements for this Assignment are in eCampus. Completing this assignment is YOUR indication that you are ready!

Quizzes: 90 points

These are chapter "pop" quizzes. There are 18 total- one for each chapter. They are 10 questions each, drawn randomly from each chapter. Each quiz is auto-graded by eCampus so you should see your results immediately. Each quiz is worth 5 points,

Note that all quizzes are grouped by test- you will find the quizzes for Chapter 9 in "Section 2" of the class, for example. Remember to take all the quizzes before you take the test for that section!

Quizzes expire at 11:55 PM on the day indicated. Please see the schedule section below.

Tests: 70 points each, 140 point Final

There will be 3 tests and a final exam. Each regular test is composed of 70 Multiple Choice and True-False questions. Not 70 of each, 70 total. The questions will come from the textbook (mainly) and from the course content on the website. Each test is worth 70 points. The first three tests will cover the material for only that section. These first three tests will be taken in the eCampus course- once you take the test for that section, you are DONE with that section.

Again, once you take the test for a section, you are finished with that section. If you did not do any quizzes or written work in that section, you will not get to. They will be recorded as zeros. Please don't do that...

The final exam will cover the material since the third test AND material from the previous three tests- it will be comprehensive in other words. The Final Exam will be 105 questions and worth 140 points. All classwork MUST be completed before the final is taken. The Final Exam is considered the end test of Section 4. However, an exception to this is at the end of the semester when the final will be made available to everyone, regardless of what you have or have not done in class. The final is also taken in eCampus and may be taken after all previous tests and quizzes are completed. Remember, once the Final Exam has been taken (whenever that is), access to the class WILL BE DENIED! Please be sure you are done with the class BEFORE you take the final! This includes submitting all writing assignments and Homework Posts! When you take the Final, you are telling me you are FINISHED with the class.

Like quizzes, Tests are auto-graded by eCampus. You should know your score as soon as you are done.

Tests expire at 11:55 PM on the day they are due- the end of the period (see Schedule)

 Please note that Test 2 and Test 3 are PROCTORED exams. See the note on proctoring below.

-->If a test is not proctored, it will be converted to a grade of 0 (zero). It is the student's responsibility to ensure that proctoring is followed. Your professor will help you to the best of his ability to succeed in following the proctoring.

Here are the Chapters the Tests cover:

  • Test 1: Chapters 1 - 5
  • Test 2: Chapters 6 - 11
  • Test 3: Chapters 12 - 15
  • Final: Chapters 16 - 18 plus previous material

Homework: 160 points

These are done using the Discussion tool in eCampus. There will be ONE homework “discussion post” in each section. Each homework assignment is worth 40 points each and you'll be assigned four (4) of them.

These are available for the entire period when assigned (usually the first period of the section).

Each assignment will have a number of questions that require written responses. In many assignments, you get to choose the questions you will answer. Some assignments will have specific responses, others will have very open responses. Each assignment has a "How am I graded?" section that provides more detail in the expectations. Please look over it as part of the assignment so maximum points can be earned!

While proper use of the English language is not strictly enforced, it will lower your grade if there are abuses of the English language.

--> NOTE: You may submit a homework late. If you miss the deadline, then e-mail me your homework to my @ecampusd2l address- copy/paste your work, do not attach it! I must get it no more than 48 hours after the deadline. It will only be worth 75% of the original points (max of 30 points).

I generally try to get these graded the day after they are turned in. Please keep in mind that since each assignment is different, some may take an extra day or two to get graded.

Again, once you take the test for a section, you will not be allowed to do any more work in that section. So be sure you have done your homework assignment and completed all other available assignments before you take the section test.

These assignments are due at 11:30 PM on the day the period ends (see Schedule) [Note the different time!]

Letters: 100 points

There are two (2) "letters" you will write. These will be done using the Discussion Tool in eCampus so no additional postage or paper is required.

There is one of these letter-writing assignments in each section and you will have a period to write your original letter and then the next period will have you write two (2) replies to other students. Each Letter assignment has a "How am I graded?" section that provides details on the expectations for the letters and the two replies. Please consult this as part of the assignment to maximize your points for the assignment! Each one is worth 50 points.

The periods the letter & replies are available/due is listed in the Schedule below.


Your grade will be calculated as follows: I will total the points earned on all the assignments and compare them to the table below- there is a maximum of 700 points available (excluding bonuses):

630 points and over-

grade of "A" and four (4) grade points.

560 - 629 points-

grade of "B" and three (3) grade points

490 - 559 points-

grade of "C" and two (2) grade points.

420 - 489points-

grade of "D" and one (1) grade point.

419and below-

grade of "F" and zero (0) grade points.

There is no “individual” grade on any one assignment. Points are earned and compared to the table above at the end of the term to set the student’s grade.

If there are extenuating, documented circumstances, a grade of "I" may be assigned, following current Blinn policies. If a student withdraws (drops) from class a grade of "Q", "QP", or "QF" will be given, depending on the date of the student's withdrawal and their current grade. Note: There may be occasions when points will be added to a student's grade to reward actions above expectations. Points will never be taken away.

Blinn College Policies

All policies, guidelines, and procedures in the Blinn College CatalogBlinn College Board Policies, and the Blinn College Administrative Regulations are applicable to this course.

Specific information on civility, attendance, add/drop, scholastic integrity, students with disabilities, final grade appeal, alternative retailers, campus carry and proctoring arrangements and cost.

Notice of any action taken under these protocol and procedures, by Blinn College or its employees, may be delivered by hand, through the U.S. Postal Service, or electronically to the student’s Blinn Buc e-mail account. Notice shall be deemed received upon actual receipt, on deposit in the U.S. Mail, or upon entering the information processing system used by Blinn College for Blinn Buc e-mail accounts, whichever first occurs.

Course Policies


Proctoring is not meant as a "punishment," but as a way to ensure all students have as level a playing field as possible to demonstrate their own mastery of the material being tested.

Test #2 and Test #3 will be proctored using the Tegrity Test Proctor. It does require a Window/Mac PC (no Chromebooks!) and a webcam.

Additional information is provided to students in eCampus.

This proctoring service is FREE to registered Blinn students.



You must complete at least one gradebook item per period. This can be a quiz, a test, posting to a project, or doing the homework post. You do not have to earn points; you must only complete an item in that section. Each section has the start and end dates listed on the eCampus content sections and below.

Please note, it is NOT enough to just log in to class, substantive work must be completed or submitted for you to be counted as attending class. Reading the lectures does not count. E-mail does not count. Discussion postings other than the assigned Homework Posts or Projects do not count.

If something comes up that may cause to to miss class, do your best to let me know ASAP. It's much easier to help you sooner than later....

If you do NOT complete at least one item, you will be submitted to Blinn to be dropped from the class. Keep in mind that if this is after the above “Q” date, your grade will be recorded as a “QF.”

Course Work

There are really no excuses to miss class. This is an Internet class and is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- including holidays. If a situation arises that you feel will cause you to miss several deadlines and generally put you behind in class, PLEASE contact me ASAP! Extensions may be considered if there's enough time to work something out and the situation is serious enough and documented. Yes, the class is available on weekends and holidays.

As you can see by the Schedule section below, there will be firm due dates for each section of course material. So when you see the due date for a test, that date is also the end of that section. The next section will become available the following day, not before. Any material not completed by the test date will be assigned a grade of 0 (zero). Once a section has expired, access to that section will not be allowed- so be prepared to take notes on lectures just as you would a regular class.

YOUR computer problems are not an excuse to "miss" class. Yes, if Blinn's system goes down, adjustments will be made if needed.


A more detailed schedule is available in eCampus- check the CONTENT tab, not the calendar. Adjustments (if any) will be announced in eCampus. The required coursework is equivalent to the 48 contact hours a student would earn in a traditional class.

Calendar Period "Week" Topic(s) Credit Hours (per period)
  Jun 3 - 9:   Intro, Ch01 (American Political Culture)  2.5
  Jun 3 - 9:   Ch02 (Constitution)  2.5
  Jun 3 - 9:   Ch03 (Federalism),  2.5
  Jun 3 - 9:   Ch04 (Civil Liberties),  2.5
  Jun 3 - 9:
  Ch05 (Civil Rights), Test 1  2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch08 (Voting)  2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch06 (Public Opinion)  2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch07 (Media),  2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch11 (Interest Groups)   2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch09 (Parties),  2.5
  Jun 10 - 16:   Ch10 (Campaigns), Test #2  2.5
  Jun 17 - 23:   Ch12 (Congress),  2.5
  Jun 17 - 23:   Ch13 (President),  2.5
  Jun 17 - 23:   Ch14 (Agencies),  2.5
  Jun 17 - 23:
  Ch15 (Courts),  Test #3  2.5
  Jun 24 - 30:   Ch17 (Social Policy),  2.5
  Jun 24 - 30:   Ch16 (Economic Policy),  2.5
  Jun 24 - 30:   Ch18 (Foreign Policy),  2.5
  Jun 30 - Jul 1:   FINAL EXAM in eCampus  3

You may also find this helpful:

Assignment When Due Replies Due
Homework #1  Jun 6 (Thu)  N/A
Homework #2  Jun 13 (Thu)  N/A
Homework #3  Jun 20 (Thu)  N/A
Homework #4  Jun 27 (Thu)  N/A
Letter #1  Jun 9 (Sun)  Jun 16 (Sun)
Letter #2  Jun 23 (Sun)  Jun 30 (Sun)

 ATTENTION!!!! Please note the following...

Remember that  when the period ends, so does the work contained within that period. 

Note that periods with a TEST will *not* have the test available on the first day of the period. Please remember to take the quiz prior to taking the test. Once you take the test, I'll move you on to the next section so you can get started on it right away.

Total Contact Hours


NOTE: Online classes are aligned with their counterpart classes offered in all other modalities – i.e. F2F. They include the same objectives and learning outcomes. The Master Course Syllabus aligns course objectives and learning outcomes. Moreover, these are reviewed and verified through the division (using the Division Online/Blended Course Pre-Review Form) and through the Distance Learning Course Review Team procedures. Furthermore they conform to the guidelines established by Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Rule 4.6 (e).