Online Courses

Fall 2015

August 24 – December 12, 2015

Online Courses

REGISTRATION | COSTS | LOCATION | OFF-CAMPUS COURSESONLINE COURSES

Course Descriptions
ANTH | BIOS | ECON | ENGL | GEOG | PHIL | POLS | PSYC | SOCI | STAT | WOMS

 


Current Topics in Anthropology
Native American Culture and the Law
ANTH 491: YE1, Class #9517

This course will discuss key concepts and events in Native American history since the establishment of the United States of America, the changing views of cultural stewardship, museums’ role in artifacts and repatriation, and recent events and case studies. This course will survey cultures of the native peoples of North America, and the contemporary issues of various US laws and statutes. This course will be web-based with 3 face-to-face meetings, and will use a combination of online modules and lectures, text readings, videos, activites, and ongoing group discussions.

Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours. PRQ: Consent of department.

Karly Tumminello (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 3 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Naperville, Wednesdays, 09/02, 10/07, and 12/12, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.

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Evolution and the Creationist Challenge
BIOS 442/542: YE1, Class #s 9518/9519

The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One area of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since before the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925, school boards and legislatures have tried to eliminate, add equal doses of creationism to, or water down the coverage of evolution. They have targeted evolution as a cause for many of their perceived “social evils,” don’t understand science, and cannot separate evolution from “Social Darwinism.”

This course will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, and explain where each side gets their ideas and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific question from a non-scientific question. A preliminary survey of primarily biological evolution will provide students with the necessary information to counter creationist arguments. This course is designed to give students the ability to not only defend evolution but, more importantly, attack non-scientific intrusions into the public school system. It is not a course in biological evolution but complementary, and can be taken by any upper-level undergraduate with an interest in science and society.

Catalog Description: Evolutionary theory and tenets of present-day anti-evolutionists with emphasis on providing students with the skills to articulate the theory of evolution as it applies to the biological sciences. Not a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.

Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 1 face-to-face meeting at NIU-Hoffman Estates, Tuesday, 09/08, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.

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Introduction to Botany
BIOS 493: YE1, Class #

This blended online course will survey all of the major groups of land plants but will not cover the algae or fungi, since they are not really plants. We will look at the anatomy, morphology, a bit of physiology, and the evolution of the groups. We will use modern groups in a sequence so that they parallel past evolutionary stages and show how each successive structure or physiological process which evolved gave that particular group a selective advantage over the precious group. Lecture and lab material are integrated into a seamless presentation of PowerPoints with a narration for each image. This course cannot be used for credit toward a major in Biological Sciences.

Catalog Description: Lectures, discussions, and reports on topics of special interest in a particular field of biology. Topics may be selected in one or more fields of biology to a total of 6 semester hours toward any one degree.

Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 1 face-to-face meeting at NIU-Rockford, Wednesday, 09/09, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.

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Current Economic Issues:
Health Economics
ECON 370A: YE1, Class #9520

Health has evolved into a multidisciplinary concept; the study of the concept has broadened beyond the realm of physicians, epidemiologists and now includes economists. This course will examine this universal concept from an economist’s perspective, which will include an analysis of market for health care, the social determinants of health, the role of the government, the role of private sector and an evaluation of the efficiency of public policy.

Catalog Description: Topics of current importance to consumers, resource owners, business, and government. May be repeated up to 9 hours as topics change and can be taken concurrently. PRQ: ECON 260 and ECON 261.

Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 2 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Naperville, Saturdays, 09/12, 10 - 11 am, and 10/31, 10 am - 1 pm.

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Technical Writing
ENGL 308: YE1, Class #13999

In this fully online class, students will study the principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry. Some of the topics covered in this class are audience analysis and purpose, writing effectively, simplifying complex information, writing instructions, and document design.

The class will “meet” in Blackboard Learn where students will find video lectures, video demonstrations, assignment information, discussion boards, and a journal space. Students will also use an online space provided by the textbook publisher to watch video presentations, complete exercises related to the weekly reading assignment, and take quizzes.

The e-textbook Technical Communication, 10th edition (2012), by Mike Markel, is included in the online course space, YourTechCommClass. An access code can be purchased at the University Bookstore and VCB. It can also be purchased online at http://courses.bfwpub.com/yourtechcommclass/student-access.php. Students can also register their access code at this address.

Catalog Description: Principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry (e.g., manuals, proposals, procedures, newsletters, brochures, specifications, memoranda, and formal reports). Topics include analysis of audience and purpose, simplifying complex information, document design, and project management.

Jan Knudsen (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Literary Topics: Controversy, Conflict, Consensus:
Great Ideas and the Transformation
of Human Consciousness
ENGL 400: YE1, Class #9522

Great ideas are complicated and deserve rigorous study. In this class we will read a variety of brief yet self-contained excerpts of well-known and longer works by authors from antiquity through the twentieth century. We will focus on the historical context of each work and how the ideas contained therein have informed and transformed western cultural consciousness and remain relevant for our own lives today.

Catalog Description: Topics announced. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours when topic varies.

Stephen Franklin (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 3 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Naperville, Tuesdays, 09/08, 10/27, and 12/08, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.

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Maps and Mapping / Fundamentals of Mapping
GEOG 256/556: YE1, Class #s 9523/9524

Though maps have been used by civilizations for well over 5,000 years, practically all aspects of mapping today involve computers – from the collection of real-world data by GPS or satellites, to drafting and printing. Rather than study the history of maps and mapping, we will instead study the concept of maps as tools of modern communication and visualization. This course is also the starting point for NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography.

Catalog Description, GEOG 256: Introduction to maps as models of our earth, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Use of satellite and aerial imagery, land surveying, and geographic informatin systems in map production. Thematic maps and how they are used. Map design for informational and persuasive purposes. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory.
Catalog Description, GEOG 556: For graduate students with little formal background in mapping. Maps as models, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Processes of map production, including imagery and surveying. Principles of map design.

Devin Moeller/Andrew Krmemec (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Water Resources and the Environment
GEOG 303: YE1, Class #9525

This course is intended to provide the student with a broader understanding of water and its importance to our lives and earth’s complex environment. We will consider issues facing water such as whether the supply of water will continue, how man-made developments have altered water availability, how pollution has eroded this natural resource, and where/how we can restore our water resources. Relevant video clips, online tutorials, and supplemental readings will be used throughout the course to provide examples of water-related issues affecting northern Illinois, other regions of the U.S., as well as various countries around the world.

Catalog Description: Evaluation of water as a resource; its availability, distribution, use, and quality. Operation of the hydrologic cycle and relationships between surface water and the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere. Human impacts on water resources and the management of water-related hazards, including flooding, drought, and the spread of disease. Lecture and field experience.

Sharon Ashley/Walker Ashley (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Severe and Hazardous Weather
GEOG 306: YE1, Class #9526

Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.

Catalog Description: Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale, longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.

Walker Ashley (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Geography of the U.S. and Canada
GEOG 330: YE1, Class #9527

This course is an introduction to geographic issues in various regions of the United States and Canada. You will be introduced to some major patterns and processes that dominate the major physical and cultural realms of this region. We will first go over some basic physical and social features common to the United States and Canada. We then will explore the historical evolution and unique physical, cultural, and environmental features of fourteen sub-regions, following your textbook. Rather than just describing each region, we will examine the various regions in an attempt to understand and explain regional differences. Ultimately, our exploration of these regions should help us all reach a deeper understanding of the diversity and complexity of life in the United States and Canada. A final project, map quizzes, and exams will all be utilized to increase your knowledge of this diverse and fascinating region.

Catalog Description: Regional analysis of the two countries. Cultural, economic, and political patterns. Geographic perspectives applied to current issues and problems.

Sharon Ashley (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Introduction to GIS/Fundamentals of GIS
GEOG 359/557: YE1, Class #s 9528/9530

Have you ever asked yourself, “Where in the world am I?” GEOG 359 may help you answer that question with an introductory study into the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In this online course, we develop skills in GIS, its components, and how it applies to our surrounding environment. This course is a primer for those who are interested in learning more about the dynamic and ever-changing world of GIS and its career applications.

Catalog Description, GEOG 359: Study of the fundamental principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Emphasis on the development of these systems, their components and their integration into mainstream geography. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 256 or GEOG 352 or consent of department.
Catalog Description, GEOG 557: For graduate students with little formal background in GIS or computer mapping. Principles, components, and uses of geographic information systems. PRQ: GEOG 552 or GEOG 556, or consent of department.

Phil Young (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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State and Local Government
POLS 303: YE1, Class #9531

Are roads in your community of high quality and safe? Does your neighborhood receive adequate police and fire protection? Is the quality of your drinking and bathing water acceptable? Will your children receive a quality education if they attend the public schools in your community? These are just a few issue areas that are affected by decisions made by state and local government. It is common for national and international political proceedings to receive the lion’s share of media attention; but often those government functions that most directly influence your day-to-day life are being carried out by state and local governments. This class will focus on the organizational structures of state and local executives, legislatures, and courts. You will learn the language used to discuss local politics, generally, and the specific pros and cons of alternative local government arrangements.

Catalog Description: Crosslisted as PSPA 303X. Examines the structure, functions, and governance dynamics of local and state governments. Includes relationships of local and state government legislative, executive, and administrative actos; management processes; and intergovernmental relations. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.

Scot Schraufnagel (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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U.S. Supreme Court
POLS 310: YE1, Class #9532

This course will focus on the history, organization, procedures and activities of the United States Supreme Court.  Although the Court is at the center of many controversies, most people know relatively little about how it actually operates in the U.S. political and legal systems. The course will examine in depth the nature of Supreme Court appointments, agenda-setting, oral arguments, decision-making, and opinion writing.  In addition, we will consider the Court’s relationship to other institutions, including lower courts and the legislative and executive branches. Students will learn how the Court is both a political and legal institution and, more broadly, how law and politics intersect in the U.S.  In addition to assigned readings on the Supreme Court, we will follow and discuss (online) current cases before the Court in order to more fully understand how it operates and makes decisions, and the impact its decisions have on law and politics.

Catalog Description: Principles, organization, procedures, and activities of the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics include appointments, public opinion, agenda-setting, oral argument, decision-making, opinion writing, and the Court’s relationship to other institutions including lower courts and the legislative and executive branches. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.

J. Mitch Pickerill (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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Social Psychology
PSYC 372: YE1, Class #9533

Alport (1985) writes that social psychology is a scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real or imaged presence of other people. This course will examine how people are influenced by immediate surroundings, cultural norms, and family background through lecture, films, activites and small group discussions. Major learning components will offer students enhanced knowledge on critical societal problems such as attitudes, attitude change, conformity, group processes, interpersonal attraction, discrimination/stereotype, pro-social behavior, and health.

Catalog Description: Behavior in the context of social interaction, with emphasis on experimental findings. Includes such topics as interpersonal judgment and perception, social attraction, aggression, prejudice and social influence, including attitude formation and persuasion, conformity, and social modeling. PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 203, or consent of department.

Joanne Messina (3 credit hours)

  • Online with 3 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Naperville, Thursdays, 09/10, 10/29, and 12/10, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.

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Social Problems
SOCI 270: YE1, Class #9534

This course addresses some of the most compelling social problems in society and discusses the diverse contributions sociology has made to the understanding of complex social issues. By investigating topics such as physical & mental health, crime & social control, poverty & economic inequality (just to name a few!), you will be able to identify cause-effect patterns, display a critical understanding of how social problems are shaped by both historical and current societal patterns and use your sociological imagination to critically evaluate strategies for action in alleviating problems facing society today. Using videos, interactive discussions and your own life experiences, you will engage in social learning and explore how YOU are connected to all social phenomena.

Catalog Description: Why social problems occur and how society can work toward correcting them. Exploration of how different value premises and social theories lead to distinctive ways of addressing social problems. Issues such as poverty, crime, homelessness, intergroup conflicts, and sexual identity discrimination provide case materials for these explorations. Use of this approach to examine underlying structural problems such as economic restructuring, the overall health and aging of the population, and urban change and decline.

Kristie Crane (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 09/07 - 12/12.

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Elementary Statistics
STAT 301: YE1 & YE2, Class #s 9535/9537

Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. This course may not be used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors.

Please note: This course is not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences.

Catalog Description: Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. Not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences. Not used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors. PRQ: MATH 206 or MATH 210 or MATH 211 or MATH 229.

Claudine Myers (3 credit hours)

  • Section YE1 meets online with 4 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Rockford, Mondays, 08/24, 09/28, 11/16, and 12/07, 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
  • Section YE2 meets online with 4 face-to-face meetings at NIU-Hoffman Estates, Saturdays, 08/29, 09/26, 11/14, and 12/05, 9 - 11 am.

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Special Topics in Women's Studies:
Girls and Video Games
WOMS 430: YE1, Class #9548

Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topics changes. PRQ: Junior or senior standing or consent of director.

Aline Click (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course with online meetings, Tuesdays, 08/24 - 12/12, 6 - 8 pm.

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Current Debates Seminar:
Gender and the Modern Fairy Tale
WOMS 436: YE1, Class #9547

Fairy tales both reflect and shape cultural norms, values, and gender roles, but each story also holds the potential for subversion. Studying these narratives, we can explore issues of family, gender, race, class, and sexuality. This course will use a multidisplinary approach and a feminist lens to analyze various fairy tales and explore the narratives in society outside of the fairy tale. How do these narratives show up in popular culture? What can it mean when they do? And how does understanding the underlying fairy tale narrative help us to interpret and shape the way we view the issues of race, class, and gender, and power they address? We will also look at various reinterpretations and rewritings of these tales to explore the ways authors, artists, and filmmakers subvert the original story to create something (not) entirely new.

Catalog Description: Examination of issues in contemporary politics, culture, and society related to women and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topic changes. PRQ: Junior or senior standing or consent of director.

Lise Schlosser (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 08/24 - 12/12.

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