Introduction to World Religions/Phil 209/CRN 32984

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Welcome Online Learners!

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 (are enrolled) and assisting you with achieving the learning outcomes for this course.  

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 I will answer your email as soon as possible, but at the minimum within 24 hours, Monday-Saturday.
  • If you need to call me and speak personally, do not hesitate. You can reach me at 805-438-4088. 

I also want to let you know about some important information prior to the commencement of my online class. Please read carefully!!

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 primal 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. 5th ed.  NY: McGraw Hill. (5th ed. Is essential. You will need to purchase/ rent this online) 

The units in this course begin on Tuesday end on Monday for 18 weeks

WHAT TO EXPECT: This course is fully online with 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 – most in the 5 to 15 minute range, 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 9:00 pm on 4 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”) 

Once enrolled you should print out a copy of the syllabus and class schedule, which you will find in the Canvas website for this class and have it available hard copy to assist you in assignment planning.

Important Considerations

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: 

  1. 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 206 is not for you; I recommend taking the course in the  traditional classroom setting instead. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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 17 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 8.5 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. 
  1. 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.

Technology Requirements

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 Requirements

Computer and technical requirementsLinks 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.

DSPS Assistance

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 PoliciesLinks to an external site. Links to an external site.

Cuesta waitlist procedure and instructionsLinks to an external site.Links to an external site.

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