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Course Information

All Grade 11 courses

Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology - HSP3M

ILC Course Code: HSP3M-A

Grade 11, University / College Preparation, 1.0 credit

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Q: What is the course description?

This course introduces the theories, questions, and issues that are the major concerns of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Students will develop an understanding of the way social scientists approach the topics they study and the research methods they employ. Students will be given opportunities to explore theories from a variety of perspectives and to become familiar with current thinking on a range of issues that have captured the interest of classical and contemporary social scientists in the three disciplines.

Q: What is the name of this course?

Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, Grade 11, University/College Preparation (HSP3M)


Q: What am I going to learn in this course?

Three social sciences: anthropology, psychology, and sociology, provide different ways to investigate a very important question: “What makes us human?” You’ll look into the differences and similarities in their approaches. You will practice a number of research skills central to the social sciences including doing field research, observational studies, surveys, interviews, and secondary research. You will gather data effectively and present the results of your inquiries in well-constructed position papers and arguments.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: What Makes Us Human?

This unit will introduce you to three social sciences: anthropology, psychology, and sociology. These three social sciences provide us with several ways to investigate a very important question: “What makes us human?” You will explore the two major branches of anthropology; physical anthropology which is concerned with changes and variations in human beings over time and space, and cultural anthropology which examines the various kinds of cultural adaptations that humans have made in order to survive and prosper in a wide number of environments. The study of psychology will introduce the development of human mental processes and behaviours. And when studying sociology you will begin to understand how we are shaped by the groups to which we belong.


This unit also introduces the ways that social scientists inquire into topics. That is, you will learn about the questions they ask, the methods they use to find out answers, how they think about their topics, and how they communicate with others. Each of the three social sciences has unique, and distinct, methods of doing research. However, they all share the goal of inquiring in a scientific way, in order to develop a more complete understanding of human beings. You will begin to inquire in ways similar to those of anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists and these skills will be developed further in the next units.


Unit 2: Self and Others: Forces That Influence Our Behaviour

In this unit, the major influences that contribute to an individual’s personal and social development are identified and assessed. You’ll look at some fundamental human development issues: the influence of heredity and the environment; the influence of human communication and language abilities, ways in which socialization takes place, how gender roles are shaped, and how development continues over a lifetime. Using the alternative points of view of psychology, sociology, and anthropology, you will investigate some of the forces that influence human behaviour, and have come to some conclusions about their impact. You will practice a number of skills central to the social sciences including doing field research, using observational and interview techniques. You will practise communication skills, using the art of persuasion to present an argument on the factors you think are most important in shaping the development of an individual over the course of a lifetime.


Unit 3: Social Organizations: Groups and the Individual

In this unit you will look at groups and how you interact with them and which groups have primary influence and which have secondary impact. You’ll also have a look at what is called ‘collective behaviour’, the study of the impact of crowds, social movements and mass behaviour. You will consider how society works to shape behaviour through social control, and consider how deviant behaviour and conflict can emerge. To practice social science skills you will develop and use a questionnaire, use participant-observation, take a position on an issue and present your arguments for it, and investigate an issue using secondary sources.


Unit 4: Social Institutions

Social institutions exist to provide for the varied needs of people. While most human needs are similar around the world, there is a lot of variation in the way needs are met. Social institutions such as family, education, and work exist all over the world but can be radically different from place to place. You’ll also look at mass communication and popular culture and the influences these 21st century social institutions have in more developed regions. For skill development you will investigate how one social institution varies in at least two different societies, do a case study of a family , and investigate your own involvement in education, and use structured observation to analyse the nature of violence in the media.


Q: What resources do I need?

You will also need computer and an Internet connection to take this course.

Q: What makes the Independent Learning Centre the right choice for taking an online course?

The ILC is the Ontario Ministry of Education's designated distance education provider.

As an Ontario online high school student, you will earn Ontario high school credits and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, if you choose. You should know that the ILC offers everything that is available at private, for-profit online high schools. As the ILC is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Education, courses are far less expensive than at private online schools, and are offered in both English and French.

Tens of thousands of students take courses each year with the ILC. You should too!

Q: What do I have to do to pass this course?

You will do an assignment at the end of every lesson. At the end of a unit, you will submit all the assignments for the unit. These assignments make up your term work, which is worth 70% of your final mark. When you have completed the 20 lessons that make up the course, then you must write the final exam and pass it. The final exam is worth 30% of your final mark. You have two chances to pass it.

Q: Who will mark my work?

A qualified Ontario teacher will mark your work. The teacher will provide a number grade and feedback on your work to help you improve. Usually within four or five business days of submitting your work, you will receive the feedback and the mark for your assignment. Once you receive the feedback, you can go on to the next assignment.

Q: How do I submit my work?

When you need to complete an assignment in words, you will create a Microsoft® Word or OpenOffice™ file and upload it. When you need to create a graph on paper, scan it if you can, or simply take a digital picture and copy and paste into your Word file. Then click Send for Evaluation.

Q: What do I need to know about the final exam?

The final exam is two hours long. It is worth 30% of your final mark. Unlike the rest of the course, the exam is not online. It is written in person using pen and paper. When you have finished your course and submitted all your assignments for marking, the ILC will contact you to make the arrangements to write your final exam. You will need to bring photo ID with you.

Q: How do I get help?

If you run into difficulty, you can get help from an ILC teacher in one of the following ways:

  • email the ILC at teacher@tvo.org
  • call the ILC Student Help Line at 416.484.2673 or 1.800.736.6187
  • fax your questions to 416.484.2754

Please ensure that your request for help includes:

  • your name and ILC student number
  • the course code, unit, and Assessment or Key Question number
  • a brief explanation of how ILC can help
  • if leaving a message, your telephone number (including area code) and the best time to reach you during the day

Q: Do I have to do the units in order?

Yes. You will do much better if you complete the course in order because the lessons build on one another.

Q: Do I have to submit my assignments or finish the course by a certain date?

You may work at your own pace. From the date you enroll, you have 10 months to finish the course.

Q: How does my final mark get onto my transcript?

When you finish the course, we mail you a completion certificate. Students must complete the Education Document Request form if they wish to receive a transcript. The first two copies of the transcript are free, and each additional copy costs $10. The ILC does not prepare transcripts for students currently enrolled in Ontario high schools as their home schools will update their transcripts.

Q: How much does it cost to take this course?

There is a non-refundable administration fee of $40 per course for Ontario students (except those currently registered in a public or private high school) and $500 for non-Ontario students. Payment can be made through the ILC online payment.

Q: How do I get started?

Download the registration form or information package. Send the registration form, any additional required documents, and your payment to the ILC. The ILC will send you a login and password. Log in and begin Lesson 1!

Q: I am a special-needs student. How will my needs be met?

One of the great things about online learning is that you can learn entirely at your own pace, going over ideas and skills as many times as you need to. This means you won't feel rushed.

In addition, the ILC accommodates special-needs students in the following ways:

  • giving students extra time to write the tests
  • allowing the use of certain learning tools, like calculators and computers (ILC exam centre only) on tests
  • administering tests individually or in small groups
  • providing for the use of scribes for tests

If you require accommodation to complete your course, submit the necessary documentation along with your Registration Form. All requests will be considered, although we may not be able to satisfy every request. If you have further questions, please contact our guidance counsellor by calling the Student Enquiry Line or emailing ilc@tvo.org.

This is the English version of the course.

This course is not currently available in French. Please check back often for new course releases.