Grades for this course will be based upon two grading instruments; 8 Forum discussion questions, a mid-term exam, and one term paper. Forum responses should be posted by 11:55 pm ET on Friday.
The forum is the primary means of class interaction and the source of over half the student’s grade, as noted above. Each forum requires that the student post one original response to the forum question. Ideally, it should be at least one page in length. Further, it should be supported by academic sources used by the student (at least one from the assigned readings), and listed at the bottom. The forums are set up so students must post their responses before being able to read what other students have researched and submitted.
Students are encouraged to use the APUS online library as well as scholastic websites. Research using About.com, WiseGeek.com, general purpose dictionaries, and wiki sources, such as Wikipedia, is highly discouraged, and instructors may not accept those sources as credible.
Please be sure that you have completed and proofread your work before posting it. You will not be able to delete or edit your work once you've submitted it, similar to the way exams and papers will not be returned for corrections after they have been submitted.
Additionally, each forum submission requires that the student interact and discuss responses with other students. (Again, see the rubric for specifics on grading criteria). Criteria for substantiveness may include the following, either individually or in combination:
- The reply is in complete paragraphs, and not just one or two sentences.
- The reply genuinely adds something to the forum, in terms of new information or fresh insight.
- It explains the responding student’s reasoning: “You’re right” is not substantive, but “I agree with you because…” stands a higher chance of being so.
- It does not simply summarize what another student has said. Example: “I really like your post, especially when you said…”
- After your initial posts, your instructor may ask follow up questions to help you further develop your responses or to help you think further about the initial questions.
Note: Meeting forum minimum requirements will result in a satisfactory grade of a C or higher (A, B, or C). It is not a guarantee that an A will be earned.
Submission of Assignments:
Your original response to the forum question is due Friday at 11:55 p.m. ET (Eastern Time) each week. Replies to classmates' posts and exams are due Sunday evening at 11:55 p.m. ET. Any late submissions submitted will be subject to a late penalty, unless the student provides evidence to the instructor ahead of time about an extenuating situation and receives permission to submit work after the established course deadline.
Late penalties are assessed thusly. For each day that the assignment is late, the assignment is penalized 5% of the maximum grade. Repeated late submissions may result in failure of the course.
In 8-10 pages (double-spaced), analyze the issue that most concerns you at the state or local level. Then, propose how you would convince your state or local government to approve your proposed solution.
In order to receive full credit for your Forum postings, please adhere to the following rubric. Asynchronous discussion enhances learning as you share your ideas, perspectives, and experiences with the class. You develop and refine your thoughts through the writing process, plus broaden your classmates’ understanding of the course content. Use the following feedback to improve the quality of your discussion contributions.
There are three Quizzes in this class, in week 2, 5, and 7. They are 30 minute timed quizzes, and need to be completed by Sunday at 11:55 PM Eastern of the week. They cover the material of the previous weeks, but only include the weeks since the last quiz.