Syllabus for GLB-301



The study of global issues is more critical than ever now that we have truly become a "global village." The decisions that we make in the next few years—whether those decisions are made in Beijing, Brussels, Brazil, or Buffalo—will determine the collective future of this village. Together we are confronted with many pressing and often competing global challenges that demand thoughtful responses and solutions.


Population is growing at an alarming rate in some regions; environmental concerns are everywhere; global resources appear to be dwindling; national security eludes many countries, especially as terrorism has become an international phenomenon; and human rights are violated in a variety of ways. These crises certainly represent significant problems facing our world today; at the same time, they provide opportunities for us to bring about changes that will significantly increase the ongoing quality of life around the world.  


The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent citizens and leaders. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Most important, students will be asked to think deeply about their world (including its future, current issues, its impact on their local area, and our personal responsibility as global citizens).  


In examining the crises cited above, and other global issues currently facing humanity, this course will attempt to achieve the following goals.  



Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe important global issues and their present and future impacts.
  2. Describe the relationships between and among global issues.
  3. Explain global issues in their geographic, historical, and cultural contexts.
  4. Describe how one’s own culture and history affect one’s worldview and expectations.  


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Employ information related to global issues.
  2. Evaluate the integrity of information about global issues.
  3. Think critically and ethically about global issues.  


Upon completion of the course, students will be disposed to:

  1. Be intellectually curious about global issues.
  2. Value different cultural perspectives on global issues.
  3. Take action based on ethical analysis and empathy.  

In attempting to accomplish these objectives, we will incorporate a variety of learning activities, all of which will be organized online. The Internet provides an invaluable source of information regarding global issues, and you will be provided a rich repository of Web-based resources and guidance in searching for additional resources. Students will also be encouraged to participate in additional outside learning activities, such as attending presentations and using interactive technologies to understand global issues.  


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. You will need both the e-book and digital access to articles in the New York Times.


Global Challenges by the American Democracy Project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). (Washington, DC: AASCU Sourcebooks).

ISBN: 9781402284168

E-ISBN: 9781402284168

The required textbook is available for $14.99 as an e-book only from

VitalSource Store

(The URL for the VitalSource store is:

New York Times Digital Subscription

Global Issues and Society requires you to read a number of articles in the New York Times. The site allows access to 10 free articles per month, but requires a subscription after that point. After you have reached your 10 article limit, you’ll be prompted to sign up for access for the remainder of the course. Current pricing is 99 cents for the first four weeks and $5 a week thereafter. Thus your access will cost you between $35 and $40 for the 12 weeks of the course.

If you are a home subscriber, you may link your account to for digital access free of charge.


Students are encouraged to participate actively in this class. Please engage in the online learning activities in a timely manner. If you have ideas on how a certain topic might be presented and applied, please express them; if you are aware of learning resources that are not being used, please suggest them as well. If we work together, this can be a very interesting and rewarding class for all of us.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Global Engagement scholars have created the materials for this course as part of their effort to educate globally competent citizens. Although the text is of value to anyone interested in increasing his or her knowledge of global challenges facing the  world today, it is designed for use in college settings. The goal of this book and of this course is that the student will gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with become a globally competent citizen.

This course uses the framework of the seven global challenges, seven challenges that will shape our world by the year 2025:

  1. world population growth
  2. scarce global resources
  3. advancing technology and its diffusion
  4. the flow of information and knowledge
  5. global economic integration
  6. the nature and mode of conflict
  7. the challenges of governance


Because of the diverse nature of the seven global challenges students will be exposed to multiple academic fields of study. The objective of this interdisciplinary course is that students will develop both a comprehensive understanding of some of the major global issues and a heightened appreciation for how diverse topics are interrelated.

Global Issues and Society is a three-credit online course, consisting of nine modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, a study outline, and activities (forums, written assignments, and blogs). Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, participate in the Global Village blog activity, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in nine graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete nine written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignment activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Global Village Activity

One way to gain a valuable perspective on the world is to examine how people in different countries are affected by global issues and trends. Within your class, you will act as a particular member of a global village that is representative of the seven billion people who live on Earth. Your mentor will assign you a villager role, and you will use various Internet resources to investigate the characteristics of that villager as well as how various issues affect your villager. Your findings will be posted within the Global Village blog forum in each module. You will be able to read and comment on the postings of your classmates as well.

Consult the course Calendar for the due dates for these assignments, which have two parts: an original posting and responses to your classmates. Except for the first posting, responses are due at the end of the week when you made your original posting. For the first global village activity, you have until the end of the following week (Week 2) to post.

Final Project

There is no midterm or final exam in this course. Instead, you will write a 2000- to 2500-word paper (with a typical font and spacing this will be a paper of 8 to 10 pages) integrating your learning from this course in four areas: your perspective as a global villager, your analysis of global issues, your views of global citizenship, and some thoughts about what you have gained from this course.

Detailed information about this assignment is found in the final project area of the course site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a non-area of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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