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RELLIS · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Fall 2020
  • Sections 53K CRN-19266, 53L CRN-19270
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 10/19/2020

Meeting Times

This course is a blended course structure. ‘Blended’ refers to a course in which a majority (between 51-85%) of contact hours are completed when the students and instructor are not in the same place. All coursework is

  1. completed on eCampus
  2. open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the term
  3. open on the first day of class - see eCampus module descriptions for coursework closing times 
  4. synchronous lecture options:
    • Tuesday lectures (9:10-10:25am):
      • Section K has Face-to-Face (F2F) option in Academic Complex Building I, Room 120.
      • Section L may meet remotely via Zoom.
      • In addition, if a Section K student prefers to use Zoom instead of F2F, that is fine.
    • Thursday lectures (9:10-10:25am): 
      • Section L has Face-to-Face (F2F) option in Academic Complex Building I, Room 120.
      • Section K may meet remotely via Zoom.
      • In addition, if a Section L student prefers to use Zoom instead of F2F, that is fine.

Contact Information

Professor Jeff Lee (he/him), 979-209-8893, only a virtual office for Fall 2020

Virtual Office Meetings on Zoom: Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11am or by appointment - just email me to set up a Zoom appointment; please include the two best times for you and I will reply with a meeting confirmation time and send a Zoom meeting link.

Email: [email protected] 

I will reply within 12 hours on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. *If you email me from your blinn.edu student email address then the system allows the email to be sent to my Inbox. If you email me from a different address, the system usually diverts your email to the Junk folder, so it may take me longer to see, and reply, to those emails.*

In your email, please include the section number you are in (53 or 54 and K or L).

Description

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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.

Requisites

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:

http://www.blinn.edu/academics/core-curriculum.html

Outcomes

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.

Materials

WE THE PEOPLE 

REQUIRED |By GINSBERG

  • EDITION:  12E
  • PUBLISHER:   NORTON
  • ISBN: 9780393431261

"InQuizitive" resources from the publisher are not required.

Distance Education requirements

As a distance education course, some of our instruction and assessment is completed on eCampus; therefore, you need a reliable computer and internet access, and browser with required plug-ins supported by eCampus.

  • According to Distance Education policy, problems occurring due to an unreliable computer or internet connection, or unsupported browser are the responsibility of the student. Instructors are not able to make accommodations for these issues. 
  • Technical problems with the class should be directed to Distance Learning Help Desk

In order to maintain high academic standards, the following assessments are required to be proctored:  

Assessments to be proctored

Type of Proctoring

Ch18 Quiz

Final Exam

Honorlock

Information about proctoring options

  • With HonorLock, students must have a high-speed reliable internet connection, webcam, and a microphone (if the webcam does not have one.)
  • The 'Honorlock Testing Guidelines' document is posted on eCampus in Modules 8A and 8B.

What to expect regarding proctoring –

  • All online courses at Blinn College now have proctoring requirements. In this class, the Ch18 Quiz and Final Exam must be proctored.
  • Use a computer but not a tablet as there are too many reported issues with students using their tablets. 
  • Use both attempts on the Ch18 Quiz as practice proctoring attempts to make sure you have no issues on the Final Exam. 

With Honorlock, you DO NOT need to create an account, download software, or schedule an appointment in advance. It is available 24/7 and all that is needed is a computer, a working webcam, and a stable Internet connection.

Getting started: with Honorlock, you will need Google Chrome and the Honorlock Chrome Extension. You can download the extension at www.honorlock.com/extension/install

Authentication process: with Honorlock click "Launch Proctoring". You will take a picture of yourself, show your ID, and complete a scan of your room. Honorlock will be recording your exam session by webcam, as well as recording your screen. 

When you are ready to test, go to the assessment (quiz or exam) in our eCampus class and click on the assessment to begin. When completing your exam, please keep your eyes on your computer screen.

  • A failure to comply with the proctoring requirements will result in a grade of zero. 

 

Course Requirements

Minor Assignments – Students will complete posts, discussions, and drop box submissions. See eCampus for minor assignments details > Modules 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15.   

Minor Exams: Students will complete three minor exams covering assigned chapters. All minor exams are completed on eCampus. See eCampus for minor exams details > Modules 4, 8, and 12.   

Final Exam: Students will complete one cumulative final exam. The final exam is completed on eCampus. See eCampus for final exam details > Module 16. As noted above, the final exam must be proctored.   

FAQs:  

(1) "I don't like having to complete the assignments on Thursday afternoon. Why do the assignments close Thursdays at 5pm?" All assignments open from the first day of class so there is no reason to wait until the afternoon an assignment is due to complete the given assignment. 'Due' date does not mean 'do' it then. 

(2) "eCampus is not letting me complete an assignment. Professor Lee, can you help me?" I am not able to help you the way the experts at the Distance Learning Help Desk are able to assist you. Please contact the Help Desk for eCampus technical issues.

(3) "Will you reopen the assignments I missed for me to complete or give me some other accommodation to make up work I have missed?" Though I am not able reopen assignments or give extra credit I drop some minor assignments grades and drop the lowest module exam (not final exam) grade. If you missed some assignments because of work/dating relationship/family/personal stress/other classes personal distress, please keep in mind the Blinn College Counseling Services free to all Blinn students. As Counseling Services says, "Instructors are not counselors or emotional fixers. That is the role of Counseling Services." Overall, please realize I need to avoid giving accommodations to one student the other students do not get. 

(4) "When will I know my grades on assignments?" Quizzes and exams grades are available immediately upon completion of the given attempt. On posts, discussions, and drop box submissions, unless something unusual has happened, assignment grades will be posted on your eCampus grade book within 24 hours of the given assignment closing for the class. Know the grade for incomplete assignments will be no greater than 60.

(5) "What is the best way to prepare for quizzes?" First, study the assigned chapter for the given chapter quiz. Second, complete your first attempt on the given chapter quiz and review your attempt. Third, study the assigned chapter a second time, giving special attention to the parts of the chapter that challenged you most on the first chapter quiz attempt. Fourth, complete your second attempt on the given chapter quiz and review your attempt. Fifth, study the assigned chapter a third time, giving special attention to the parts of the chapter that challenged you most on the second chapter quiz attempt. 

(6) "What is the best way to prepare for minor exams?" There are two chapters assigned for each of the three minor exams. First, after having already studied the assigned chapters three times for the given chapter quizzes, one substantive review of those two chapters may be sufficient as preparation for the given minor exam. Only you know your reading comprehension level and/or the preparation you put into the chapter quizzes, though. Second, complete your first attempt on the given minor exam and review your attempt. Third, review the assigned chapters a second time, giving special attention to the parts of the chapters that challenged you most on the first exam attempt. Fourth, complete your second attempt on the given minor exam and review your attempt. Fifth, review the assigned chapter a third time, giving special attention to the parts of the chapter that challenged you most on the second chapter quiz attempt. 

(7) "Is there a review for the final exam?" Reviewing your quizzes and module exams is your review. See the 'How to View Quiz Feedback' link in the 'Start Here!' module on eCampus. Only you know your reading comprehension level, but the better you prep for the quiz attempts and module exams, the easier your textbook review will be prior to the final exam. No, I do not reopen the quizzes and exams for review prior to the final exam. 

(8) "How do I review my quizzes and exams?" See the 'How to View Quiz Feedback' link in the 'Start Here!' module on eCampus. All quiz and exam attempts are able to be reviewed until that given module closes - another good reason to avoid waiting until the last minute to complete these assignments. No, I do not reopen the quizzes and exams for review prior to the final exam. 

(9) "Which assessments are proctored?" Only the Ch18 Quiz and the Final Exam are proctored. The 'HonorLock Instructions for Students' doc is located in the 'Start Here!' module, above the Ch18 Quiz link in Module 14, and above the Final Exam link in the Module 16. Violations of testing procedures and/or violations of academic integrity will at minimum result in a zero for this exam, with possibly additional academic consequences. Bottom line - look at your computer screen and nothing else.

(10) "The Ch18 Quiz and/or the Final Exam is asking me for a password. Can you give me the password?" There is no required password. If the Ch18 Quiz and/or the Final Exam is asking you for a password then you have not followed the directions regarding the Chrome browser extension (below the Ch18 Quiz link and below the Final Exam link on eCampus) and/or the 'HonorLock Instructions for Students' doc (located in the 'Start Here!' module, above the Ch18 Quiz link in Module 14, and above the Final Exam link in the Module 16). 

(11) "Are there extra credit assignments?" Yes, there is one. See the Final Exam Drop Box assignment in the Module 14. 

----------------------------------------------- 

One or more of these requirements will address the Student Learning Outcomes above.

 

Evaluation

A - 100-90%, B - 89-80%, C - 79-70%, D - 69-60%, F - 59 and below

Minor Assignments Average - 40% of overall grade (four lowest grades drop)

Minor Exams Average - 30% of overall grade (lowest grade drops)

Final Exam - 30% of overall grade (does not drop)

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.

Information about the changes Blinn has made to the Fall semester: Back with Blinn.

Course Policies

Please read: Fall 2020 General Course Policies.

Absence Policy Applied to This Class

A student's attendance is counted as 'present' when at least one assignment for a given eCampus module is completed on time and 'absent' when zero assignments for a given eCampus module are completed on time. Since all eCampus assignments are open from the first day of class and are accessible 24/7, there are no excused absences.

After one week of unexcused absences, a warning email is sent by Blinn Administration to the student's buc.blinn.edu student email account (Technology Services - email), thus it is vital to check that account regularly. After a second week of incomplete coursework a second absence will be recorded with Blinn Administration signifying the student should be dropped from the course for absences.   

Electronic Devices

Silence your electronic devices (phone, smart watch, tablet, and/or laptop), put them away, unseen, and do not use them in class. Messaging in class is rude, dismissive behavior. Laptops and tablets are too often used in class for non-class purposes. In the rare occasion that you anticipate an important message or call during class, simply come tell me of the situation before class and go outside the classroom to complete your communication when the time comes.

Make-Up Assignment Policy

Since all eCampus assignments are open from the first day of class and are accessible 24/7, there are no make-up opportunities for assignments. 

Copyright Notice

"Some of the materials utilized in this course are copyrighted. They are intended for use only by students enrolled in this course and only for instructional activities associated with and for the duration of the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated." - Blinn College Distance Education

Schedule

Blinn College is in the US/Central Time Zone. Assignments and assessments are due according to the Central Time Zone.

Professor Lee will announce any changes to the schedule through eCampus posted announcements. 

Monday, Nov30, is last day to drop with a 'Q' for 2nd 8-week session

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Week 1 (Tue)
Module 1: Course Orientation

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Course Orientation Quiz
  • Course Orientation Discussion
  • Course Orientation Drop Box Submission

3 contact hours

Week 1 (Thu)
Module 2: U.S. Constitution

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Political Legitimacy Discussions
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 2 (Tue)
Module 3: Federalism

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Federalism Discussion
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 2 (Thu)
Module 4: Major Assessment #1

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above

Assignment to complete on eCampus:

  • Exam 1 attempt 1 and review
  • Exam 1 attempt 2 and review
  • Departmental assignment

3 contact hours

Week 3 (Tue)
Module 5: Liberties, Rights, and Elections

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Elections Discussions
  • Elections Worksheet drop box submission

3 contact hours

Week 3 (Thu)
Module 6: Political Parties and Interest Groups

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Lobbyist Discussion
  • Chapter 9 Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter 9 Quiz attempt 2 and review
  • Chapter 11 Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter 11 Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 4 (Tue)
Module 7: Public Opinion

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Public Opinion and Media Worksheet drop box submission

3 contact hours

Week 4 (Thu)
Module 8: Major Assessment #2

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above

Assignment to complete on eCampus:

  • Exam 2 attempt 1 and review
  • Exam 2 attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 5 (Tue)
Module 9: Separation of Powers and The Federal Legislature

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 5 (Thu)
Module 10: The Federal Executive and Bureaucracy

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Congressional Delegation, Presidency, and Bureaucracy Worksheet drop box submission

3 contact hours

Week 6 (Tue)
Module 11: The Federal Judiciary

Lecture: see 'Meeting Times', above 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 6 (Thu)
Module 12: Major Assessment #3

Lecture: no F2F or Zoom meeting because of Thanksgiving Break

Assignment to complete on eCampus:

  • Exam 3 attempt 1 and review
  • Exam 3 attempt 2 and review 

3 contact hours

Week 7 (Tue)
Module 13: Economic Policy

Lecture: same meeting time but everyone is on the Zoom call with no F2F option after Thanksgiving Break. 

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Governmental Regulation Worksheet drop box submission
  • Governmental Regulation Discussion
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter Quiz attempt 2 and review

3 contact hours

Week 7 (Thu)
Module 14: Social Policy and Foreign Policy

Lecture: same meeting time but everyone is on the Zoom call with no F2F option after Thanksgiving Break.

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Lecture Post
  • Chapter 17 Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter 17 Quiz attempt 2 and review
  • Chapter 18 Quiz attempt 1 and review
  • Chapter 18 Quiz attempt 2 and review
    • The Ch18 Quiz must be proctored

3 contact hours

Week 8 (Tue)
Module 15: Political Movie Post

Lecture: same meeting time but everyone is on the Zoom call with no F2F option after Thanksgiving Break.

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Political Movie Post

3 contact hours

Week 8 (Thu)
Module 16: Major Assessment #4

Assignments to complete on eCampus:

  • Final Exam and review (no Zoom meeting, simply complete exam)
    • The Final Exam must be proctored

3 contact hours