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RELLIS · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Fall 2021
  • Section B26 CRN-19286
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/25/2021 to 12/16/2021
  • Modified 10/25/2021

Meeting Times

This is an 8-week blended course

  • Tuesdays: 1:25 PM - 2:40 PM in SCHW 288
  • Thursdays: 1:25 PM - 2:40 PM in SCHW 288

The class meets twice a week for lectures. All assignments including exams are completed online.

Note: The last day to drop this class with a "Q" is Dec 3rd.

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Jason Smith

Office: SCHW 330

Office Phone:  979-209-8977 (Voicemail)

Personal Cell: 713-262-6361 (Text Only)

Office Hours: To be announced (accessed via the online link provided in eCampus). Due to current social distancing protocols, traditional office hours will not take place this semester.   

Office Email: [email protected]

The best way to contact me is through text (use text-only the number above). You will receive a faster response using this mode of communication. You may send me an email to discuss your issues at any time. Please allow 48 hours for a response. Response times may be slower outside of normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM) and during the weekend.

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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

https://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

Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theodore J. Lowi, Margaret Weir, and Caroline J. Tolbert. We The People: An Introduction To American Politics. New York: W.W. Norton, 2021 (13th edition). ISBN: 9780393876338 (special custom edition for Blinn College).

You have access to the textbook through eCampus on the first day of class. You can get a print copy of the textbook using the ISBN: 9780393876338

This is a special Blinn College edition of the textbook. Please make sure that you are using the full edition of the textbook as there are "Essentials" and "Core" editions that do not contain all of the information that you may need to do well in the class. You use any other version at your own risk. You are responsible for obtaining a copy of the textbook. Neither the college nor the instructor provides any copies of the textbook for students.

Course Requirements

Each student will take three (3) exams total; two (2) regular exams and one (1) cumulative final exam. In addition, each student will be required to complete ten (10) InQuizitive assignments, the information for which will be derived from textbook readings and/or class notes. Further, each student will complete five (5) weekly discussions, as well as write two (2) essays during the course of the semester. Each student will also complete five (5) attendance assignments as part of the final grade calculation.

All assignments are due by electronic copy on eCampus by midnight on the date specified in the course schedule below. I do not accept hard copies of assignments, so ALL assignments must be submitted online. Assignments turned in during class time will not be accepted. Assignments will not be accepted after the due date listed below without a legitimate excused absence. Assignments are due online at midnight on the date specified in the course schedule below. You may turn in assignments early. In order to check for plagiarism, assignments must be submitted using .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf or .odt file formats. Assignments submitted using the .pages format will receive a zero (0) for a grade.

Failure to complete these assignments on your own (without assistance) may result in an ‘F’ for the course. NO EXCEPTIONS!

EXAMS

Each student will complete three (3) exams during the semester. Each exam will be online (electronic) in format and administered through eCampus. Two of these exams will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions derived from the textbook and lectures for that particular section of the course. The final is cumulative consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions from all material covered in the course.

Honorlock will proctor your exams this semester. Honorlock is an online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from the comfort of your home. You DO NOT need to create an account, download software, or schedule an appointment in advance. Honorlock is available 24/7 and all that is needed is a computer, a working webcam, and a stable Internet connection

To take the syllabus quiz and exams for this course, you MUST use Google Chrome and the Honorlock Chrome Extension. You will be prompted to download the extension when taking the syllabus quiz. You will NOT need to download the extension for subsequent exams. 

When you are prepared to take the exam, clicking on the exam will open a separate window beginning the Honorlock process. Clicking "Launch Proctoring" will begin the Honorlock authentication process. This process will include taking a picture of yourself, showing your government-issued ID, and completing a scan of your roomTherefore, you MUST have a webcam to successfully complete this course. Honorlock will be recording your exam session by webcam, as well as recording your screen. You CANNOT take your exams on a cell phone, tablet computer, or any other mobile device. Further, you will NEED a reliable internet connection. You are responsible for the internet connection you are using. If you decide to take an exam at Starbucks and the internet connection fails, the exam will not be reset for you.

Things to keep in mind when taking an exam:

The exam will be open only during the class session on the date listed for the exam in the course schedule below. The exam cannot be paused. You must complete the exam during the class session unless you have a verified excused absence or appropriate accommodations. If you leave the viewing area of your webcam during the exam without a legitimate excuse, you will receive a zero (0) for the exam. The use of external resources, i.e. notes, textbooks, internal searches, etc. are strictly prohibited. Failure to follow these rules, and common sense in general, will result in receiving a zero (0) for the exam.

QUIZZES 

There is a quiz for every chapter in this course through the InQuizitive platform (linked through eCampus only). Your highest ten (10) InQuizitive assignments will be averaged toward your final grade. Obviously, these are to be completed at home without the assistance of your classmates. Failure to complete these assignments on your own will result in an ‘F’ for the course and possible expulsion from Blinn College. NO EXCEPTIONS! These assignments will be submitted on eCampus by midnight on the dates listed below. You are responsible for a reliable internet connection and proper time management.

WEEKLY DISCUSSIONS

Each student will complete five (5) weekly discussions through eCampus. Seven (7) weekly discussions will be offered with your highest five (5) averaged toward your final grade. The topics of these discussions will be derived from course materials but may require further reading of outside sources.  Initial posts in these discussions must be 250 words in length and are due on Wednesday by midnight through eCampus. You must cite all sources for these discussions. 

In addition, students are required to respond to three (3) classmates’ initial posts in the discussion forum as part of the assignment. Your responses must be at least 100 words in length and are due on Friday by midnight through eCampus. 

ESSAYS

Each student will write two (2) essays concerning topics related to this course. Three (3) essay topics will be offered with your highest two (2) averaged toward your final grade. These papers must be at least 750 words in length covering questions posted by the instructor on eCampus. More information concerning these papers will be available on eCampus. These assignments will be submitted on eCampus by midnight on the dates listed below.

ATTENDANCE ASSIGNMENTS

Each student will complete five (5) attendance assignments for this course. Nine (9) attendance assignments will be offered with your highest five (5) averaged toward your final grade. These are to be completed without the assistance of your classmates. These assignments must be typed into the forms available on eCampus. These assignments will be submitted on eCampus by midnight on the dates listed below.

Evaluation

The two regular exams will account for 30% of your grade. The cumulative final will account for 25% of your grade. Quizzes (InQuizitive assignments) will account for 10% of your grade. Weekly discussions will account for 15% of your grade. Essays will count for 10% of your grade. Attendance assignments will count for 10% of your grade. 

Grades will be assessed as follows:

A = 89.5 - 100  

B = 79.5 - 89.4 

C = 69.5 - 79.4 

D = 59.5 - 69.4

F = > 59.5

Please note that the grading scale already rounds up. An 89.5 becomes an ‘A’ and so forth. I will not curve final grades any more than this. 

Criteria

Two regular exams 

30% (15% each)

Final exam

25%

Ten (10) quizzes

10% (1% each)

Five (5) weekly discussions

15% (3% each)

Two (2) essays

10% (5% each)

Five (5) attendance assignments

10% (2% each)

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 the general course policies for this semester provided by Blinn

Attendance and Absences

Each class counts. If you are not in the classroom during your assignment class period or attending through Zoom, you will be counted as absent. You are only allowed to accumulate two (2) weeks of unexcused absences [six (6) for MWF classes or four (4) for MW or TR classes]. Excused absences do not count against your accumulated absences.

Please be mindful that students MAY NOT automatically be dropped from the course by the instructor. If a student chooses to drop the course, it is the student’s responsibility to do so at the Office of Admissions and Records. Failure to do so will result in a grade of “F” for the course.

Course Work and Late Assignments

You are solely responsible for the timely completion and submission of the assignments for the course. The due dates for the course are located in the schedule below and on eCampus.

All assignments must be submitted through eCampus in the appropriate file format (see Course Requirements). No assignments will be accepted through e-mail.

Course assignments are due according to the schedule. To be equitable to all students, IF the instructor accepts late work, it will be subject to the following penalties:

  • <24 hours late                            10% grade reduction
  • 24-48 hours late                         20% grade reduction
  • 48-72 hours late                         30% grade reduction
  • Over 72 hours late                           NOT ACCEPTED
  • Submitted during finals week        NOT ACCEPTED

Make-up assignments for full credit will be authorized only under the circumstances of excused absences. Should you need to make up an assignment under these circumstances, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Group Messaging Apps

Participating in or joining a Group Messaging App (GroupMe, Slack, WhatsApp, etc.) and File Sharing (dropbox, google docs, etc.) is not an academic misconduct violation; however, the exchange of answers to graded work and the exchange of copyrighted materials (instructors’ exams are considered copyrighted material) are examples of academic misconduct.

Examples of appropriate group messaging activities are questions related to due dates or specific instructions about assignments or where to find materials on eCampus. Again, if you distribute answers to quizzes/tests to everyone in a group chat, that is academic misconduct. If you upload answers to quizzes/tests to a file-sharing service and then allow people to access those notes, then that is academic misconduct.

Extra Credit

Opportunities for extra credit may be offered, at the instructor's discretion.  If offered, these opportunities will be granted to all students on an equal basis.  Individual extra credit will not be authorized

Additional Electronic Devices Prohibited in Class

In addition to cell phones and pagers, iPods and other mp3 players are prohibited as are headphones in the classroom. Laptop computers are allowed in the classroom, but the use of the internet is prohibited during lectures. You may be removed from class for failure to comply. 

Drop Date

Note: The last day to drop this class with a "Q" is December 3rd

Schedule

Adjustments (if any) will be announced on eCampus and in class.

Note: Remember, this is an "8-week" compressed hybrid class!!!! Although lectures are in-person or online, all graded assignments are online! Please note that assignment due dates do not coincide with lecture dates. Further, dues dates may occur on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) as well due to the compressed nature of the course.

Calendar Period "Week"

(Mon-Sun)

Tuesday Class

(Lecture topic)

Thursday Class

(Lecture topic)

Credit Hours

(per week)

  Oct 25 - Oct 31: Introduction/Course Expectations American Political Culture/ Constitution  6
  Nov 1 - Nov 7: Constitution Federalism  6
Nov 8 - Nov 14: Civil Liberties Civil Liberties  6
Nov 15 - Nov 21:
Elections Political Parties  6
Nov 22 - Nov 28: Campaigns N/A   6
  Nov 29 - Dec 5: Congress Presidency  6
  Dec 6 - Dec 12: Presidency  Budget  6
  Dec 13 - Dec 19: Budget N/A   6

Total Contact Hours: 48

 ATTENTION!!!! Please note the following due dates (Also available on eCampus)

 

Schedule of Assignments (Arranged by Due Date)

Assignment When Due
 Syllabus Quiz  Oct 28 (Thurs)
 Attendance Assignment #1 Nov 1 (Mon)
 Chapter 1 Quiz Nov 2 (Tues)
 Chapter 2 Quiz Nov 3 (Wed)
 Weekly Discussion #1 Nov 4 (Thurs)
 Chapter 3 Quiz Nov 5 (Fri)
 Attendance Assignment #2 Nov 8 (Mon)
 Chapter 4 Quiz Nov 8 (Mon)
 Chapter 5 Quiz  Nov 9 (Tues)
 Essay #1 Nov 10 (Wed)
 Weekly Discussion #2 Nov 11 (Thurs)
 Attendance Assignment #3 Nov 12 (Fri)
 Exam #1 Nov 14 (Sun)
 Attendance Assignment #4  Nov 15 (Mon)
 Chapter 6 Quiz Nov 15 (Mon)
 Chapter 7 Quiz Nov 16 (Tues)
 Weekly Discussion #3 Nov 18 (Thurs)
 Chapter 8 Quiz Nov 18 (Thurs)
 Attendance Assignment #5 Nov 22 (Mon)
 Chapter 9 Quiz Nov 22 (Mon)
 Weekly Discussion #4 Nov 23 (Tues)
 Chapter 10 Quiz Nov 23 (Tues)
 Attendance Assignment #6 Nov 23 (Tues)
 Chapter 11 Quiz Nov 29 (Mon)
 Essay #2 Nov 30 (Tues)
 Exam #2 Dec 1 (Wed)
 Chapter 12 Quiz Dec 2 (Thurs)
 Weekly Discussion #5 Dec 2 (Thurs)
 Attendance Assignment #7 Dec 3 (Fri)
 Chapter 13 Quiz Dec 6 (Mon)
 Attendance Assignment #8 Dec 7 (Tues)
 Chapter 14 Quiz Dec 8 (Wed)
 Chapter 15 Quiz Dec 8 (Wed)
Weekly Discussion #6 Dec 9 (Thurs)
 Chapter 16 Quiz Dec 9 (Thurs)
 Chapter 17 Quiz Dec 10 (Fri)
 Attendance Assignment #9 Dec 10 (Fri)
 Chapter 18 Quiz Dec 13 (Mon)
 Weekly Discussion #7 Dec 14 (Tues)
 Essay #3 Dec 15 (Wed)
 Final Exam  Dec 16 (Thurs)

 

Schedule of Assignments (Arranged by Assignment Type)

 

Assignment When Due
 Exam #1 Nov 14 (Sun)
 Exam #2 Dec 1 (Wed)
 Final Exam  Dec 16 (Thurs)
 Attendance Assignment #1 Nov 1 (Mon)
 Attendance Assignment #2 Nov 8 (Mon)
 Attendance Assignment #3 Nov 12 (Fri)
 Attendance Assignment #4 Nov 15 (Mon)
 Attendance Assignment #5 Nov 22 (Mon)
 Attendance Assignment #6 Nov 23 (Tues)
 Attendance Assignment #7 Dec 3 (Fri)
 Attendance Assignment #8 Dec 7 (Tues)
 Attendance Assignment #9 Dec 10 (Fri)
 Chapter 1 Quiz Nov 2 (Tues)
 Chapter 2 Quiz Nov 3 (Wed)
 Chapter 3 Quiz Nov 5 (Fri)
 Chapter 4 Quiz Nov 8 (Mon)
 Chapter 5 Quiz Nov 9 (Tues)
 Chapter 6 Quiz Nov 15 (Mon)
 Chapter 7 Quiz Nov 16 (Tues)
 Chapter 8 Quiz Nov 18 (Thurs)
 Chapter 9 Quiz Nov 22 (Mon)
 Chapter 10 Quiz Nov 23 (Tues)
 Chapter 11 Quiz Nov 29 (Mon)
 Chapter 12 Quiz Dec 2 (Thurs)
 Chapter 13 Quiz Dec 6 (Mon)
 Chapter 14 Quiz Dec 8 (Wed)
 Chapter 15 Quiz Dec 8 (Wed)
 Chapter 16 Quiz Dec 9 (Thurs)
 Chapter 17 Quiz Dec 10 (Fri)
 Chapter 18 Quiz Dec 13 (Mon)
 Essay #1 Nov 10 (Wed)
 Essay #2 Nov 30 (Tues)
 Essay #3 Dec 15 (Wed)