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WGST 3102

Changing Realities of Womens Lives


Fall 2015
Instructor: Kathleen Bradley-Volz
(please allow 24 hours for a reply, except during Skype office

E-mail: kvolz1@uncc.edu
hours)
Skype Office Hours: Thurs 2-4:00 PM, or by appointment (Add kathleenvolz@gmail.com
in Skype)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course examines the ways that institutions (e.g. families, the media, schools,
workplaces) construct gender expectations and shape women's realities. The intersection of race,
class, sexual orientation and gender issues will be analyzed. There are no course pre-requisites
for WGST 3102.

General Education:
This course fulfills requirements for Writing Intensive (W) credit.

Course Goals:
1. To increase knowledge and understanding of important themes and theories in the field of
Womens and Gender Studies.
2. To practice and improve upon skills in critical thinking, reading, oral discussion, analysis
of texts, and writing.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Locate appropriate sources of information to support written and oral arguments.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key theories, important scholars and themes within
the field of gender, sexuality and womens studies.
3. Demonstrate the ability to write critically, using the conventions of standard written
English at the collegiate level.
4. Analyze and evaluate claims, arguments and theories from course materials, media,
personal interactions, and propaganda.
5. Integrate critical thinking strategies to provide logical arguments and adequate support
for writing assignments.

Course Format:
This course is 100% online. Course materials for each week will be open at 8:00 a.m Monday
and close at 11:55 p.m on Sunday. The weeks sometimes contain 2 topics. Topics for each week
are listed at the end of the syllabus. All assignments for the week will be due on Sunday, by
11:55 p.m. Eastern Time.

Online Communication Guidelines:

This course relies on online tools for course communication. Through online
discussion forums, chat, and blogs, you will have the opportunity to:

Interact with others in the class


Develop and share ideas
Pose questions
Get and give feedback
Share experiences

In order for the communication to be effective, interesting, and useful, it is important to do more
than just post your ideas. You should also read the postings of your peers and respond when you
have suggestions or input. In order to complete this course successfully, you must have regular
and reliable access to a computer with a connection to the Internet (preferably High-Speed). You
should have a basic proficiency navigating the Internet and using Moodle. There is a Moodle
Orientation for Students that will help you learn to do this. You may use a Mac or a PC, but your
assignments must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx). You will also
need to be able to open Excel files and have Flash installed so you can view some of the videos.

Communication with the Instructor


It is important to remember that while the Internet is available 24 hours a day, your instructor and other
students are not. If you have a personal question that involves sharing personal information you

should email me directly - kvolz1@uncc.edu . I will respond to your question via email.
Examples of these types of questions are ones that relate to grades you have received, having to
miss a test, etc.

Maintain Professional Conduct Both in the Classroom and Online

The classroom is a professional environment where academic debate and learning take
place. Your instructor will make every effort to make this environment safe for you to share your
opinions, ideas, and beliefs. In return, you are expected to respect the opinions, ideas, and beliefs
of other studentsboth in the face-to-face classroom and online communication.
Students have the right and privilege to learn in the class, free from harassment and disruption.
Consistent with the Universitys commitment to inclusivity, I pledge to do my best to run the
class in a manner that is respectful of difference, including but not limited to, physical and
mental ability, age, socio-economic status, body size, religious identity, gender, gender identity,
race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality and veteran status. You are expected to be
respectful of these differences in your conduct in class and on campus. For your reference, the
UNCC diversity website is www.provost.uncc.edu/diversity.

Accommodation of Disabilities
If you have a disability that qualifies you for accommodations, please provide a letter from
Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. For more information regarding
accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services (www.ds.uncc.edu).

Important Guidelines to Remember

As you participate in online discussion forums and chat, it is important to remember


some basic things about online communication. Consider some traditional communication that you
may have experienced:

If you send a personal letter to someone it is private communication between you and the
recipient unless the recipient shares the letter with others

If you put a notice on a bulletin board in the student union, it becomes publicly visible by
anyone who visits the bulletin board

When you chat with a group of friends at the coffee shop, students sitting nearby can hear
your conversation

The same concepts translate into the online environment:

E-mail is private communication between the sender and receiver(s) but can easily be made
public by the receiver(s) if they share the message with others

Discussion forums and blogs are public spaces

Chat is public and may involve multiple talkers and listeners as well as eavesdroppers

Verbals & Non-verbals

It is important to remember that you will not have the non-verbal cues that you get in the
traditional face-to-face classroom and neither will your instructor.

Your instructor cannot see the confused, frustrated, or unhappy expressions on your face
if you encounter problems. You MUST communicate with your instructor so that she can help.

To make the experience go smoothly, remember that youre responsible for:

Initiating more contact

Being direct, persistent, and vocal when you dont understand something

Communicating often and early

Things You Should Know:

All UNC Charlotte students are bound by the UNC Charlotte Code of Student Academic
Integrity, the Code of Student Responsibility, and the Noble Niner Code, available on pp. 22-28
of the university catalog, and at
http://catalog.uncc.edu/sites/catalog.uncc.edu/files/media/Undergraduate-Catalogs/11-student
%20conduct.pdf
Emergencies: If illness or other emergency keeps you from attending class for long periods of
time, you must notify the Office of the Dean of Students at (704) 687-2375.
Weather: Assignments will not be cancelled for inclement weather.
Extra Credit: There will be extra credit questions on all exams/quizzes. There will be no other
opportunities for extra credit. Your grade will reflect the amount of effort you put into your
assignments, class discussion and attendance.
Format:
All papers should be typed and fully referenced, with numbered pages. AAA or MLA style are
the only formats accepted. AAA style guide can be found at
http://www.aaanet.org/publications/guidelines.cfm. MLA style guide can be found at
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Writing should be clear and correct. All
papers should be proof-read. I suggest reading the draft aloud to catch errors and unwieldy
writing. Each assignment uses certain analytical skills and requires comprehension of cultural
themes. Your grade will depend on your accuracy, originality, depth of understanding and overall
effort. Spelling and correct grammar count! See class page for further details on assessment.
Plagiarism:
Plagiarism occurs when you use the words of another author a phrase, sentence, or paragraph
--without giving credit to that author with quotation marks and a citation. This practice
misrepresents your writing. UNCC policy forbids plagiarism. It will be punished. If found
plagiarizing, you WILL receive a zero for your assignment and I WILL report you. Please read
the Statement on Academic Integrity and consult me if you have questions on this issue.

What to Do If You Have Questions about the Course:


There are two ways to contact me if you have questions concerning this course. If you have a
general question (one that does not involve sharing personal information about yourself) that
other students may also have, you should post your question to the Course Questions
Forum. You will find this link in the Course Resource block. I will answer via this forum. Your
question and my answer will be sent to everyone in the class (so I do not have to answer the
same question over and over). Some examples of the types of question you might post here are
questions about assignments or resource, due dates, etc.
If you have a personal question that involves sharing personal information you should email me
directly - kvolz1@uncc.edu . I will respond to your question via email. Examples of these
types of questions are ones that relate to grades you have received, having to miss a test, etc.

Course Material:
You will be expected to review a variety of materials throughout the semester. Some of it will be
embedded into a given unit. You will also see that some of the material you are assigned is
available electronically via Course Reserves. There is a link to course reserves in the Resource
Block at the top.

Grading Criteria
Assignments
Assignments are due by 11:55 PM EST on Sunday evening each week. You will post Weekly
summaries of course content and what you learned each week from readings and videos. Initial
Forum posts are due on Thursdays by 11:55 PM EST and each are worth 10 points. 2 replies to
classmates are due by Sundays at 11:55 PM EST and are worth 5 points total. Students will
replace one forum assignment of their choosing (AFTER the Midterm) with the Accuracy
Assignment. Students will find at least 1 website and use this
http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/evalhigh.pdf worksheet to assess the
credibility of the website. You will also use this worksheet
http://researchguides.dartmouth.edu/c.php?g=59361&p=381510 to assess the credibility of
academic articles. You will turn in the worksheets on Moodle and each student will review
another students worksheet in the weekly forum for accuracy.
The total number of points for forum assignments is 225. The assignments will be graded and
grades posted in Moodle within 3 business days from due dates.

Midterm Exam
The midterm exam will be on Saturday, October 17. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice and
true/false questions. You may use your readings and notes during the exam. The test will be
timed. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam from the time you first open it. Because
the test is timed, you will need to study and not rely on looking up all of the answers while you
are taking the exam. The midterm is worth 100 points.

Final Exam
The final exam will be at any date/time of your choosing between Dec 11 and Dec 18. It will
cover material from October 19 through December 10. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice
and true/false questions. You may use your readings and notes during the exam. The test will be
timed. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam from the time you first open it. Because
the test is timed, you will need to study and not rely on looking up all of the answers while you
are taking the exam. The final exam is worth 100 points.

Topic Papers and Final Writing Project


Students will write and revise 3 three page papers (worth 20 points each) showing a critical
engagement with course content. Students will edit each others papers and revise their own
work accordingly. Papers will be graded on whether the students made the necessary changes
and based on papers content, grammar, and structure. Students will choose 1 of the 3 page
papers they wrote previously in the semester to expound upon and turn into a final research paper
of 8-10 pages (35 points total). They will be graded on grammar, structure, and ability to
provide logical arguments with adequate support. Specific instructions for the papers and the
project are provided in the Resource Block.
Paper 1 due September 19
Paper 2 due October 10
Paper 3 due November 7
Final Writing Project due December 5

Special Project
Students will have an online debate based around course content using Voicethread. Students are
responsible for finding a video clip to back up their argument, images, and other visual materials
as they see fit. They should identify what theory from class they are using or arguing against.
They can include examples from personal interactions in addition to required material. All of this
should be in a Voicethread and organized in a comprehensive and clear way. Students will
respond on Voicethread to 2 other students, either to enhance their argument with additional
evidence of their own, or dispute the argument with their own evidence. Students will be graded
on the quality of their original Voicethreads and reactions, but not the argument itself (you could
play devils advocate, for example, and argue against feminist theory). The project is worth 30
points total.
When you look at your grade in Moodle, you will see that the range is 0-570 points. The
following grading scale will be used to assign your final grade, based on the total number of
points you earn:
A=495-550 points earned
B=440-494 points earned
C=385-439 points earned
D=330-384 points earned
F= 329 points or below

Date

Schedule of Topics

Week 1
Aug 24-30

Course Introduction

Week 2
Aug 31-Sept 6

What is Womens (and Gender) Studies

Week 3
Sept 7 Labor Day- Sept 13

First Wave Feminism and Second Wave Feminism

Week 4
Sept 14-20

History of Modern Contraception and Third Wave


Feminism
1st Paper Due Saturday Sept 19

Week 5
Sept 21-27

Gender Construction and Gender Socialization

Week 6
Sept 28-Oct 4

Gender and Communication

Week 7
Oct 5-11

Race, Class and Intersectionality


2nd Paper Due Saturday Oct 10

Week 8
Oct 12-18

Heterosexism and Midterm (Sat. Oct 17)


Fall Break Oct 12 and 13

Week 9
Oct 19-25

Work and the Workplace

Week 10
Oct 26- Nov 1

Globalizing Womens Work and the Price of Motherhood

Week 11
Nov 2-8

Changing Families
3rd Paper Due Saturday Nov 7

Week 12
Nov 9-15

Violence against Women and the Blame Game

Week 13
Nov 16-22

Body Image

Week 14
Nov 23-29

Media and Body Image and Sexuality in the Media


Thanksgiving Break Nov 25-28

Week 15
Nov 30- Dec 6

Health and Aging and Politics and Leadership


Final Paper Due Saturday Dec 5

Week 16
Dec 7-13
Week 17
Dec 14-20

Wrap Up and FINAL (Dec 11-18 FINALS)


Dec 9 Last Day of Classes
You may take your online final at any date/time between Dec 11 and Dec 18.
Remember that its timed and you can only take it once!
FINAL (Dec 11-18 Finals)

I reserve the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus; however, any changes made
will not negatively affect you. Any changes made will be announced via e-mail and posted on
Moodle. KBV
GRADE DESCRIPTIONS (for written assignments)
Grades are not a judgment on you. They are a way of communicating how one particular
assignment reflects analytical skills and writing ability with respect to a specific set of materials
and questions.
A

Exceptional work. Evinces exhaustive preparation and thoughtful engagement in every


aspect of the assignment. Careful, accurate, complete, sympathetic interpretation of
material and presentation of ideas. General observations supported by specific, concrete
detail. Contains a strong, clear thesis. Contributes something interesting, unique or
creative beyond class discussion. Clear, well-organized writing free of grammatical,
spelling and stylistic errors.

Strong work. Attentive to the most significant details of the material under consideration.
Conversant with the courses themes and questions. Expresses an obvious main point.
Presents a reasonable interpretation supported by sufficient evidence. Clear, wellorganized writing free of serious grammatical, spelling and stylistic errors.

Acceptable work with some problems. May fail to attend to important features of the
material under discussion. May fail to address the courses themes and questions. May
have an unclear or unsupported thesis. Analysis may be too general or superficial.
Writing may be unclear, disorganized or have numerous grammatical, spelling and
stylistic errors.

Work with serious problems. Analysis is very general, gets significant details wrong, or
ignores details that are inconsistent with the papers main point. Discussion fails to
engage the readings or the courses themes. Significant problems with clarity or
organization. Significant issues with grammar, spelling or style. Repetition of errors
noted in prior papers.

Unacceptable work.