Online Courses

POLI 7 - Intro to American Government

Instructor: Keith Gouveia
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Course Description

Introduction to the principles, problems and basic issues of government with particular emphasis on the national government in the United States, including discussion of the American Constitution, and California state and local government. Strongly recommended: Eligibility for English 1A.

To take this class, you must have daily access to a computer with an Internet connection and experience using a web browser. You will also need to utilize your college Zonemail account. Learn more about Zonemail.

Check the college catalog for CSU/UC transferability and to see if this course meets AA/AS degree requirements.

The instructor may drop students who miss the first meeting of a course. The first meeting of online or hybrid Distance Education courses is the first day of the class as specified in the class schedule listing. For these courses, instructors may drop students who do not log into their Blackboard course and/or complete indicated activities by the third day of classes. DE instructors may drop students if they have not submitted work and/or accessed the class for two consecutive weeks.

There might be an instructional materials fee associated with this course. Learn more about instructional materials fees.

This class begins Jan 19 and ends May 27.

On-Campus Meetings

There are no required on-campus meetings for this class. You can attend an OPTIONAL, on-campus orientation to Online Learning on Jan 13 from 1 - 2:30 pm or Jan 14 from 5:30 - 7 pm in Room 2410. A virtual session will be offered on the Internet on Jan 19 from 5:30-7 pm. Learn more about these orientations, which are NOT course-specific.

How This Class Operates

This is not a self-paced class; there are due dates throughout the semester that you are expected to meet, just like in a traditional, face-to-face class. Some assignments will be done on your own; others will be done in groups. Active participation is required.

Communications will take place primarily via email, the class discussion board and chatrooms. Other possible forms of communication include telephone and face-to-face meetings during on-campus office hours.

This class is divided into Modules, and each Module contains various activities. All the Modules will be accessible from the Course Materials area, but students will only be able to access currently active and open Modules. The Modules open on Mondays at 12:05 a.m. and close on Sundays at 11:55 p.m.

Module 1 is designed to help you become familiar with the technological aspects of taking an online course. You have 14 days to complete Module 1. Modules 2-8 cover course content from the required textbooks. Modules 2-8 cover two or more chapters each from your textbooks. You have 14 days to complete work in each of these modules.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the philosophical underpinnings of the United States Constitution.
  • Identify and explain the concepts of civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Discuss the impact of intermediary organizations in the political process, such as political parties, interest groups, and the mass media.
  • Identify the roles and functions of the major institutions of American government, including federalism, the Congress, the presidency, the courts, the bureaucracy and state and local governments.
  • Describe how the political institutions interact with each other and the public.
  • Explain and discuss the role of the mass public in the political process.
  • Explain and discuss the nature and influence of public opinion, elections, and other forms of political participation.

Class Activities

Modules 2-8 have content activities to supplement your readings. Module Activities typically consist of primary source/document work with your primary source text (American Government and Politics Today and California Politics and Government), periodical (current events) reviews, and class discussions. Some will even include podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, group work, and/or virtual field trips. Each module has a link to its Module Activity.

In addition to the Module activities, students will also complete a News Journal Assignment in which you will analyze newspaper articles that are relevant to the class.

How Students Are Graded

All Module Quizzes are open-book. Unlike all other Modules, students have multiple attempts to take Module 1's quizzes while the Module is open. Modules 2-8 each have one 25-question multiple-choice quiz that covers the content of two or more chapters from the textbooks.

In addition to the quizzes in each module, there will also be a midterm and final exam.

Succeeding in an Online Course

Students who succeed in online courses tend to be independent, self-motivated learners with good computer skills. If you are a procrastinator who relies heavily on the instructor for motivation, can't use a computer too well, have taken less than 21 units of college credit in your lifetime, and/or have a grade-point-average under 2.0, you should probably consider enrolling in a face-to-face course instead.

Also, don't enroll in this class if you believe the myth that learning online requires less effort than learning face-to-face. This course covers the same content and has similar activities as the face-to-face version of the course; only the method of delivery changes.

LPC offers a tutorial called "Succeeding in an online course" that will not only tell you if you are a good fit for online learning, but it also offers many strategies -- among other pertinent information -- that will help you succeed online. Please complete the tutorial.


This course will use the Blackboard course management system as its virtual classroom. To learn how to log in to Blackboard, go to the Blackboard Login Procedures page. Once you enroll, you will not be able to log in until the first day of class.

Register for this course

Page last modified: April 25, 2017