Be conversant with the substantive areas of sociology and the variety of theories and research methods associated with these substantive areas.
This course should enable you to do the following:
In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, you are expected to be honest in all of your academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must, in fact, be your own work, and not that of another. It also means that you are honest in following instructions; closed book quizzes should be taken without consulting your textbook or notes. Violations of these principles will result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Please contact the Honor Code Office if you have questions about those standards.
You will need these resources for the course:
This course is structured very similarly to the way the course would be taught on campus at Brigham Young University. Begin each lesson by first reading the online lesson material. I often use questions, games, and experiments at the beginning of the lesson to help spark your interest in the day’s subject. Sometimes reading the assigned chapter in Macionis’s Social Problems text will dilute the impact of the material I provide (because of the added knowledge you will gain). So, read my materials first and Macionis’s second.
Following my lesson, I often include a section titled “An LDS Perspective.” This section contains quotes, talks, and scriptures related to specific social problems. You will not be tested on this information; however, you may find it helpful as you begin to form your own opinions about current social problems.
I wrap up most lessons with a few review and think-tank questions. You do not have to turn in your answers to these questions. They are there primarily as a tool to help you assess whether or not you understand key sociological concepts and ideas. Unlike the review questions, the think tank questions ask you to think more philosophically about the ideas that are presented. I encourage you to take these questions seriously. Social theorists often make assumptions about how the social world operates that cannot be empirically verified or substantiated. Hopefully, the think-tank questions will help you consider the ramifications of the theoretical assumptions we cover.
At the end of each lesson, there is a Self Check. This is a short quiz, covering the material from the lesson and the required readings. These quizzes are not graded, but I would suggest taking them very seriously. They are made up of questions very similar to the ones you will find on your graded quizzes and exams.
You will find the reading assignment from the text and any other sources in each lesson. Note that we will not read every chapter in Macionis’s text, and that we will not go through the chapters in the same order they are presented in the textbook. Make sure that you follow the reading assignments as they are presented in the lesson. Macionis’s Social Problems text is one of the best. It is essential that you read and understand the textbook in order to do well in the course. Pay particular attention to the scope of each problem. Ask yourself questions like, “Who does this social problem affect the most?” “Which of the sociological theories do I think best explains this social problem?” “How would conservatives or liberals try and solve the problem?”
Grading will be based on three quizzes, a research project that will be divided into six assignments, and three exams.
There will be three quizzes in the class. These quizzes are following lessons 12, 17, and 23 and will help assess your retention and comprehension of the material covered in the class.
Take these quizzes right before the exams. Most students will recognize early in the course that the quizzes are prototypes of the exams, so use them in a way to help you prepare for the types of questions you will be expected to answer on the exams. The questions on the quizzes cover the material in the lessons as well as the textbook and any other required readings. Each quiz consists of 10 multiple-choice questions worth 2 points each. The quizzes will be taken online. Upon completion of the quiz, the computer will immediately generate your score. The quizzes are closed book.
I find that students tend to retain more of the information they learn if they are required to verbally express their thoughts and ideas in writing. I would also like this class to be an opportunity for you to learn more about a social problem that is of specific interest to you.
Throughout this course, you will work on a research project that will allow you to study one social problem, more in-depth. This project will be due in six sections. The project will be worth a total of 300 points. For your project you will be required to do the following:
I suggest that you complete these parts of the assignment after Lessons 5, 9, 13, 15, 19, and 21, but you should be working on the project throughout the course. You can find an overview of this assignment after Lesson 5. For right now, I would suggest thinking about social problems that interest you and what you might like to do your project on.
To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as Word .DOC or .DOCX files.
Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, SOC112_JaneSmith_ResearchProjectProposal.docx.
Here’s how to submit your completed assignments:
I will leave many of my comments to you online. If I make comments on your paper itself, I will send it back to you as a .PDF file. That way I can be sure that you can read the comments that I make.
You will be expected to demonstrate your familiarity with the course material by way of formal exams 3 times during the course.
Each exam consists of fifty multiple-choice questions worth 2 points each. The exams are closed book and have no time limit. Questions on the exam will be similar to the questions in the Self Check sections at the end of each lesson, the graded quizzes, and the multiple-choice questions in the Sample Test Question section at the back of your textbook.
Here is the point breakdown for the course:
|Quizzes 1–3||20 points each (60 points total)|
|Exams 1–3||100 points each (300 points total)|
|Research Project Proposal||10 points|
|Research Project Service||50 points|
|Research Project Movie/Book Review||50 points|
|Research Paper Rough Draft||40 points|
|Research Project Informing Others||50 points|
|Research Paper Final Draft||100 points|
Here is how the letter grades are assigned:
|A||94 to 100%|
|A–||90 to 93%|
|B+||87 to 89%|
|B||83 to 86%|
|B–||80 to 82%|
|C+||77 to 79%|
|C||73 to 76%|
|C–||70 to 72%|
|D+||67 to 69%|
|D||63 to 66%|
|D–||60 to 62%|
|E||59% and below|
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
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