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Distance Education · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Summer II 2021
  • Section N01 CRN-40691
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/12/2021 to 08/09/2021
  • Modified 07/09/2021

Meeting Times

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

Course runs July 12 - Aug 9, 2021

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

-->This is a Summer II 'flex online' class!!!

FYI: The last day to drop this class with a "Q" is Jul 30.

Contact Information

Professor's Name: Eric Miller

Office Number: A-272 (Academic) Office Hours: Online- see eCampus
Office Phone: 979-209-7330 (goes to voicemail) 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.

-->There is a link in eCampus to set up a Microsoft Teams meeting with me.



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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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:  12E
  • ISBN: 9780393431261

IMPORTANT: Be sure you get the full edition with 18 chapters! Use another version/edition at your own risk.

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- including multiple modules open for the same period of time.

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. PLEASE 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: 95 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.

The First Assignment Quiz (1 of 2 things required for Course Access) is a 5 point quiz. Once you get 100% on it, you start the class with an A!

*IF* you miss any questions on a regular chapter quiz, you'll be able to go back and review them...

Tests: 505 points of tests

There will be 3 tests and a final exam. The small table below shows the chapters (and lecture) covered by each test, and the value of each test. Each question on the test is worth a single point.

Each chapter has 10 random questions worth 2 points each. "Lecture" is the material in eCampus and is 25 random questions and 1 point each. Note that much of the "lecture" material aligns with some textbook features- so a question from "lecture" may be based on information in the book- these are usually the "boxed" features in the chapters.

The tests are only open the last part of the section- see the Schedule.

There are outlines for each chapter. You should print the outlines, and write notes on them. You may use these outlines (and notes on them) for the tests! No books, no other notes, no phones, no neighbors...

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 ALL tests are Honorlock proctored exams. See the note on proctoring below.


Here are the Chapters the Tests cover:

  • Test 1: Chapters 1 - 5 (125 points)
  • Test 2: Chapters 6 - 11 (145 points)
  • Test 3: Chapters 12 - 15 (105 points)
  • Final: Chapters 16 - 18 plus previous material (130 points)

Homework: 180 points

These are done using the Dropbox tool in eCampus. There will be ONE homework submission in each section. Each homework assignment is worth 45 points each and you'll be assigned four (4) of them.

These are available for the entire period when assigned (usually the first part of the section) and linked in a separate module. Please pay attention to the due dates listed in the Schedule below.

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. The Dropbox will mark it as late. I must get it no more than 48 hours after the deadline. It will only be worth 75% of the original points (max of 34 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.

These assignments are due at 11:55 PM on the day the period ends (see Schedule)

Letters: 120 points

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

The letters are divided between sections: Letter #1 covers the first two sections and Letter #2 covers the last two sections. 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 60 points.

Letters are to be typed (or copied/pasted) into the Discussion Post. Attached letters DO NOT GET GRADED. There are additional files in class to help you do the letter replies.

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


Extra Credit

Yes, there are opportunities in class to earn some extra credit. Many are limited-time opportunities, so you'll have to act fast to get them.


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 900 points available (excluding bonuses):

 810 points and over-

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

 720-819 points-

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

 630-719 points-

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

 540-629 points-

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

 539 and 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.

Information about the changes Blinn has made to the May Minimester, Summer I, and Summer II semesters: Back with Blinn.

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.

All tests are proctored using the HonorLock Proctor. It requires the Chrome browser and an extension. A webcam is also required.

The Extension is available from :

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.

-->Since this is a 'flex-online' class, attendance is "taken" when the writing assignments are due. See the table below for those dates. If the specific writing assignment is not done, then some other work in class must be done to show attendance.

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....

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)
  Jul 12 - 18:   Intro, Ch01 (American Political Culture)  2.5
  Jul 12 - 18:   Ch02 (Constitution)  2.5
  Jul 12 - 18:   Ch03 (Federalism)  2.5
  Jul 12 - 18:   Ch04 (Civil Liberties)  2.5
  Jul 12 - 18:   Ch05 (Civil Rights), Test 1 (17, 18)
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch08 (Voting)  2.5
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch06 (Public Opinion)  2.5
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch07 (Media)  2.5
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch11 (Interest Groups)   2.5
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch09 (Parties)  2.5
  Jul 18 - 25:   Ch10 (Campaigns), Test #2 (24, 25)
  Jul 25 - Aug 1:   Ch12 (Congress)  2.5
  Jul 25 - Aug 1:   Ch13 (President)  2.5
  Jul 25 - Aug 1:   Ch14 (Agencies)  2.5
  Jul 25 - Aug 1:   Ch15 (Courts),  Test #3 (31, 01)
  Aug 01 - 08:   Ch17 (Social Policy)  2.5
  Aug 01 - 08:   Ch16 (Economic Policy)  2.5
  Aug 01 - 08:   Ch18 (Foreign Policy)  2.5
  Aug 08 - 09:
  FINAL EXAM in eCampus (8, 9)

You may also find this helpful:

Assignment When Due Replies Due
 Homework #1  Jul 16 (Fri)  N/A
 Homework #2  Jul 22 (Thu)  N/A
 Homework #3  Jul 29 (Thu)  N/A
 Homework #4  Aug 05 (Thu)  N/A
 Letter #1  Jul 18 (Sun)  Jul 25 (Sun)
 Letter #2  Aug 01 (Sun)  Aug 08 (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.

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).