Marriages and Families sample essay

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Course Description

Welcome to Marriage and the Family Online (SOCIO 210-IN1/IN2)!! As the course title suggests, we will explore key sociological concepts related to the social institution of marriage and the family. Individual success in this online course will come to those who are self-disciplined and work collaboratively to make the course a success. I look forward to working with all of you as we try to make sense of the world’s social forces and their impact on individual lives within marriages and the family.

The College’s formal course description for SOCIO 101 states: “This course provides an understanding of sociological concepts, theories, and research methods in relation to marriage and family issues. It focuses on the ever-changing dynamics of relationships and the influence of contemporary society on family life. Special emphasis is placed on communication in relationships, dating and mate selection, love, parenting, balancing work and family, violence in relationships, and divorce” (Official Course Description, Prairie State College 2012-2014 Catalog).

Course Objectives
Students who complete SOCIO 210 will be able to:

1. Apply the major sociological perspectives to marriage and family issues. 2. Discuss the importance of communication, power, and gender in shaping relationships and family dynamics. 3. Explain the diversity of experiences for couples and families, with attention to issues of social class, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and the life course. 4. Describe the impact of other social institutions—such as the economy, education, religion, and the legal system—on marriages and families. 5. Identify the key issues related to family violence, divorce, and successful marriages. 6. Discuss the trends involving single-parent families, remarriage, and blended families. 7. Demonstrate skills of public deliberation within context of on-line classroom discussions. 8. Demonstrate critical thinking skills through writing.

9. Articulate viewpoints on contemporary sociological issues affecting marriages and families.

Classroom Policies

Absence Policy: As stated in the Prairie State College Board policies: “Regular class attendance is an essential component of successful learning. Students are responsible for prompt attendance and participation in all class meetings of every course for which they are registered. Students have the responsibility to contact professors in case of unavoidable absence.” Attendance in this online course is linked to your consistent and meaningful participation in online discussions and timely completion of assignments and chapter quizzes.

Late or Missed Work/Plagiarism: In order to receive full credit, all assignments must be completed and submitted by the due date. Partial credit may (or may not) be accepted for work submitted after the deadline. Plagiarism, or other forms of cheating, will not be tolerated and students in violation will fail the assignment and face possible failure of the course. Meeting deadlines is an essential element of this online course. Once a deadline passes, there is no longer access to the course assignment. For example, if a student fails to complete an attempt on a 45-point Chapter Quiz, then that student earns zero points for that assignment. Missing 45 points may have significant negative consequences on a final grade.

Evaluation of Student Performance

Online Chapter Quizzes (630 points)

Our text includes 16 chapters. For each chapter, there is a Chapter Quiz. Each Chapter Quiz includes 15 multiple choice or true/false questions and each question is worth 3 points (45 points/quiz). For the first half of the course, which covers Chapters 1-8, I count the best 7 Chapter Quiz scores toward your final grade. The Chapter 8 Quiz is an opportunity to improve on an earlier quiz score on one of the previous seven quizzes. For the second
half of the course, which covers Chapters 9-16, I also count the best 7 Chapter Quiz scores toward your final grade. The Chapter 16 Quiz is an opportunity to improve on an earlier quiz score for Ch. 9-15. In total, I count 14 quiz scores, each worth 45 points for a total of 630 points.

Please note that there is a time limit of 15 minutes (with a 2-minute grace period) to complete each Chapter Quiz. The purpose of this is so that students do not rely on their textbooks for answering all of the questions. You may use your book, but you must read the chapter prior to taking the quiz so that you can move fairly quickly through the 15 questions and finish within the time limit. In fact, given the high value of these Chapter Quizzes—accounting for over 60% of the total points in the course—I strongly recommend that you read the chapter closely twice prior to taking the quiz. Points will be deducted for going past the 2-minute grace period (one point deduction for each minute over). I do allow two attempts, with the highest score counting toward a student’s final grade. I encourage reading the chapter a third time if you are disappointed with the outcome of your first attempt. Deadlines for Chapter Quizzes are typically on Sundays at 11:59 p.m.

Examinations (200 points)

There is a Mid-Term Examination covering Chapters 1-8 and there is a Final Examination covering Chapters 9-16. Each exam includes 40 questions, worth 2.5 points apiece. Each exam is valued at 100 points. There is a 45-minute time limit with a 5-minute grace period. For each minute taken beyond grace period, one point will be deducted from score.

Online Class-based Discussions (170 points)

For this part of the course, students participate in weeklong online conversations about the textbook material or about sociological assignments that are connected to the course material. The intent of these conversations is to encourage a close reading of our Henslin text and to reach a deeper understanding the sociological perspective on human behavior. Past students have really enjoyed hearing the thoughts and perspectives from their fellow classmates.

There are several class-based Discussions throughout the course. The first one involves Student Introductions and takes place during Week 1 (worth 20 points). The next five Discussions are spread out over the course of the semester (Weeks 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13). Each of these Discussions is valued at 30 points and takes place across a 7-day period running from Monday-through-Sunday. The Discussion forum is split into two stages, with the first stage ending on Thursday (11:59 p.m.) and the second stage ending on Sunday (11:59 p.m.).

First stage posts of 300 or more words are due on Thursday (worth 15 points), and at least three second stage posts of 50-75 words each (5 points each; 15 points total) are due on Sunday. Your first stage posts will respond to the writing prompt I post for each Discussion, typically a question or set of questions. Again, as with the completion of chapter quizzes, the key challenge is meeting the deadlines. I will do my best to post points earned for the Discussions on the Monday morning following the Sunday night deadline for second stage posts. There will be a make-up Discussion offered during Week 15 of the semester.

Here is a breakdown of the components of the course and point value:

Online Chapter Quizzes (14 at 45 points each)630 points Online Discussions (5 at 30 points plus 20 points for Intros)170 points Mid-term Examination (40 questions at 2.5 points each)100 points Final Examination (40 questions at 2.5 points each)100 points When assigning Final Grades, I will use the following point ranges:

A=900-1000 points
B=800-899 points
C=700-799 points
D=580-699 points
F=0-579 points

Some Final Thoughts:

One of the challenges of online learning involves the issue of communication. In a traditional face-to-face course, everyone meets on a weekly basis and those meetings are reminders of our course commitments. In the online environment, communication is different. I communicate frequently via email, with Email Updates almost every week and sometimes more than once a week. The D2L system links your PSC email accounts to the class so when I send an email to “all users” the information is sent to the PSC email accounts of the 40+ students enrolled in this course. This information is very important and your accessing it is essential. Please note that it is possible to have your PSC email forwarded to another email address—maybe even to your mobile phone—but I want to make clear that it is your responsibility to access the information I send to you.

Whenever you have questions, contact me by email ([->1]) or by phone (709-3625). Keep in mind that it is essential that you participate on a consistent basis throughout the course in order to be successful. Good luck, hold on to you hats, and enjoy what I hope will be a challenging and meaningful learning experience!