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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

GEOL 110: Introduction To Physical Geology

Course Description

An introduction to earth’s materials, geophysical processes acting on those materials and the resulting landforms and landscapes.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Tarbuck, Lutgens and Tasa. Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology with Mastering Geology. 12th. Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2017.
    • ISBN-978-0-13-412764-4
      • Note: Includes MasteringGeology access

MasteringGeology

A passcode to MasteringGeology is included with the purchase of new textbook from MBS Direct. However, if you need to purchase access to MasteringGeology separately, the ordering ISBN is 978-0-13-418264-3.

CAUTION: Do not purchase USED passcodes to MasteringGeology; they are not valid.

Instructions for accessing MasteringGeology will be provided on the first day of class.

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

The course is basically divided into four general themes: rocks and minerals, earthquakes and plate tectonic theory, geologic processes that shape the Earth’s surface, and geologic time. Beginning with rocks and minerals, you will learn how minerals form and how igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks are classified and the processes that formed them. Following those units, you will learn what causes earthquakes to occur and how they are used to “map” the Earth’s interior. The significance of the location of mountain ranges, deep sea trenches, volcanoes, etc. will also be investigated to support the plate tectonic theory. You will then learn about the forces of rivers, glaciers, wind and gravity to shape and reshape the Earth’s surface. Finally, geologic time will be revealed through the fossil record as well as through methods used for age dating the Earth.


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To evaluate the types, formation and changes of major terrestrial surface materials (minerals, rocks, soils).
  • To provide an overview of Earth’s major surface features and how they change.
  • To relate landforms and landscapes to geologic processes.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the scientific method and discuss its application in the geologic sciences.
  • Describe the origin of the solar system, its planets and other features.
  • Explain the molecular basis of minerals, the classification of minerals and their properties.
  • Explain the formation of different rock types and their place in the rock cycle.
  • Evaluate Plate Tectonics Theory, the evidence supporting it and the resulting surface features and geologic structures.
  • Relate the causes and locations of volcanoes and earthquakes to tectonic processes.
  • Describe the major processes of denudation and relate them to tectonics and the rock cycle.
  • Discuss the major erosional/depositional agents and the landforms they generate.
  • Review the major geologic regions of the United States and North America.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussion (8) 120 12%
Multimedia Assignments (8) 280 28%
Quizzes (6) 180 18%
Midterm Exam (1) 210 21%
Final Exam (1) 210 21%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 1 35 Saturday
Introductions 0 Sunday
Syllabus Quiz 0
Quiz 1 30
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 2 35 Saturday
Quiz 2 30 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 3 35 Saturday
Quiz 3 30 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 4 35 Saturday
Midterm Exam 210 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 5 35 Saturday
Quiz 4 30 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 6 35 Saturday
Quiz 5 30 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Thursday/Sunday
Multimedia Assignment 7 35 Saturday
Quiz 6 30 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Thursday/Saturday
Multimedia Assignment 8 35 Saturday
Final Exam 210
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Readings and Activities

Each week, there will be reading assignments and activities to be completed before submitting assignments.

Discussions

Each week will have 1 discussion topic/questions to answer. Discussion topics will become available Monday and all work must be completed by Sunday. Students must post their original response by 11:59 pm CT Thursday and respond to two student initial posts within their discussion threads by 11:59 pm CT Sunday (except in Week 8, where they will be due Saturday).

Each topic will be graded on three levels: scientific argument presented in response to the discussion prompt; answering the follow-up questions posed by the instructor; and the quality of the interaction with classmates. Your instructor may respond to your postings to provide you the opportunity to improve your score. When responding to classmates, you must comment on the scientific significance of what was written. Each Discussion is worth 15 points.


Multimedia Assignments

Multimedia Assignments will be completed using the Mastering Geology 3rd party application. Multimedia Assignments will become available on Monday and are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday within the same week.

Multimedia Assignments consist of answering questions after viewing animations/media corresponding to the topics discussed in the textbook. Some weeks, assignments will have two parts, the second of which will include a video accompanying the questions.

Hints may be used within the system. Hints are helpful clues or simpler questions that guide students to the answer. Hints are not available for all questions. There is no penalty for leaving questions in hints unanswered. Students will have 1 attempt per question and receive credit for correctly answering. Students will lose credit for exhausting all attempts, giving up on a question given in a part/hint, or incorrectly answering a part or hint. A 3% deduction will be received for opening/using a hint.

Late Multimedia Assignment submissions will reduce the score by 20% for each day late. The score will be reduced for the whole item even if some parts are finished on time. Each Multimedia Assignment is worth 35 points.


Quizzes

There will be Quizzes in Weeks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7, each worth 30 points. Quizzes will be available beginning at 12:01 am CT Thursday and be due at 11:59 pm CT Sunday of the same week. It is recommended that assigned readings and Multimedia Assignments are completed ahead of attempting each quiz as they are intended to be closed book/closed notes.

In Week 1 there will be a Syllabus Quiz to test student knowledge of the syllabus, and is intended to provide an orientation for the coursework. It will open at 12:01 am Monday, and can be taken as many times as necessary to achieve a 100% score. A 100% score is required to access/open Quiz 1.

Quizzes will be comprised of 30 multiple-choice questions worth 1 point each. A strict time limit of 35 minutes per quiz will be enforced (a 5 minute grace period is given). It is not possible to skip/revisit questions and late quiz submissions will receive no credit.


Midterm and Final Exams

There will be a proctored Midterm Exam and proctored Final Exam. The Midterm Exam will be taken during Week 4 and the Final Exam during Week 8. These exams will be administered in D2L and not Mastering Geology. They must be proctored and an approved proctor’s presence and supervision is required. Students will be given 120 minutes to complete each exam, with a 10 minute grace period. The midterm exam consists of 63 multiple choice questions (3 points each) and two short answer questions (worth 10 and 11 points respectively) for a total of 210 points.  The final exam consists of 62 multiple choice questions (3 points each) and two short answer questions (worth 12 points each) for a total of 210 points.

The Midterm Exam will become available at 12:01 am CT Wednesday and will be due at 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4. It covers all textbook readings in Weeks 1-4 and all Multimedia Assignments 1-4. Note: Since no Quiz was given for Week 4, there will be 27 questions from Week 4’s readings, and 12 questions each from the readings for Weeks 1, 2, and 3. The Midterm Exam will be closed book/notes.

The Final Exam will become available at 12:01 am CT Tuesday and be due at 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8. It covers all textbook readings in Weeks 5-9 and all Multimedia Assignments 5-8. Note: Since no Quiz was given for Week 8, there will be 26 questions from Week 8’s reading, and 12 questions each from the readings for Weeks 5, 6, and 7. The Final Exam will be closed book/notes.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Scientific Method, Nebular Theory, and Minerals
Reading

Chapter 1, sections 1.3 and 1.5; Chapter 3, sections 3.1-3.10

Discussion 1
You are given two crystals. One crystal is a diamond and the other crystal is a cubic zirconium. Both are virtually the same hardness. What simple test could you perform to tell them apart? What does the hardness and “perfect” cleavage suggest about the bonding in these crystals? What mineral group would a diamond be classified as? What mineral group would a cubic zirconium be classified as (why is that a trick question)? Lastly, would you settle for a blue cubic zirconium rather than a blue diamond? Defend your reasoning. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 1
Multimedia Assignment 1 consists of answering multiple choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapter 3.
Introductions

Introduce yourself to your classmates. Please give more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in geology and any other information that can help us get to know you.

Syllabus Quiz
The Syllabus Quiz will test student knowledge of the Syllabus, and is intended to provide an orientation for the upcoming coursework. It will be available beginning Monday of Week 1, and can be taken as many times as needed to achieve a 100% score. A 100% score is required to access Quiz 1.
Quiz 1
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 1 and all of Multimedia Assignment 1.
Week 2: Igneous Rocks and Volcanism
Reading
Chapter 4, sections 4.2- 4.4, and 4.8; Chapter 5, sections 5.3-5.6, and 5.8
Discussion 2
Imagine that you are hiking and stop to look at an outcrop of rock with light-colored, large crystals. Provide the complete history behind that rock, including being at the Earth’s surface. If you wanted a dark-colored, large crystal rock for your kitchen countertop, would you expect to find it deeper beneath the outcrop? Yes or No. Defend your reasoning. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 2
Multimedia Assignment 2 consists of answering multiple choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 4 and 5.
Quiz 2
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 2 and all of Multimedia Assignment 2.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Weathering and Sedimentary Rocks
Reading
Chapter 6, sections 6.2-6.4, 6.6, and 6.7; Chapter 7, sections 7.2-7.5, and 7.6
Discussion 3
You are asked to create soil that would be considered very fertile. What would you include in your "recipe?" How would you create the necessary pore spaces? What is usually found in the pore spaces in nature? Is fertile soil renewable or non-renewable? Defend your reasoning. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 3
Multimedia Assignment 3 consists of answering multiple choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 6 and 7.
Quiz 3
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 3 and all of Multimedia Assignment 3.
Week 4: Metamorphic Rocks, Deformation, Structures, and the Rock Cycle
Reading
Chapter 8, sections 8.1-8.5; Chapter 1, sections 1.7; Chapter 10, sections 10.1-10.4
Discussion 4
Since marble is found in the mountainous regions paralleling the east coast of the U.S., what is the origin of the parent rock, and what type(s) of metamorphism did the rock go through to create the marble? Did faulting play a role in the metamorphism, or is the faulting a consequence of the metamorphism? Defend your reasoning. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 4
Multimedia Assignment 4 consists of answering multiple-choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 8 and 10.
Midterm Exam
Proctored exam covering all textbook readings (Weeks 1-4 and all of Multimedia Assignments 1-4) Note: since no Quizzes were given for Week 4, there will be 27 questions from Week 4’s reading, and 12 questions each from the readings for Weeks 1, 2, and 3.
Week 5: Seismology and Continental Drift
Reading
Chapter 11, sections 11.1-11.7; Chapter 12, section 12.2; Chapter 2, sections 2.2 and 2.4
Discussion 5
The major earthquake that struck Japan was not far offshore, triggering a devastating tsunami. If that earthquake had originated hundreds of miles offshore, how would the Japanese seismologists pinpoint the epicenter, using their seismograph stations located throughout the country? Do you believe that the geologic conditions along our West Coast make our country likely to experience as bad of an earthquake in the near future? Why or why not? An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 5
Multimedia Assignment 5 consists of answering multiple-choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 11, 12 and 2.
Quiz 4
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 5 and all of Multimedia Assignment 5.
Week 6: Characteristics of Divergent, Convergent, and Transform Fault Plate Boundaries
Reading
Chapter 2, sections 2.5-2.9 Chapter 5: section 5.9; Chapter 13: sections 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, and 13.7; Chapter 14: sections 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, and 14.5
Discussion 6
Continent A and Continent B visually appear to "fit" together like a jigsaw puzzle. Folded mountain ranges are found on both continents where the "fit" occurs. If the oldest ocean floor rock found separating the continents is 100 million years old, how old would the mountains of Continent A be (relatively speaking)? Are the continents moving towards each other or farther apart? Provide several pieces of evidence to support your answer. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 6
Multimedia Assignment 5 consists of answering multiple-choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 2, 13, 14.
Quiz 5
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 6 and all of Multimedia Assignment 6.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Characteristics of Mass Wasting and Characteristics of Stream Dynamics
Reading
Chapter 15, sections 15.1-15.5; Chapter 16, sections 16.2-16.7
Discussion 7
What types of mass wasting plague the state of California? Describe the various reasons why mass wasting commonly occurs there. What advice might be given to land developers in California to reduce the risks of mass wasting? An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 7
Multimedia Assignment 7 consists of answering multiple-choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 15 and 16.
Quiz 6
Covering all textbook reading assigned for Week 7 and all of Multimedia Assignment 7.
Week 8: Glaciers, Desert Landscapes, and Rocky Shorelines
Reading
Chapter 18, sections 18.1, 18.3, 18.4; Chapter 19, sections 19.2-19.6; Chapter 20, section 20.4
Discussion 8
While hiking up a mountain valley, you come upon a lake, dammed by wall of unconsolidated sediments. You suspect that those sediments may have been deposited across the valley by a glacier that has since melted away. Describe thoroughly what those sediments would look like and why they could not be from a stream. Viewing up the valley, what other clue would support it being a glaciated valley rather than a stream valley? Large boulders are strewn haphazardly throughout the valley as well? Does that evidence support a glacier depositing the boulders or a stream depositing the boulders? Defend your reasoning. An initial post and at least two replies are required.
Multimedia Assignment 8
Multimedia Assignment 8 consists of answering multiple-choice questions after viewing animations corresponding to topics discussed in the textbook for Chapters 18, 19, and 20.
Final Exam
Proctored exam covering all textbook readings (Weeks 5-8 and all of Multimedia Assignments 5-8) Note: since no Quizzes were given for Week 8, there will be 26 questions from Week 8’s reading, and 12 questions each from the readings for Weeks 5, 6, and 7.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Multimedia assignments submitted after the due date will have their graded value reduced by 20% for each day or partial day that they are submitted after the due date. As a result, homework assignments submitted more than four days after the due date will receive a grade of zero.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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