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HUMS 202 – Choices in a Consumer Society
 Course Syllabus  
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  Course Information
    Welcome to HUMS 202
    What is HUMS 202?
    Course Description
Course Policies
    Deadline to Add Course
    Grading Policies
Tips for Success
    How Does HUMS 202 Work?
    How to Pass the Course
    Consumer Literacy Articles
    System Requirements
    Money Smart Support
External Links
    MoneySmart Info Booth
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Example Syllabus

Meeting Times & Required Materials

The course is entirely online-based. There are no formal/official meeting times and there are no required textbooks or other materials to purchase for this course. All required materials will be provided online and accessible through Blackboard and the World Wide Web. This course is self-paced, so there is no set schedule as to when each lesson module and its associated module test should be completed; however, all coursework must be completed prior to 5:00 PM on the Thursday immediately preceding the last day of classes. It is NOT possible to receive a grade of "I" (incomplete) in this course.

Emails from the Instructor

Please do not feel the need to respond to messages from the instructor to say "Thank you" or "I got it". There are nearly two thousand students in this course each semester, so these types of polite responses may overload the instructor's email system. We'll just assume that everyone is polite, so we don't need these response emails. :-)


Occasionally you'll be assigned reading material for this course. The expectations on when the reading should be completed and how your understanding may be assessed will be conveyed in the reading assignment. There will be only a few of these readings during the semester.

Money Smart Modules

The lectures for this course are actually online video lesson modules prepared for you by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). For each video lesson module, an assessment (module test) will be posted in Blackboard. You are to complete the online lesson modules and review materials (questions within the modules) until you earn your certificate for that module (print it out and put in on your refrigerator). After you've earned your certificate, you are ready to take the assessment (module test) in Blackboard. [After earning a module's certificate, you only need to print it if you want to. Earning it is the signal from the system that you may then take the associated Module Test in Blackboard. You do NOT need to submit your certificates to the instructor.]


You are strongly urged to take notes during the video lesson modules, and you may use the notes when taking the tests (the Module Tests are "open notes" tests...you may use notes, but you may NOT work with others...that would be a violation of the Honor Code).

More information on the modules (subject matter, time to complete, etc.) can be found in the "Information on the FDIC Money Smart Curriculum" folder of the "Lesson Modules"in the HUMS 202 area of Blackboard.

When you log in, you'll be asked for your First Name, Last Name, Month of birth, Day of birth, Zip Code, and Organization (please enter "VCU HUMS 202" for your organization). [DO NOT check the "Individual" box.] You will also be asked to create a username...be sure to follow the instructions in Blackboard so that your username is of the proper format.

Accessing the Money Smart Materials

The directions to access Money Smart, the minimum requirements, and FAQ can be found in the "How to access the FDIC Money Smart materials" section of the "Lesson Modules" in the HUMS 202 area of Blackboard.

Computer Setup BEFORE Viewing the Video Lesson Modules at FDIC.gov or Taking Tests in Blackboard

Follow these simple steps to improve your chances of avoiding technical difficulties:
Be sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements (see "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the "Lesson Modules" in the HUMS 202 area of Blackboard).
Be sure your computer has the latest version of the software installed (see "External Links" button in the HUMS 202 area of Blackboard)
Disable/turn-off any pop-up blocker software or settings in your browser.
Be sure that you aren't blocking any "cookies" in your browser.
Follow all instructions, and do NOT skip portions of the video lesson modules (the software doesn't react well to this).

Graded Assessments (Module Tests) and WARNINGS!

After successfully completing each video lesson module and earning your module certificate, you should return to Blackboard to complete that module's test (located in the "Module Tests" area). These are multiple-choice tests that are timed and MUST BE COMPLETED ONCE STARTED; thus, DO NOT begin a test before you are ready to take it. If you choose, you may take any of the module tests a second time to possibly improve your score. The highest score of your module test attempts will be the one that is counted when your final grade is computed.

It is NOT POSSIBLE to take the module test alongside the video lesson module. You have only 30 minutes (maximum) from the time you begin a test to complete it, and each video lesson module can last for up to two hours. Therefore, you MUST complete the video lesson module BEFORE you begin a module test in Blackboard. Once you select a module test, the timer begins for that test...there is no "UNDO" or "UNSTART" option, so be sure you are ready to take a test BEFORE you select it.

I strongly urge you to take notes during the lesson modules, and you may use the notes when taking the tests (the Module Tests are "open notes" tests...you may use notes, but you may NOT work with others...that would be a violation of the Honor Code).

If for some reason you are locked out of a test (a "lock" symbol or "notepad" symbol appears in the grade area) please notify the instructor immediately. The "lock" or "notepad" symbol typically indicates that your test is in progress, and it can appear when you lose your Internet connection while taking a test. Note that the "!" symbol is typically displayed when the instructor has not yet graded the assigment...please allow two business days for the instructor to grade your assignment before inquiring about the "!" symbol. The presence of one of these symbols for one of your test attempts precludes showing the score of any other valid attempt.

It is your responsibility to be sure that your grades are displayed properly in the Blackboard gradebook. Any discrepancies should be brought to the attention of the instructor. [Note: If you have technical issues with a test's behavior in Blackboard, please contact VCU helpIT (the VCU Help Desk) at help@vcu.edu or 828-2227 (press option 1).]

Course Grades ("Pass/Fail" Explained)

This course is graded "Pass/Fail". You will earn a passing grade if you have 100% completed each of the eleven lesson modules with Quiz Score of 80% or higher AND scored at least 60% on EACH of the eleven module tests in Blackboard AND your total score is at least 70% of the total possible module test points; otherwise, you will earn a failing grade.

Since the class is "Pass/Fail", there will be no A,B,C,D letter grades...only P or F. Note that a grade of F will negatively affect your grade point average, so you want to be sure that you meet the requirements for passing this course. A grade of P does not affect your grade point average in any way; however, it does earn you credit for this course towards the credits needed for graduation. This is explained in the VCU Bulletin at http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/bulletins/about/?uid=10096&iid=30784. If you have further questions about how a "Pass/Fail" course relates to credits earned and grade point average, please see you academic advisor (not the instructor of this course...he'll just tell you to read this above paragraph again). :-)

Final grades for this course should be entered by the end of the final exam period, and they should show up in eServices within 24 hours of being submitted. Please note that all grades must be submitted at one time, and there are about 2000 grades to be entered each semester, one at a time by hand. It'll take almost all day one day just to enter them. An email will be sent to the class to let everyone know when grades have been submitted. Thanks for your patience!

It is NOT possible to receive a grade of "I" (incomplete) in this course, so please complete your coursework early.

Discussion Boards & Mass Emails

Mass emails to the students of this course should be limited to course content ONLY. Discussion boards have been set up for items for sale, finding study groups, general course questions, student government issues/elections, etc. Please tailor your communications appropriately.

Any student who sends mass emails to the entire course for non-course-related content will have his/her course average dropped by twenty (20) percentage points for each infraction. Note that two such infractions will automatically result in a failing grade for the course.

VCU Student Email Policy

You are expected to act in accordance with the VCU Student Email Policy: (online at http://www.assurance.vcu.edu/Policy%20Library/Student%20Email%20Policy.pdf) Students are expected to check their official VCU e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to remain informed of University-related communications. The University recommends checking e-mail daily." Checking your VCU email at least once each day (Sunday through Saturday) is strongly encouraged. Important course information is distributed via email, and failure to read that email in a timely fashion may result in missed opportunities or instructions that could lead to earning a failing grade in this course. [The same is true for any course at VCU, so you should always check your email daily while you are enrolled at VCU.]

Further Information

For further information, please check the other areas of this site and in the HUMS 202 area in Blackboard. Information in these areas should be considered as a part of this syllabus.

VCU Statement on Safety

What to know and do to be prepared for emergencies at VCU:
Sign up to receive VCU text messaging alerts (http://www.vcu.edu/alert/notify). Keep your information up-to-date.
Know the safe evacuation route from each of your classrooms. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in on-campus classrooms.
Listen for and follow instructions from VCU or other designated authorities.
Know where to go for additional emergency information (http://www.vcu.edu/alert).
Know the emergency phone number for the VCU Police (828-1234). Report suspicious activities and objects.

VCU Honor System

All VCU students are presumed upon enrollment to have acquainted themselves with and have an understanding of the Honor System. Therefore, it is a student's responsibility to ask course instructors to clarify expectations for each assignment in order to be in compliance with the Honor System. The VCU Honor System policy statement and purpose is located at http://www.provost.vcu.edu/pdfs/Honor_system_policy.pdf

Statement on Americans with Disabilities Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require Virginia Commonwealth University to provide an 'academic adjustment' and/or a 'reasonable accommodation' to any individual who advises us of a physical or mental disability. If you have a physical or mental limitation that requires an academic adjustment or an accommodation, please arrange a meeting with me at your earliest convenience. Additionally, if your course work requires you to work in a lab environment, you should advise the instructor or department chairperson of any concerns you may have regarding safety issues related to your limitation(s).

Important Syllabus Information

Click the "Important Syllabus Information" link to access more information that is relevant to your courses this semester.

Right of Change

As this is a relatively new course, the instructor reserves the right to adjust/augment the syllabus as needed throughout the semester. Always refer to the HUMS 202 area in Blackboard for the current version of the syllabus.


Dr. W. Scott Street, IV
P.O. Box 843083
1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284-3083
(804) 828-1303
FAX: (804) 828-8785

Directions to Harris Hall (1015 Floyd Ave.)

College of Humanities and Sciences

For information, contact Dr. Street at

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Date Last Modified: February 1, 2016