SOCI-250 - Introduction to Criminology - Kimberly Bonfiglio
|Introduction to Criminology
Hi, I’m Kim, your Sociology instructor. Thank you for enrolling in my class. I’m delighted you are here. Over the years, hundreds of students have taken this class and been successful and I have every reason to believe you will be successful too.
Let me start off by saying “This is going to be a Great class!” In fact, regardless of which course you’re taking of mine, I promise that our class will be one that you will remember positively. Not only is the material interesting and thought provoking, almost everything we talk about will be relevant to your life. After all, it’s Sociology! Before we get started, this letter will provide you with important information regarding the course. Please read the entire welcome letter on the pages below before proceeding with the course. Read it carefully and do all that you can to prepare yourself for optimal success in our class.
First of all, I want to apologize for creating such a long intro letter. However, I’d rather help you succeed in class (by encouraging some self assessment) than avoid it and let you sign up for something that doesn’t suit you. So, let’s make sure that taking my class is a good fit for you…
This is detailed in our syllabus
What to Expect in this Course
Our class is 100% online. Everything for this course, including exams, will take place online and is detailed within the syllabus and course calendar. If you can, please print both so that you are aware of due dates and assignment guidelines. I will communicate to you regularly via announcements that are sent to the entire class, comments placed in the gradebook and personal emails directly to you, as needed. So that you don’t miss anything, please be sure you forward your announcement to your email or otherwise plan to read new announcement every time you log into the class. Course material will be divided into Units with each unit corresponding to an exam. Units will be further broken into Modules that correspond to individual topics. You should expect to see objectives, assigned reading, assigned videos and assignments within each module.
Though our class is 100% online, I wanted to share that I try to have an optional Meet-n-Greet each semester during the first week so that everyone can meet each other and I can answer any outstanding questions. This meeting is voluntary and details will be on Canvas. This meeting will take place over Zoom and there is a tutorial about Zoom in the Start Here module of our classroom.
To access our course, you will need to visit the COC course management system called Canvas. You may also access Canvas by clicking on the Canvas logo from the COC homepage. You will need to log into Canvas using your MyCanyons username (for example, jdsmith). For first time users, the password is: student. Please be sure to change the password when you log in for the first time.
STOP! If you’ve never taken an on-line class before, you should visit the COC Distance Learning website and watch a few of their tutorials so that you are familiar with the Canvas system before class starts. The tutorials are "short and sweet", and ever so helpful b/c they cover many basics for using Canvas. After you get the hang of it, online classes are generally quite predictable and easy to navigate. But, for new users, it can be overwhelming to try to figure it out on one’s own. Please, please, please take a few minutes to visit the tutorials if you are new to online classes.
As noted above, you should plan to visit our classroom often. This is especially true for the first week of class as there will likely be several announcements. The time of the day in which you participate will usually be up to you but, you WILL need to be visiting our course on a regular basis to participate in discussion groups and the like. In addition to needing to log in on the first day of class, I will expect everyone to actively participate within the discussion board and to be present on a consistent basis. Just like a face-to-face class, you gotta attend!
Lastly, given that this is an on-line course, you must be prepared to read the material provided. Bearing in mind that most of my classes use open source texts (free!), specific information about the text required for this class will be at the bookstore. Conversely, you can e-mail me and I’ll gladly tell you.
Access to the Syllabus
Because I know that you will likely want to know as much about this class as soon as possible I will make your syllabus available (via e-mail) on Sunday, just over one week prior to our first official day of “class”. This will go to your COC e-mail address. Please review our syllabus and course calendar so that you can formulate questions and make sure this class is a good fit for you. Like all syllabi, our syllabus is host to a wide variety of useful information about our class, the assignments, as well as the college in general.
If, after reading the syllabus and other course materials, you decide that you want to drop this course, please be kind to your fellow students and drop the class immediately so that other students can enroll in the course in a timely manner. If this applies to you, please drop before the semester starts! Conversely, if like what you see in the syllabus and decide to stay in the course, you will have access to the other course materials on the first official day of class. On that day however, only registered participants in the course will be able to enter the course website.
Keeping your spot in Class
Once the semester starts, expect to hit the ground running, so to speak, as we will begin work immediately. The class will be made available to you on the first day of class. Oftentimes, the night beforehand. To confirm your place in the class, you should log in to the website and begin participating no later than midnight on the very first day of class. What this means is that I simply need you to log into Canvas and open our class to check it out. If you do not access the class website and begin participating by Monday at midnight, then (per the college’s policy) I will be forced to drop you from the class as a "no-show".
Types of Assessments
Detailed information about assignments and assessments is located in the syllabus and will be sent to registered students one week before class starts. Generally speaking, online courses have weekly discussion boards, 4-5 exams, homework assignments and 1-3 short journalistic essays. I go out of my way to balance assessments so that those who are "bad at tests" do not have their entire grade based on exams.
Most of my courses use OER (Free) textbooks. If this is not the case, the bookstore will have the up-to-date information re: the text for this class. OER materials, when used, will be available via Canvas and downloadable as a pdf.
Other Relevant Course Information
Basic Technological Requirements: Most actual requirements for this course are rather technology-focused. Because we are a 100% online class, you must have a valid email address (that you check regularly), regular and reliable access to the Internet, a web browser, and a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word. While some might try an online class using only their phone, this is not recommended for my classes. You may also find it helpful to have printer access. If you have all the basic requirements, please ask yourself the following:
- Can I use a standard browser like Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, etc?
- Can I use a word processor like Microsoft Word to type essays, term papers, letters, etc?
- Can I access spell check, word count, change the margins etc?
- Can I handle e-mail, including opening and sending e-mail attachments?
- Am I able to complete online forms with minimal difficulty?
- Can I find information on the Internet using a search engine like Google?
Our class may involve pre-scheduled synchronous meetings where we all get together at the same time to meet online. Given that access to technology, bandwidth and time to meet is not evenly distributed, these meetings will not be mandatory, though attendance is recommended. All meetings will be clearly outlined on the syllabus/course calendar. Meeting attendance will be facilitated with use of zoom. One may access meetings by using their smart phone, laptop or PC. You should not need to purchase a separate webcam or microphone to participate.
There are no official pre-requisites for this course. However you should make sure that you have the time and motivation necessary to take this course. This course is an autonomous, college class and requires a mature, college-level approach to its responsibilities. Regardless of the format (5wk, 6wk, 8wk or 16wk), we will be covering an entire semester’s worth of work / learning during our time together. It will be up to you to manage your time and to consistently meet the obligations of this course, sometimes with few, if any, reminders. For five and six week courses you should expect to check in with the course daily, and to dedicate at least twenty to twenty-five hours weekly to reading and the completion of outside course work. For eight week courses, you should plan to spend approximately ten to fifteen hours per week check in with the course at least every other day, at a minimum. And, for full semester courses, one should expect to check in every other day, or at the very least three times per week, and to dedicate three to five hours weekly to reading and the completion of assignments. If you’re a slow reader, you should probably allot more time… Although, on-line courses offer tremendous flexibility and autonomy, it takes considerable self-discipline to stay focused and to prevent falling behind.
Are You Really Ready to Take an Online Class?
If you can honestly answer “Yes” to all of these questions, then online learning may be for you:
- Are you self-motivated? Do you stay on task without direct supervision? Are you able to set goals for yourself and work for them without someone looking over your shoulder??
- Do you have time management skills? Do you generally meet due dates without needing prodding/reminders? Are you able to prioritize your own workload?
- Do you usually understand written (vs oral) instructions?
- Will you actually read the text book / watch assigned videos? Frequently students have access to most of what’s going to be on their tests simply by attending lectures. As there are no “traditional lectures” you personally will be gaining access to the course material via reading your text and watching pre-recorded videos of me, or things online. Will you actually do this?? Again, are you self motivated and do you have the time…
- Do you learn best from reading things and exploring them on your own? Can you read the textbook and actually gain information from it? Do you have any difficulty comprehending collegiate level reading assignments?
- Do you enjoy communicating by writing? Are you comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas in written form? Do you have the skills to express yourself articulately?
- Do you have patience with using a computer and the on-line process?? Can you wait a day or more to have your questions answered? Does computer use frustrate or annoy you?
This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at https://coc.instructure.com. Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:
- CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password
Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.
The Learning Center (TLC)
The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!
Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)
College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.
The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.
Management of Stress and Mental Health
Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at StudentHealthCenter@canyons.edu. At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.
Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.
You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.
Veterans Resource Center
The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email email@example.com or phone (661) 362-3469.
The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!
Last updated: 10/18/2021 Sub#: 901