The Advanced Project Course

Course Description

Credit hours: 4

Prerequisite: Foundations of Adult Learning, Critical Thinking, Writing to Competence, Research Seminar/Methods

This course does not apply for any students who are receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Computing (BAC). Any BAC students that need to fulfill the F-11 and F-12 competencies may do so by enrolling in FA 303. The main purpose of FA 304 is to guide you through the various steps involved in designing and carrying out the Advanced Project (AP) on a subject that is related to your particular focus Area (FA). Early in the course you will decide which of the two different kinds of an Advanced Project you will pursue, and you will therefore produce an artifact that is the result of your practical application of knowledge, abilities, or skills, and an analysis paper that provides the theoretical or analytical context for the particular artifact; or you will produce a stand-alone research paper.

You will be guided and provided with various tools, resources, and support throughout the course in order to be able to follow the guide provided by the F-11 competence statement: "Can design and produce a significant product that gives evidence of advanced competence." This competence articulates the standards and qualities your final product should demonstrate in order to deserve being called a "significant product." No matter what type of Advanced Project you create – an artifact/analysis paper or a research paper – it therefore has to be the result of investigating a problem in depth, and of establishing clear links between the definition of the problem, discussion of conceptual issues, methods of investigation, analysis of findings, and practical applications.

Your F-12 competence statement will primarily summarize the main results of your work, what you have come to know and understand, and the particular skills and abilities you developed in the process of creating your project.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you should have:

Course Resources

The Advanced Project Assessment Rubric and the Advanced Project Assessment Criteria (linked within the D2L course) will serve you and your instructor (and academic committee) as the guide for SCPS's standards and expectations regarding the quality of your final product.

Since you will do a lot of research and writing in this course, the library, SCPS's Writing Guide, and the DePaul Center for Writing-based Learning, will be your primary resources in the process of drafting, researching, and revising. Each course module will provide you with additional resources and tools that are of particular relevance for the tasks you need to perform each week.

Course Structure

This course consists of ten modules. The estimated time to complete each module is one week.

The following table outlines the course:

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: Introduction: What the Advanced Project is All About

All course resources are available in D2L.


1.1 Brainstorm Your Topic of Interest

1.2 Share Your Ideas, Concerns, and Suggestions (Discussion)

1.3 Write a First Draft of the AP Proposal

Week 2, Module 2: Articulating the Issue or Problem, and Searching for Information

All course resources are available in D2L.


2.1 Sharing Ideas, Questions, and Suggestions (Discussion)

2.2 Problem Statement

2.3 Advanced Project Proposal

Week 3, Module 3: Research, Writing, and Preparing an Outline

All course resources are available in D2L.

3.1 Consult Your Academic Committee

3.2 Background Research (Discussion)

Advanced Project Working Group Discussion

3.3 Complete the IRB Training (if applicable)

3.4 Write an Outline of Your Paper

Weeks 4 & 5, Modules 4 & 5: Writing the First Draft(s)

All course resources are available in D2L.

4.1 Sharing Your Experiences and Advice (Discussion)

4.2 Artifact Draft (if applicable)

5.1 Draft Checklist

5.2 First Draft of Paper

Week 6, Module 6: Revising, Revising, and More Research

All course resources are available in D2L.

6.1 Group Support and Activities (Discussion)

6.2 Submit (updated) Draft Checklist

6.3 Second Draft of Paper

Week 7, Module 7: The Second Draft of Your Artifact, and More Revisions on Your Paper

All course resources are available in D2L.

7.1 Group Support and Activities (Discussion)

7.2 Artifact Second Draft (if applicable)

Week 8, Module 8: Checking In: Sharing Progress and Accomplishments

All course resources are available in D2L.

8.1 Checking In: A Talking Circle (Discussion)

Week 9, Module 9: Working on the Final Drafts

All course resources are available in D2L.

9.1 Continue Revisions on Your Paper

9.2 Use the Draft Checklist and List Tasks You Still Need To Do

9.3 Make a Schedule for Completing Unfinished Tasks

Week 10, Module 10: Acknowledging and Sharing Your Learning, and Getting Ready to Fine-tune Your Paper

All course resources are available in D2L.

10.1 Do the Advanced Project Self-Assessment

10.2 Sharing Your Self-Assessment (Discussion)

Week 11


11.1 Final Advanced Project

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Assessment of Learning

Grading Policies and Practices

The Advanced Project Course is designed as a Pass/Fail.

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline. In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

By week 11 you need to have submitted your final draft of the artifact/analysis paper or stand-alone research paper.

In order for your Advanced Project to be accepted, it needs to exhibit the criteria articulated in the Advanced Project Assessment Rubric at an at least passable level.

Some of you may need a bit more time than the 11-week quarter is giving you. However, in order to obtain an "Incomplete" you need to have submitted at least a first draft of your analysis or research paper.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Your Instructor will give you feedback on the outline of your Advanced Project, and on your first and all written assignments. You are also advised, or requested, to visit the DePaul Center for Writing-based Learning. All writing center services are free. Online services include Feedback-by-Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam).

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Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are of particular importance in the Advanced Project class because here is where you connect with your classmates, hear their concerns, ideas, and suggestions. You will also form your own discussion group that is comprised of classmates with whom you share areas of interest related to the content or form of your Advanced Project. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask ‘process’ questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.


Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SCPS's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SCPS involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SCPS welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SCPS's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SCPS can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SCPS Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SCPS undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SCPS students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SCPS courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SCPS courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SCPS's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SCPS offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly communicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by Dr. Mechthild Hart and staff at SCPS, School of Continuing and Professional Studies of DePaul University.

©2014 School of Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS.