There is a graded Introduction Discussion in Week 1. You are expected to submit your initial post and then respond to at least one (1) posting by another student. Besides the Introduction Discussion, there are 24 Weekly Discussion posts, worth 8 points each, and separated into Discussion Topics each week: Essential Questions (EQ), Online Learning Center (OLC), and Deep Thought (DT). Participation in all assigned discussion topics will improve performance on exams. You must answer EQ, OLC, and DT questions of each discussion by submitting initial posts of about 200 words and then respond to at least one (1) posting by another student. You can use MLA, Chicago, or APA format for quotations of the textbooks. All discussions are worth 6 points each, and each response to a peer post is worth 2 points. All initial posts are due on Wednesdays by 11:59 p.m. CT of the assigned weeks. The responses to peer posts are due on Sundays by 11:59 p.m. CT, except for Week 8, when the responses are due on Saturday, 11:59 p.m. CT. Your responses must engage substantively with the post (“good post, I agree!” is not substantive). The student who is assigned the Deep Thought question for the week must post the initial thread by 11:59 p.m. CT on Tuesday. If this is not posted, you will not receive credit for the discussion that week and the instructor will post the week’s question. As this can significantly inconvenience the instructor and other students if you are not able to post the Deep Thought Question when assigned please inform the instructor as soon as possible. Discussions are informal; however, you are still expected to communicate effectively and ensure that your posting is intelligible as well as original. You are still required to cite any quotation or factual reference. The earlier students post in the week, the more chances they have for interaction with the instructor and classmates.
There is a Research Paper in the course, worth 200 points, to be submitted in the Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 7. The Research Paper requires you to choose an African topic of interest, gather quality primary and secondary sources, compose an original argument, and review and revise that argument. In order to earn full credit for this component score, you will have to fulfill the following requirements:
Topic Selection and Approval
You must choose a topic for a 6-page Research Paper and must also write a paragraph explaining why you chose it. You must respond substantially to two other students' submissions. You may choose your topic from recent Nigerian, Ivorian, or South African history. It might also be helpful to approach your topic from the perspective of your academic major. Keep in mind, for such a short paper it will be good to make your topic as specific as possible, so try to narrow it down to specific African countries, figures, events, ethnic groups, etc. While considering your topic, please keep in mind that there should be a controversial or debatable aspect to your topic. Once you choose your topic, it must be approved. To obtain topic approval, post your topic to the Research Paper Topic Discussion, located in the discussion area of the course, and post two (2) responses by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 2. In the Topic Selection Discussion, the instructor will suggest specific issues associated with your topic that should be considered as you research and write your paper. Submission of your topic is worth 20 points. Ten (10) points are assigned for submitting the topic and writing a paragraph explaining why you chose it. Ten (10) points are assigned for reviewing and responding to the topic selection posts of two of your peers.
Prepare a preliminary list of at least five quality sources (academic books, journal articles, or news stories) for your paper taken from the Columbia College library resources page and submit the list in the Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 3. At least two of the listed sources must be primary sources. Make sure you list your sources in proper MLA, APA, or Chicago Style format. Submission of your resource list is worth 20 points.
A Note about the Texts
The main textbooks for this course are considered Secondary Sources, which means that the author (or historian) has written his version of history based on interpretations of historical documents or primary sources. Primary Sources are documents that are used by historians to write about past events. These are such things as diaries, journals, letters, etc., that were written at the time the historian is studying.
Make sure you post the first version of your Research Paper to the appropriate Dropbox folder for the instructor to review. A Peer Review Discussion will be provided in Week 5 for you to get feedback from your classmates as well. While this discussion is not required, you are encouraged to get feedback from your classmates, as well as assist them by providing them constructive feedback. Submission of your rough draft is worth 20 points. The instructor will provide feedback for you to incorporate into your final version as quickly as possible. Be sure to use the annotated research paper posted in the content section as a model for your own work.
The final draft must consider the controversial issue approved by the professor in the initial threads of the discussions concerning your paper topic and must identify at least five (5) examples of primary and secondary sources related to the topic. At least two (2) of these should be primary sources. It should be six (6) pages long and the typed text should be circumscribed by one-inch margins, making each double-spaced page approximately 250 words and 25-27 lines with a standard type 12-point font. Cover page and bibliography do not count towards page totals. Final draft must consult a number of additional secondary sources that help to develop the thesis. Final draft must incorporate an introduction, body, and conclusion, each of which must be organized into paragraphs. Each paragraph should consist of approximately eight (8) sentences and develop a single topic. You must clarify premises using coherent diction and elaborate your major points with a degree of specificity. Avoid spelling errors, awkward language, improper grammar, flawed punctuation, and other technical mistakes. Use a documentation style guide consistently and correctly; see the Chicago/MLA/APA style links available on the Course Home page for examples. The final draft must include a bibliography, with primary and secondary sources listed separately. It must meet the deadlines for drafts and revisions according to the Schedule of Due Dates table. The research paper will have originality check turned on to check for plagiarism. The final paper is worth 140 points.
Each week, you will complete a non-proctored, open book quiz comprising multiple choice questions, covering the week’s reading material. Quizzes 1-7, worth 40 points each, consist of 20 MCQs (2 points each). You must complete each quiz in 35 minutes and in one (1) attempt. Quiz 8, worth 20 points, consists of 10 MCQs (2 points each), and you will have 25 minutes to complete it in one (1) attempt. Quizzes 1-7 will open at 12:01 a.m. CT Monday and close at 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of each week. Quiz 8 will be the only exception, ending at 11:59 p.m. CT Saturday. You will only have one attempt to complete each quiz, so be sure to complete the weekly readings first. While the quizzes are open book, you will not have the time to look up all of the answers. The quizzes are auto-graded. You will have the opportunity to view questions answered incorrectly for 10 minutes after the quiz is submitted.
The proctored Final Exam, due 11:59 p.m. CT Saturday of Week 8, is administered by a supervisor approved by the instructor (see Proctored Policy for more information). The Final Exam is worth 300 points and consists of fifty (50) MCQs worth four (4) points each, and two (2) Essay Questions worth 50 points each. You will have two (2) hours to complete the exam in one (1) attempt. The exam is comprehensive, covering all of your weekly work and assigned readings. A study guide that will help you prepare for the exam will be made available from 12:01 a.m. CT Monday to 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 8. You must submit the “Student Proctor Information Submission Form” to the Proctor Information Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 2. This form and additional information about Proctoring is located in the Content area of the course. Each Columbia College site has its own hours and methods for handling proctoring.