Syllabus for SPA-103



SPA-103: Elementary Spanish III is designed for students who have completed SPA-101 and SPA-102 or its equivalent. Throughout this course, students will continue developing competence in the four basic communication skills: writing, reading, speaking, and listening. They will also gain knowledge of various aspects of Spanish and Latin American cultures and will participate in authentic interactions with native Spanish speakers in the United States and abroad to explore cultural topics. Students will make comparisons across languages and cultures and will recognize the ways in which Spanish extends beyond the classroom and into the global community. The goal of this course is to prepare students for “real-life” communication in Spanish. Please note that this goal does not imply that students are expected to speak like a native, nor should they expect to speak fluent Spanish after this semester of study.



After completing this course, students should be able to:

CO1        Comprehend written elementary/intermediate Spanish materials appropriate for a second language learner.

CO2        Communicate with appropriate detailed contextual responses.

CO3        Interact, speak, and write, combining the use of various verbal tenses.

CO4        Interact with classmates and the mentor using basic sentences and limited memorized phrases or structures.

CO5        Investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship of the practices and perspectives of Hispanic cultures.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

eBook with Workbook/Lab Manual (WBLM), LearnSmart, and Connect access card.

ISBN-13: 978-0077604059

The purchase of the Connect access card includes access to the Conéctate eBook. You can purchase the access card by following these instructions:

Instructions for Buying a Connect Access Card Through Moodle 


If you’d like to purchase your access card early (before you have access to Moodle), you can visit McGraw-Hill’s site and select the 24-month digital format: 

Note: If you choose to purchase the Connect access card directly from McGraw-Hill’s website, you will only have access to the eBook; you will not have access to your section’s Connect site and assignments until you have access to Moodle. Do not try to register for any Connect sections until you have access to Moodle.

Once you purchase your card, you will have to create an account with McGraw-Hill. When you have access to Moodle, click on the McGraw-Hill Connect plugin and use your McGraw-Hill account information to login.

Supplementary Materials


Elementary Spanish III is a three-credit, online course consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, interact with McGraw-Hill Connect, complete written assignments, and take three proctored examinations. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

Elementary Spanish III requires you to participate in online class discussions. In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum in Week 1, you are required to participate in six graded online discussions, some of which involve posting recordings of yourself speaking in Spanish to stimulate Spanish conversation amongst yourself and your peers.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

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

Connect Assignments

Throughout this course, you will be given assignments using the online learning tool, Connect, from McGraw-Hill. This website provides a variety of interactive activities, exercises, and assessments that pair with your textbook. These activities are crucial to complete as they allow you the opportunity to apply what you learn in the textbook as you read along. Each activity pairs with a section in the chapter (for example, Module 1: 11.1). It is suggested that you read the section, then complete the Connect activity, then continue reading. Since there are a large number of activities in Connect, it is extremely important that you consistently refer to the Course Calendar for due dates for these activities.

You can access your Connect activities by clicking the McGraw-Hill Connect Assignments plugin link in Moodle.

Note: Some of the assignments require the use of Java, so it is important to make sure that you have the latest edition downloaded.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Students will exercise formal Spanish grammar and vocabulary in responding to prompts relevant to their textbook readings.

Podcast Entries

You are required to complete six short speaking assignments as podcast entries. The speaking assignments allow you the opportunity to practice Spanish pronunciation and speaking by responding to thematic prompts. Podcast entries will be completed using Kaltura, a recording tool hosted in Moodle. For more information, review the following link: Using Podcasts in Moodle

Written Examinations

For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exams, refer to the study guides available in the Examinations sections of the course website.

You are required to take three closed-book, proctored online examinations. Each exam is one hour long and contains multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions. Each exam requires that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the Examinations and Proctors section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course website) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exams within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Oral Examinations

You are required to take two Spanish oral examinations in which you will respond to a prompt speaking in Spanish. The exam will assess your ability to have a conversation by giving and asking for information. You will complete this exam in an Edison Live! Meeting with your mentor. You will schedule your Oral Exams in the Edison Live Scheduling Forum found in the Edison Live section of the course.


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 course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

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.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

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:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

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, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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