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Syllabus

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Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

What You Should Already Know

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes were chosen to fulfill the California state standards for Principles of American Democracy.

  1. Explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.
  2. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations of democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured.
  3. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of civil society are (that is, the autonomous sphere of voluntary personal, social, and economic relations that are not part of government), if and how they are interdependent, and the meaning and importance of those values and principles for a free society.
  4. Explain and analyze the unique roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.
  5. Summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.
  6. Evaluate issues regarding campaigns for national, state, and local elective offices.
  7. Analyze and compare the powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments.
  8. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on the influence of the media on American political life.
  9. Analyze the origins, characteristics, and development of different political systems across time, with emphasis on the quest for political democracy, its advances, and its obstacles.

Course Materials

There is no textbook for the course; all of the information you need to know is included in the lesson material.

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Assignments

Each lesson is followed by a Self Check quiz. These quizzes are computer-graded but do not count toward your grade. They are designed to reinforce what you learned in the lesson and prepare you for the unit quizzes and the final exam.

This course has nine units. Each unit ends with a computer-graded quiz. These unit quizzes count toward your grade and are the best way to prepare for the final exam.

In some units, you will encounter writing assignments. The assignments are designed to give you an opportunity to apply what you have been learning.

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Exams

The final exam consists of about 100 multiple-choice questions. It is worth 26% of your final grade.

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Grading

Your final grade will be determined by the following percentage breakdown:

Lesson %
Unit Quizzes (9 at 6% each) 54%
Writing Assignments (5 at 4% each) 20%
Final Exam (Comprehensive) 26%

Grading Scale

The following grading scale will be used to determine your final grade:

Grade Percentage
A 100-94%
A- 93-90%
B+ 89-87%
B 86-84%
B- 83-80%
C+ 79-77%
C 76-73%
C- 72-69%
D+ 68-65%
D 64-62%
D- 61-60%
E (fail) 59% or below

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Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study.

Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

9 computer-graded assignments, 5 instructor-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once.

For the writing assignments, follow the instructions in the course on how and where to submit each assignment.

Live Lesson Activities
This course includes live online activities in every unit with your instructor and other students. These activities are not required and are not graded; however, they will review lesson content and include fun activities that will help you be better prepared for the assignments and the final exam. In addition, participating in these activities will help you pace yourself through the course so that you will finish on time. You can learn more about these activities and see a schedule of when they take place on your BrainHoney home page.

This course also includes a live online course orientation with your instructor. You must complete the orientation before continuing in the course. More information, including the schedule, is available on the Contact Information page.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:

Test your connection: https://byuconed.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

For the Live Lesson activities, a headset/speakers and microphone are necessary; a webcam is preferred. For optimal connection speeds, it is recommended that you use a hard-wired, high-speed internet connection during the activity.

Exams

1 proctored computer-graded exam, may be retaken once, must pass to earn credit for the course.

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension. Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor.

Free tutoring is also available, see the Contact Information page to get in contact or set up an appointment with a TA.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.