Texas State and Local Politics

GOVT2306 Online Class


The following information is designed to serve as your orientation for my Texas Government online classes.

How Can I Get In Touch With The Instructor?

The instructor for this course is Prof. Karry Evans. My phone number is 512-223-3394 and my email address is kevans@austincc.edu. My office is located at 1218 West Avenue in room 3118. Please feel free to call or come by during my office hours or if you would like to make an appointment for another time, you may contact me to do so.

What Is This Class About?

This course is an introduction to Texas state and local government. This course includes an introduction to a framework for analyzing Texas government and politics, the constitutional basis for Texas government and politics, the processes of Texas government and politics, the institutions of Texas government and politics, and the policies of Texas government and politics.

What Textbook Do I Need?

The required text is available online at http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu. There are also two additional chapters included on this Blackboard site that should be read in the proper sequence.

How Do I Use The Blackboard Website?

This is an online class that utilizes Blackboard for delivering course content, assignments, quizzes, and study aides.
Most importantly, you will find the two additional chapters, Local Government and Policy, located under the tabs on the left side of the home page.
In addition, all of your grades will be posted on Blackboard as soon as they are available and you will be able to keep track of your progress in the class.
This Blackboard website also allows me to post announcements that you will see on the main page. Please check this site regularly throughout the semester to read these announcements. You should also check out all the information under the links at the left side of the home page.
ACC has set up gmail accounts for all students. This is the email address that all messages will be sent to. You must set up your ACC email account to receive messages from me. You can access your account via the link on ACC's homepage or via the Student Support link on Blackboard's main page.

How Am I Graded?

Your grade will come from a total of 10 chapter quizzes, 4 written assignments and six discussion boards. There are 12 chapter quizzes, but only the top 10 grades will be counted. There are 5 written assignments, but only the top 4 grades will be counted. The possible points are distributed in this manner:

10 Chapter Quizzes (24 pts ea) = 240 pts
4 Written Assignments (100 pts ea) = 400 pts
6 Discussion Boards (10 pts ea) = 60 pts

TOTAL 700 pts

Letter grades will be assigned based on the total number of points accumulated:

630-700 pts = 90-100% = A
560-629 pts = 80-89% = B
490-559 pts = 70-79% = C
420-489 pts = 60-69% = D
0-419 pts = 0-59% = F

How Do I Take The Quizzes?

Each chapter has an online multiple-choice quiz with 12 questions. The link to the quizzes is on the course Blackboard menu on the left side of the homepage. You should read each chapter on the assigned days (see calendar at the end of this syllabus) and answer the study questions provided. The link to the study questions is also on the left side of the homepage. Your answers to the study questions should address all aspects of the question covered in the text. If you do this, you will find it easy to answer the quiz questions.

What Are The Writing Assignments?

There are four writing assignments that must be turned in by the deadlines listed on the calendar. Each writing assignment is worth up to 100 points and detailed instructions for each are located under the "Assignments" tab on the left side of the Blackboard homepage. A fifth (optional) assignment is also included. This assignment may be used to replace an assignment that you did not do or one that received a low grade that you believe you can improve by using the fifth assignment instead of that one.


What is the Discussion Board Assignment?

The link to the discussion board is located on the left side of the home page. You will find six forums that contain information on bills proposed in the last two Texas legislative sessions in spring '07 and '09. The last day to complete each forum is included in the instructions. You will need to post a response to each forum that addresses the question asked in a thoughtful manner. I am looking for more than one or two sentences. In addition, to receive the full ten points for each forum, you must post a separate response that addresses a comment made by another student. That means you will have at least two responses for each forum. Do not wait until the last day to post both responses since this eliminates the opportunity for others to respond to your comments and will result in a point reduction. I encourage everyone to participate in the discussion board, since it is a way to improve your grade and add a more interactive element to the class.

What Should I Do If I Have A Disability?

If you have a documented disability and wish to request accommodations, you should contact the Office of Students with Disabilities at any of the ACC campuses. The office director will meet with you and recommend appropriate accommodations and services after you have submitted the required documentation.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

There is more information on college policies and available services in the ACC Student Handbook and on the ACC website (www.austincc.edu). If you have any other questions regarding this class, please feel free to contact me at 512-223-3394 or kevans@austincc.edu.

What Do I Need To Do?

Please send an email to kevans@austincc.edu stating that you have read all of the orientation information and you understand what is require to complete the class. Include your name, address and telephone number in the email. Also include your ACC gmail address so that I know you have set up your account and will be able to receive all my messages.