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WGST 2050 (formerly WMST 2010) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

WGST 2050 (formerly WMST 2010) - Introduction to Women's Studies

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women's social identity and placement throughout history and the world. Theoretical perspectives and research from sociology, psychology, biology and anthropology are used to understand how gender shapes our lives on individual, cultural and societal levels. Areas of study emphasize the role of gender in social institutions including family, workplace, education, religion, media and politics.

Course Outcomes:
  1. Explain theoretical beliefs about gender especially in regard to women and femininity from the perspectives of different disciplines including sociology, psychology, biology, and anthropology.
  2. Describe how women's identities, roles, and social placement have evolved throughout Western history and how they compare with other cultures around the world.
  3. Understand the influence of social, cultural, and economic forces in shaping diverse attitudes, beliefs, and choices about women's roles in relationships, marriage, and family life.
  4. Describe differing views about women's participation in the structure of various social institutions including the workplace, education, religion, legal arenas, and politics.
  5. Understand the influence of media on perceptions about women and femininity and men and masculinity in American culture.
  6. Complete and present a written analysis that addresses an issue pertinent to women's studies.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ENGL 1010

Course Topics:
  1. Sociological Theories of Gender
  2. Gender and Sociobiology, Anthropology, and Psychology
  3. Gender Development and Socialization
  4. Gendered Language and Socialization
  5. Western History and the Creation of Gender Roles
  6. Global Perspectives on Gender
  7. Gendered Love, Marriage, and Emerging Lifestyles
  8. Gender and Family Relations
  9. Men and Masculinity
  10. Gender and the Workplace
  11. Gender Issues in Education
  12. Gender and Religion
  13. Gender and the Media
  14. Gender and Power, Politics and the Law 
Specific Course Requirements:

You must be knowledgeable in the use of the Internet and related browsers, Microsoft Word for word processing, Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing reading assignments, the online course dropbox for research paper assignments and feedback, the quiz function for taking tests, the discussion tool for participating in required discussions, and Real Player or Media Player for viewing/listening to any assigned videos/audios. It is your responsibility to ensure your service provider is capable of allowing adequate connections and connection time in order to complete and submit tests and assignments and to participate in discussion boards. 

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:

The instructor may assign or you may research supplementary reference and learning 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:

You will be required to complete four tests through the assessment/quiz tool. You will be allowed two hours for each test. Tests will be available for a one week period—if you fail to take the test during this period, you will receive a score of 0. In order to take tests, you will go to Assessments and click on the name of the test. Information and instructions for the test will be displayed to the right.

Tests will include a combination of objective questions such as multiple choice or true/false and subjective essay-type questions. Test questions will require you to critically evaluate information from your textbook readings and any other assigned materials for each module (Test Essay Grading Rubric). Tests will be worth a possible 100 points each.

NOTE: You should not postpone completing textbook readings or other assignments until the time of the test. The tests will require an understanding beyond trying to look up answers. It is recommended you use the learning objectives and key terms for each module as a guide as you complete reading, viewing, and listening assignments and prepare for tests.

Grading Procedures:

Your progress in this course will evaluated as follows:

AssessmentNumber of AssessmentsPoints
Module Tests4 @ 100 points each400
Discussions 5 @ 20 points each100
Research Paper1 @ 100 points 100
Total Points 600
Grading Scale:

The following grading scale will be used to calculate your final grade: 


Percentage Scale




FLess than 387Below 65% 


Assignments and Projects:



Getting Started Assignments

Email Instructor any questions about syllabus or requirements

Email Instructor that you read and understood the syllabus and course requirements

Participate in the Introduction Discussion

2Interdisciplinary PerspectivesModule I Reading, Web, and Video Assignments
3Interdisciplinary PerspectivesModule I Reading, Web, and Video Assignments (continued) Discussion #1
4Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Test #1

Research Paper Topic

5Historical and Global PerspectivesModule II Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments
6Historical and Global Perspectives

Module II Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments (continued)

Discussion #2

7Historical and Global Perspectives

Test #2

Research Paper References

8Marriage/Family/Gender RolesModule III Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments
9Marriage/Family/Gender Roles

Module III Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments (continued)

Discussion #3

10Marriage/Family/Gender Roles

Test #3

Research Paper Outline

11Social InstitutionsModule IV Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments
12Social Institutions

Module IV Reading, Web, and Audio/Video Assignments (continued)

Discussion #4

13Social Institutions

Research Paper

Discussion #5

14Social InstitutionsTest #4
Class Participation:

Instruction in this course will be conducted in an independent manner. You are responsible for any readings, audios/videos, tests, discussions, written assignments, papers, or other materials as assigned by the instructor. Timely submission of required work is essential for success in this course. You, not the instructor, are responsible for ensuring that work is submitted on the assigned dates and that regular communication with the instructor is accomplished. Due to the independent nature of this course, you must be responsible for checking course announcements frequently and for requesting help when you need it. Thus, you are encouraged to contact the instructor as often as needed via email, telephone, or any other manner deemed appropriate by the instructor. Furthermore, you are encouraged to interact with other students, taking into careful consideration the parameters of academic dishonesty, as this is considered a valuable component of the learning process. A "General" discussion board will be provided for you to interact casually or to discuss course issues, i.e., readings, assignments, study tips, questions to the instructor that might benefit others in the class. 

Late Policy:

TESTS: You must complete and submit tests by the due dates as established by the instructor. Submission of tests past the due date will not be accepted under any circumstances and a grade of 0 will assessed for the test.

RESEARCH PAPER: You must submit your research paper on the due date as established by the instructor. Late submission of your research paper will result in a ten (10) point penalty for each calendar day it is late.

DISCUSSIONS: You must participate in discussions within the time period established by the instructor. Your failure to participate in the discussion board during the designated time period will result in 0 points for that discussion session. 

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 26, 2018