ISS 310: People and the Environment, Online
Summer 2017: First Session:
Syllabus

Instructor, 730: Mattie Bene (benematl@msu.edu)
Instructor, 731: Peiling Zhou (zhoupeil@msu.edu)

Syllabus Outline:

Integrative Studies in Social Science

Integrative Studies in Social Science Objectives

Course Goals

Course Materials

Course Netiquette

Course Organization:

Your course faculty, course staff, and onGEO staff

Lessons

Quizzes

Writing assignments

Course Policies:

MSU privacy statement (and use of course materials)

Academic honesty

Plagiarism

Spartan Code of Honor

Grading:

Calculating your final grade

Summer 2017: First Session: Schedule

Integrative Studies in Social Science: 

You know you are taking a course in Integrative Studies in the Social Sciences (ISS). However, do you know what that means? All Integrative Studies courses are related in that they aim to teach concepts from a unique perspective, described below:

“Integrative Studies is Michigan State's unique approach to general education, offering courses that integrate multiple ways of knowing into an enhanced appreciation of our humanity, creativity, knowledge, and responsibilities for ourselves and our world.  Integrative Studies courses introduce students to college level work and important new ways of thinking.” (“Integrative Studies,” http://www.ns.msu.edu/cisgs/CISGS/Newsletters/brochure.html)

ISS courses consider how the social sciences explore and develop our understanding of the human condition, the life experiences common to all of humanity.

 “The Social Science Integrative Studies core curriculum provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the body of knowledge, theory, practice and methods that the social sciences bring to an understanding of the human condition. These sciences form a vital and integral part of a liberal education. The Social Science Integrative Studies core consists of course options designed to:

1) Assist students in distinguishing their personal assumptions and beliefs from conclusions based upon critical thought and the analytical exploration of human behavioral patterns and trends.

2) Expand students' awareness of the ways that enduring and universal social issues and resolutions can be distinguished from those that are the consequence of specific or transient contemporary conditions.

3) Provide multicultural, international, and national perspectives on human behavior that address the particular challenges and opportunities for a multi-racial and multi-ethnic American society.” (“What is Integrative Studies?,” http://www.cis-ss.msu.edu/iss/about.php)

Integrative Studies in Social Science Objectives: 

The following learning objectives were set by the Center for Integrative Studies in Social Sciences for 300-level ISS courses. We attempt to address as many of these objectives as possible in our course. After taking this course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand how social scientists apply critical thinking skills
  2. Use concepts, methods, and theories of social science to account for social phenomena, and interpret behavior and social processes
  3. Demonstrate the ability to make linkages or connections between diverse facts, theories, literatures, and observations across social science fields
  4. Translate social science knowledge into local, national, and global citizenship
  5. Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and scholarly or scientific approaches to social behavior. Evaluate the quality of information, including differentiating empirical evidence from speculation, opinion, or belief
  6. Locate, organize, synthesize, and communicate information from multiple sources and perspectives
  7. Actively participate in the creation, identification, exchange, and transformation of knowledge in an ever changing world.

Course Goals: 

This course is a survey of global and regional interactions among people, their geographic location and utilization of space, and the physical environment. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between natural systems and human society. In this sense, ISS310V is a merger of human and physical geography, taught in an online environment.

Course Materials: 

All materials required to complete this course will be provided for you through the course website in D2L. You will also be required to follow links in the online lessons to other websites that provide additional information on specific topics.

PLEASE NOTE: 
(1)
All course emails will be sent to your Michigan State (mail.msu.edu) account only via the D2L system. You will need to check your Michigan State account at least once a day for emails from your instructor and Online Geography staff. If you need to, please set your Michigan State account to forward your emails to an account that you do check frequently.
(2) We
highly recommend that you view this course website in Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer, as the site was designed specifically for use in these browsers.

(3) In order to take this course, at minimum, you must be partially proficient in using common computer software programs and navigating the Internet. This course takes place entirely online, and both material and assessments are house in a learning management system. If any part of that makes you uncomfortable, we strongly encourage you to reconsider taking this course.

Course Netiquette: 

An entirely online course is quite different from the traditional courses you have taken at Michigan State University. In an online course, the only contact you are likely to have with your Instructor or with others in the class is through email, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, et cetera. In general, this system works very well and many students prefer it to a traditional (lecture) class because they can ask questions freely without feeling intimidated. We have also discovered, however, that this same feeling of freedom can be a negative thing, particularly because some students feel they can be rude. We ask that you make a special effort to be respectful in all of your correspondences during this course.


Students who make rude comments will be warned the first time by email. REMEMBER: THE ONLY BASIS YOUR INSTRUCTOR HAS FOR GRADING AND DISCUSSIONS IS THROUGH YOUR WORDS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN. Your Instructor has no other context in which to understand your thinking. Therefore, it is important to be concise, informative, and polite while conversing with your Instructor and other students in the class.

Course Organization:

While a team of faculty and staff manages the course, an Instructor teaches each section. Moreover, this course is delivered through a series of online lessons. Course assessments are accomplished through online quizzes and writing assignments. Lesson Reviews and Review Quizzes are provided for you so that you can test your understanding of the lesson material.

Your course faculty, course staff, and onGEO staff

Dr. Alan Arbogast, Professor and Chair of Department of Geography at Michigan State University, developed ISS310V for online instruction.

Mattie Bene and Peiling Zhou assist with course instruction, under the supervision of Dr. Arbogast, Juliegh Bookout (onGEO), and Beth Weisenborn (onGEO). Ms. Bene and Ms. Zhou are available to respond to any questions you may have about things such as course content, navigating the course website, and grading.

Juliegh Bookout and Beth Weisenborn are staff members of Online Geography (onGEO) courses at State, so you may receive notices from them occasionally.

Lessons

This course consists of 14 online lessons (or lectures), in addition to Getting Started and Course Introduction.

Lesson

Topic

--

Getting Started and Course Introduction

1

Introduction to People and the Environment

2

The Geographic Perspective

3

Population and Demography

4

Urban Environments


5
6
7

Natural Resources: Spheres of the Environment
Introduction and Atmosphere
Hydrosphere
Biosphere and Lithosphere


8

Natural Resources
Agriculture and Food


9

Natural Resources
Energy

10

Natural Disasters

11

Globalization

12

Climate Change

13

Environmental History: Attitudes, Ethics, and Policy

14

Reflections and Wrap-up

Throughout the lessons, you will be asked and required, on occasion, to follow supplemental web links. You will be provided with direction boxes (boxes that say "At this time...") with instructions. You are responsible for the material in each direction box, which may ask you to visit a website or perform a certain task. You will also see boxes containing further explanations of course material (boxes that say “A follow up")--these boxes are required reading as well.  Lastly, there are some links that are optional (provided in "A Side note" boxes or in the Above and Beyond sections). In such cases, exploration of these optional sites will increase your understanding of the subject matter and may help you with the quizzes, but is not required.

Quizzes

There will be seven quizzes during the semester/session. The quizzes are spaced as evenly as possible throughout the course. The course is setup this way so that you can demonstrate your grasp of the material from the online lessons while it is relatively fresh in your mind. The dates of the quizzes are listed on the schedule and D2L Calendar. Your instructor will also notify you by email of an upcoming quiz and provide you with any additional information you may need, such as quiz open/close date and access times.

All quizzes will generally run the same way. Each quiz will turn on, on Tuesday at 12 noon, after both of its associated lessons are available for you to work on. When you are ready to take the quiz, you will click on the quiz to read the instructions and begin taking it. Each quiz will be offered until the end date and time specified (usually a Monday evening, but refer to the course schedule page and calendar). You may log into the quiz at any time during that window. Once logged into the quiz, you have a set time limit to complete your quiz and turn it in. If you are still working on your quiz and the time limit has passed, it will be automatically submitted by D2L at that time and no further changes will be recorded.

Quizzes will consist largely of multiple-choice questions, although some true/false or short answer questions may be asked. All questions are selected at random from a larger pool of questions. All answer options for each question are also ordered at random. Please take note that your quiz is unique and completely unlike any other student's quiz. If you choose to take a quiz a second time, your second attempt may also differ somewhat from your first.  Lastly, note that the number of questions on each quiz, and therefore the point value, is not standard, but rather it is based on the amount of material found in the lesson(s) covered.

Please note that you may take each quiz TWO times. Your quiz grade will be the highest of those two scores.  If you are satisfied with your first score, you may choose not to take the quiz again, if you are not, it is suggested that you carefully review your first submission, the lessons, your notes, before beginning again. In either case, all (one or two) attempts need to be completed and submitted before the quiz end date and time.

You are expected to treat the online quizzes and the exam as you would treat a quiz in a traditional lecture class--in other words, no cheating of any kind. Your instructor and other administrators CAN and DO monitor your quiz logs before, during, and after you have taken the quiz--they can detect patterns consistent with cheating and have the authority to discuss the matter with you immediately and give you a ZERO if they see fit. With this said, the quizzes are ‘open note,’ and you can refer to your handwritten or typed notes while taking a quiz.

Makeup quizzes: Makeup quizzes are only allowed in a FEW cases. If a quiz is missed due to a medical/health emergency, a doctor’s note may be requested in order to arrange a makeup. Also, a makeup can be scheduled if the instructor is notified at least ONE WEEK before the quiz date of a scheduling conflict. We cannot stress this enough: you MUST contact your instructor IMMEDIATELY to set up a makeup; otherwise, you will miss your opportunity to take a makeup and receive 0 points for the quiz. There will be no exceptions.

Writing assignments

In addition to the quizzes, you will also be required to submit responses to two writing assignments. Your answers to each of the two assignments will be due at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the date specified on the Course Schedule. Both writing assignment scores will count toward your final grade. 

Although each writing assignment is based on lessons covered in this course, you will be asked to conduct additional research in order to fulfill the requirements of the assignment. Those requirements and any other details will be provided for you in the assignment guide; a grading rubric will be available to you as well.  Each assignment is worth a possible 25 points total and your score will be based on how well you fulfill all requirements as specified in the assignment guide and grading rubric.

A note about writing assignments: These assignments have been designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge you have learned in the course on a more personal level, while gaining practical skills that can be included on resumes and applications.  Bear in mind that we do not want to read your unfounded and unsupported opinion on a topic. You must follow directions and support your ideas and opinions with credible, properly referenced sources when appropriate.

Mid-Session Evaluation

You are required to complete an evaluation of your performance in the course by 11:59PM (ET) on the due date provided on the schedule. This is a short assignment worth 5 points. It is intended to help you in two ways:

  1. You will be forced to take stock of how you are doing in the course and assess the amount of work you are putting in.
  2. You will earn what should be five, easy points that will count toward your final grade.

There is no excuse for not completing this assignment. LATE Submissions will NOT be accepted for any reason.

The following applies to all assignments in this course:

Grading. As with any course, it is the responsibility of the Instructor to uphold the standards suggested by the grading rubrics. While your grade is determined by assessing the quality of your assignment compared to the grading rubric, the grading process is subject to the rigor of the Instructor.

Plagiarism: We use Turnitin originality checker software to detect plagiarism in work submitted by students. If your response contains ANY reference material (including online lesson material or other students' responses) without being properly cited, you will be given a zero and we will submit an Academic Dishonesty Report to the Registrar’s Office, which then becomes a part of your permanent MSU academic record. You DO have access to the Turnitin report--we recommend that you use this service to scan your work prior to submitting it for grades.

Late assignments: If you do not submit an assignment by the due date, you have 24 hours (after the due date) to contact your Instructor to explain your situation AND submit your late response. Responses submitted within this 24-hour window will be worth only half credit; in other words, if an assignment is worth 25 points, the most you can earn for a late response is 12.5 points. You will receive 0 points for all responses submitted after the 24-hour window.

Missing assignments:  Once you have uploaded a submission, you have the ability to exit the course and then return to the assignment dropbox to verify that your file has been submitted. Your activity is tracked in D2L and, once uploaded, files do not disappear. There is no excuse;  if you do not have a  submission, you will not receive a grade.

Course Policies:

MSU privacy statement (and use of course materials)

From the D2L Help Page (2017):

MSU expects that you will respect the rights of faculty and other students as you participate in the educational process. Participating in an D2L course means that you may have access to personal information and academic work produced by other students and faculty members, such as discussion board postings, drafts of papers and other work produced in the course. Academic norms and MSU policy require that you must not reveal any information about classmates, coursework content, or its authors to anyone outside the course.

Students should be aware that their use of D2L materials and communication tools in a particular course may be observed and recorded by the instructor of that course. These observations and records may include a student's access to online library materials linked through the D2L course website. Use of these observations and records must conform to the use and release of confidential student records as described in Michigan State University's Access to Student Information. Students may link to library resources directly, without linking through D2L, using the Library website.

ALL of our course material in D2L is copyrighted property of Michigan State University. This means that ALL course material in the course site is protected and, other than one copy of the material for your own personal use, this material should not be distributed or posted in any form.

If material (lessons/assignments/exams/et cetera) from the course site is posted outside of D2L it is considered misuse of the material, therefore, the course staff can give you a 0 (even after the fact) for the assignment from which the material came.


Academic honesty

From Academic Integrity: MSU Policies, Regulations and Ordinances Regarding Academic Honesty and Integrity (Michigan State University's Office of the Ombudsperson, Faculty FAQ, 2017):

Article 2.III.B.2 of the SRR states: “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the Department of Geography, Environment, & Spatial Sciences adheres to the policies on academic honesty specified in General Student Regulation 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.

Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit coursework you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course.  Also, you are not authorized to use the www.allmsu.com Web site to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU regulations on Protection of Scholarship and Grades will receive a failing grade in the course or on the assignment.

Faculty are required to report all instances in which a penalty grade is given for academic dishonesty.  Students reported for academic dishonesty are required to take an online course about the integrity of scholarship and grades.  A hold will be placed on the student's account until such time as the student completes the course.  This course is overseen by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a specific type of academic misconduct defined as the effort to fundamentally use someone else's ideas as your own. Studies show that plagiarism is common at most universities, especially in online classes since it is easy to copy directly from the course site (or other websites) and put those exact words, or most of the words, in an answer. When completing written work, including answering essay questions on quizzes/exams and writing assignments, it is essential that you provide references where needed (that is, you properly cite all information that did not come from you) and that your responses are phrased in your OWN, original words. Failure to properly cite course materials (lessons and the textbook, if applicable) and using your own work previously submitted in another course without permission,  are also unacceptable. If your Instructor suspects that part or all of an answer has been plagiarized in any way or form, you will be contacted immediately--plagiarized content is given 0 points.

According to Michigan State University's Office of the Ombudsperson (2017):

Plagiarism may be accidental or blatant or self-plagiarism.  However, students are held to the same standards whether or not they knew they were plagiarizing or whether or not they were plagiarizing themselves or someone else.

It is your responsibility to read and understand course policies (like those provided here) and educate yourself so that you know what actions are considered acts of plagiarism (and academic misconduct, in general). A short quiz about academic plagiarism is located in the Getting Started folder of the course.  We strongly encourage you to read the associated materials and take the quiz prior to beginning the course. Please be conscientious of academic integrity and do not hesitate to contact your Instructor if you have any questions.

Spartan Code of Honor

As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do. (honorcode.msu.edu)

Student conduct that is inconsistent with the academic pledge is addressed through existing policies, regulations, and ordinances governing academic honesty and integrity: MSU Policies, Regulations and Ordinances Regarding Academic Honesty and Integrity.

Any student who commits an act of academic misconduct (including academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, or falsification of academic records; click here to read the University policy), will be reported to the University via the Academic Dishonestly Report portal. The type of misconduct and penalty, as well as a detailed account of the violation are submitted and will be accessible to the student’s Associate Dean, designee, and Instructor-of-Record.

Grading:

Calculating your final grades

Your final grade will be based on your seven quiz scores,  two writing-assignment scores, and mid-session evaluation score. Here is the breakdown:

Assessment

Points Possible

7 Quizzes

200

2 Writing Assignments (worth 25 points each)

50

Mid-Session Evaluation

5

Total points possible in the course =

255

Final grades will be based on the following STRAIGHT SCALE (which has been created using ONLY the final grades of over 7,000+ past students in ISS 310-V):

Percent

Grade

91-100

4.0

85-90

3.5

79-84

3.0

73-78

2.5

67-72

2.0

61-66

1.5

52-60

1.0

< 52

0.0

ISS 310-V: People and the Environment, Online                Summer 2017: First Session: Schedule

Important Dates
M, May 29: No Class   |   Th, May 25: Last Day for Tuition Refund   |   W, June 7: Middle of Session

Writing Assignment Schedule

W, June 7                WA 1 due by 11:59 PM (ET)        (25 points)

W, June 21                WA 2 due by 11:59 PM (ET)        (25 points)

Date

Lesson

Topic

5/15

0

Getting Started

5/15

1

Introduction to the Course

5/17

2

The Geographic Perspective

Quiz 1: Due M, May 22*         (Covers material from Lessons 1 to 2; 20 points)

Tu, May 23: Entrance Assessment, and SLO Questionnaires

5/22

3

Population and Demography

5/24

4

Urban Environments

Quiz 2: Due Tu, May 30*        (Covers material from Lessons 3 to 4; 35 points)

5/30

5

Natural Resources: Spheres of the Environment
Introduction and Atmosphere

6/1

6

Natural Resources: Spheres of the Environment
Hydrosphere

Quiz 3: Due M, June 5*        (Covers material from Lessons 5 to 6; 25 points)

6/5

7

Natural Resources: Spheres of the Environment
Biosphere and Lithosphere

6/8

8

Natural Resources: Agriculture and Food

F, June 9: Mid-Session Evaluation (required)**

Quiz 4: Due M, June 12*        (Covers material from Lesson 7 and 8; 35 points)

6/12

9

Natural Resources: Energy

6/15

10

Natural Disasters

Quiz 5: Due M, June 19*         (Covers material from Lessons 9 and 10; 30 points)

6/19

11

Globalization

6/22

12

Climate Change

Quiz 6: Due M, June 26*                        (Covers material from Lessons 11 and 12; 30 points)

6/23

13

Environmental History: Attitudes, Ethics, and Policy

6/26

14

Reflections and Wrap-up

Quiz 7: Due Th, June 29*         (Covers material from Lessons 13 to 14; 25 points)

*All Quizzes except for Quiz 7 open at 12 noon (ET) on Tuesday, the week before they are due; Quiz 7 opens on M, June 26.  Submissions (both attempts) are due by 11:59 PM (ET) on the date provided.

**The Mid-Session Evaluation opens on Tu,  June 6 at 12 noon (ET) and is due on the date provided.