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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

SOCI 321: Criminology

Course Description

Emphasis on sociological theories concerning the nature, sources, control, and prevention of crime. Topics include current trends in U.S. crime rates; media coverage of crimes; patterns of victimization; characteristics of property crimes, violent crimes, drug crimes, corporate crimes, political crimes and vice. Critical examination of current law enforcement and correctional policies and practices.

Prerequisite: Junior Standing

Proctored Exams: Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Siegel, L.J. (2018). Criminology: Theories, Patterns and Typologies (13th). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    • [ISBN-978-1-337-09264-7]

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

In this class you will learn how to examine the concept of criminology by first understanding the framework for studying criminology and then by comprehending criminological theories. This is an exciting field because debates continue over the nature and extent of crime and the causes and prevention of criminality.



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 Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the components of different criminological theories.
  2. Articulate the methods used in research on crime.
  3. Explain the factors contributing to violence in society.
  4. Evaluate the merits of various approaches to incarceration.
  5. Evaluate the consequences of the war on drugs.

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
Discussions (17) 255 26%
Writing Assignments (3) 225 22%
Research Paper 200 20%
Quizzes (7) 70 7%
Final Exam 250 25%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 15
Discussion 3 15
Quiz 1 10 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 5 15
Writing Assignment 1 75 Sunday
Quiz 2 10
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7 15
Quiz 3 10 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 9 15
Writing Assignment 2 75 Sunday
Quiz 4 10
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 11 15
Quiz 5 10 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 13 15
Writing Assignment 3 75 Sunday
Quiz 6 10
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 14 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 15 15
Research Paper 200 Sunday
Quiz 7 10
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 16 15 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 17 15
Final Exam 250 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

You must post answers to 2 Discussion Questions by 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday. Each discussion is set so that you must post your original answers before reading the posts of fellow classmates. You are expected to thoroughly research the assignment. Acceptable sources could include textbooks, scholarly journals, and interviews of individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system. General websites such as Google.com and Wikipedia.com are not acceptable. Dictionaries are useful for learning the meaning of words but are not valid research references. References must be cited in the initial posting.

Two response posts to other classmates are due by 11:59 CT pm on Sunday for each discussion. During Week 8, they are due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday. Response posts should also be well-developed, add to, and further the conversation; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas.


Writing Assignments

There are 3 general writing assignments in the course. For each, you will choose 1 of 2 topics to write about. They should be thoroughly researched, reported, and submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by Sunday 11:59 pm CT the week they are due.

Three peer-reviewed references, not including the textbook, are required for each writing assignment. References and sources should be listed in MLA or APA format. Acceptable sources could include textbooks, scholarly journals, and interviews of individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system. General websites such as Google.com and Wikipedia.com are not

The average length of papers is 2 to 3 pages. All writing assignments must be original work for this course. Papers used in another course cannot be used, and information should not be cut and pasted into the paper. All source material should be paraphrased in your own words. Short quotations are allowed. It is expected that you will write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.


Research Paper

For the final research paper, you will investigate and thoroughly research a criminal prevention, treatment, or punishment program, or a current crime policy. The history and results of the program or policy will be given. The criminological theories behind the program or policy must be discussed in detail. This is the main part of the report. The paper must include 5 or more peer reviewed references, not including the text. Acceptable sources could include the textbook, scholarly journals, and interviews of individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system. General websites such as Google.com and Wikipedia.com are not acceptable. Citations must be in MLA or APA format. The body of the report should be 6 to 8 pages single-spaced, 12-point Cambria font. You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. All papers must be original work for this course. Papers are due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 7.


Quizzes

Quizzes will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. In addition, you may use your book to help find the answers, but must be aware that time is limited. Quizzes cannot be retaken or made-up. They need to be taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.


Final Exam

The final exam must be taken online with a proctor. The time limit is 2 hours. The exam will open Monday at 12:01 am CT of Week 8 and is due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday. The exam will contain 50 questions, multiple choice and true/false, each worth 5 points. You may not use your book or any other materials for assistance during this final exam. The questions will test the comprehensive knowledge you have learned from all 8 weeks of the course.



Course Outline

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

Week 1: Crime and Criminology
Readings

Chapter 1

Discussion 1

Write a paragraph about yourself. Please post your initial post by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 2

What are the main causes of crime in America? What is the best method of preventing crime? Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 3

Discuss ethical issues that are important in criminological research. What role does mental illness play in criminal behavior. Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 1

Quiz 1 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

Week 2: The Nature and Extent of Crime
Readings

Chapter 2

Article:  "To Stop Crime, Hand Over Cash" in the New York Times (July 5, 2015)

Discussion 4

What have been the major outcomes/consequences of the War on Drugs Policy?  Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 5

Read the article "To Stop Crime, Hand Over Cash" in the New York Times (July 5, 2015).  Does this seem like a good approach to reducing gun violence? Should the sale and possession of handguns be banned? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Writing Assignment 1

Describe and give examples of the 3 perspectives or theories of viewing crime OR describe some currently proposed alternative drug control strategies, and summarize how results from these could differ from the consequences and outcomes of the War on Drugs Policy.  Due Sunday of Week 2 by 11:59 pm CT. 

Quiz 2

Quiz 2 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

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: Victims and Victimization; Rational Choice Theories
Readings

Chapters 3 and 4

Discussion 6

Do you think there is a relationship between youth victimization and mental health problems and delinquent behavior? Explain. What are the best programs to help victims of crime? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 7

Are people thinking rationally when they commit crimes? Is drug use rational? Does capital punishment deter crimes? Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 3

Quiz 3 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

Week 4: Trait Theories
Readings

Chapter 5

Discussion 8

Should the government control the content of TV shows and limit the amount of weekly violence? How can we explain the fact that millions of kids watch violent TV shows and remain nonviolent?  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 9

Should people diagnosed as psychopaths be separated and treated even if they have not yet committed a crime? Should psychopathic murderers be spared the death penalty because they lack the capacity to control their behavior?  Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Writing Assignment 2

Explain the strengths and weaknesses of victimization theories while considering their impact on victims OR explain how biochemical conditions and brain activity could be linked to crime from a theoretical perspective.  Due Sunday of Week 4 by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 4

Quiz 4 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

Week 5: Social Structure and Social Process Theories
Readings

Chapters 6 and 7

Discussion 10

Explain the theory behind the Head Start Program. How does the program reduce crime? Describe why the “truly disadvantaged” are more prone to crime. Why does the CIS program seem to be making a difference for at-risk youth? Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 11

Look at mass shootings in the media.  Discuss any criminological theory that could be used to explain them. Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 5

Quiz 5 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

Week 6: Social Conflict, Critical Criminology, and Restorative Justice
Readings

Chapter 8

Discussion 12

How is racial profiling an example of the conflict view of crime? How can the principles of restorative justice be used in sentencing? Do you think applying peacemaking theory can help reduce crime? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 13

How would you respond to someone who claims that the social roles of men and women have converged and, if anything, women actually have more power today? Can you think of institutions and practices that show gender discrimination to be a continuing and a contemporary problem?  Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Writing Assignment 3

Summarize the major premises of Cultural Deviance Theories and provide an example of their application OR explain the relationship between Restorative Justice and at least 3 criminological theories.  Due Sunday of Week 6 by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 6

Quiz 6 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

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: Developmental Theories: Life Course and Latent Trait
Readings

Chapter 9

Discussion 14

According to the social development model, parental attachment affects a child’s behavior for life. Is it possible that serial killers failed to achieve parental attachments? How does the interactionist theory explain delinquent gang behavior? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 15

Why are some delinquents destined to become persistent criminals as adults while other delinquents desist? Do you believe it is a latent trait that makes a person crime prone, or is crime a function of environment and socialization? Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Research Paper

Investigate a criminal prevention, treatment, or punishment program or a current crime policy.  Use your research to include the following:  Give the history and results of the program or policy, discuss in detail the criminological theories behind the program or policy, and include your perspective regarding the success of the program or policy.  The major portion of your paper should be a discussion of all the criminological theories behind the program or policy you are investigating.  Due Sunday of Week 7 by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 7

Quiz 7 will consist of 20 true/false or multiple choice questions each worth 0.5 points each. The questions will test the knowledge you have learned from the weekly course objectives. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes need to taken by 11:59 pm CT on the Sunday of the week they are assigned.

Week 8: Interpersonal Violence; Political Crime and Terrorism
Readings

Chapters 10 and 11

Discussion 16

What are some of the main causes or sources of violence? What are the roots of hate and the factors that produce hate crimes? What motivates the new generation of terrorists? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Discussion 17

Can a serial killer or mass murderer be legally sane? What should be done with serial killers and mass murderers? Support your answers with evidence from the text and outside sources.  Please post your initial post by Wednesday and your response posts by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Final Exam

The final exam must be taken online with a proctor. The time limit is two hours. The exam will open Monday at 12:01 am CT of Week 8 and is due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday. The exam will contain 50 questions, multiple choice and true/false each worth 5 points. You may not use your book or any other materials for assistance during this final exam. The questions will test the comprehensive knowledge you have learned from all 8 weeks of the course.



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.  No other late work accepted, except with prior instructor approval.

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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