Course Syllabus

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

Course Title:  PLS 135 - U.S. Government and Politics (3 Credits)




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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


Overview of Assignments


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 Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, 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 Obama," and "President Bush," or "former President Bush," 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.

Discussion Policy


Late Work Policy


Assignment Submission


Plagiarism Policy


Grading Turnaround Time:

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


Withdraw from the Course


Taking Proctored Assessments

NOVA Student Code of Academic Integrity

As a NOVA student, you should use academic integrity as the guiding principle for all that you do, from taking assessments and participating in online discussions to writing papers. It requires that you recognize and acknowledge information derived from others and take credit only for ideas and work that are yours.

You violate this principle of academic integrity if you:

      • Falsify and fabricate (e.g. your identity in an online course, the results of your research)
      • Plagiarize
      • Cheat

Since online courses and online requirements vary, your instructor will help you understand what does and does not constitute cheating in your course and on your proctored assessments. Be sure to ask your professor if you aren’t sure.

If you violate the Academic Integrity Policy, your instructor may give you a failing grade for the assignment or for the course. Further, you may be reported for an academic integrity violation, reported to an academic dean, or even referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action depending on how serious an infraction was committed. Be sure to educate yourself about academic integrity at NOVA by reviewing the Student Conduct and Integrity page on the NOVA website.


All of the written assignments, including the proctored assessments, will be submitted via Turnitin to check for plagiarism. All submitted student papers will be added as source documents in Turnitin reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers in the future. 

Identity Verification

NOVA Online courses have a requirement for proctored assessments to maintain compliance with our accreditation standards and the Higher Education Act’s identity verification requirements for online courses. The identity verification assignment and two of the proctored assessments for this course require you to submit your pictures/videos. Failure to follow the directions to submit pictures/videos will result in a grade penalty. Students must show overall passing levels on the proctored assessments in order to pass the online course.


Student Rights & Responsibilities


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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You can find the transcript of a YouTube video by clicking More and then select Transcript.


NOVA Online Policies and Procedures


Course Summary:

Date Details Due