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Social Institutions Soc 201B CRN: 33355

Note:  to access links below, you may need to use Ctrl + Click.  If you cannot access links, email me.


Christine Murphy

 WELCOME!  I’m glad to have you in this class.  This is a fully online course, and it is essentially an extension of Soc 201A.   If you’ve not taken the first course, no worries; the beginning of the course will be a short review of the basic material.  If you’ve never taken an online course or used Canvas, you will need a few hours to get familiar with the structure – there is some material below to help, and there will be additional instruction once the course begins.   The course meets from 01/22/19 through 05/24/19.  You can log onto Canvas on Tuesday, January 22, when you can also view the course description and syllabus; FYI, much of the following material will also be included on those documents.


Course Basic Information:   the course requirements include 3 or 4 tests – multiple choice/true-false + essays; discussion responses, quizzes, written response essays. 


Contact information

Email Address: christine_murphy@cuesta.edu

Phone Number: my office phone is 805 546-3100 ext. 2673, though I don’t check it regularly.  Email me instead.

Office Location/ Hours: SLO campus, building 6200 room 6223.  Physical office time: Thursdays 10:30-11 & 3-3:30.   Online office time (we will discuss this) W 10-11 am, other times as announced. 

Instructor Contact Expectations:  The best and fastest way to contact me is email.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  Note:  I generally log off around 5pm daily.


Course Environment: This is a fully online course using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including (possible) PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Class opens / Accessing Canvas: You will be able to log on to Canvas on the first day of classes, January 22.  You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference GuideLinks to an external site.. Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after January 22 and need assistance, please email me or technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu


Online Learning

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  Please be prepared to spend 8 - 12 hours per week on coursework for this class

 Contact policy:

We will be in contact through discussion forums, announcements, assignment feedback, email or other messaging, and office time – physical or virtual.  Email information above.

 Course Description

This course studies the major social institutions, both the traditional ideas of social institutions (family, education, economic, religion, and government/political) and contemporary ideas (science, mass media, medicine, sports and military).  The structures and functions of social institutions will be covered.  This course also considers major works and draws comparisons between our institutions and those of other societies.  (Catalog Description).  

 Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast sociological perspectives on social institutions.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how US institutions came to assume their present form, their roles, and functions.
  3. Analyze how society's institutions are interrelated.
  4. Apply a sociological analysis to a social institution.

Text Book and Materials

  • Two books: textbook - The Real World 6 ED, (used in my Soc 201 class) and a Reader – Contexts 3ED.      Cuesta Bookstore:   ISBN 0393666387     This a package deal.
  • Supplemental Materials necessary for the class, as applicable. For example:
    • Technology tools outside the LMS: we will be accessing some publisher content, which will be available through Canvas. The following may be used, I’ll provide information later if necessary:

Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to support@my.cuesta.edu.  If not resolved, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: https://cuesta.instructure.com/ or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.


Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specificationsLinks to an external site.


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources. Please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services)Links to an external site. at 805-546-3148.

College & Course Policies:

Follow this link for General Campus Policies  Links to an external site.(including: Adds, Drops, Withdrawal, Repeatability, Student Code of Conduct)

Waitlist Policy:  If you are on the waitlist, please read the Cuesta policy – link following.  If you are number 10 or lower on the list on the first day of class, you will be sent an add code that morning.  YOU MUST ADD THE CLASS BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY.  Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions links to an external site.

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