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UNIV 4995 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

UNIV 4995 - Culminating Project

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is a culminating project that may take the form of an academic research paper or creative activity project resulting in a tangible product, either of which should demonstrate synthesis of a student’s coursework. UNIV 4995 is a senior-level course, and students will be expected to complete senior- level work. The course will demand as much time and effort as a senior-level, 3 hour on-ground class.

Course Outcomes:

Your project or research paper illustrates the extent to which you can manage a significant independent study project in a thoughtful and professional manner (expect to spend 80-100 hours on your project during the course of the semester). It is the culmination of your undergraduate program and, your research or project topic should directly relate to your previous undergraduate coursework. There are three learning objectives in this course: 

  1. Students will be able to effectively use media communication to demonstrate understanding of a concept.
  2. Students will be able to apply critical thinking to their field of study.
  3. Students will be able to independently implement an action plan to address a problem related to their field of study.
  4. Students will be able to use scholarly sources to write a research paper related to their field of study which states a thesis and leads to a conclusion.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Senior status, a working knowledge and access to Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

Course Topics:
Specific Course Requirements:

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:
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:


Grading Procedures:
Syllabus Assessment20 
Proposal and Bibliography OR Action Plan40 
Project Rough Draft OR Paper Rough Draft40 
 PowerPoint Presentation60 
Paper Final Draft OR Final Project240 
Total 400
Grading Scale:
Grading Scale
Letter Grade

Total Points

A360 - 400
B320 - 359
C280 - 319
D240 - 279
F0 - 239


Assignments and Projects:

Students choose the Research Paper OR the Project. The requirements for both are outlined below.

A. Academic Research Paper Option:

The research paper should consist of academic research that illustrates the extent to which you can synthesize, analyze, and compile information gleaned from scholarly research in a thoughtful and professional manner. It is not merely a collection of facts it is a thesis-based, argumentative research paper. The topic should be consistent with your academic study.

Research Paper Guidelines (these requirements correlate with a Proficient rating to receive an Exemplary rating, students must meet a higher standard. Please read rubric for more detail):

  • Paper must be written according to American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.
  • Paper must have one inch margins and be double spaced using Times New Roman or Arial 12-point font, and be 16-18 pages long.
  • Use of at least eight peer-reviewed articles published within the last 10 years (no more than two additional sources beyond the eight required from popular journals, books, or websites).
  • Paper must be written from a neutral perspective, effectively use the research to support the thesis, and in third-person voice, formal style with no grammatical or spelling errors.

Following are the components necessary to successfully complete the research paper assignment:

  1. Paper Proposal and Literature Review - Submit a Proposal identifying your thesis and describing your academic background. You will also complete an annotated bibliography of at least eight scholarly sources in APA Style with the purpose of demonstrating the value that each chosen source will have in your research (an example is available in the Proposal Module under Course Content).
  2. Rough Draft - Complete one rough draft for submission. It should be a complete paper, and be sent to the Smarthinking writing tutorial service several days before the deadline. Students should upload the rough draft and the Smarthinking markup in the Rough Draft Dropbox.
  3. Final Draft - Final papers should reflect changes suggested by the instructor, as well as continue to follow the guidelines for the rough draft. The paper should be submitted to Smarthinking and follow the same procedure as the rough draft.
  4. Presentation - Complete a PowerPoint slide show for a 15-minute presentation. Presentation should cover questions outlined in the assignment.

B. Project Option

The project should illustrate the extent to which you can manage a significant independent student project in a thoughtful and professional manner. It is the culmination of your undergraduate program and should directly relate to your previous coursework. Whatever form it takes, it should grow out of your study.

Project Guidelines (these requirements correlate with a Proficient rating to receive an Exemplary rating, students must meet a higher standard. Please read rubric for more detail):

  • Reference Page according to (APA) guidelines documenting at least three peer-reviewed, technical, or professional sources published within the last 10 years.
  • All documents should have one inch margins and be double spaced using Times New Roman or Arial 12-point font, and be 16-18 pages long.
  • Project should be consistent with 80-100 hours of senior level work and meet the minimum guidelines set forth for your individual project by your instructor.

Following are the components necessary to successfully complete the research paper assignment:

  1. Project Proposal and Action Plan - Submit a Proposal identifying your project purpose and describing your academic background. You will also explain the specific end product and how you will evaluate your results. Complete an week-by-week outline of your project timetable and a list of at 2 - 4 scholarly or technical sources relevant to your project topic (in APA style). Project students must also identify a professional in your project field to review the proposal and provide guidance throughout the semester. The mentor may not be related to the student and must have professional working knowledge of the topic. Mentors will complete the Mentor Agreement to be submitted with the Proposal, as well as an evaluation at the end of the semester.
  2. Rough Draft - Submit all work you have completed so far on your project. Progress should match what was presented in the Project Action Plan outline to the midterm date.
  3. Final Project - Submit a professional-quality project based on best practices of the field you've chosen. The project should be error free and consistent with the approved proposal and outline and with 3 hours of senior level work.
  4. Presentation - Complete a PowerPoint slide show for a 15-minute presentation. Presentation should cover questions outlined in the assignment
Class Participation:

Students are expected to regularly participate in the course. You should prepare to login to the course management system at on the first day of class and at least three times per week to check email, read discussion postings, ask questions, and submit assignments.

Late Policy:

In accordance with TN eCampus policy, grades will be returned no later than two weeks after the assignment deadline. Assignments must be turned in to the Dropbox (excluding assessments), will not be accepted through D2L mail or email. Assignment deadlines are listed in the Dropbox and on the calendar. Late assignments must be submitted to the appropriate Late Dropbox (see each assignment Dropbox for penalties). Failure to turn in any assignment by the due date may result in a grade of F for the entire course.

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 January 16, 2018