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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

PADM 335: Methods Of Public Decision Making

Course Description

How theoretical, philosophical, scientific, political and social factors influence decision making in the public sector and methods used by public sector managers to make those decisions. 

Prerequisite: PADM/POSC/MGMT 311

Proctored Exams: Midterm



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Stone, Deborah. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. 3rd. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012.
    • ISBN-978-0-393-91272-2
  • Rhodes, Terrel L. (Editor). The Public Manager Case Book. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2002.
    • ISBN-978-0-7619-2327-5

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

Course will introduce you to policy analysis and the methods utilized to prescribe policies. You will review the policy process which includes policy problem identification, alternative presentation, solution selection, program implementation and results evaluation. The process will be presented through objective (rational) and subjective (emotional) views. You will be confronted with the struggle inherent in the policy process between assuring equity while maintaining efficiency or the challenge of balancing values with ideas. These conflicts arise out of the market (economic) desires of capitalism and the political (individual) demands of democracy. You will study the narratives and stories surrounding current policy issues including the participants involved.


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 develop decision-making strategies for potential public managers.
  • To understand various decision making approaches used by public managers.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 1125-1250 90-100%
B 1000-1124 80-89%
C 875-999 70-79%
D 750-874 60-69%
F 0-749 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 200 16%
Dropbox Assignments (7) 350 28%
Midterm Exam (Proctored) (1) 225 18%
Final Exam (1) 225 18%
Policy Issue Paper (1) 250 20%
Total 1250 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction 0 Thursday
Discussion 1 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 1 50 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 2 50 Sunday
Policy Issue Paper Topic Due 0
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 3 50 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 4 50 Sunday
Midterm Exam 225
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 5 50 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 6 50 Sunday
Policy Issue Paper Due 250 Saturday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 25 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox 7 50 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 25 Friday
Final Exam 225 Saturday
Total Points 1250

Assignment Overview

Readings

Complete your assigned weekly readings prior to your other course assignments so that the concepts covered in the readings can inform your work. You should strive to show knowledge and mastery of the concepts assigned.

Discussions

Each week you are responsible for three discussion posts; one original post and two reply posts. The original post is due by midnight Thursday of each week. In order to conduct a timely discussion it is important that students contribute postings to the weekly discussion in a timely manner. The replies to other students’ postings are due by midnight Sunday of each week. Reading all comments posted by other students and the instructor is required each week. Note: Week 8 original and reply posts are due by midnight Friday.

Dropbox Assignments

Each week, you will prepare a case study review. The case study review will consist of responses to the following: (1) Describe the problem or issue presented. (2) Is the problem or issue presented correctly based upon the facts offered? (3) What are the positions of the stakeholders? (4) Should the problem or issue be defined differently? If not, why not? (5) Are activities ongoing in an attempt to resolve the problem or issue? (6) What alternatives were offered? (7) Are there other alternatives? (8) Were the alternatives offered sufficient or insufficient? (9) Was the solution the proper course of action? If not, why not? In addition, you will include a statement on the equity (emotional)/efficiency (rational) conflict surrounding each case study. This will require you to think about the narrative or story method or technique. Each case study review should be approximately 3 to 5 pages; however, students are encouraged to expand beyond 5 pages when necessary.

Midterm Exam (Proctored)

The proctored midterm exam is comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions, 5 short answers and 1 essay question. The exam is available in the Quizzes area of the course and has a strict time limit of 2 hours (120 minutes). Exceeding the time limit will result in a loss of points (10% reduction). The midterm exam will cover Chapters 1-6 and must be completed by midnight Sunday of Week 4. You must submit Proctor information to the dropbox by Week 2. Review the Proctoring Module in the Content area before submitting.

Final Exam

The final exam is comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions, 5 short answers and 1 essay question. The exam is available in the Quizzes area of the course and has a strict time limit of 2 hours (120 minutes). Exceeding the time limit will result in a loss of points (10% reduction). The final exam will cover Chapters 7-15 and must be completed by midnight Saturday of Week 8.

Policy Issue Paper

You will write a 10-12 page (double-spaced) paper following APA or MLA guidelines. The Policy Issue Paper is due midnight Saturday of Week 6. Your paper topic must be approved by me. A discussion thread titled “Policy Issue Paper Topic” is available in Week 2. Post your selected topic to this area. Once a topic is selected by a student, no other student may select that topic. I will reply to each posting as either “Confirmed”, or “Denied” (with an explanation). This paper must, at a minimum, contain the following; introduction of the policy topic, events leading to the policy development, key components and policy makers involved in the policy, process by which policy was established, opposing viewpoints on the policy, effectiveness/impact of the policy since implementation, and a summary of your viewpoint on the current status and future of the policy.


Course Outline

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

Week 1: Market and Community
Readings
Policy Paradox, Introduction and Chapter 1
Introduction
Introduce yourself on the appropriate topic in the Discussions area of the course.
Discussion 1
Pertains to Community and Social Capital, see Content area of course, Case Study and Assignments, Week 1.
Dropbox 1
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “Ending Welfare as We Know It” case study available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Week 2: Government’s Goals
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3
Discussion 2
Relates to “Poverty in America: Contrasting Perspectives” case study. Case study available in Content area.
Dropbox 2
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “The Quest to Continue” case study available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Policy Issue Paper Topic Due
Post your selected topic to the Policy Issue Paper discussion board. Remember, once a topic is selected by a student, no other student may select that topic. I will reply to each posting as either “Confirmed”, or “Denied” (with an explanation).
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: Government’s Goals Continued
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
Discussion 3
Pertains to privacy
Dropbox 3
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “Evolving Objectives: The Statewide Evaluation and Planning Services Program” case study available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Week 4: Proving There is a Problem
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 7 and Chapter 8
Discussion 4
Pertains to Hydraulic Fracturing
Dropbox 4
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “The Edifice Complex: A New Coliseum for Charlotte?” case study available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Midterm Exam
Complete the proctored midterm exam available in the Quizzes area of the course by Sunday at midnight Central Time.
Week 5: The Who, What and Why of a Problem
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 9, Chapter 10 and Chapter 11
Discussion 5
Pertains to immigration
Dropbox 5
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “Teaching What They Practice” case study available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Week 6: Implementing Problem Solutions
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 and Chapter 16
Discussion 6
Pertains to drug policy economics
Dropbox 6
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “Drug Policy: Our Addiction to Failure” case study available in the Content area.
Policy Issue Paper Due
Submit your completed Policy Issue Paper to the appropriate dropbox.
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: Problem Solution Implementation Reasons
Readings
Policy Paradox, Chapter 14 and Chapter 15
Discussion 7
Relates to “Ignored Advice and the Global War on Terror” case study. Case study available in Content area.
Dropbox 7
Submit your completed assignment to the appropriate dropbox. You will review and complete the assignment using “Smart Cards for Paperless Transactions: Facilitation of e-Government or Threat to Security?” available in The Public Manager Case Book.
Week 8: Summary
Readings
Policy Paradox, Conclusion
Discussion 8
Relates to “Can Government Play Moneyball?” case study
Final Exam
Complete the final exam available in the Quizzes area of the course by Saturday at midnight Central Time.


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.

Exams: The Midterm and Final Examinations must be submitted by the deadline of midnight Saturday. Requests for extension of the deadline must be pre-arranged by midnight Wednesday of the week of the examination period and must be due to an emergency, such as a personal or family illness or a personal or professional responsibility. If the instructor has not agreed in writing (e-mail only) to an extension of the deadline without penalty, the grade for the examination will be zero.

Policy Issue Paper: Unless approved by the instructor, the final paper must be submitted by midnight Saturday of Week 6 or a grade of zero will be award.

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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