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Introduction to Sociology Course and Teaching Portfolio

Stacy Tiemeyer, M.A. stacytiemeyer@unlserve.unl.edu Phone: 402-937-0875 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Sociology 711 Oldfather Hall Lincoln NE 68588-0324

Table of Contents
I. II. III. IV. V. VI. Teaching Philosophy.......................................................................................... 2 Teaching Methods ............................................................................................. 2 Introductory Sociology in the Broader Context ................................................... 3 Analysis of Student Learning ............................................................................. 4 Planned Changes .............................................................................................. 5 Student Support Outside of Class ...................................................................... 6

VII. Professional Activities and Teaching Improvement............................................ 6 VIII. Summary ........................................................................................................... 7 IX. Appendices ........................................................................................................ 8
Appendix A: Syllabus ................................................................................................... 9 Appendix B: Sample Exam and Assignments .............................................................17 Appendix B.1: Sample Exam ................................................................................18 Appendix B.2: Research Writing Assignment ........................................................26 Appendix B.3: In-Class Activity- Capitalism Jeopardy ...........................................30 Appendix B.4: Discussion Board ...........................................................................35 Appendix C: Samples of Student Work .......................................................................36 Appendix C.1: Exam Essay Sample......................................................................37 Appendix C.2: Research Writing Assignment Sample ...........................................38 Appendix C.3: Discussion Board Samples ............................................................46 Appendix D: Tables and Figures.................................................................................50 Appendix D.1: Tables............................................................................................51 Table 1: Introduction to Sociology Courses Taught .........................................51 Table 2: Teaching Evaluations for UNL ...........................................................52 Table 3: Teaching Evaluations for WSU ..........................................................53 Appendix D.2: Figures ..........................................................................................54 Figure 1: Student Demographics: Class Standing ...........................................54 Figure 2: Student Demographics: Major ..........................................................54 Figure 3: Distribution of Points by Semester ...................................................55 Figure 4: Course Average 2009-2011 .............................................................55 Figure 5: Distribution of Grades by Semester ..................................................56

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I.

Teaching Philosophy

Student learning in sociology takes place at both the introductory and advanced levels when students can begin to make connections between their individual experiences and society, understand the structure and organization of society, and use sociological concepts to challenge assumptions about the social world. One of my course objectives for Introduction to Sociology includes developing students understanding of sociology (See Appendix A). I begin the semesters by helping students connect their personal experiences to how social institutions shape their own lives. The first day of my class begins with asking students to write briefly about themselves. Typical responses include some combination of education, native region or town, family/relationships, economy (employment), religion, culture (movie buff, loves music, etc.), and occasionally something related to authority/political/government. I begin to group their responses on the board and establish how similar the patterns are for almost every student. I have extensive experience teaching Introduction to Sociology class (See Table 1). I taught the first five of my courses at a mid-size urban university (Wichita State University) and the other half at a large research intensive Midwestern university (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Students enrolled in my classes differed between the two universities. For instance, students at WSU enrolled in my classes between 2009 and 2010 were primarily freshman, whereas students enrolled in my classes at UNL beginning in fall of 2010 were more dispersed in class standing (See Figure 1). Very few of my students are actually sociology majors; in fact, this is true for both universities (See Figure 2). The relatively few sociology majors in comparison to the science and other social sciences majors do not discourage me, and in fact, I designed my Intro course with non-major students in mind. Several of the course objectives provide students with knowledge and tools immediately useful in their academic studies. At the end of the class, students should be able to apply the sociological lens when discussing social issues, a skill that develops from learning the theories and methods sociologists use to guide scholarly work. I think the opportunity to introduce sociological concepts and theories to students majoring in health or education, for instance, underscores the importance and contribution of sociology to the general education curricula.

II.

Teaching Methods

Instructors can empower students in their learning by providing them with tools, direction and guidance for developing an understanding of the structure and organization of society. For students new to sociology, this typically begins with exposure to the material and introduction to the approach, vocabulary, theories and methods sociologists use to understand human society. While vocabulary, theories and methods are very important, I do not expect introduction students to develop into social
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scientists in one semester. Learning the approach of sociologists provides students with the foundation for further study, and I think that students can learn this in a number of ways. Encouraging students to question and develop a curiosity about society is key to understanding the sociological perspective. One of my primary goals for students is that they leave my class with the ability to use sociological concepts to contest assumptions about the social world. Advanced students will have exposure to theory and tools that are more sophisticated in which to ask and analyze their questions. However, I think that beginning introduction students can use topics covered in class and lecture to start investigating such questions. The research writing assignment introduces students to sociology academic journal articles presenting original scientific research (See Appendix B.2). The assignment exposes students to sociological research, while at the same time providing guidance in academic writing and research skills. My teaching style reflects my belief that learning is an interactive process. I structure my course to incorporate exposure to concepts through readings, lectures and quizzes. I provide students with opportunities to apply the learned concepts through class discussion, films and writing assignments. I frequently use small group in-class activities to reinforce the material. One of the most effective activities is Capitalism Jeopardy (Appendix B.3). Instructors frequently use Jeopardy for exam review; however, I combined the concept with another activity that simulates social inequality by unequally distributing resources. The activity provides students with the experience of concrete inequality and limited ability to compete with other advantaged groups with valuable resources. Not all students are comfortable participating in full class discussions, nor is it practical in large classes. So, in order to encourage students to think about and verbalize their understanding of material I added online discussion boards to my course last fall (Appendix B.4). Course activities, discussions, and assignments provide students with multiple opportunities for mastering the material.

III.

Introductory Sociology in the Broader Context

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln developed an ambitious general education program focused on student learning outcomes. The Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) supports development of skills and knowledge that will serve students over their lifetime. Introduction to Sociology meets one of the ACE requirements for UNL students. The ACE initiative goals parallel the goals identified by the American Sociological Association (ASA) for sociology majors, and mirror the learning objectives identified in my syllabus. One the key areas of student development identified by ASA, include learning the theories and methods of sociology, and developing an understanding of diversity in the United States. One objective of ACE is that students gain knowledge of human diversity, and gain proficiency using the tools of the discipline
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to understand human behavior. Introduction to Sociology provides all students with valuable analytical skills, knowledge of diverse groups and cultures, and establishes an important foundation for students who go on to major in sociology.

IV.

Analysis of Student Learning

Not all students learn in the same way, which is why student assessment should take place at multiple levels. I designed my class to accommodate different learning styles and strengths. Some students excel at writing papers and verbally communicating, whereas other students perform better on exams. I address the differences in learning styles by distributing points available in my course over a variety of items (See Figure 3). Throughout the semester, I use assignments and exams to assess student understanding of vocabulary and sociological perspectives, theory, and to a certain extent research methods. Exams comprise roughly 42% of students grade, followed by writing assignments, which account for about 32%. The remaining 26% includes in-class activities, quizzes and discussion board posts. Tests can measure basic understanding of the material. Exams include multiple choice and essay questions (See Appendix B.1). Exam questions cover the textbook, activities, class discussions and films. Roughly, 70% of the questions on an exam are modified test bank items, and the rest of the questions relate to outside readings, activities and films. The testing center provides a detailed text file of students results. Generally, I look for questions identified as poor discriminators or with a low correlation. I also look over the questions students with the highest scores missed and questions students with the lowest scores missed. The multiple-choice questions challenge students knowledge in the face of competing alternatives, while the essay questions provide students an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and critical thinking skills. For instance, the essay sample (See Appendix C.1) requires students to demonstrate a firm grasp of definitions and to apply the concepts to discuss a documentary we watched in class. The student eloquently described noodling as a subculture by connecting the ideologies, values, beliefs and practices of noodlers. For the research writing assignment (See Appendix B.2) students choose five articles on a sociological topic of interest from peer-reviewed journals and write a paper incorporating research from each article. Expectations for the completed paper include a specific thesis topic statement, organization of their topic, and identification of key questions or issues surrounding the topic. Instructions included a clear outline and guide for each section as well as bibliographic information. The attached sample (See Appendix C.2) exhibits the students superior effort on the writing assignment. The student demonstrates a clear command of excellent writing style and mechanics. The student also provided an academically sound argument by using theory and previous research to develop the ideas, while considering the complexity of the topic.

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The discussion board serves as a space to discuss topics relevant to the course readings, lectures and discussions for the week (See Appendix B.4). The discussion board also serves as a diagnostic tool. I can quickly scan the posts for signs of confusion, or perhaps topics that I need to address in more detail. The discussion board assignment and sample attached is from fall 2011. Students were required to post two questions and respond to two of their classmates questions. The two threads attached provide a fantastic testament to the quality of discussions that can take place online outside of the classroom (See Appendix C.3). The purpose of the discussion board is to encourage students to engage with some of the larger themes and topics covered in class by briefly writing on a regular basis. Both of the threads provide a snapshot of students discussing larger themes, and specifically questioning social issues. An additional purpose of the discussion board is to provide an opportunity for contribution to students who may not be comfortable speaking up in large groups. For privacy reasons, I removed the names of the students. However, the student who started the thread on the bomb shelter exercise shared their reluctance to speak up in class in a few other assignments. The inclusion of all students clearly enriches the learning environment for everyone. The overall course average of students has steadily increased since fall 2010 (See Figure 4). Currently, the grade average for all students is .79 (N=395). However, the student average for all three courses in 2011 was roughly .84, which is considerably higher than the average of .76 for previous semesters. In 2011, 93% of my students earned a C1 or higher, compared to 85% in 2010, and 78% in 2009 (See Figure 5). Interestingly, freshman comprised on average 20% of my classes during 2011 (N=112), in comparison to 57% in 2010 (N=148) and 71% in 2009 (N=135, See Figure 1 for Class Standing). Distribution of points per year also varies, although exams account for roughly 40% of a students grade for most semesters (See Figure 3). Beginning in fall 2010, I increased the number of writing assignments and I have experimented with the overall percentage contribution of papers to students final grades.

V.

Planned Changes

Previous changes included adding a reader to help students develop a broader sense of the research conducted by sociologists, and adding essay questions to exams to encourage development of critical thinking skills. Previously I used journals to encourage free-thought writing exercises, however, the quality of the discussion board posts convinced me of the benefits of providing a space for students to engage with each other. Feedback from students indicated that they felt the discussion board requirement every week was too intense. I changed the requirements of the discussion board for spring 2012, instead of four posts per each week students are required to post
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The percentage of students earning a C or higher includes students who earned a C-.

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two times for eight out of twelve weeks. Students post one question and respond to a classmates question. Posts are also limited to the reading assignment from the reader for the week. The assignment in fall 2011 required students to post one question for the reading and one question pertaining to any topic, activity or discussion of interest to them. The current discussion board requirements seem to stifle students engagement on the boards, which now seems counter-productive. I plan to change the required discussion posts to two questions and one response for six out of twelve weeks during the semester. Students will be required to include at least one question from the reader, and the second question can be over anything related to our class that week. Lastly, I am exploring the use of clickers in my class for interactive lectures, activities and quizzes, to encourage student engagement.

VI.

Student Support Outside of Class

I encourage students to see me during office hours or to contact me via email. My availability to students is a frequent comment by students on my evaluations. From a student in fall 2010 (answering, What were the strongest aspects of the instruction in this course): Notes on Blackboard and the availability of Ms. T to answer questions and emails Each semester I email students who earn less than a C on the first exam. I ask them to meet with me to discuss study strategies, learning styles, and what has worked for them in the past. I do not require students to meet with me but I am regularly surprised by how many students take up my offer. Most students improve significantly by the next exam. I work with students who request an honors contract. In summer 2009, I wrote a letter for a student for the McNair Scholars program. In fall 2009, I allowed several students to interview me as part of their Introduction to the University class assignment requiring they interview an instructor. I regularly exchange emails with former students who have gone on to major in sociology.

VII.

Professional Activities and Teaching Improvement

I have taken several steps to improve my skills and to develop as a teaching scholar. I am currently serving the second year of my appointment as the graduate student member of the Midwest Sociological Society Teaching and Learning Committee. In spring 2012 I am co-leading a workshop on preparing a teaching portfolio at the Midwest Sociological Associations annual meetings with Helen Moore and Shanell Sanchez. Last year, I applied for the Sage and Pine Forge Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award to attend the ASA Teaching and Learning Committee pre-conference workshop in August, although I was not accepted. I passed the professional teaching development seminar offered in the department. In the fall of 2010, I also attended all of the required workshops for new teaching assistants. In the future, I plan to apply for the Preparing Future Faculty program that
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UNL offers, an exceptional opportunity to develop and document my growth as a teaching scholar.

VIII. Summary
Although student grades provide valuable feedback regarding students performance, I rely on other sources of data for feedback on my teaching performance. At the end of every semester, I am mindful about taking time to reflect on the class, and I consider whether the course objectives were met. I find quantitative and qualitative data useful for evaluating my teaching. When I receive my evaluations, I carefully review the items and look for areas that need improvement (See Table 2 and Table 3). For example, on the item This class helped you learn the subject matter, I scored 3.89 (See Table 2). I added the discussion board in fall 2011 to provide students with another opportunity to engage the material, my score on the same item increased to 4.29 for that semester. The quality of posts on the discussion boards also showed students were gaining new knowledge about society and human diversity. I remain passionate about sociology, and teaching Introduction to Sociology provides me with the opportunity to share my excitement with students. Understanding the sociological approach provides students with a tool for understanding social reality. Students learn to think critically about social issues and practice communicating their understanding and reasoning with each other. Although the topics covered in one semester only begin to scratch the surface of sociology, students gain skills valued by the university, employers and society.

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IX.

Appendices

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Appendix A: Syllabus

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Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101 101 January 9 , 2012 to May 4th, 2012 Tuesday 6:30-9:20 Avery Hall Room 106
th

Instructor: Stacy Tiemeyer, M.A. Office: 406 Oldfather Hall

Email: stacytiemeyer@unlserve.unl.edu

Office Hours: *Please note that email is the best way to Tuesday 5:20-6:20 reach me. Emails sent during the week will Wednesday 2:30-3:30 typically receive a response within 24 or by appointment hours.* Dispassionate science often languishes in objectivity and cold numbers which help with our research and publications, but in the background of these products are people, very alive people, who search for understanding and justice with an intense desire to make the world a better place for everyone. ~ 2Ron Matson (p. xviii, 2011).

Welcome to Sociology!
Overview: This is an introductory course to sociology, and therefore no prerequisites are required for the class. Sociology is the scientific study of human interactions. Sociologists have developed rigorous theories and research methods to guide investigation of the social world. This course exposes students to the foundational elements necessary to understand sociology in both the academic and practical sense. Throughout the course we discuss social life, structure, change, organization, conflict, inequalities and how people act within these contexts. Much of what you will learn is immediately useful in understanding the communities and groups in which you belong. The field of sociology explores our social world in a manner that requires suspension of assumptions in order to study the questions sociologists ask. Your textbook author Dalton Conley refers to this as making the familiar strange. Objectives: At the end of this class students should be able to:
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Explain what sociology is and what the field studies Use their sociological imagination to discuss issues presented in the social world Identify core sociological theories Understand how social life is organized and structured Analyze scientific investigations of social phenomena Recognize how inequalities are created and maintained in the social world
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Matson, Ron. 2011. The Spirit of Sociology (3 ed.). New York, NY: Allyn & Bacon.

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Conley, Dalton. 2011. You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist, 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Massey, Garth, ed. 2012. Readings for Sociology, 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Blackboard: Blackboard is heavily utilized in this class. Quizzes and additional materials will be posted to Blackboard, which is also where class announcements and grades will be maintained. It is recommended that if you do not have reliable access to the internet at home that you familiarize yourself with the available computer labs on campus. Additionally, email will be sent to your account associated with Blackboard, it is suggested that if you do not use this account as your primary email that you set up the account to forward to the one you use most often. Class Format: Lecture, discussions, debates, in-class activities and films will all be used to explore issues in this course. Complete the readings for that day before class; participation is a requirement for this course. Evaluation of students contribution to class discussions factors into the final grade earned. Cell phones must be on silent, and anyone using their electronic devices for anything other than notetaking will be asked to leave. Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) Student Learning Outcomes: The University of NebraskaLincoln seeks to provide quality education to all of its students. To that end, it has designated certain classes as ACE certified. These classes provide and assess specific learning outcomes. As an ACE class, the Introduction to Sociology will facilitate Learning Outcome #6 (using knowledge, theories, methods, and historical perspectives appropriate to the social sciences to understand and evaluate human behavior). This class will: Introduce students to the systematic study of human interaction. The course focuses on the development of students sociological imaginations and their ability to understand the world around them in the context of common social patterns. Foster students mastery of core sociological concepts, exposure to a range of theoretical perspectives and research methods, and introduction to issues and findings in the disciplines substantive areas. Offer opportunities to understand individuals in society and society in individuals, they explore inequalities of race, class, and gender, and they investigate sociological perspectives of social institutions such as the economy, family, religion, education, and mass media. Exams, class discussions and written assignments.
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ACE learning outcomes in this class will be assessed by:

Tiemeyer I. Class policies: A. Attendance:

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Attendance is a requirement in this course, and will be taken 4 times periodically throughout the semester. The dates will not be announced. Each attendance is worth 10 points. Students who come to class over 15 minutes late or leave class early will be counted as absent that day. There is no need to contact me unless you are going to be absent on a scheduled exam day. Students who participate in university activities requiring absences will be excused with proper documentation for that day. If you miss class I suggest that you contact a classmate to get notes and pertinent information. I do not provide notes to students who are absent. This is your responsibility. ______________________________ phone or email

_________________________________ Name of person sitting next to you B. Academic Dishonesty: From the University Student Code of Conduct (http://stuafs.unl.edu/ja/code/three.shtml):

The maintenance of academic honesty and integrity is a vital concern of the University community. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty shall be subject to both academic and disciplinary sanctions. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. It is assumed that you have familiarized yourselves with student code of conduct. Students caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive an F for the assignment and the course.

C. Student Services Available: Disability Service: Students with disabilities who may need support and accommodations are strongly encouraged to contact the SSD office (http://www.unl.edu/ssd/) located at 132 Canfield Administration Building, and can be reached by phone: (402) 472-3787. D. Grade Dispute Policy: Contesting Your Grade: If you receive a grade that you believe is incorrect or unfair and would like me to reconsider it, you will need to submit the following to me in writing within two class periods of the grade being posted on Blackboard: 1) your graded assignment and 2) a typed letter explaining why you believe the grade you
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received does not accurately reflect the quality of your work given the requirements of the assignment. I will inform you of my decision within a week of receiving these items. I will not reconsider grades that do not follow this procedure. II. Evaluation: A. Exams: There will be 4 exams, each worth 100 points. The format of the exams will be 45 multiple choice questions worth 2 points each, and one essay question worth 10 points. The questions will be drawn from the text, lecture, class discussion, quizzes, films and assignments. There is not a cumulative final exam. The fourth exam will be taken online, and will have 40 multiple choice questions worth 2 points each and 2 essay questions worth 10 points each. Further details will be discussed in class and posted on Blackboard. In rare circumstances make-up exams are allowed, however approval must be granted in advance. Students who fail to contact me before the exam will not earn full credit for a make-up exam. Exams will not be handed back, if you would like to see your exam please come by my office. Results will be uploaded to Blackboard when available. B. Writing assignments: Students will write three papers for this class, each between 4-5 pages, and worth 100 points each. A total of 6 writing assignments will be offered. All students must complete the first writing assignment, after which students may choose 2 among the remaining five assignments to complete. Students are only allowed to turn in three papers for credit. The detailed assignments with grading matrices will be posted on Blackboard during the first week of class. Although this is not a composition class, students are expected to turn in work that is representative of college level writing. It is expected that students will not only spell-check their papers, but proofread for grammatical errors as well. Papers will be submitted on Blackboard using SafeAssign, and are considered late if they are not submitted by the deadline. C. Quizzes: There will be 4 quizzes taken on Blackboard; each quiz is worth 25 points. Refer to the schedule for the dates and times of the quizzes. Multiple attempts are allowed and Blackboard will record your highest score, however quiz questions randomize for each attempt. The quizzes are openbook and there is not a timer for the quiz. Each quiz will cover the chapters for the upcoming exam. No make-ups or extensions for the quizzes will be allowed.

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All of the questions will be drawn from the textbook over material that we may or may not have time to cover in great detail during class. It would be safe to assume that you may see similar questions on the exam. D. Discussion Board: Not all students are comfortable speaking in large groups and because I think everyone has something to contribute students are expected to participate in discussion board conversations. Students are expected to participate in at least 8 of the 12 discussion board weeks. Participation is worth 80 points. Students are expected to post 1 question in the appropriate section for the Garth Massey readings that week. Students are then required to respond to 1 question posted by others. Your questions are due by Thursday at midnight, and replies are due by Sunday at midnight. Make-ups or extensions for the discussion board will not be granted. More details will be posted on Blackboard regarding content expectations and discussion board civility. E. In-class Assignments: There will be a total of 8 in-class assignments, each worth 10 points for a total of 80 points. Points will be assessed based on participation. I do not announce the dates for the assignments; you must be present in order to receive points. You will be allowed to make-up 1 of these assignments at the end of the semester, dates will be posted after spring break. F. Extra Credit Students will have an opportunity to complete two extra credit assignments. Check Blackboard for details. Summary of Possible Extra Credit Points: Assignments: 2 extra credit assignments Total (possible) = = 20 points 20 points

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Point Breakdown
Exams: Papers Quizzes: Discussion Board: In-class activities: Attendance Total: 400 points 300 points 100 points 80 points 80 points 40 points 1000 points 96-100% 93-95% 90-92% 86-89% 83-85% 80-82% A+ A AB+ B B-

Grading Scale
76-79% 73-75% 70-72% 66-69% 63-65% 60-62% Below 60% C+ C CD+ D DF

*% will be rounded up, i.e. 86.5% = 87%, and 86.4% = 86%*

*The right is reserved to make changes to syllabus according to the needs of the class.*

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Your readings are listed as DC = Dalton Conley textbook, and GM = Garth Massey reader.

Tentative Schedule (subject to change) Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Date 1/10 1/17 1/24 1/31 2/07 2/14 2/21 2/28 3/06 3/13 3/20 3/27 4/03 4/10 4/17 4/24 Stratification & Poverty 17 5/01 Exam 4 (ch: 11,7,10) Online Lecture Introduction & Sociological Imagination Methods Culture & Media Exam 1 (ch: 1,2,3) Socialization Social Control & Deviance Family Exam 2 (ch: 4,6,12) Education Capitalism & the Economy Spring Break (No Class) Race Gender Exam 3 (ch: 13,14,9,8) Health
DC Chapter 11 GM~ p. 196-211 DC Chapter 7 & 10 GM~ p. 339-351 DC Chapter 9 GM~ p. 232-241 DC Chapter 8 GM~ p. 439-452 DC Chapter 13 GM~ p. 153-162 DC Chapter 14 GM~ p. 431-438 DC Chapter 4 GM~ p. 137-152 DC Chapter 6 GM~ p. 109-121 DC Chapter 12 GM~ p. 418-425

Reading
DC Chapter 1 GM~ p. 13-18 DC Chapter 2 GM~ p. 64-75 DC Chapter 3 GM~ p. 97-108

Assignment Discussion Board: GM~ p. 13-18 Quiz 1 released Discussion Board: GM~ p. 64-75 Writing Assignment #1 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 97-108 Quiz 1 expires @ 11:55 pm Extra Credit #1 available Quiz 2 released Discussion Board: GM~ p. 137-152 Writing Assignment #2 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 109-121 Writing Assignment #3 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 418-425 Quiz 2 expires @ 11:55 pm Quiz 3 released Extra Credit #1 Expires Discussion Board: GM~ p. 153-162 Writing Assignment #4 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 431-438

Writing Assignment #5 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 232-241 Extra Credit #2 available Discussion Board: GM~ p. 439-452 Quiz 3 expires @ 11:55 pm Quiz 4 released Writing Assignment #6 Due Discussion Board: GM~ p. 196-211 Dead Week Discussion Board: GM~ p. 339-351 Quiz 4 expires @ 11:55 pm Extra Credit #2 Expires

*Students are required to participate in 8 of the 12 discussion boards. *All students must complete the 1st writing assignment. Students will need to choose 2 writing assignments from the remaining 5 to meet the course requirement.

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Appendix B: Sample Exam and Assignments

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Appendix B.1: Sample Exam

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Name:______________________________________ Exam 1 S12 Instructions: There are 45 questions, each are worth 2 points for a total of 90 points. The last question is an essay question worth 10 points.

You need a #2 pencil for your scantron (bubble) sheet. 1. Please write your name on the exam. 2. On the bubble sheet, you need to fill in the boxes with the letters for your name, and fill in the corresponding circles. 3. Mark your answers on the bubble sheet & the exam for the multiple-choice questions. 4. Write your answer to the essay question on the exam.

Turn in both the exam and your bubble sheet when you are finished. Good Luck!

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Multiple Choice Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. ____ 1. The Chicago Schools Jane Addams founded the first American settlement house, an institution to help the poor by offering aid, educational services, and more. This house is known as: a. the Addams House. c. the University of Chicago. b. the Hull House. d. the Chicago School. 2. In Personal Experiences and Public Issues Mills talks about unemployment, war, marriage, and the city in order to show that: a. human nature is the prime cause of both happiness and unhappiness. b. modern society if much more complex than premodern societies. c. people can choose to be depressed about the state of the world or be optimistic and hopeful. d. what happens to individuals and what they do is strongly influenced by their social situations. 3. The video Crack Economics gives a detailed analysis of the crack trade for gang members. Inner city youth are often considered a marginal surplus population because of high rates of unemployment. What large employer did Levitt compare to drug gangs? a. Google c. McDonalds b. Walmart d. Disneyworld 4. Gender and engaging in enjoyable premarital sex are examples of learned behaviors that are not natural or universal, and are known as: a. subcultures. c. material culture. b. cultural scripts. d. college. 5. The subset of a population from which a researcher collects data is known as a: a. unit. c. survey. b. census. d. sample. 6. Professor Clayton hypothesizes that travel to other countries increases students abilities to do well in advanced sociology classes. Which variable is the independent variable? a. ideology c. speaking a foreign language b. travel to other countries d. Professor Clayton 7. While they are difficult to define, ____________ are smaller subgroups within a larger dominant society that share some of the dominant cultural values, but also have some of their own, unique material and nonmaterial or symbolic culture. a. high cultures c. subcultures b. low cultures d. mini-cultures 8. A type of nonmaterial culture known as ____________ is a system of concepts and relationships sometimes used to understand cause and effect. a. ideology c. ethnocentrism b. high art d. cultural relativism 19

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9. George H. Mead described how the self internalizes the views of society as a whole, transcending the individual and particular situations. He calls this larger society: a. the significant other. c. the social self. b. the generalized other. d. the looking-glass self.

____ 10. The theory that states that culture is a projection of the social structures and relationships into the public sphere is known as: a. functionalism. c. symbolic interactionism. b. conflict. d. reflection. ____ 11. Which modern sociological theory examines how power relationships are defined, shaped and reproduced on the basis of gender differences? a. feminism c. functionalism b. human sexuality d. midrange theory ____ 12. To Marx, conflict between a small number of capitalists and a large number of workers would divide society. He referred to this large number of workers as: a. slaves. c. employees. b. subordinates. d. proletariat. ____ 13. In contrast to functionalism, which modern sociological theory borrows from Marxs belief that competition, not consensus, is the essential cause of social change? a. feminism c. midrange theory b. postmodernism d. conflict theory ____ 14. Ruth Benedict, in her Patterns of Culture (1934), coined the term cultural relativism, which means: a. taking into account the differences across cultures without passing judgment or assigning value. b. that groups will become more similar as they mature. c. creating culture that is similar to other cultures. d. individuals will ignore the behavior of others if it is not consistent with the values of their own group. ____ 15. The experience of learning a cultures norms, values, and so on, is known as: a. socialization. c. hegemony. b. reflection. d. ideology. ____ 16. A sociologist studying minor children, pregnant women, or inmates must get approval, as these groups are known as: a. protected populations. c. difficult to work with. b. panel populations. d. total populations. ____ 17. In the video Crack Economics, Levitt used a positivist approach to present economic data from the gangs financial records. Which of the following types of measures best describes the data? a. invalid c. qualitative b. spurious d. quantitative

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____ 18. Karl Marx asserted that culture: a. exists only in capitalist societies. b. creates the way we survive in a particular environment. c. is nonexistent in socialist societies. d. is a reflection of the means of production of a particular time. ____ 19. During the data collection class activity, you were asked to collect data via this type of methodology: a. observation. c. a case study. b. a survey. d. an experiment. ____ 20. Max Weber, the author of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism argued that sociologists should study social behavior from the perspective of the people engaging in it. This is known as: a. historical materialism. c. functionalism. b. xenophobia. d. Verstehen. ____ 21. Which of the following might be an advantage of participant observation research? a. It is a useful method for studying large and diverse populations. b. The research itself is often limited in scopewhich is important to sociological research. c. The researcher has considerable control over the conditions of the research. d. The researcher can uncover what people do rather than simply what they say they do. ____ 22. According to Durkheims Suicide, one of the main social forces leading to suicide is a sense of normlessness that results from drastic changes in society. This normlessness was called: a. social solidarity. c. anomie. b. functionalism. d. the division of labor. ____ 23. Which of the following are known as the founding fathers of the sociological discipline? a. Comte, Martineau, and Marx c. Martineau, Addams, and Weber b. Durkheim, Marx, and Weber d. Cooley, Snooki, and Mead ____ 24. Which of the following modern sociological theories states that the best way to analyze society is to identify the purpose that different aspects or phenomena play in the overall structure of society? a. feminism c. conflict theory b. functionalism d. postmodernism ____ 25. Positivism is best defined as: a. the study of the symbolic interactions between social institutions and the individuals within them. b. the idea that we can scientifically and logically study social institutions and the individuals within them. c. the effect of religion on social institutions and the individuals within them. d. the relationship between scientific and religious social institutions. ____ 26. A female manager is attempting to climb her way to the top of the corporate ladder. She works as hard, if not harder, than her male colleagues, but nothing she seems to do help her advance. She begins to notice that males are being promoted, but females tend to be overlooked for advancements. The realization that many women in her circumstance are experiencing the same discrimination is an example of: a. paranoia. c. sociological imagination. b. being oversensitive. d. social cohesion. 21

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____ 27. To define a term (or variable) in such a way so that it can be examined and measured is the process known as: a. survey construction. c. causal connection. b. hypothesizing. d. operationalization. ____ 28. According to Watson, McDonalds restaurants in Hong Kong have attracted what group(s) of customers? a. Older persons who eat alone at McDonalds. b. Students who go there to meet and study. c. Foreigners who do not like Chinese food. d. Workers who clean downtown buildings and do much of the urban building construction. ____ 29. The two broad approaches social scientists use to gather data about the social world are: a. historical and textual. c. implicit and explicit. b. qualitative and quantitative. d. surveys and experiments. ____ 30. The most problematic aspect of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, according to Brandt, was that the participants: a. did not have health insurance and so many of them lost their homes and life savings. b. accepted the money for medical treatment but used it for other purposes, such as home repairs and recreation. c. were incapable of giving consent because of low literacy levels. d. were not only given the impression that they were receiving effective treatment, but were systematically prevented from receiving proper treatment. ____ 31. If a person judges Noodlers by their own standards of fishing, he or she is being: a. ethnocentric. c. symbolic. b. culturally relative. d. realistic. ____ 32. Which of the three historical epistemological stages of human society did Comte explain was highlighted by Enlightenment thinking such as Rousseaus, Mills, and Hobbess beliefs in biological causes for human behavior? a. the scientific stage c. the metaphysical stage b. the theological stage d. enlightened stage ____ 33. ____________ played a large role in fueling the Civil Rights and antiwar movements. a. The written word c. The internet b. The KKK d. Television ____ 34. The belief that happiness and fulfillment can be achieved through the acquisition of material possessions is known as: a. materialism. c. shopaholic-ism. b. consumerism. d. Black Friday. ____ 35. Which modern sociological theory explains social behavior by examining the meanings that social signals and signs represent to individuals? a. postmodernism c. feminism b. symbolic interactionism d. functionalism

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____ 36. Which of the following is the study of social meanings that emphasizes subjectivity in understanding human behavior? a. positivism c. feeling sociology b. interpretive sociology d. formal sociology ____ 37. One of the two main categories of culture that includes values, beliefs, norms and behaviors is known as: a. material culture. c. subculture. b. nonmaterial or symbolic culture. d. counterculture. ____ 38. Everything in our constructed environment, including technology, buildings, furniture, clothing and books, is part of: a. subculture. c. nonmaterial or symbolic culture. b. counterculture. d. material culture. ____ 39. The exercise on suicide that we completed on the first day of class demonstrated that sociology is the study of: a. group-level dynamics and social structures. b. how urges, drives and the mind can account for human behavior. c. humans as rational utility maximizers. d. the underlying variation or causal mechanisms within the biological nature of individuals. ____ 40. Steves study compared how the posts of mommy bloggers differed from the posts of daddy bloggers online. What research method was Steve using when he compared how often moms and dads mentioned particular products (e.g., diapers, strollers, formula, toys, clothes, etc.)? a. interviews c. comparative research b. historical methods d. content analysis ____ 41. Perhaps the largest division within the discipline of sociology exists between which of the following? a. interpretive and positivist sociology b. functionalist and feminist sociology c. conflict and symbolic interactionist sociology d. sharks and the jets ____ 42. During the 1800s, culture was defined by Matthew Arnold as an ideal, something that is opposed to the real world in which we live. Sociologists today define culture as: a. only the nonmaterial aspects of peoples lives, like values and norms. b. only the material aspects of peoples lives, those things created by humans to adapt to the environment around them. c. the sum total of beliefs, behaviors and practices that humans create to adapt to the environment around them. d. a system of concepts and relationships that explains cause and effect. ____ 43. Charles H. Cooley argued that the self emerges from how an individual interacts with others and then interprets those interactions. He calls this: a. the significant other. c. the social self. b. the looking-glass self. d. the generalized other.

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____ 44. Karl Marx would argue that the types of social institutions in a society were the result of the economic makeup of that society. Max Weber, however, argued that: a. there are no social institutions in a society. b. there are multiple influences (e.g., religion) on how social institutions are created. c. the epistemological stage of that society influenced the social institutions. d. social institutions are created to serve only biological functions. ____ 45. Which of the following is defined as a set of stories embedded within a social network about the standard ways a society meets its needs? a. a social institution c. anomie b. a social identity d. a theory

Do not Forget the Essay Question.

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Name:__________________________ Instructions: All of your answers should be in essay format on the exam. Remember, these are not short answer questions, you will need more than a few sentences to fully flush out the ideas and details. Define subcultures and discuss Noodling as a subculture (be very specific using examples from the film). Be sure to include discussion about ideology, values, beliefs and practices.

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Appendix B.2: Research Writing Assignment

This research project will provide you with the opportunity to conduct a sociological analysis on a topic of your choosing. The project includes three parts: You will write a 5-7 page analysis of an issue of your choice (see suggested ideas below). For this paper, you will need to do some outside research to explore your topic and use course concepts to analyze and organize your findings. You will need at least 5 sources. You will also need a reference page listing your sources. The length of the paper (5-7 pages) requires you to condense a lot of material, be sure that you narrow your topic down to a workable paper. LOGISTICS: Papers must be turned in by the end of the day Monday, November 21st. Papers turned in later than this date lose 5 points per day. You will submit your paper on Blackboard to SafeAssign. I will not accept emailed papers. REQUIREMENTS: Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font. Your paper should be between 5-7 pages in length. You must use peer-reviewed journal articles as your sources, and failure to do so will significantly lower your grade. Format your citations and bibliography using ASA style, a guide is in the writing assignment folder on Blackboard. You do not need and abstract or cover page for the paper in this class, all I want is a properly formatted bibliography at the end of your paper. The bibliography does not count toward the page requirement. You should be familiar with proper citation, as well as the appropriate use of quotations. The OWL guide is quite useful for guidance in this area. Papers that excessively use quotations will lose points. Your paper should be in your own voice, which means using quotations selectively and only when necessary. Please proofread your paper.
Suggestions for selecting a topic: Pick a topic about which you can find information easily (i.e. not something too obscure). Choose something about which you are interested -- you will read and write about it for several weeks, so it might as well be something you will enjoy exploring. Some Suggested Ideas: The following is a list of general subjects from which you might select a specific project topic. This list is very general -- use it to spark an idea for a specific, well-developed topic. You need to think through how you will conduct an analysis of your particular topic, what questions you will answer, and what your specific focus will be. Most importantly, be creative and have fun with it.

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Gender and religious participation/affiliation Welfare policies/reform Teen pregnancy Self-esteem and teens Gender images in music (rap, country, pop, folk etc.) Laws and Policies Poverty Race, Gender, or Class and the legal system Women in the sciences, engineering, medicine, vet medicine Capitalism Sports Globalization Domestic violence Military (Socialization, Group Processes, Gender, Social Control) Health, illness, and health insurance Magazines and culture (sports, teen, womens, mens etc.) Gangs - male and/or female Medicalization School Violence Suicide Family Structures Same-sex marriage Race relations Environmental concerns, impact, mobilization Toys, games and gender socialization Sweatshops/labor use by multinational corporations in 3rd world countries Education Historical variations in the construction of gender (middle ages, renaissance, civil war, turn of the century, 1920s, WWII, etc.) Consumption (in one country or compare countries) Kin work Illicit drug use and/or related policies Aging (look at physical health, financial concerns, widowhood) Social networks Mental health Crime Political affiliation Sex education in schools

Research paper resources and materials: You must use 5 different academic sources for this paper, all of which must come from resources/material outside this class. The following are acceptable academic sources: Journal articles (must be peer reviewed journals) o You can access most of these journals online via the librarys website or you can physically access the journals at the library. Please keep in mind that if you copy
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an article you will need to have it scanned so that you can convert it to a PDF to upload to Blackboard. The library can help you with that task. If you are concerned that you cannot determine if a journal is peer-reviewed I would suggest using JSTOR only to search for articles. Most of the journals catalogued in JSTOR are peer reviewed, and for the most part considered acceptable for this assignment, however there are occasionally exceptions. You can use literature reviews or empirical articles for this project. Please do not hesitate to discuss your sources with me.
Once you have selected a topic for your research paper, you need to focus and narrow it into a specific research question. Your question should be one that: lends itself to sociological analysis is not a "yes" or "no" question has more than one plausible answer you can get the information to answer is answerable in the page length allotted Questions to answer for your topic selection & description (Turn this in with your articles): Name your topic: I am studying ____________, Imply your question: because I want to found out who/how/why ____________, State the rationale for the question and the project: in order to understand how/why what ____________. State how/which sociological theory provides insight to your topic. Identify how each article contributes to addressing the above topics.

PAPER If you are using different articles than what you originally submitted be sure to submit the new articles as PDFs with your paper, failure to do so will result in the loss of points. Your paper should follow a general flow, give consideration to writing your introduction, body and conclusion, however keep in mind that you may have subtopics within each. Be sure you stay on topic and fully address your question. Your paper should include the following basics: o Define your question o Identify why your question is important o Outline what others have found out about your topic (gathered from your articles) o Which sociological theory applies to the topic and explain why o What your conclusions are based upon what you have read You should connect concepts and theories identified in class and the textbook to your topic. It is very important that you do not write your paper as just a summary of the articles, for example, do not organize your paper and talk about each article one by one. Format your citations and bibliography using ASA style, a guide is in the writing assignment folder on Blackboard.

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Grading Matrix:
Requirements: Double-Spaced Length Font & Margins Peer Reviewed Articles Citations Bibliography Total=

1 7 2 5 5 10 Total = 30

Clearly Defined Question Organization Theory Application Informative Conclusion Total = Total =

14 14 14 14 14 Total = 70 Assignment Total = 100

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Appendix B.3: In-Class Activity- Capitalism Jeopardy

2012

Set up: 1. As a group, decide your team names. When we begin playing this will be important. 2. Ask each group to draw a slip of paper out of a hat, on the slips is a number for the groups and they should write their group name on the slip and the names of each member. Collect the slips to give to the volunteer. The numbers determine which resources the group can keep. 3. I distribute the resources as following for a class with about 4 groups: Group 1: Textbook & Cell Phone Group 2: Notes, Cell Phone, & Laptop Group 3: Textbook Group 4: Cell Phone Group 5: Textbook, Cell Phone, Notes, & Laptop Group 6: Cell Phone & Laptop Group 7: Laptop Group 8: Notes & Laptop Group 9: Textbook, Cell Phone, & Notes Group 10: Notes 4. Keep the benefits/rewards of each round secret until the round begins. General Rules: 1. There will be 5 rounds, each with 6 questions. 2. When I ask the questions, if you want to buzz in you should say the name of your group as loud as possible and raise your hand. The quicker the better, the group who buzzes in 1st gets to answer the question. 3. You will be answering the questions as a group, so be sure that you develop a strategy for responding to questions. You should also consider how the group will consult before raising your hand to answer a question. 4. If you answer the question correctly, you will receive the points. If your answer is incorrect, the points are deducted. If the question is not answered correctly, the other groups will have the chance to answer the question. 5. Each of you will receive instructions specific to your group. In order for you to do well at this game it is very important that you follow the instructions for your group and not allow other groups see your instructions or to overhear your strategy. If you are not careful, you can jeopardize your chance to win.

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Description of the Rounds: 1. Each group will have different instructions allowing them to keep the following items: their laptops, cell phones, textbooks & notes for chapter 10. 2. There will be changes at each round, some of which will require adding or deducting points from each group. o Round 2: o At the beginning of Round 2, I will allow groups to buy back 1 item. The prices are: Item: Cost: Laptop $ 1,000 Cell Phone $ 800 Textbook $ 600 Notes $ 400 o Round 3: o The group with the lead will be allowed to add a new rule to the game. o Round 4: o Groups can buy/sell items to other groups for of the original cost. After the exchanges are made, I will have the selling group write receipts for the buying group. Item: Cost: Laptop $ 500 Cell Phone $ 400 Textbook $ 300 Notes $ 200 o Round 5: o The group with the lead will be allowed to create another new rule, and please write this below the 1st rule.

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Introduction to Sociology Course Portfolio EXAMPLE of INSTRUCTIONS for GROUP 1

2012

Round 1: Step 1 1. Each group will receive instructions specific to your group. In order for you to do well in this game, it is very important that you follow the instructions for your group. This is a competitive game, do not allow other groups see your instructions or to overhear your strategy. You will jeopardize your chance to win if you are not careful. a. You are allowed to keep the following resources (Only 1 of each per group): i. A textbook. (Only 1) ii. A cell phone. (Only 1) b. It is up to you to decide as a group whose articles you want to keep, but you must do this quickly. c. At this time, please take the rest of your belongings to the back of the room (this means everything, including ipads, ipods, netbooks, binders, backpacks, etc.). *Do this before moving on* d. After you have done so, read the rest of the instructions. Step 2: Read this after you complete the first step. 2. There will be 5 rounds, each with 6 questions. 3. When I ask the questions, if you want to buzz in you should say the name of your group as loud as possible and raise your hand. The quicker the better, the group who buzzes in 1st gets to answer the question. 4. You will be answering the questions as a group, so be sure that you develop a strategy for responding to questions. You should also consider how the group will consult before raising your hand to answer a question. 5. If you answer the question correctly, you will receive the points. If your answer is incorrect, the points are deducted. If the question is not answered correctly, the other groups will have the chance to answer the question. 6. Groups that do not follow the instructions in step 1 and step 2 will be fined points.

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Capitalism & the Economy


History Theories Dead Theorists
(mostly)

9 to 5

Corporations & the Global Economy

Potpourri

History: 400
Question: This old system of exchange was inefficient and less certain. Answer What is the barter system.

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History: 200
Question: This system developed along with the Industrial Revolution. Answer What is capitalism?

History: 800
Question: These two new technologies ushered in a new era of production at the end of the 18th century. Answer What is the power loom & steam engine?

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History: 1000
Question: In 1914, this industrialist announced a breakthrough wage system designed to lower turnover rates and justify faster production. Answer Who is Henry Ford?

Theories: 400
Question: This theory focuses on the relationships between two antagonistic classes, focusing mostly on the control of modes of production and labor. Answer What is Marxist Theory? (Conflict Theory is also acceptable)

Theories: 200
Question: A button factory where buttons are produced by laborers and are sold for $.10 per button, the worker is paid $.02 for each button produced. Material costs amount to $.04, the remaining $.04. is called this term. Answer What is a surplus?

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Appendix B.4: Discussion Board

2012

Please post your 2 discussion questions in the appropriate forum. One question must be from the Garth Massey reading for the week and the other question can pertain to class, the textbook or a relevant current event. For weeks with no assigned reading from the GM book post two questions related to class, textbook, or relevant current events. Please keep in mind that you should provide enough information for readers to understand the context of your question, use quotes, page numbers etc. as necessary. You must also respond to at least 2 of your classmates' questions before the end of the week. Acceptable responses to classmates should answer or honestly engage their question. A simple "I totally agree" is not acceptable, you will be graded on the quality of response. You will have between Sunday and Saturday of that week to respond. The threads will not close because you may find them helpful for study purposes, however only students who respond before midnight on Saturday will receive credit. General Discussion Board Guidelines This is a good place to gain some practice written communication, which is a highly valued skill in today's job market, so please keep in mind some of these basic rules: o Engage with your classmates with respect and integrity. This means using proper grammar, complete sentences, and avoiding personal attacks, hyperbole and aggressive language. o Do not reply to a thread excessively until others have a chance to respond. o Similar to the classroom, this discussion board is also a safe space, students who harass, intimidate or behave abusively will be reported. o Keep in mind that sometimes the best questions do not have easy answers, and such questions can lead to quite productive discussions. o I firmly believe that everyone has something to contribute, so if you tend to be shy in the classroom this is a good place to be heard.

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Appendix C: Samples of Student Work

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Appendix C.1: Exam Essay Sample

2012

Define subcultures and discuss Noodling as a subculture (be very specific using examples from the film). Be sure to include discussion about ideology, values, beliefs and practices. Subcultures are very abundant, but are sometimes overlooked because of the multitude of them. A subculture is a group of people with a common interest. Beliefs throughout subcultures are consistent and usually thrive from generation to generation. Subcultures have distinct ideologies, values, beliefs and practices. One example of a subculture is a group of people who noodle. Noodling fits the criteria of a subculture and can be broken down into components. Noodling is passed down through generations and therefore has ideologies involved. Ideologies are the cause and effects of why something happens. Noodlers continue to pass down noodling because of the tradition behind it. Each family of noodlers started out with one and that one taught his son and his soon wanted to join because he felt as if it was part of leadership and masculinity from watching his Pa. Leadership and tradition are huge in noodling. Because noodling is passed down, it includes many values. Noodlers understand how meaningful it is to their family to continue the tradition. Families look up to and appreciate those who take on noodling. Not only do noodlers value traditions, family and leadership, but they also value nature. They understand that they have to respect the nature while noodling and also respect the fish they do catch. Noodling is not a bunch of messing around, it is almost a lifestyle for the families seen in the film. Since noodling is a lifestyle for some, it is their belief that noodling is how they go about fishing. They believe that noodling is the best way to fish and couldnt fish any other way. They belief noodling brings family closer together and that the men of the family are able to demonstrate leadership from it. Noodling, although it looked almost easy on the video, takes a lot of practice to become consistent. Different families had different holes they were most successful at and were almost able to claim their territory like this. Mainly noodling is done by the men. Women usually try once and never go back. It is the fathers duty to teach his son how to noodle so that he follows in the families footsteps and doesnt go into sports. Noodling is a very intense lifestyle and dangerous along with that. The families involved in this subculture love every second of it. More power to them!

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Appendix C.2: Research Writing Assignment Sample

2012

Disproportionate Offending and African-Americans There is one ugly thing that has coursed through the veins of the United States of America since the day White Europeans stepped on this continent. Something that has deep roots in our whole countrys history; it has caused wars, mass social movements and protests, pain, suffering, violence, and unfair laws and prison sentences, and many other unjust things. It can be found in many homes in this country and evidence of it can be seen in our political and educational systems. This ugly thing is racism; specifically, racism towards African-Americans by White people. Racism is very apparent in our criminal justice system as well. Drug laws, prison sentences, and police contact disproportionately affect African-Americans in a negative way. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report of 2009, the percentage of arrestees in metropolitan areas of African-American race was 24.2%, with Whites making up 74.4% and the remaining made up of Pacific Islander, Asian, Alaskan Native, or Native American. This shows a disproportionate rate of offending among African-Americans seeing as according to 2009 U.S. Census data they only make up 13.6% of the United States population. Why are the rates disproportionate? We can look to a few sociological theories for possible answers to this question. There are two theories that may offer some sort of explanation of these types of problems within our criminal justice system in regards to minorities like African-Americans. Those two theories are Critical Criminological Theory (Quinney year) and Class Conflict Theory (Bonger year). It is possible to link these two theories to these problems and they may help direct us to possible solutions to rid our system of this systemic racism and personal prejudice that has affected so many people within our criminal justice system for so long.

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One aspect of the criminal justice system where disproportionate offending among African-Americans is very apparent is in regards to drug crimes. This is where we can see a large discrepancy in offending rates. The different illicit forms of cocaine are a prime example of this. Crack-cocaine has a much larger mandatory sentence than powder cocaine despite having actually more of the active ingredient in powder cocaine gram for gram. More AfricanAmericans are arrested for crack than any other race. This is a racist policy. What makes this racist are the percentages of who mainly uses and deals crack compared to powder cocaine. Therefore, more African-Americans are going to prison for crack offenses than White people who are using cocaine, causing numbers which are evidence of disproportionate offending. According to Blumstein (2003), The feature that makes this distinction particularly troublesome is the fact that crack is dealt primarily by blacks (85% of federal crack offenders are black), whereas powder cocaine is dealt primarily by whites (18%) and Hispanics (51%) (89). Although African Americans make up only 13.6 % of the population, the FBI (2009) reports that 85% of arrestees for crack are African-American. How do we fix it? How did we get here? One could trace the root of the sentencing disparity issue all the way back to when the drug schedules were designed. These drug data tables were designed by relatively clueless white men and ranked drugs/substances by their severity. This governed how the sentencing was carried out for crimes involving these drugs (length of sentence, type and severity of sentence, etc.). These schedules led to mandatory sentencing which has gotten us to the point that we are today. Not only are there a large amount of offenders behind bars for non-violent drug offenses, but if you examine the different races of those offenders, you will discover that there is a disproportionate amount of people who are minorities behind bars when compared to white people. Even though white people use drugs more frequently than minorities, African-Americans

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and Latinos are getting arrested more often and are getting longer prison sentences. According to Neubauer and Fradella (2011), the sentencing guidelines for crack and cocaine are as follows: Under federal law, 5 grams of crack triggers the same mandatory 5-year prison term for first offenders as does 500 grams of powder cocaine (418). There have been a few court cases which have been fighting this disparity. This mandatory sentencing law has been causing racial disparities because statistically, more crack users live below the poverty line and consequently, more African-Americans live below the poverty line than whites. Therefore, African-Americans become overrepresented within the prison system when it comes to drug crimes and they are most likely sentenced to a longer sentence since the drug they are most likely use between crack and cocaine carries a heavier mandatory sentence. This is a clear indication of systemic racism within our criminal justice system. Barkan and Cohn (2005), offers a different perspective on how these mandatory sentencing guidelines and crack/cocaine sentencing guidelines came about. The authors suggest that as a result of a baseless fear of violent African-Americans, white people are in more in favor for more punitive policies towards sentencing and policing of crimes that are more common among African-Americans such as drug crimes involving crack. Barkan and Cohn (2005) discusses how the get tough approach on crime has been prevalent in the last few decades and the consequences that have come about because of this approach including mandatory sentencing for different crimes. The authors came to this conclusion: We find that whites who perceive African Americans as more violent are more likely to want more money spent on crime. In specifying this general result, we find further that this relationship is limited to one segment of whites: the most racially prejudiced (2005:300). Their data supports this conclusion. The more

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money that is spent on crime and punitive criminal punishment policies the worse the disproportionate offending becomes. This conclusion is a disturbing one. Have our drug laws and sentencing laws involving drug crimes been designed and formatted by racists? Could the sentencing disparities in regards to crack vs. powder cocaine be because of systemic racism? If so, we must work to change these laws so that they are balanced in regards to race, even if the laws are not inherently racist on the surface. These punitive policies and practices are causing a disproportionate amount of AfricanAmericans to go to prison at an alarming rate. Changing our drug laws could bring about enormous change for the better within our criminal justice system and hopefully stem the unabashed flow of African-Americans into our prison system. One theory that can be used to explain possibly why we have disproportionate offending rates among White people and African-Americans is Class Conflict Theory Bonger. Bonger developed this theory in 1916 and it was along the same vein as some of Karl Marxs earlier Communist work. Class Conflict Theory says that crime is of social origin, not biological origin. Also, since this is a Communist work, it criticizes capitalism in that it encourages greed and money above everything else which in turn encourages more and more crime in society. So because of this imbalance of wealth and social status, Bonger argues that society is divided into haves and have-nots; people who have a lot of money and people who are poor; people who have great power and people who are essentially slaves to the free market. Because of this power and wealth imbalance the have-nots do not have the resources they need in order to keep from committing criminal activity, while all of the important resources in society are taken up by the wealthy and powerful and the legal system defends their actions. We can apply this theory to our disproportionate offending problem by African-Americans by looking at the fact that there are

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more African-Americans in poverty than Whites and therefore could be considered have-nots. For example, a rich White person could have plenty of money to hire a very expensive lawyer in order to get them out of a jam while a poverty-stricken African-American is stuck with a court appointed defense attorney who is already overburdened with cases and cannot devote the time and attention that their case needs. It could be argued that the resources taken up by the rich and powerful keep White people out of prison more often than African-Americans. Also, because of the greed that is inspired by capitalism, people will go out of their way to acquire more money, no matter what the cost. This could be used as justification for why people decide to commit crimes such as dealing drugs or robbing a convenience store. Another connection we can draw to this theory is the fact, stated above, that more African-American children are put into special education programs than their White counterparts (Blanchett 2006). Once again, this could be seen as evidence that wealthy people, or White people, are taking up the resources and monopolizing them that keep the poor people, or African-American people down. By depriving African-American children of a valuable education when they are young could be setting them up for failure in the future. William Bongers theory of Class Conflict applies to the United States problem of disproportionate offending among African-Americans and shows us that in order to solve our problem we need to address the way our capitalist economic system operates if we want to attempt to solve this problem by using Bongers point of view. Another theory that we can apply to this problem of disproportionate offending of African-Americans in the United States is Critical Criminological Theory by Richard Quinney (1965). This critical criminology theory is based around the fact that crime is a normal part of every society and can be viewed in the past through the historical context. Specifically, laws

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pertaining to crime are organized according to a certain political paradigm that influences how these laws are made and what kind of things they enforce. Richard Quinney says that, The content of the criminal law, in turn, including the kind of conduct prohibited and the nature of the sanctions attached, depends upon the values of those in society that are in the positions of power to influence legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings (1965:125). Quinney states that these laws and criminal definitions are formed by a ruling social class and these laws benefit and protect the interests of this dominant social class. Also, they are enforced by people are have a vested interest in the same things that the dominant social class does. This can be applied to our problem of disproportionate offending in that most of the ruling class in the United States is made up of White people and most of the laws and sanctions that have been created have been created by White people and are enforced by White people. An example of this would be the crack cocaine laws discussed above. The drug schedules were created by the dominant social class of White people which led to the different ways that crack and powder cocaine laws were created and enforced. Crack laws are more strictly enforced than powder cocaine laws and the sentences are also different. This could be seen as something that benefits the ruling class and punishes the lower classes more severely. White-collar crime could also be evidence of this theory. White-collar crime, while more damaging and harmful to society as a whole than street crime, is not punished as harshly or as much as street crime. This is evidence of the ruling class in the United States protecting their special interests. Disproportionate offending of African-Americans is evidence of the ruling class creating and enforcing laws that benefit themselves while punishing the lower classes more harshly. At its heart, Critical Criminological Theory is suggesting that there are a set of values present in

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society that are created by the majority and then enforced by the majority. Quinney states that, Every society is based on the coercion of some of its members by others. In this view societies are held together not by consensus only, but by consensus and constraint. Furthermore, values are not only accepted, but are enforced as well (1965:125). It does not matter if the minority does not agree with these values because they are going to be enforced by the majority either way. This has caused more African-Americans to be locked up disproportionally compared to their White counterparts through a set of values that are enforced through laws and policing targeting African-Americans. Racism has been a huge part of American history, is still a huge part of American history, and will be for the foreseeable future. However, it is up to us as a generation to recognize and identify these problems more clearly in order to figure out some way to solve them, or at least begin to solve them. Disproportionate offense rates of African-Americans compared to White people is an obvious and glaring problem within our criminal justice system. Class Conflict Theory by Willem Bonger and Critical Criminological Theory by Richard Quinney are two theories that may offer up some sort of explanation as to why this has occurred and is still occurring. By looking at the problem of disproportionate offending through their theories paradigms we gain a different perspective on how and why this may be happening. It is important for us to attempt to gain a better understanding of these problems if we ever want to try to impart some sort of change on our criminal justice system for the better in order to improve our society.

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Barkan, Steven E. and Steven F. Cohn. 2005. Why Whites Favor Spending More Money to Fight Crime: The Role of Racial Prejudice. Social Problems 52 (2):300-314. Blanchett, Wanda J. 2006. Disproportionate Representation of African American Students in Special Education: Acknowledging the Role of White Privilege and Racism. Educational Researcher 35 (6):24-28. Bonger, Willem. 1916. Class Conflict Theory. Criminality and Economic Conditions. Blumstein, Alfred. 2003. The Notorious 100:1 Crack: Powder Disparity The Data Tell Us It Is Time to Restore the Balance. Federal Sentencing Reporter 16 (1):87-92. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2009. Crime in the United States 2009. Retrieved March 8th, 2011, from <http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/index.html> Neubauer, David W., and Henry F. Fradella. 2011. Americas Courts and the Criminal Justice System (10):418-419. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Quinney, Richard. 1965. A Conception of Man and Society for Criminology. The Sociological Quarterly 6 (2):119-127.

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Appendix C.3: Discussion Board Samples

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Thread: Race on College Campuses Post: Race on College Campuses Author: Posted Date: November 9, 2011 2:18 PM Status: Published

In the Garth Massey book, it reads that institutions are recommending and somewhat pushing people from different backgrounds to live together. College is the perfect example. When applying for housing, you are asked to answer a number of different questions and fill in all kinds of personal information and preferences. However, you are still asked to fill in your ethnicity as one of the questions. I know for a fact that on my floor last year there were very few rooms with two people of different races, and a large majority of the rooms were either two Caucasians, two Asians, two Latinos or two African Americans. If society is trying to move past segregation and discrimination, why do you think these housing applications still ask for ethnicity? And one step further, why do you think the University paired the roommates up like this?

Thread: Race on College Campuses Post: RE: Race on College Campuses Author: Posted Date: November 10, 2011 5:07 PM Status: Published

I slightly disagree with you because I live in Selleck, I am caucasian and my roommate is Asian. I can say that over half the rooms in my dorm are mixed with races. However little did I know before moving in that Selleck is known as the "International Dorm." From seeing how most rooms here at Selleck are mixed with races I can tell that society/University is trying to move past segregation. Even though my roommate barely speaks english, I am learning lots about her culture. Maybe in other dorms they pair roommates with two Asians, two caucasians and so on, but at Selleck they definitely mixed races. Also I think they ask for ethnicity on housing applications to either get an idea of how many races are here, or to actually pair us up accordingly? Good question.
Thread: Race on College Campuses Post: RE: Race on College Campuses Author: Posted Date: November 12, 2011 9:13 PM Status: Published

I suspect that they want to know your ethnicity so that they can group people together in a way that will minimize the risk of a racial incident occuring and them getting blamed for putting the two together.

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Thread: Race on College Campuses Post: RE: Race on College Campuses Author: Posted Date: November 12, 2011 9:26 PM Status: Published

I think that's a very good question. I didn't remember that was part of the housing application. When you think about it, you are completely right. Nearly every roommate is paired with someone of the same race. I guess the school must think that two kids of the same race will have a better chance of getting along or relating with each other. Im sure they have some sort of sophisticated system that is used and it must work well enough for now. I think the ethnicity option on the application just gives them even more information about you that they can apply and use to help find a compatible match.

Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 26, 2011 11:39 AM Status: Published

In today's exercise, I was just struck by some of the factors we all chose to determine who should stay or leave. It seemed like the skills and qualities that made the cut were ones that could attend to the immediate moment. For example, one would expect all of the youngest to survive, but most ended up cutting the babies because they wouldn't be able to reproduce right away, and wouldn't be immediately productive in other areas. Also, doctors and those with "practical" skills made the cut as well, but people like the physicist didn't make it, which seems to go against our normal fondness for sciencerelated fields. Even the chemist was a reluctant candidate. Afterwards, I wondered what other possible qualities might influence a person's survival in an apocalyptic world, such as sexual orientation. Would a gay woman or man make the cut since they would presumably be less keen to reproduce with the opposite sex? Or people who are trained in the humanities, like English? You would think we'd want to keep someone who can preserve our language, but perhaps it's not a skill of immediate importance. What do you think?
Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 26, 2011 11:42 AM Status: Published

Haha it looks like we posted basically the same question at the same time. For me personally, I was thinking more about the survival of the people who are currently living than the prosperity of future generations, so I tended to like the more practical people like the mechanic. While future generations could be a factor, I didn't really see it as one at the time.

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Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 27, 2011 2:12 AM Status: Published

I think that without the proper information our choices were bond to fail. Depending on the conditions of the world outside the shelter is what you should be basing your choices off of for if it was just you local area that got hit as apposed to the entire planet your necessitates of knowledge and skill would be drastically different. If the the whole world was hit you would need individual skilled and knowledge able enough to survive. but if it was just your area then you would have to wait until rescue came. So its all a matter of condition.
Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 28, 2011 1:12 PM Status: Published

If this situation actually happened, I think the priorities would be pretty unanimous. Most of the class put importance on the value of education and skill. This is a given, because if you have no skills then you are not worth the food you take up. However, some skills would not be as valuable in survival situations as others. My group decided that a doctor and mechanic were both necessities, but a physicist or a historian weren't very valuable. If it came to a gay or lesbian survivor, I wouldn't vote to throw them out any more willingly than anyone else in the group. If they had a valuable skill, then I would take them. I wouldn't look at reproduction as an immediate priority, considering the dangerous conditions we would face even without a pregnant woman to take care of. I would place a higher emphasis on setting up a sustainable civilization, then worry about having a next generation. In terms of preserving the language; I don't see any use of keeping an English teacher, considering any other educated survivor would know the language well enough to suffice. I wouldn't expect people to have trouble communicating in English after a few months, or a few generations. Something my group had some division over was whether it was worth it to keep a gardener. I thought this would be important because they cannot only replace their consumption of food, but supply additional food to the group in the long run.
Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 28, 2011 7:01 PM Status: Published

First of all I thought this exercise was terribly hard. I felt bad killing off the individuals one by one, even though they don't exist! The way my group decided who survived and who got cut was if they had a trained skill they could help others with. In other words, we didn't cut the doctor in case there were to be a medical emergency because he would most likely be the only one who would know how to deal with it. As far as the reproducing factor goes I think it would be necessary to keep more women than men.
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It's much harder for women to keep reproducing, whereas men can impregnate as many women at the same time. So that part was just logical. As far as the language goes my group really didn't even take that into consideration, we just focused on individuals who we believed would be good survivors and be able to make it the full two weeks.
Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 29, 2011 6:12 PM Status: Published

This was an interesting activity because everyones views differed on who should live and who should get cut. I thought that we would be keeping all the kids alive since they had so much ahead of them but instead we based it on their education and what they have to offer to our world.
Thread: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Post: RE: Bomb Shelter Exercise: Sacrifices Author: Posted Date: October 29, 2011 9:10 AM Status: Published

I also thought that the exercise was quite interesting, and I think that if this was a real situation, it wouldnt just come down to a choice of 7 people. In a normal scenario it wouldnt be an outside source, i.e. we the students in class, it would be the individuals themselves having to choose among themselves.

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Appendix D: Tables and Figures

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Appendix D.1: Tables

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Table 1: Introduction to Sociology Courses Taught Course Name School and Semester University of Nebraska-Lincoln Spring 2012 Fall 2011 Summer 2011 Spring 2011 Fall 2010 Wichita State University Spring 2010 Fall 2009 Summer 2009 Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology Intro Sociology 101 101 101 101 101 111 111 111 111 111 101 004 301 001 002 22451 26589 12571 14106 32612 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 74 43 22 47 46 57 45 55 57 23 Course Number Section Number Number of Credits Number of Students

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Table 2: Teaching Evaluations for UNL

Table 2: Teaching Evaluations for Introduction to Sociology Taught at University of Nebraska-Lincoln SOC 101 Sec 002 SOC 101 Sec 001 Fall 2010 Question: Year in School
a

SOC 101 Sec 301 Summer 2011 Total 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 Mean Variance 2.68 0.74 2.53 1.53 4.21 4.37 4.58 4.37 4.05 4.26 0.46 0.35 0.90 0.65 0.24 0.34 0.68 0.40

SOC 101 Sec 004 Fall 2011 Total 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 Mean Variance 2.28 1.24 2.32 1.72 4.29 4.56 4.40 4.40 3.92 4.25 0.54 0.6 0.71 0.33 0.88 0.72 0.91 0.52

Spring 2011 Total 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 Mean Variance 2.48 0.92 2.41 1.48 3.89 4.04 4.15 3.93 3.67 4.07 0.39 0.47 0.69 0.78 0.87 1.11 1.04 0.66

Total 35 35 35
d

Mean Variance 2.00 1.49 3.46 1.69 4.06 4.06 4.34 4.20 3.77 4.17 0.31 0.79 0.63 0.45 0.57 0.45 0.75 0.60

College and Majorb Expected Grade c This class helped you learn the subject matter This class promoted learning
d

35 35 35 35 35

Ths instructor was available to answer questions d This instructor helped you to understand class material and prepare for exams. d This class was excellent. d Your overall evaluation of instructor is
e

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a [A=1] Freshperson [B=2] Sophomore [C=3] Junior [D=4] Senior [E=5] Graduate Student b [A=1] Arts & Sciences, Sociology [B=2] Arts & Sciences, not Sociology [C=3] Other c [A=1] [B=2] [C=3] [D=4] [F=5] d [A=1] Strongly Disagree [B=2] Disagree [C=3] Neutral [D=4] Agree [E=5] Strongly Agree e [A=1] Very Poor [B=2] Poor [C=3] Average [D=4] Very Good [E=5] Excellant

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Table 3: Teaching Evaluations for WSU

Table 3:Teaching Evaluations for Introduction to Sociology Taught at Wichita State University SOC 111 Sec 32612 SOC 111 Sec 12571 SOC 111 Sec 14106 Summer 2009 Interpretative Profile: Perceived Quality Index: Consisting of: Course Design Rapport with Students Grading Quality Course Value Perceived Course Demands: Consisting of: Difficulty Workload
a

SOC 111 Sec 22451 Spring 2010 Students 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 Scale 6.6 7.1 6.6 6.9 5.8 4.0 4.1 4.5
a

SOC 111 Sec 26589 Spring 2010 Students 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 Scale 6.7 7.0 6.5 6.8 6.6 4.5 4.4 4.9
a

Fall 2009
a

Fall 2009
a

Students 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

Scale 6.9 6.5 6.5 8.1 6.0 4.9 4.7 5.3

Students 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41

Scale 4.9 5.6 5.2 5.1 3.8 4.8 4.8 5.0

Students 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36

Scale 3.5 4.2 3.6 4.3 2.5 4.9 5.0 5.0

Based on a one to ten scale with a mean of 5.5 and a standard deviation of 2.

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Appendix D.2: Figures Figure 1: Student Demographics: Class Standing

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% SU 2009

Figure 1 Student Demographics: Class 2009-2011


Graduate

Senior

Junior

Sophomore

Freshman
FA 2009A FA 2009B SP 2010A SP 2010B FA 2010 SP 2011 SU 2011 FA 2011 All

Figure 2: Student Demographics: Major

100% 90%

Figure 2 Student Demographics: Major 2009-2011


Undecided Humanities

80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% SU 2009 FA 2009A FA 2009B SP 2010A SP 2010B FA 2010 SP 2011 SU 2011 FA 2011 All

Fine & Per. Arts Business Health Education Science Other SS Sociology

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Figure 3: Distribution of Points by Semester

Figure 3 Distribution of Points per Semester: 2009-2011


100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

Exams Writing Assignments I.C. Assignments Quizzes Journal Attendance

20% 10% 0% SU 2009 FA 2009A FA 2009B SP 2010A SP 2010B FA 2010 SP 2011 SU 2011 FA 2011

Discussion Board

Figure 4: Course Average 2009-2011

0.90

Figure 4 Introduction to Sociology Course Average: 2009-2011

0.85

0.80

Scale 0-100

0.75

0.70

0.65 SU 2009 FA 2009A FA 2009B SP 2010A SP 2010B FA 2010 SP 2011 SU 2011 FA 2011 All

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Figure 5: Distribution of Grades by Semester

100% 90%

Figure 5 Distribution of Grades: 2009-2011


% of A's

80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% SU 2009 FA 2009A FA 2009B SP 2010A SP 2010B FA 2010 SP 2011 SU 2011 FA 2011 All

% of B's

% of C's

% of D's

% of F's

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