Course Syllabus

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Course Description and Prerequisites | Course Objectives | Course Requisite Technical Skills | Time Expectation | Textbooks and Materials | Course Grading | Course Policies | Student Rights & Responsibilities | Overview of Assignments | Taking Proctored AssessmentsYour Email Account | Student Resources | Technical SupportAccommodation Policy and Statements | NOVA Online Policies and Procedures | Course Summary (Assignment Schedule and Critical Dates)

Course Title: PLS 140 - Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 credits)


Contact Information:


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Course Prerequisites and Description


Course Objectives


Time Expectation


Course Requisite Technical Skills

In order to succeed in this online course, you must be comfortable working with technology. At a minimum, you must possess the following technical skills:

  • Ability to use the Internet in an effective and efficient manner, including installation and management of browser plug-ins and add-ons
  • Basic knowledge about the operation of a computer, file management, and software installation
  • Working knowledge of the Canvas learning management system
  • Capable of using Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Proficient searching the web for information
  • Able to download and print information from websites
  • Able to download, view, and/or print PDF files


Textbooks and Materials

Acquiring Textbooks and Course Materials


Course Grading


Course Policies

Attendance Policy

Each student is expected to be active in the course each week. You are required to log into the course site at least three times a week.

Communication Policy

EVERYONE needs to treat everyone else in this class with respect.  We all have different opinions on issues that spark a lot of emotion, like abortion, the death penalty, gun control, and particular politicians.  Whatever your opinions are, you are welcome to participate in this class and in the many discussions we will have.  But you MUST respect each others' opinions and treat each other professionally and politely here, and in all of our discussions.  Also, I realize that many people have strong opinions about President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama, among others.  I don't want anyone to change their opinions on these people, but I expect that you will discuss them with respectful terms in this course.  I HIGHLY recommend that when mentioning them for the first time, you refer to them as "President Trump," and "President Obama," or "former President Obama," and then in future references to them within a post, you can use just last names.  I think this is a useful way to consider my point: how would you prefer to have your political heroes discussed?  Talk in a similar vein regarding those you are opposed to.  Again, that doesn't mean that you have to like them.  You can still critique them and their leadership qualities and decisions, but you can do so without being disagreeable.  If you're really interested in engaging in typing grudge-match, friend up on Facebook and go at it.  But here, we do things the nice way.

Plagiarism Policy


Late Work Policy


Assignment Submission


Grading Turnaround Time

All completed assignments will be graded no later than seven days after the due date, and sooner when possible.

Incomplete Policy

Withdraw from the Course


Student Rights & Responsibilities


Overview of Assignments


Taking Proctored Assessments


Your Email Account


Student Resources


Technical Support

For technical assistance, please visit the NOVA Online IT Support website for contact information and support resources.


Accommodation Policy and Statements

External Tools Used in the Course

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NOVA Online Policies and Procedures


Course Summary:

Date Details Due