Soci 101 - Salisbury University



Soci 101 - Salisbury University
Introduction to Sociology: Spring 2015
Shawn McEntee: Sociology 101
Section 004 Meets in Fulton Hall 146 Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 12:00 to 12:50 p.m.
Section 601 Meets in Devilbiss Hall 327 Tuesday & Thursday from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m.
My Office: 267 Fulton Hall
Office Phone Number: (54)8-5777
Department Office: 280C Fulton Hall
Department Phone Number: (54)3-6430
E-mail: [email protected]
My Website:
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 – 11 a.m. and to be announced – See my website
This is a HYBRID Course meaning that MyClasses - Canvas (, SU’s new course
management system, is your textbook, workbook, communications hub and testing center for this course. Following University
policy, communication with students outside the classroom uses the University e-mail system. If you are having difficulty with
e-mail or the MyClasses - Canvas (mobile) system, Contact IT /Student IT Help systems ( or
(410-67)7-5454; help for MyClasses - Canvas (mobile) links are on the login page as well as once you have logged in.
If you need to contact me outside of MyClasses -Canvas, the classroom or my office hours about a private issue, e-mail is
your best bet because I check it frequently. I will respond via e-mail within 24 hours during the regular semester. There is no
substitute for a face-to-face talk, however; please see me during office hours or before or after class to address issues satisfactorily.
Required Text You will need a personal planner/calendar/schedule and a folder specifically for this course. The MyClasses –
Canvas system serves as the course text and guides learning throughout the semester; required materials, resources, and
other information are accessible through MyClasses -Canvas. We have a few lab days scheduled.
Course Description
This course is an introduction to a sociological perspective which focuses on the meaning of social
interaction, the structure and function of patterned behavior, and the social actors involved in all varieties of social contexts. A
sociological perspective reveals layers of meaning and deep structures underlying social behavior. To identify deep structures and
understand their meaning, sociologists rely upon systematic and organized observation, scientific method, and self-reflexivity.
Self-reflexivity is inseparable from human capacity for language which is the basis of human social development throughout our 8
million years of development as a species. Humans are also social learners and self-reflexivity – the ability to think deeply about
who you are and your role in the world – is enhanced and refined through social interaction in myriad ways. The course offers
many opportunities for interaction and self-reflexivity as we identify and learn how to use basic sociological concepts to study of
inter-relatedness of social structures, systems and institutions, and examine the social processes of development and change.
Course Objectives and Your Learning
A liberal arts college experience is about empowering students to think for
themselves, to deal with complexity, diversity, and change, and to apply knowledge in real-world settings through effective
communication, and analytical and problem-solving skills. Self-reflexivity is interpreting and communicating about YOUR
social experience which means that there are LOTS of ways to be RIGHT; the ONLY SURE way to be wrong is to not
THINK while doing course work. THINKING systematically and more DEEPLY over the week and semester is organized
through informal and formal writing, inclass and online discussions, and LOTS of feedback from me regarding your use of
relevant sociological language. Remember that the objective of ALL Course Work is to reveal your THINKING about the
sociological issues we are dealing with; evidence of DEEP thinking is well rewarded – simple regurgitation is not.
Assignments/Course Work
Online Discussion (2 posts)
Inclass Engagement
Unit Projects
Team Plans/Presentations
Research Papers
Weekly or so
Weekly (plus)
Weekly or so
Unit (1st 3)
Unit 4 Project
Unit 4 Project
Unit 4 Project
Points each
5 per week
Number of grades
4 (graded per Unit)
At least 7
After 2nd Unit
After 2nd Unit
Unit 4
Semester Points Subtotal
450 points
Course Structure and Grade Scale:
Your grade is based solely on points accumulated. You need to earn at least 315 points to pass the class;
360 points will get you a C; 405 points earns a B; and you need at least 450 points to earn an A.
Percentages on individual assignments are important because they tell you how well you did on a particular
assignment. The option to do more work to earn the points you want exists with a variety of assignments and
opportunities throughout the semester. Your grade is ALL ABOUT THE POINTS.
A reasonable rate of point accumulation is 100 + per Unit. Finding an issue that intrigues you and
starts you on the path of intellectual inquiry is a major goal of Unit 1. Unit 2 includes multiple strategies for
thinking (more) deeply – and (more) sociologically. Using the tools of scientific method and organized and
systematic thinking during Unit 3, you will develop a sociological perspective on a topic of your choice. Unit 4
is all about deeper thinking and sharing your project-based learning effectively with others. Special
Contribution points encourage working ‘ahead’ to complete the Unit’s learning objectives well before Test time
at the end of each Unit; for those of you who MUST push deadlines, Unit Tests are designed to show you what
skills you need to earn points in the next Unit.
*You can see from the chart on the previous page that your weekly work is the bulk of your grade; doing it on
time and well means that Unit 4 is a breeze and you’ll have earned your A by Final Exam Week.
MyClasses and Course Requirements – the Basics (ratio of in-class time to out-of-class work = 1: 3)
The following is a brief overview of what you will find in the MyClasses-Canvas system, how the pieces fit together and are integrated with class meetings.
Course Work lists Weekly work IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT SHOULD BE COMPLETED. Students who START EARLY learn the most and get the
best grades; they start at the top of Course Work for the Week as soon as it is available and work their way down over several days; they complete each
segment by following instructions provided, build upon their prior work and expect their understanding to DEEPEN as they work through the week. It
SHOULD take 4 – 5 hours, in ½ hour to (maximum) 2 hour segments over 4 – 5 days, for organized and systematic students to prepare for class and to
learn effectively.
• MyClasses – Canvas includes Course Work, a Glossary, access to my website and Unit Modules to guide you through Weekly work including
Surveys, Quizzes, Discussions, Exercises, and Unit Tests. Course Work includes relevant glossary terms, Required Materials and other information.
• Much of each Unit’s Course Work prior to the Unit Test can be completed on your schedule. Course Work, and the online Syllabus includes
optimal* completion dates for each Week’s work. Since NOT ALL ASSIGNMENTS HAVE DUE DATES, do NOT rely solely on Canvas listing:
o Surveys, Quizzes, and initial Post in the Week’s Discussion – Friday midnight.
o Second Post in the Week’s Discussion – Monday noon.
o Exercises – Due dates are listed in the Canvas Online Syllabus – Special Contribution points for EARLY (correct) submissions.
o Weekly Notes on YOUR Selected Source (see Selecting Sources in Course Work) – Ready by class time first day of class for the week.
• The Week’s Course Work is available no later than Wednesday the previous week; Required Materials and suggestions for Selecting Sources have
been chosen for you by me because they focus on glossary terms and relevant sociological issues covered by Quizzes and addressed in Discussion.
• My New posts in Discussion become available no later than midnight Wednesdays and help organize your thinking about glossary terms and
relevant sociological issues to prepare you to effectively complete the Week’s Exercises and make use of Selected Sources.
• Quizzes are available as you move through Unit Modules and cover glossary terms and relevant sociological concepts/issues for the following
Week’s work; looking up glossary terms and taking quizzes should be done as early as possible to prepare for Required Materials and exercises.
• Exercises in each Unit are available as you move through the Module. Understanding glossary terms and applying Required Materials is part of
completing Exercises successfully. Submit exercises ONLINE prior to the listed deadline; results of completed exercises are brought to class on the
day specified in exercise instructions and in the Syllabus listing in MyClasses-Canvas. Exercises may also include peer review.
• Weekly Notes on your Selected Source are due the first day of class each week; INCLUDE notes from class and submit at the end of class.
• Attendance is recorded for each class meeting through submitted work or other evidence of your engagement in classroom activities.
• Unit Tests open when you complete key elements of Unit Modules. Successful completion of Unit Tests ARE required to access subsequent
Course Work including Projects, the next Unit Test, and Writing Assignments. UNIT TESTS ARE INTEGRATED WITH/INTEGRAL TO
WEEKLY WORK; points reflect the value of learning accomplished by completing the Unit Course Work well.
• After Unit 2, Project Work including Blogs, Presentations, and Research Papers can be planned and submitted on topics of your choice with flexible
scheduling; work on such Projects takes the place of required weekly exercises from earlier in the semester.
Learning Practices -- My expectations of you
Physical presence and mental engagement every class meeting for the entire class meeting
Engagement in collaborative learning in and out of the classroom
Systematic and organized engagement in becoming a more effective and independent learner
Commitment to the value of deep-thinking and developing organized and systematic thinking skills
Respectful, appropriate and ongoing communication
Good Educational Practices -- What you may expect from me
• Guided learning provided in MyClasses – Canvas and the classroom
• Prompt and clear assessment of your course work including current course standing
• Weekly Course Work assessed and returned by the next class meeting
• Online Course Work reviewed and assessed within a week (a few days if submitted EARLY)
• Formal Writing reviewed and assessed within a week
• Interactive Team Planning
• Individualized comments on course work providing a path for improvement
• Special Contribution points to reward exemplary and/or illustrative course work
• Responses to questions/concerns within 24 hours (See Communications Protocols)
Course Rules & Policies: I want you all to be successful in this class, throughout your college career and with life. Directness
and openness are valuable parts of collaborative learning; if you are having trouble, communicate about it – with your classmates
and with me. Establish relationships with classmates and keep all those you work with informed. Keep me informed about
personal troubles that interfere with your effective participation in class and collaborative learning.
A. Engagement means social interaction and communication. This is a 4 credit course; we spend 3 of the 12 hours per week
the University considers ‘instruction time’, in the classroom. You are responsible for managing ‘instruction time’ outside
the classroom – an average of 9 hours per week for this course.
• Classtime (only 25% of ‘instruction time’ for this course)
Perfect attendance is expected; students absent or
chronically late, or who leave the classroom during or before the end of class are missing a huge opportunity to learn
because the classroom is the scheduled face-to-face interaction. Attendance is taken every class meeting and
preparedness for class time is noted; Weekly Inclass Engagement grade tracks physical and MENTAL attendance.
• Online/MyClasses The MAJOR difference between this class and others is that your ‘text book’ including Required
Materials and exercises are online; the MAJOR difference between an academic online environment and others you might
be familiar with is that effectively accessing information through MyClasses-Canvas and my website REQUIRES that you
READ and take effective notes while doing so. Information retention is the basis of your LEARNING; Weekly Quizzes and
taking effective notes on all formats (visual, written, auditory) constitute THE primary vehicles for your learning.
ENGAGEMENT in the course is reflected in the quality of your notes which is preparation for other course work all of which
requires THINKING deeply about the material, not simply looking at it.
• Unit Tests, Exercises and Quizzes All course work is a ‘test’ of your organized, systematic THINKING about relevant
sociology. Comments and grades are feedback on your learning process in two significant ways: following instructions in
completing course work is a direct indicator of your organization and shows how systematic you are in your approach to
learning; appropriate use of relevant sociological language in your work reveals how DEEPLY you are thinking.
• The Learning Process
I do not buy into the banking model of education; I am not the font of all knowledge or the ‘giver’
of grades. You are the learners and your intellectual work EARNS your grade. Being engaged during class prepares you
for the instruction time you need to manage between classes; managing that instruction time effectively prepares you for
class-time. Course Work, Course Materials, and Guides and Guidelines are my communication to you; course work –
including notes, ALL online work, and questions and sharing in class are your communication to me. The classroom – both
actual and virtual – is a place for you to interact and communicate with one another as well as me. Changes in your
submitted work demonstrates successful communication and that YOU are interacting with ME, your classmates and course
materials – IMPROVEMENTS in course work demonstrates that you are ENGAGED, self-reflexive, learning sociology, and
becoming an independent and life-long learner.
B. (N)Etiquette Communications Protocols
Respectful communication is vital to collaborative learning. The guidelines
below set boundaries and identify patterns to ensure effective communication in and out of the classroom.
• I encourage you to ask questions and seek answers on a wide variety of topics and issues related to course materials,
assignments, and other relevant issues. I will terminate discussion only when its content falls outside the scope of the
course and the issues cannot be reframed as sociological – which is exceedingly rare. Stay on topic.
• In all cases, asking questions as they arise is better than waiting; and asking more questions is better than asking too few.
• We are dealing with complex and diverse ideas and issues; asking for clarification is a way to get answers you need.
• Respect your classmates' independence and diversity; provide evidence to support and clarify your position.
Get used to revealing your sources in discussion as well as basing discussion in class and online on clearly identified
sources. All course Guides and Guidelines are in The Science of Sociology and Assignments & Rubrics on my website.
Respect your classmates' time and mine; use the appropriate venue to deal with issues as they arise.
• Use the Questions, Concerns & Issues Discussion for issues or concerns that come up outside of the classroom.
• expect that my responses to general questions will refer you to relevant resources; carefully worded and detailed
questions are likely to yield beneficial specifics as answers. Part of this course is developing YOUR information literacy
and problem solving skills; questions are great – redirection so that you can find the answers is my role.
Respect yourself and me by making a time that works for both of us; be prepared and be clear about your
• If your concerns are of a personal or private nature, please speak with me during office hours or after class or use
e-mail. I will respond to e-mail within 24 hours.
Academic Dishonesty (Sociology Department Policy) The department of Sociology refers its students to the S.U. Student
Handbook and Directory section “Policy on Student Academic Integrity” concerning plagiarism and other acts of academic
dishonesty. The unacknowledged use of the ideas of others is a serious offense that can result in failure.
Each of the following constitutes plagiarism:
• Turning in as your own work a paper or part of a paper that anyone other than you wrote. This would include but is not
limited to work taken from another student, from a published author or from an Internet contributor.
• Turning in a paper that includes unquoted and/or undocumented passages someone else wrote.
• Including in a paper someone else’s original ideas, opinions, or research results without attribution.
• Paraphrasing without attribution.
• Turning the same paper in for credit in more than one class.
A few changes in wording do not make a passage your property. As a precaution, if you are in doubt, cite the source.
Moreover, if you have gone to the trouble to investigate secondary sources, you should give yourself credit for having done
so by citing those sources in your work and by providing a list of Works Cited or Works Consulted. In any case, failure to
provide proper attribution could result in a severe penalty and is never worth the risk.
D. Disability Services The Office of Student Disability Support Services (OSDSS), located in the Guerrieri University Center, Room
242, provides guidance, access to resources, and coordinates accommodations for students with documented disabilities. This
course supports the University's efforts to meet the academic needs of students with disabilities; for more information, visit the
OSDSS in person or via SU's webpage (search Disability Services).
Writing Across the Curriculum This course supports the University’s mandate regarding writing across the curriculum. In
accordance with the goals of WAC, and Sociology Department Policy, all writing for this course is graded for both content and
technical issues. Use of cites (parenthetical notes in text identifying author and page number) and references (bibliographic
source listings providing all information needed to retrieve the source) according to an accepted standard (e.g., MLA, APA) for
non-sociology majors and the standard specified by the ASA (Chicago/Turabian) for sociology majors, is expected. My website
provides resources and coursework provides practice, and lots of it. If your grades reflect difficulties in these areas, I encourage
you to make use of course and University resources, including the Writing Center, early and often.
At the University Writing Center (directly above the Fireside Lounge in the Guerrieri University Center), trained
consultants are ready to help you at any stage of the writing process. It is often helpful for writers to share their
work with an attentive reader, and consultations allow writers to test and refine their ideas before having to hand
papers in or to release documents to the public. In addition to the important writing instruction that occurs in the
classroom and during teachers’ office hours, the center offers another site for learning about writing. All students
are encouraged to make use of this important service. For more information about the writing center’s hours and
policies, visit the writing center or its website at
Get the value you want from your education:
Find your interests, explore what motivates you, and ENGAGE in your learning.
Be social and proactive: ask for help, get to know your classmates and stay in
touch with them and me.
Accept the challenge of gaining a liberal arts education-- it will change the
way you think!
Project Based Learning: Sociology 101, Spring 2015
This course is divided into 4 Units, each with a Unit Test. All 4 Unit Tests require considerable research and formal
writing. Weekly Course Work prepares students for each Unit Test through Selecting Sources for Weekly Notes;
students choose topics based on their interests and prepare for Unit Tests by completing Course Work in a systematic,
organized and timely manner. Each Unit requires deeper thinking, and evidence of a more organized and systematic
approach to learning to demonstrate their developing sociological perspective on issues and topics that interest them.
The following describes the basic framework for the semester; students are expected to work WITHIN it to learn.
Unit 1: Unit Test is an Essay demonstrating deep thinking about your social identity and social context.
• Exercises during Unit 1 are Weekly, any one of which may serve as a starting point for your Essay (Unit Test).
• Unit 1 Exercises include Lab Exercises designed to teach effective use of the MyClasses-Canvas system which is
your online textbook, and Exercises to encourage exploration of your social self and your social context.
• Unit 1 Course Work and Exercises provide opportunities for you to use outside of the classroom activities to
learn Sociology. Extra-curricular activities including sports, volunteer work, and engagement with community
groups both on and off-campus are some of the options for exploring your social self/context during Unit 1.
Unit 2: Unit Test is a Blog demonstrating a Sociological perspective on a topic/issue that interests you.
• Unit 2 is designed to help you focus your interests to identify a sociological issue or topic that can be further
explored following scientific method.
• Course Work and Exercises during Unit 2 facilitate this process; since social (in)justice is a core element of all
sociological work, connecting your extra-curricular interests to the development of your Blog (Unit 2 Test) is
• Unit 2 requires a deeper sociological understanding of your interests; it does not require you to either change
topics OR to stay focused on whatever you chose for your Unit 1 Test (Essay). Topics/issues are student choice.
Unit 3: Unit Test is an Outline & Summary – it could be Team Work or Individual Work.
• Unit 2 requires considerable research facilitated by Course Work. Students need to apply scientific method to
collect data and interpret evidence through the use of appropriate sociological theory.
• Unit 2 requires a synthesized, comprehensive understanding of a particular social issue or topic developed
through systematic and organized review of multiple sources and application of relevant sociological theory to
demonstrate deep thinking about the topic or issue.
• Teams will coordinate their efforts over Unit 3 to produce a Team Outline (as their Unit 3 Test); individuals will
produce their own Outline & Summary as their Unit 3 Test.
Unit 4: Unit Test is effectively a ‘final exam’ which may take any one of several forms.
• One option is for Team Members to write individual Blogs based on their Team Work.
• Research Papers are also an option.
• Team Presentations are also an option.
• In addition, several Unit 4 Projects become available to those who have successfully completed Individual
Outlines and to Team Members upon successful completion of the Team Planning/Presentation process.
Aside from effective time management, course learning goals include:
• Improved communication skills, written and oral demonstrated through interaction with me and your
classmates in both face-to-face contexts and virtual ones in MyClasses-Canvas discussions and Course Work.
• More systematic and organized approaches to learning through application of scientific method demonstrating
increased sophistication over the semester; the goal is to hone your learning/thinking strategies.
• Increased information literacy demonstrated through appropriate selection and effective use of Required
Materials AND Selected Sources to complete Unit Tests and Projects over the semester.
• Achievement of ‘expert’ quality thinking/understanding demonstrated in Unit 4 Project Work. Both quantity
and quality of your interaction with me, your classmates, course materials and YOUR SELF is assessed
throughout the semester; student learning is apparent in improvements in the quality of course work over time.
Course Work Checklist: (For Unit 1 – make your own for subsequent Units).
Completed Welcome Survey
Took Welcome Week Quiz (Sociology)
Read and marked up Welcome Week Required Materials
o List Welcome Week Required Materials here as you read and mark them up:
Posted in Welcome Discussion (1st post)
Completed and submitted all parts of Welcome Exercise
Posted in Welcome Discussion (2nd post)
Attended all Week 1 classes
Completed First Lab Exercise
Took Week 2 Quiz (Core Concepts)
Read and Marked up Week 2 Required Materials
o List Week 2 Required Materials here as you read and mark them up
Posted in Discussion (1st time) for Week 2
Completed Budgeting Your Time Exercise
Selected Source for Week 2 – read and Marked it up
o Provide reference for Selected Source here
Posted in Discussion (2nd time) for Week 2
Attended all Week 2 classes
Completed Second Lab Exercise
Took Week 3 Quiz (Holy Trinity)
Read and Marked up Week 3 Required Materials
o List Week 3 Required Materials here as you read and mark them up
Posted in Discussion (1st time) for Week 3
Completed Mapping Your Social Network Exercise
Selected Source for Week 3 – read and Marked it up – AND Completed Notes Page for it.
o Produced Notes page on Selected Source to submit for Week 3 Notes
Posted in Discussion (2nd time) for Week 3
Attended all Week 3 classes
Took Week 4 Quiz (Definition of the Situation)
Read and Marked up Week 4 Required Materials
o List Week 4 Required Materials here as you read and mark them up
Posted in Discussion (1st time) for Week 4
Started Unit 1 Test (Essay)
Selected Source for Week 4 – read and Marked it up
o Produced Notes page on Selected Source to submit for Week 4 Notes
Posted in Discussion (2nd time) for Week 4
Attended all Week 4 classes
Submitted Unit 1 Test (Essay)
In completing the above work, I also looked up Glossary Terms following instructions in Course Work; I followed
suggestions in Selecting Sources for Weekly Notes each Week and I learned how to navigate MyClasses – Canvas and use
Dr. McEntee’s website AS MY TEXTBOOK and my guide to successfully complete my course work. I have asked the
questions I needed answers to and I have developed strategies for effectively managing my time to achieve my learning
goals. I’ve also found a topic/issue I’d like to learn more about in Unit 2. I have posted my questions about my work
and the course in the Questions, Concerns, Issues Discussion.

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