This online Introduction to United States Government provides a wonderfully unique mixture of on-line video recordings, textbook and secondary reading, multiple choice quizzes, written essays, and self-directed study, all through which we will become better acquainted with "The Queen of the Social Sciences."
The Constitution, The Electorate and The Mechanics
This course is divided roughly into three interwoven segments: The Constitution, The Electorate and The Mechanics. The Constitution looks at the background leading to the Declaration of Independence, and how the promises of the Declaration are manifested through the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. In looking at the electorate, we examine our individual political socialization, the role of interest groups, and the effect of party participation in our democratic Republic. In the mechanics we get to the down and dirty by looking at Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary. Shot throughout we learn a good deal about California State and local government as well!
Each week, after completing the reading assignment in Bardes et al., American Government and Politics Today and some supplemental on-line material, and after watching the video lecture on YouTube, the student moves on to complete the untimed, open book, open note multiple choice quiz. Once the quiz is completed and you feel sufficiently conversant with the material, we move on to tackle the "seminar question." This is a writing opportunity for you to discuss more fully, and in your own language, your understanding of our course material in essay format. To help the student achieve success, example thesis statements and outlines for these essays are provided and fully discussed in round-table format in all of the videos. We have many ways to communicate in and amongst ourselves as well. Chat rooms, threaded discussions, email, phone conversations, all helping us to better understand the course material.
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