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ECED 2340 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ECED 2340 - Family Dynamics and Community Involvement

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is a study of the role of the family and community in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth of the child ages birth through eight. Topics include the benefits of and strategies for developing positive, reciprocal relationships with families in an early childhood setting. Field experiences required.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse family and community characteristics. (2a)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the benefits of reciprocal, positive relationships with families. (2b, 4a)
  3. Develop, analyze, and evaluate a variety of appropriate strategies that promote communication, family involvement, and participation with diverse populations and communities. (2c, 6e, SS written & verbal skills, resources)
  4. Identify and access community resources to support families & children. (2c, 6e)
  5. Analyze ethical dilemmas in relation to working with families based on the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct. (6b)

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

The following standards are addressed in this course:

Standard 2: Building Family and Community Relationships
2a. Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
2b. Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
2c. Involving families and communities in young children's development and learning

Standard 4: Using Developmentally Effective Approaches
4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children

Standard 6: Becoming a Professional
6b. Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines
6e. Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession

Supportive Skills

  •  Written and verbal communication skills
  • Skills in identifying and using professional resources
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ECED 2315

Course Topics:
  • Parenting/Family Development
  • Family, Culture, and Diversity
  • Parent Involvement: Benefits and Techniques
  • Parent-Teacher Conflicts
  • Working with Families of Diverse Backgrounds & Families of Children with Disabilities
  • Family and Community
  • Professionalism: NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct (Ethical Responsibilities to Families)
Specific Course Requirements:

Assignment Submissions: The student must have a working knowledge of how to operate in the Course Management System environment and how to attach, download, and submit documents in Microsoft Word or RTF format.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards

Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Testing will be completed online within the Course Management System. Exams must be taken by the due date. A student may take the exams on their own computer; the exams do not require a proctor. Late exams are not accepted.

Grading Procedures:

Student learning will be assessed through the following:

  1. Reflective Thinking: Students will complete two Reflective Thinking activities with each module. The reflective activities are designed to help students review the module's learning outcomes, key words, and content. In the activities, students will reflect on their learning of the module's content and its application in their work with children and families. Reflective Thinking will be graded based on a rubric that is available in each Reflective Thinking Dropbox (see Assignments section).
  2. Sharing Circle: Students will participate in a Sharing Circle (discussion) with classmates as part of each module. They will self-grade their participation with each module. A self-graded rubric is available in the Assignments Dropbox section for each module. A grading rubric can also be found in the Discussion area.
  3. Case Study Collaboration: Students will participate in five Case Study Collaborations (discussion) with classmates. The Collaborations will be included in every other module throughout the course beginning with Module 3. Student's participation and the content of their posts will be graded. A grading rubric is linked to the Case Study Collaboration Discussion Board.
  4. Exams: There is a midterm and a final exam for this course. The exams will be based on case studies and will be short answer/discussion exams. The exams will be taken online. Exams cannot be submitted late. 
  5. Projects: There are three required projects for this course: Book Review Project. Families Project, and Families Portfolio Project. Detailed instructions and grading rubrics are provided in the Content area under Projects. 

A grading rubric will be used for each assignment.

Grading Rubrics for this Course:

Detailed instructions and grading criteria (grading rubrics) are provided for each assignment. The grading rubrics will be used to award points earned for student work. It is expected that students follow instructions carefully, study the grading criteria, and ask questions if they do not understand an assignment. For some assignments, you will be required to complete the grading rubric as a self-grading component of the assignment. The purpose of this self-grading is to focus your attention on the expectations for the assignment and enhance your own self-evaluation and critical thinking skills. Even though you may submit a self-scored rubric, the instructor will make the final determination on all grades and scores.

Rubrics are located with each assignment and in the discussion section of the course. You will want to review these rubrics before you submit your assignments to make sure you are meeting the grading criteria.

DescriptionPointsPercent of Grade
Sharing Circle (SC) (12 at 5 points each )6011%
Reflective Thinking (RT) (13 at 15 points each)19533%
Case Study Collaboration (5 at 10 points each)509%
Families Project6010%
Families Portfolio Project6010%
Book Review Project (2 reviews at 15 points each)305%
Exams (Midterm at 50 points and Final at 75 points)12521%
Total Points580100%


Grading Scale:

522-580 Points A
464-521 Points B
406-463 Points C
348-405 Points D
under 348 Points F

Grading Turn-around:

In general, assignments submitted on time will be graded within 7-10 days of submission due dates. You will be notified if there is a need to vary this schedule. Assignments submitted LATE will be graded by the end of the course.

Assignments and Projects:

Assignments and projects include reflective thinking and discussion for each module, case study discussions, 3 projects, and two exams. These are outlined in detail within the course under Dropbox and in the Content area.

Modules Format:

The course is designed in Module format on the Content page. The Module activities include a set of experiences and assignments to support your active learning and engagement with the content. You are expected to work through and complete each item in each module. The modules are presented in an asynchronous format, meaning that you are able to work on your class readings and assignments at your own time and place. You do not have to be online at any particular time during the week. However, there are important weekly deadlines you must meet! You must adhere to the schedule in terms of completing and turning in assignments. There is one Getting Started Module to complete the first few days. After that, you will have one Content Module to complete each week. View the Module Guide in the Orientation Module under Content for a detailed description of what each module item includes and expectations for success.

You will complete module assignments consisting of Reflective Thinking Activities, discussion with classmates (Sharing Circle), and Case Studies (Modules 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11). Your module assignments may not be graded until you have fully participated in the module content, under Course Content.

Use the Calendar and the Course Schedule and Due Dates (located in the Orientation Module under Content) for due dates.

Please plan your schedule so that last-minute technical difficulties will not prevent you from meeting those dates. If you need help submitting an assignment, review How to Use the Dropbox.

Assignment Expectations:

Students must submit assignments in Microsoft Word format or Rich Text Format (RTF) using 10 or 12 point font. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure will be taken into consideration in grading all assignments. Assignments should reflect college-level work. Points will be deducted for numerous errors.

Communication with Instructor - Questions on Assignments:

Any time you have a question as you progress through the course, please contact me by phone, email, or in person. My contact information is on the course homepage and the Instructor Contact Information page. To email me, please use the email in our course to contact me regarding course questions. Click on the Classlist link and then select the Teacher tab. Select the box next to the instructor's name (a checkmark will display). Click the envelope (below the name), key your message, and click send. If that email is unavailable, you may contact me at my outside email address. Please feel free to ask questions, and I will do my best to get back with you in an efficient manner.

Communication Response:

You can expect a response to your email within 24-48 hours. You will be notified if this schedule cannot be kept.

Class Participation:

Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course. Students are expected to log into the course at least 3 times each week. Students must communicate with other students through email, are expected to communicate with the instructor as a learning resource, must check the course bulletin board frequently for announcements, and must actively participate in threaded discussion events. Below outlines additional expectations related to "attendance." 

  1. Students are expected to participate in the course at least 3 times each week. Participation is defined as: reading email, posting discussion, reading content pages, and/or uploading assignments, etc. The instructor will be monitoring this participation.
  2. Students are expected to respond to the instructor's e-mails.
  3. Students are expected to contact the instructor with any problems. 
  4. Students are expected to participate in module discussions. Each student must post an original answer to the discussion topic listed for each module and reply to at least two of the other students' postings.
  5. NOTE: Your module assignments may not be graded until you have fully participated in the module content, under Course Content. 
Late Policy:

Each course module has specific elements that need to be accomplished, generally during a week's time frame. Each module builds on the materials in the previous weeks. Therefore, students should work on the material in the order given in the schedule of assignments. With the exception of the tests, there are no specific days or times that a student must participate. Students can work on this course at a time of day best suited to their needs. There are specific deadlines for each assignment. See the Calendar and Course Schedule and Due Dates for due dates.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 22, 2017