Philosophy 209 / Nine Weeks / Spring (32984) and Fall (73437)
Spring 2023 starts March 27
Welcome Online Learners!
Welcome to Distance Education at Cuesta College! My name is Dr. Cheryl Genet and I am the instructor for the upcoming online version of World Religions (Phil 209). It is a course of timely value for our participation in the emerging global community. In this course we will take a fascinating journey of discovery together that deepens our appreciation of the world’s great wisdom traditions. I look forward to getting to know each of you who enroll and assisting you with achieving the learning outcomes for this course.
This course compresses 18 weeks of a regular semester into 8-9 weeks (late term). As per requirements for a 8-9 week class it still covers most of the 18 weeks of material—I have modified it only slightly. Be prepared. Please see Sample Syllabus below.
PHIL 209 Student Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete a course in World Religions at Cuesta College will have demonstrated the ability to:
- Distinguish between academic and devotional approaches to religion
- Summarize & explain the histories, both internal & external, of the major religions covered in the course
- Explain the connections between religious practices and the beliefs that motivate those practices
- Describe & assess the historical and/or doctrinal connections between specific relevant religious traditions
- Write clearly and critically about ideas relevant to the academic study of the world’s religions
- It is preferred that if you have a question or concern or other communication that you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will answer your email as soon as possible, but at the minimum within 24 hours.
- If you need to call me and speak personally, do not hesitate. You can reach me at 805-438-4088.
Basic Course Information
This World Religions course is an exploration of the practices, beliefs, and context of the world’s five major religions, as well as consideration of indigenous religions, new religions, religious cultural issues, religion and sustainable living, and the nature of religion itself.
The required textbook is:
Molloy, Michael. 2010. Experiencing the World’s Religion: Tradition, Challenge, and Change.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
5th ed. NY: McGraw Hill.
5th ed. is essential. You can purchase this at the Cuesta bookstore but it is expensive. You can buy or rent this online for anywhere from $2.50 to $50 used--at least on Amazon).
This course is fully online—there are no meetings—nevertheless it has regular assignments, quizzes, and forum posts with specific weekly due dates. It also requires watching two to three videos per week (3 minutes to 40 minutes), necessitating internet usage time. If you are not prepared to stay on top of assignments throughout each week, this may not be the best class for you.
There are 4 synchronous online tests that must be taken between 7:00 and 10:00 pm on 2 specified Monday nights. If you have any problem with this please let me know at the beginning of class. We can make arrangements. The four tests together comprise your “final”)
This course is taught on Canvas, Cuesta's Course Management System. Here you can find Instructions on how to access Canvas and find your classes Links to an external site.
Once you access the course you should print out a copy of the syllabus and class schedule, which you will find on the Canvas website Home Page for this class, and have it available hard copy (or on your smart device) to assist you in assignment planning.
While Distance Education courses have many benefits in allowing for flexible schedules and a rewarding learning experience, there are a number of things you should know about this course right from the start:
- This course is designed for those who are computer literate. If you are not both confident and comfortable working with e-mail, word processing, and the Internet, as well as downloading and attaching files, then the online version of PHIL 209 is not for you; I recommend taking the course in the traditional classroom setting instead.
- This course requires a great deal of self-motivation. It is the learner’s responsibility to keep on top of the reading assignments, to log on to the course website regularly, and to submit assignments and take quizzes by their due date, and access email regularly for instructor communications. Thus, I recommend this course only to those who are both well-organized and self-disciplined.
- An online course requires roughly the same number of hours and participation as a face-to-face class. You should expect to invest 48 hours of various types of learning and participation for each unit of credit. This is a 3 unit course for the equivalent of 18 weeks (of instruction) which works out to 144 hours. That seems like a lot of hours so break that down by week and it comes to 17 hours per week. Based on this a good rule of thumb, to make sure you have adequate time, would be to set aside at least this many hours per week.
- You may want to read the Are You Ready for an Online Class?Links to an external site. which can be found on the Canvas website for this class, to help you evaluate your success in online learning. It also contains many ideas on how to achieve that success.
You will need to have a Cuesta e-mail account and access to the World Wide Web.
Please see below for more detailed computer and internet specs.
Computer and technical requirements Links to an external site.
Accessing Canvas/Course Website
All of the information you will need to access this course on Canvas, learn how to navigate Canvas, and access assistance if you are having problems, can be found on the Cuesta website Distance Education pageLinks to an external site.
I am happy to work closely with you and the DSPS to make this as rich a learning experience as possible for all!
Disable Students and Program ServicesLinks to an external site.
College and Course Policies
College and Course Policies Links to an external site.
Cuesta waitlist procedure and instructionsLinks to an external site.
Class and Instructor Information
- Instructor Dr. Cheryl Genet
- Student Assistance in my Virtual Office by Appointment
- Phone 805-438-4088
- E-mail email@example.com
I want you to succeed in this class
The demands of an online class can be significant, not to mention managing school, work, family, and other commitments. I have provided you with a week of orientation to help you settle in. Please take full advantage by reading all instructions, watching videos, taking practice quizzes, and introducing yourself to me and your classmates. Some of you will have unexpected struggles enter your lives during the semester, but I want you to know I am here to help you succeed. Please feel free to set up a phone or Zoom meeting with me anytime.
Our objective in this course is threefold. First, we will seek to acquire knowledge of, and appreciation for, the history, cosmologies, and impact of the major religious traditions, with particular emphasis given to Indigenous religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Second, we will gain a sense of how these religions have developed and changed through time and within their particular cultural context. This includes evaluating the role of religious institutions, concepts, and practices and developing a respect and appreciation for which particulars are relevant to the validity of a religious argument and the detection of logical fallacies, through reflective analysis. Third, we will develop critical thinking skills by evaluating the religious systems we consider, through writing assignments and class discussion.
The Orientation Video and notes are mandatory (see Class Schedule for due date). You may be dropped from the course if you do not participate. There are also 4 Synchronous Tests (online). In addition, timely participation in all activities is critical for a good or even passing grade. In general, each week’s work must be completed in order, on time, and generally cannot be made up after the end of the Unit.
There are four types of reading assignments: Unit Introductions, Text reading assignments, some Special Focus and Context Enrichment assignments. Students are expected complete the required reading assignments for each week, take the reading quiz, and complete and submit the unit Reading Worksheet (RW).
To aid you in assessing your own comprehension and to assure compliance with reading requirements, reading quizzes will be given covering each unit’s reading assignments. These quizzes will be brief and objective (true/false, multiple choice). There will also be a short quiz after each Special Focus assignment. Quizzes must be taken in the unit they are assigned.
There will be a discussion session for each Unit. You must complete the assigned Reading Worksheet (RW) and complete the Special Focus assignment before you enter your Discussion Forum (DF). Be sure to follow instructions for DF participation carefully. Participation in the DF’s is critical to your grade!
There will be four Synchronous Tests that will cover the previous three to five Learning Units, including glossary terms. In this 9 week course these are taken 2 at a time. Collectively, these four tests comprise the equivalent of a final exam. There is no comprehensive final at the end of the semester.