Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

PHIL 201: Introduction To Philosophy

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  Course Description

Exploration of problems and methods of philosophical inquiry, including such topics as belief systems, values, and meaning; theories of nature, god and humankind; the nature of knowledge and its acquisition. G.E.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Baird, F.E. (2011). From Plato to Derrida (6th ed). New York, NY: Routledge.  eText

Bookstore Information

Ed Map is Columbia College’s bookstore for Online, Nationwide, and Evening students.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the Ed Map storefront at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials, but may do so through the Ed Map storefront. Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

  Course Overview

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the field of philosophy and its sub-disciplines:  metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics (with the focus being on the first two—see PHIL 210 for Logic and PHIL 330 for Ethics).  It includes primary source readings from important historical figures in philosophy such as Plato, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, as well as more contemporary authors, and covers important philosophical topics such as Socratic Method, Plato’s Theory of Forms, Descartes’ Dualism of Mind and Body, Hume’s Skepticism, and Kant’s Critical Philosophy.  Logical concepts are introduced, and students learn how to evaluate philosophical claims and arguments.  The nature of reality, the sources and definition of knowledge, the existence of God, the nature of consciousness, and the role of language are all explored in a philosophically meaningful way, at a level appropriate to the introductory student.

  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. Student critically analyzes philosophical arguments, issues, and problems at the introductory level.
  2. Student formulates sound and valid philosophical arguments appropriate for the introductory level.
  3. Student cogently expresses both philosophical problems and plausible solutions in accord with the best philosophical practices that could be expected from a beginning student.


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 (8) 200 20%
Quizzes (8) 200 20%
Argument Analysis Paper 200 20%
Exams (2) 400 40%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 1 25 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 2 25 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 3 25 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 4 (Logic) 25 Sunday
Midterm Exam 200

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 5 25 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Recommended: Argument Analysis Paper Draft -- Thursday
Discussion 6 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 6 25 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 25 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 7 25 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Argument Analysis Paper 200 Thursday
Discussion 8 25 Thursday/Saturday
Quiz 8 25 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


The purpose of the weekly discussion forum is to engage in dialogue about the philosophical questions raised in each week’s coursework, in order to advance your understanding of the philosophical issues raised. As such, it is the ‘heart’ of the course.

There are eight weekly discussion assignments, worth up to 25 points each week. Each assignment consists of an initial response to the discussion questions for that week, as well as at least two reply posts to other students’ posts and/or instructor’s comments. Please note that your initial response to the discussion questions must post before the rest of the discussion area for the week is opened to you. Initial posts are due no later than 11:59 pm CT on Thursday of each week, and reply posts are due no later than 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of each week (except for the final week of the course when they are due 11:59 pm CT on Saturday). Your initial post is worth up to 15 points each week and your reply posts are worth up to 10 points each week.

Your discussion posts must be as complete and substantive as possible. Your posts should show that you are seriously trying to come to terms with and evaluate philosophical responses to questions raised each week and that you are learning how to recognize, formulate, and analyze proper philosophical arguments (this procedure becomes more formal after the ‘logic’ unit during week 4). When answering the discussion questions for the week, you should make sure that you are answering all parts of each question to be answered for that week. Please note that it isn’t necessary for you to get everything ‘right’ in your initial post; the readings on which you base your answers may be difficult and require discussion before you completely understand the material. That is why the discussions are so important to this course. It is perfectly fine for you to admit to being confused about something in your initial post, and to ask questions about the material. This also means that you should read as many of the posts each week as possible in order to maximize your understanding of the material! You are expected to engage in dialogue and discussion with your peers and your instructor, and if you are replying to responses to your initial post, those replies can be counted as part of your initial post and contribute to the 15 point maximum you may earn for your initial post for each week.

If you use any sources outside of course material to enhance your understanding, you must identify each source that you are using whether you quote from such material directly or not. There are also specific instances where you are asked not to use material other than the course readings until after you have done your initial post for the week. All posts should be primarily in one’s own words. If you do use additional source material, when you cite such material you should make sure that sufficient information is given so that others may have a look at the same source. Bibliographic references should conform to any generally recognized standard style manual as long as you are consistent.

When doing reply posts, please make sure that they are substantive. You may add information you regard as important in your reply posts, as well as ask questions. You will not get credit for reply posts that only consist of such statements as “I agree/disagree with your post,” or “Good post!” ‘Substantive’ means that you are adding something of value to the discussion of the material by providing additional information or asking relevant questions.

Argument Analysis Paper

The purpose of the argument analysis paper is to demonstrate a knowledge of the structure of a philosophy paper, showing understanding of how arguments are formulated and evaluated for consistency, relevance, validity/strength, and soundness/cogency.

The submission of the paper should be a two-step process; the first step is to submit a draft of the paper for the instructor’s comments, by 11:59 pm CT, on Thursday of Week 6, via the appropriate dropbox. The second step would then be to revise the paper, taking those comments into consideration, before one submits the final version of the paper to the appropriate course dropbox, no later than 11:59 pm CT on Thursday of Week 8. Note that only the final version of the paper receives a grade, worth up to 200 points; however, the draft version is a highly recommended first step to improve the grade earned on the final version of the paper.

This two-step process takes place subsequent to the student’s passing of the Week 4 Quiz (Logic), with at least a 75% grade. Unlike the other quizzes, this quiz may be taken as many times as is necessary in order to pass with the minimum required grade. It is important that students master the logic material before writing the argument analysis paper, since the successful completion of the paper depends on an understanding of the logical material covered in Week 4 of the course.

Instructions for how to structure the paper are given first in the week 4 lecture material of the course. The specific assignment is to reconstruct an argument as it is made by one of the philosophers we are studying in the course material, subjecting it to an analysis to show whether you think it works or not. This means subjecting it to a validity test (if deductive) or evaluation of its strength (if inductive), based upon the evidence it presents in its premises in support of its conclusion. Then, if you agree that the argument is a good one, try to imagine what someone who wished to criticize the argument would say in response to it, in an attempt to undermine it, and then respond to the criticism, by showing why you do or do not still think that the argument is a good one. Alternatively, if you think that the initial argument you’ve presented isn’t a good one, explain why, and then try to think of how the philosopher who formulated it would respond to your criticism, and how you would reply to the philosopher’s response.

Your paper should begin with a basic thesis statement and summary of what you are about to do: “In this paper, I will show that (philosopher x’s) argument concerning (subject y) is a successful/unsuccessful argument. First, I will reconstruct the argument, and discuss why it is significant. Then, I will show that the argument is/isn’t successful, and why. I will then consider possible objections to what I have said, and how I would reply to them. Finally, I will summarize the contents of the paper, showing what has been accomplished by my analysis.”

For maximum points, the structure of your paper should adhere to this format as closely as possible. It’s expected length is about 4-6 pages, double-spaced, with standard font size and margins. If outside sources are consulted, even if they are not directly quoted from, full citations are required, in accordance with any generally accepted style manual.

Please note: This is NOT a research paper, which will not conform to the structure as outlined above. While outside sources may be used for clarification, it is expected that the paper can be written simply by being familiar with the material presented in the course; including the lectures, quizzes, and readings.


The purpose of the course quizzes is to provide a regular assessment and self-check to determine how well you are learning and understanding the course material, as well as preparation for the midterm and final exams. There are 8 weekly quizzes in all, worth 25 points apiece (one point per question, which are either multiple choice or true/false questions). Each quiz can only be taken once, except for the Week 4 quiz that contains the logic quiz; this may be taken as many times as is necessary in order to achieve the minimum passing grade of 75% that allows one to begin the argument analysis paper assignment.

Please note that these quizzes are untimed; they are ‘open-book’ quizzes and are designed to allow you to remedy any deficiencies in your knowledge of the material by allowing you to check to make sure you are answering the questions properly. At the conclusion of each quiz, after submission, you will be able to view your score and questions missed, but not the answers; you will have to check with your instructor if it is unclear to you why you answered a question wrongly. Each weekly quiz opens at 12:01 am CT on Monday, and closes at 11:59 pm CT on Sunday (except for the Week 8 quiz, which closes at 11:59 pm CT on Saturday). Quizzes not taken by the due date can be made up at the discretion of the instructor. It is strongly recommended that students not attempt the weekly quiz until they’ve completed both the reading for the week and had the benefit of the weekly discussion to clear up any misunderstandings of the material.


This course has both a proctored Midterm and proctored Final exam. The Midterm covers all course material relating to Weeks 1-4 of the course, and the Final exam covers all course material relating to Weeks 5-8 of the course. The Midterm exam opens at 12:01 am CT on Monday of Week 4, and closes at 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 4. The Final exam opens at 12:01 am CT on Monday of Week 8, and closes at 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of week 8. The purpose of these exams is to provide a comprehensive assessment of student achievement in learning the basic material of the course. Please note that these exams are the first and only time students will have to work from memory alone; no materials other than the exam itself will be accessed during its taking.

Each exam is worth up to 200 points and consists of 50 multiple-choice and/or true-false questions. Only one attempt is allowed and each exam has a maximum time limit of 120 minutes. After submission, students are able to view their score and questions missed, but not the answers.

Please note the proctor requirement; students must submit the student proctor information form during Week 2 of the course; one form is sufficient for both exams unless you are making different proctor arrangements for each exam (however, each exam requires a separate appointment).

  Course Outline

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

  • Textbook: Christianity and Medieval Philosophy - Giovanni Pico della Mirandola - "Oration on the Dignity of Man"
  • Textbook: Twentieth-Century Philosophy - Bertrand Russell - "The Problems of Philosophy"
Discussion 1

After introducing yourself to the class, please answer all parts of the following questions:

  • Since philosophical questions are initially raised by ordinary everyday experiences, please share with the class an experience that you yourself had that raised, or in hindsight could have raised, what you think is an interesting philosophical question. Describe your experience with as much detail as is necessary in order for everyone to understand why it raises the question you are posing.
  • Discuss the relationship between philosophical questioning, imagination, and human freedom. Do you agree with Mirandola that human beings have no fixed human nature, and that human beings can both sink to the level of ‘brutes’ or rise to the level of divinity? Why or why not? Be specific as to your reasoning here.
  • When Russell introduces the notion of ‘sense data’, what is he trying to do with it? If sense-data are the contents of our sensations, how do we ever ‘bridge the gap’ between our sense-data and the physical objects such data are supposed to represent? What tools might we possibly use to explore the similarities and differences between the contents of our sensations and the physical objects that supposedly exist independently of them?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 1

Quiz 1 covers all material from Week 1. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

  • Textbook: Ancient Greek Philosophy - Socrates and Plato - "Euthyphro," "Apology," "Crito," and "Phaedo"
Discussion 2

Please answer each of the following questions:

  • Discuss in detail the similarities and differences between the ontological views of Parmenides/Zeno, Heraclitus, and Leucippus/Democritus. Which are you most intrigued by, and why?
  • Discuss your reaction to Socrates’ implicit criticism of democracy at his trial. How would you go about answering his question?
  • Choose one of the following and provide a detailed answer:
    • What was the central question that Socrates asked Euthyphro that showed the gap in Euthyphro’s thinking about the definition of piety?
    • What argument did Socrates use to convince Crito that it wouldn’t be right for Socrates to escape from jail? Do you agree with his argument? Why or why not?
    • In the Phaedo, when Crito asks Socrates how he wishes to be buried, Socrates replies, “As you please, only you must catch me first and not let me escape you.” What does Socrates mean by this and how does it relate to the distinction between the visible and the invisible?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 2

Quiz 2 covers all material from Week 2. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

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.
  • Textbook: Ancient Greek Philosophy - Socrates and Plato - "Republic"
Discussion 3

Please answer each of the following questions:

  • Describe in detail the class structure of Plato’s Kallipolis (beautiful city). What are the assigned tasks and corresponding virtues of each class? How is the definition of justice derived from this arrangement? What do you think of Plato’s notion of the real society here; what are its positive qualities and what are its negative qualities and why do you think so?
  • Describe in detail what Plato has to say about gender relations in the beautiful city. In what ways does he seem to be promoting equality and in what ways does he not? What do you think about his reasons for removing ‘private family life’ from the guardian class: Does it have a justified foundation or is it merely a terrible idea? Why do you think so?
  • Discuss how you understand Plato’s theory of Forms and what it means. Make reference to the cave allegory and the divided line. In what ways does Plato’s metaphysics and epistemology here seem reasonable to you and in what ways doesn’t it seem reasonable? Why? What impact do Plato’s views on these subjects have for our understanding of the nature of justice?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 3

Quiz 3 covers all material from Week 3. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

  • Textbook: Christianity and Medieval Philosophy - Anselm (and Guanilo) - "Proslogion" and "Gaunilo and Anselm: Debate"
  • Textbook: Christianity and Medieval Philosophy - Thomas Aquinas - "Summa Theologica (selections)"
  • Logic readings provided within the Instructional Materials
Discussion 4

Please answer each of the following questions:

  • Describe what an argument is in logic, and show that you understand the difference between a deductive argument and an inductive argument by constructing on your own one example of each. Then, pick one informal fallacy to discuss, explain why it is a fallacy, and construct an example of an argument that commits the fallacy you have chosen to discuss.
  • From your reading of Anselm’s text alone (in other words, don’t do any research on the internet before you answer this question—you can do that later), try to construct the argument you think he is making (his ‘ontological argument for God’s existence). Then, construct the argument you think Gaunilo uses to challenge Anselm’s argument, and Anselm’s reply to Gaunilo. (Note: There are several different ways to construct these arguments; we will discuss them at length in the discussion threads.)
  • Pick one of St. Thomas’ five ways for demonstrating the existence of God and construct an argument showing its structure (as above, please do this from your reading of the text alone). How is the argument supposed to work? Do you think that it demonstrates what it sets out to demonstrate? Why or why not? Be specific. We will be discussing St. Thomas’ demonstrations at length in this week’s discussion.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 4 (Logic)

Quiz 4 covers all logic material from Week 4. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

You can take the Quiz as many times as you wish, and your highest score will be recorded.

You need to achieve a score of at least 75% in order to be able to write and submit your Argument Analysis paper. So if you don't get 75% on your first try, keep trying until you do.

Midterm Exam

This proctored Midterm Exam covers all course material from Weeks 1 - 4. You will have 1 attempt and 120 minutes to complete this 50 item test. It opens at 12:01 am CT Monday and is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

  • Textbook: Modern Philosophy - Rene' Descartes - "Meditations on the First Philosophy"
Discussion 5

Please answer each of the following questions:

  • Describe in detail the key facts of the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries and show in what way they can induce a skepticism about knowledge based on sense experience. If we can reduce the sun’s rising in the East and setting in the West to an ‘appearance’ what other as yet unthought-of large-scale illusions could we possibly be the unknowing victims of?
  • Reconstruct in your own words the arguments that Descartes uses in Meditation I to defend skepticism. Are these arguments successful on their own terms (meaning, without subsequent counter-arguments presented by Descartes later on in his text)? Why or why not? [Note: This reconstruction of the arguments should be done based on your reading of the text before doing additional research, which you can do after your initial post, and should serve as a basis for our discussion this week.]
  • Explain what the Cogito is in Descartes and how it works. Is it really an argument or is it more like an intuition? How is it linked to the fact that Descartes is ‘meditating’ rather than ‘dialoging’ in this philosophical work (unlike Socrates, for example). If you yourself ‘perform’ the Cogito do you find that it works for you? Why or why not?
  • How does Descartes define his two substances (the ones that make him an ontological dualist)? What arguments does he use to show that these are really very different from one-another, and yet apparently work together in some fashion? Is his explanation for such interaction credible or not? Why or why not? Be as specific as you can.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 5

Quiz 5 covers all material from Week 5. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

  • Textbook: Modern Philosophy - John Locke - "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding"
  • Textbook: Modern Philosophy - George Berkeley - "Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous"
Recommended: Argument Analysis Paper Draft

Submit a draft of the final Argument Analysis Paper to the appropriate dropbox for instructor review and feedback by 11:59 pm CT Thursday.

Discussion 6

Please answer all parts of each of the following questions:

  • Both Plato and Descartes are considered to be ‘rationalists’ and both Locke and Berkeley are considered to be ‘empiricists’. Explain in your own words what the epistemological doctrines of ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’ are, and how these doctrines are illustrated by the work of the four philosophers mentioned. In what ways are these four philosophers NOT representatives of the epistemological doctrines with which they are usually identified?
  • Based on your reading of the text of Locke’s, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, formulate and construct the arguments he uses to deny the existence of ‘innate ideas’. Do you agree with him about this or not? Why? Be specific.
  • While rationalism and empiricism are epistemological doctrines, ‘idealism’ and ‘materialism’ are usually taken for ontological doctrines. Define/describe idealism and materialism. Do you think one or the other is more accurate? Or, do you think that Descartes’ dualism is a more appropriate approach? Why? Be specific.
  • Based on your reading of Berkeley’s Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, formulate and construct an argument that you think Berkeley uses to show that nothing exists outside of some mind. Do you think he is correct about this? Why or why not? Be specific.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 6

Quiz 6 covers all material from Week 6. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

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.
  • Textbook: Modern Philosophy - David Hume - "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding"
  • Textbook: Modern Philosophy - Immanuel Kant - "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics"
Discussion 7

Please answer all parts of each of the following questions:

  • From your reading of Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, formulate and construct some arguments you think Hume uses to show that the cause/effect relation isn’t a matter of logic. If not logic, what does he think it is? What is the principle of induction and what is his argument against it? Do you agree with him that we should be skeptical of the logical basis for both cause/effect reasoning and inductive logic? Why or why not? Be specific.
  • How is Kant’s ‘transcendental idealism’ different from Berkeley’s idealism? What distinguishes Kant’s views from both traditional rationalism and traditional empiricism? What is the nature of Kant’s ‘Copernican Revolution’? As a result of this ‘revolution’ what is it that we cannot know?
  • Explain in your own words the meaning of Kant’s terms of judgment: ‘analytic’, ‘synthetic’, a priori, a posteriori, and give examples of the three different types of judgments Kant allows for. Why is there no fourth type of judgment? Be specific.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 7

Quiz 7 covers all material from Week 7. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

  • Textbook: Twentieth-Century Philosophy - Ludwig Wittgenstein - "Philosophical Investigations"
  • Textbook: Twentieth-Century Philosophy - Willard Van Orman Quine - "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"
Argument Analysis Paper

Submit your final draft of the Argument Analysis Paper to the appropriate dropbox for instructor grading and feedback by 11:59 pm CT Thursday.

Discussion 8

Please answer all parts of each of the following questions:

  • Why does Gilbert Ryle refer to Descartes’ dualism as ‘The Ghost in the Machine?” Explain Ryle’s notion of ‘category mistake’ in your own words, and give some examples of your own of these sorts of errors. Do you agree with Ryle that this shows that Descartes’ dualism is an erroneous doctrine? Why or why not? Be specific.
  • How is Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations an attack on Plato’s rationalism? What does Wittgenstein substitute for what Plato calls ‘Forms’? Do you think Wittgenstein’s approach to this issue is a better approach than Plato’s? Why or why not? Be specific.
  • What are the ‘two dogmas’ Quine refers to in his essay, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism?” Do you think that his denial of the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements (Kant would have called them ‘judgments’) is correct or not? Why? How do some of the examples in this week’s lecture illustrate the dilemma that Quine suggests prevents us from being able to draw a firm distinction between that which is analytically true and that which is not?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Quiz 8

Quiz 8 covers all material from Week 8. It must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Final Exam

This proctored Final Exam covers all course material from Weeks 5 - 8. You will have 1 attempt and 120 minutes to complete this 50 item test. It opens at 12:01 am CT Monday and is due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  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 and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, 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.


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. Quizzes may be made up after the due date at the discretion of the instructor. Drafts of the argument analysis paper may be submitted after the due date at the discretion of the instructor, but no extension will be granted for the final version of the argument analysis paper, except under extraordinary circumstances.

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 Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have questions about the Ed Map storefront, please contact the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  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.