Teaching Professor Robert O. Keel
This syllabus contains:
Jesse Parrett (Graduate Teaching Assistant)
Our focus is the social reality of drug use, and drug users, within contemporary society. This focus includes a historical analysis of the social construction of drug use, drug users, abuse, and addiction. We will be investigating the complex relationships between individual and group behavior, and social structure. Central concepts such as social learning, labeling, power, and inequality; as well as socio-cultural definitions of drugs, behavior, and the people who use drugs will be the tools of our analysis. Special attention will be given to the complex legal history surrounding drug use, the link between drugs and crime, the impact of the medicalization of human behavior, and varying perspectives on "doing something about drugs."
Course Objectives, Learning Goals, and Expectations:
The basic objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive survey of the development of sociological theories and analyses of drug use, focusing on images of drug use and the drug user as social constructs rather than as an intrinsically pathological behavior or identity. An additional objective of this course is to survey the current information and research on selected categories of drugs and the socially constructed reality that surrounds their use in contemporary society in order to understand a) the socio-cultural based definitions of drugs and b) the individual, group, and social structural dimensions of drug using behavior. This will include an analysis of the implications of these definitions and relationships for social policy and social control (legislation, prevention and treatment). These issues will be analyzed within the shifting legal and medical definitions that permeate the discussion of drug use in modern society.
Lectures, reading assignments, group discussion and outside projects will be used to assess and critique theories and analyses of drug use and users, legal and medical definitions, and treatment modalities in order to develop a sociological perspective on drug use in society.
Specifically, students will be expected to:
Students are expected to consider each of these objectives, goals, and expectations when contributing to class discussions and in completing their written work. The understanding and application of the assigned readings and class discussion is a necessary part in earning a top grade in this course.
Expectations, Class Conduct, and Student Responsibilities (a must read!)
Course Requirements (Students who submit work past a due date are subject to penalties, point deductions, or not having their work accepted for grading.)
1. Syllabus Quiz (10 points)
2. Attendance, Introductions, and Sign of Life: They are all really just expected (45 points for the semester).
3. Optional: Aditional Online and In-Class Participation. Class participation, over and above the basic level of participation expected as part of your attendance/SOL score, is an optional component of the class. Students can earn up to 20 points (up to 1-2 points per week) for additional contributions to the current week's "SOL" thread in the "Drugs and Society Sign of Life" discussion forum (threads open and close at 12:00 noon on Tuesday each week and are checked daily by TAs and/or instructor).
Students should display their understanding of basic sociological concepts, theories, and analysis in main class discussion forum, and/or during in-class discussions and presentations. Messages and commentary in the for-credit forums should be questions, comments, extensions of in-class discussion, "mini-reports" on individual research, and/or replies relevant to the theme of the ongoing online discussion.
NOTE: Multiple messages posted on a single day to a single forum may not necessarily count towards the semester total unless they each contribute substantially to the forum topics. Multiple messages in the final weeks and/or days of the semester by students who have not been active in the class do not reflect "class engagement," and will NOT necessarily be counted toward your point total. All students will receive periodic feedback (public and private) from the instructor (or TAs) to keep them aware of their progress with this requirement. It is critical that students check their campus email to receive private communication from the instructor. See the orientation message in the general discussion forum for more information.
The instructor and TAs will post questions of substantive concern for class discussion, but students are encouraged to initiate their own discussion topics. Students are expected investigate relevant resources, and participate in the ongoing, online, class discussion; and attend weekly in-class discussions on a regular basis.
For-credit forums will close on Sunday, August 4 at 11:59 PM.
4. Critical Thinking Project (100 points possible):
There will be four (4) tests (60-65 questions, 1 point each, 245 points total) given during the semester. The tests are designed to evaluate your comprehension of the basic material presented in the course: assigned readings, online lecture notes, and other online resources. All these resources will be supplemented by in-class and online discussions. Class engagement and participation (face-to-face, online, and written work) will be another part of your evaluation-they are not designed to cover "what is on the test," rather they are designed to evaluate your ability to synthesize course material and develop a sociological understanding of life in modern society
Note: TAs are available for review and discussion sessions (they may be online). The sessions will offered based on student interest and initiative (you need to contact the professor and course TAs to arrange review sessions). The sessions will be a general review of the material to be covered on the test.
Final grades will be calculated based on a total of 400 points. Students who submit work past a due date are subject to penalties, point deductions, or not having their work accepted for grading.
72 hour rule: Grade updates will be posted in MyGateway throughout the semester. Students are expected to review their grades on a regular basis--especially following a grade update. I work hard to let you know where you stand in the course at any given time--I expect you to show due diligence and concern as well. Concerns about posted grades must be addressed within 72 hours of grade posting, otherwise posted scores will be considered accurate and final, up to the time of posting.
Items included in calculating the point total:
NOTE: All course grades will be posted in the online Grade book in the class MyGateway site. Students can access their individual grades via the “My Grades” link located in the “Tools” area of the class MyGateway site. The grades in MyGateway are for individual tests, quizzes, and assignments only. The “current estimated grade” found in the grades area of MyGateway will reflect your current estimated grade based on available points at the time of an announcement indicating an update (NOTE: Test scores are not automatically included in the "current estimated grade." "Current estimated grades" will be updated with exam scores (usually) the day after an exam deadline, and an announcement will be made). Final grades will be based on the following scale:
Percentages displayed for "current estimated grade" in the MyGateway grade book represent letter grades as follows:
Academic Dishonesty and other misconduct will not be tolerated. See the partial listing of conduct for which students are subject to sanction at the end of this syllabus. Or, view the entire document by visiting: http://www.umsl.edu/studentlife/dsa/student_planner/policies/conductcode.html
Extra Credit: The idea of "extra" credit is an oxymoron. There is only credit! THERE IS NO EXTRA CREDIT in my classes. Students can earn additional points for exceptional levels of participation in the class discussions and online forums; however, if you are having difficulties with the course work, get help as early in the semester as possible. Adding more work will NOT help you, and if you cannot do the regular work adequately, any additional work will not be to your benefit. More IS NOT (necessarily) better. Rather than worrying about doing more work-FOCUS on the regularly assigned work and do it to the BEST of your abilities.
Delayed Grade Policy: If a student is unable to complete the Final Exam (due to exceptional circumstances), a Delayed Grade can be negotiated. Students MUST contact the instructor by 5:00 pm on the last day of the Final Exam to document their reason for being unable to complete the test, and to request a delayed grade. If students DO NOT initiate the request for a delayed grade, a score of ZERO (0) will be assigned for any uncompleted work. Delayed grades MUST be made up by the end of the following semester (Summer and Interim Semesters excluded). Failure to make-up a delayed grade by the end of the following semester will result in an F being recorded for the course grade. Delayed grades WILL NOT be extended past one semester unless exceptional circumstances (as decided by the instructor) are evident.
Withdrawals: From the Office of the Provost--The close of the 12th week of the semester is the last point that a student may drop a class without compelling reasons. Having a low grade at the 12th week point is NOT a compelling reason to drop a class. If there is a compelling reason, e.g. serious illness or injury that incapacitates a student, being called up for military service, the death of an immediate family member, etc. Dropping after the 12th week requires approval of the instructor and the dean. Here’s the Bulletin policy:
To add courses to their original enrollment, students must get approval from their advisers. Students may not enter courses after the first week of a regular semester or the first three days of the summer session. Courses may be dropped, without approval and without receiving a grade, through the fourth week of a regular semester. Spring, summer, and fall session calendars include specific deadlines. Students who officially drop one or some of their classes may have fees reassessed and/or refunded based on the current fee reassessment schedule.
From the fifth through the twelfth weeks of the fall or spring semesters (for summer session, the third through the sixth weeks), students may withdraw from a course with an "Excused" grade, providing they are passing the course and receive the approval of their instructor, adviser, and dean's office representative. Otherwise, a failing grade is given.
Students not attending classes who fail to drop officially receive F or Y grades, depending on how much they participated in class. After the allowable period, "Excused" grades are given only in exceptional instances where the instructor's approval and dean's approval are given. These grades are recorded on the students' official records at the end of the term. If an F grade is recorded, it is counted in computing the grade point average. No partial credit is granted to students who withdraw from a course during any semester or otherwise fail to complete the work required for full course credit.
Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software, is now available to all students and instructors. This tool checks your paper against proprietary databases of papers and the Internet. After submission, your instructor will receive an "originality report" containing results of the matching process. Your paper will also be added to UMSL’s internal section of the anti-plagiarism database to be used to compare future submissions by other students and to help protect your work from plagiarism.
You can also use Turnitin yourself to check drafts of your papers. The English Department Writing Lab has created a free course site on MyGateway where you can go to find resources to help you in writing and citing papers properly. By enrolling in this course, you can submit drafts of your work to Turnitin. You will then be able to privately view the “originality report” and make corrections to your work before submitting it formally to your instructor. Go to "The Writing Lab@UMSL" module on your main MyGateway page and follow the instructions to enroll in the Writing Lab course site.
NOTE: From the U.M. Collected Rules & Regulations, 200.010 - Standard of Conduct (Amended Bd. Min. 3-20-81; Bd. Min. 8-3-90;Bd. Min. 5-24-2001): Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that may lead to failure on the assignment in question, failure of the course involved, probation, suspension, or expulsion. One form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism--the use of an author's ideas, statements, or approaches without crediting the source. Academic dishonesty also includes such acts as cheating by copying information from another student's examination, take-home test, or laboratory manual. The Code of Student Conduct is in the Bulletin and is also available in the UMSL Student Planner.
ANY STUDENT WHO HAS A DISABILITY WHICH WOULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO COMPLETE COURSE ASSIGNMENTS OR TESTS AS OUTLINED IN THIS SYLLABUS: PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ME IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I CAN EITHER ARRANGE FOR APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE OR DESIGN AN ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE TO EVALUATE YOUR WORK. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE OFFICE OF DISABILITY ACCESS SERVICES IS LOCATED IN 144 MSC; PHONE: 516-6554.
THIS SYLLABUS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE INSTRUCTOR TO ACCOMMODATE INSTRUCTIONAL AND/OR STUDENT NEEDS.