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SOCI 1040 (formerly SOCI 1020) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

SOCI 1040 (formerly SOCI 1020) - Social Problems and Social Change

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course introduces increasingly acute and intense problems such as alcoholism, violence, drugs, crime, inequality, lifestyle preferences and environmental abuse within the context of social change. Various theoretical sociological perspectives are used. 

Course Outcomes:

After completing the course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the varied social structural factors that facilitate and help perpetuate social problems.
  • Understand and apply sociological perspectives to social problems.
  • Familiarize students with adequate understanding of a scientific approach and applied research in the analysis of social problems and their solutions.
  • Gain insight into problems and their solutions by studying them in societies and cultures that is different from our own (global perspective).
  • Demonstrate the role of technology in society.
  • Discuss policy issues in connection to contemporary debates on social problems.
  • Separate myths from facts.
  • Make a distinction between personal and social problems.
  • Increase student's ability to analyze, interpret, and articulate facts and ideas orally and in writing. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Students must be able to read and write at the college level and express themselves in grammatically correct, concise, Standard English. Grades will be based on writing skills, presentation, thorough research effort, and timeliness.

Course Topics:
  • Understanding Social Problems
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Crime and Delinquency
  • Violence
  • Sexual Deviance
  • Poverty
  • Gender and Sexual Orientation
  • Race, Ethnic Groups, and Racism
  • Government and Politics 
  • Work and the Economy
  • Education
  • Family problems
  • Health Care and Illness: Physical and Mental
  • War and Terrorism
  • The Environment 


Specific Course Requirements:

This is a distance-learning course. To enroll in this course and be successful, students must have access to their own computer with an Internet web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox), and will have to contract with an Internet service provider.

Students must know how to navigate D2L (Desire 2 Learn), address technical problems immediately, and check e-mail every day for general announcements. Students enrolled in this course must complete all requirements as outlined in the syllabus in order to receive a grade. 

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:

Web-based material available through links within the course units. 

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:
  • All testing will be completed online.
  • Exams must be submitted on time. Exams will be available until 11:55 p.m. Central Standard Time, on the last day of the testing period.Must log in before 11:00 p.m. if not, access will be denied.
  • The timeline for the exams, assignments, and discussions can be found on this syllabus and inside D2L under the Course Calendar.
  • Contact RODP Helpdesk in the event of technical difficulties.
  • Examination grades will be posted immediately upon submission.


There are four multiple choice exams each worth 100 points {400 total points}. Use the course overview, outcomes, PowerPoint slides, and keywords to review for each chapter exam. These items are located under each chapter module on the homepage under course content. Cheating on exams will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Cheating in this class means giving or receiving help on an exam. 

Grading Procedures:
Exam 1100
Exam 2100
Exam 3100
Exam 4100
Assign. 1100
Assign. 2100
Assign. 3100
Disc. 120
Disc. 220
Disc. 320
Disc. 420
Disc. 520
Total points800

Students will be required to take four examinations online, three written assignments, and a bulletin board discussion. Cheating on exams and assignments will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Cheating in this class means giving or receiving help on an exam, or assignments and plagiarizing papers. Exams will only be reset without penalty if and only if there is an RODP systems failure. 

Grading Scale:
Below 60%F


Assignments and Projects:
  • There are three written assignments each worth 100 points {300 total points}.Follow the guidelines provided with each assignment in the dropbox.
  • Assignment grades will be posted two weeks after the due date.
  • Cheating in this class means giving or receiving help on assignment and plagiarizing papers.
  • Cheating on assignment will result in a zero grade or F in the course.
  • Assignments are considered received on the day the instructor is able to open it.
  • Use Microsoft Word to submit your assignment in the dropbox. If not, I will give you a zero on the assignment.
  • There will be only one extension on an assignment and one reset on the exam both with the usual penalty found on the syllabus.
  • I do not accept PDF, wps, or Microsoft Works, type’s documents. If you use them to submit your work, I will give you a zero on the assignment. No exception! 
Class Participation:

Students will be required to participate in the bulletin board discussions as part of the overall grade for this course. The instructor will monitor the discussions in order to ensure fair use of the interactive aspect of the course. In addition, you will be receiving a fair amount of e-mail messages, and I will expect you to communicate with me weekly. Thus you are required to check the bulletin board frequently for announcements and postings of a new topic for discussion. All students must participate in threaded discussion postings. Please post questions relating to the course on the bulletin board frequently. This is a great way to receive a fast response from everyone. 

Late Policy:

The instructor will allow you ample time to complete your assignments. Further information on tardiness will be furnished by the instructor. 

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 July 12, 2021