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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

HIST 362: History Of The American West

Course Description

Analysis of Western America from colonization to the present. This course traces the imperial, commercial, intellectual, and social relationships forming the trans-Mississippi region.  In particular, it appraises the interactions of natives and strangers in a frontier borderland over the course of several generations. Furthermore, significant attention is given to territorial acquisition, population mobility, economic development and popular culture.

Prerequisite: Junior Standing

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Clyde Milner, Anne Butler, and David Rich Lewis, eds.. Major Problems in the History of the American West. St. Charles, IL: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
    • ISBN-978-0-669-41580-3
  • Richard White. "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own:" A New History of the American West . First Paperback Printing 1993. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
    • ISBN-978-0-8061-2567-1
  • Mary Lynn Rampolla. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. 8th. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's Press , 2015.
    • ISBN-978-1-4576-9088-4

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Welcome to HIST 362: History of the American West, online. The American West is a place, or a series of places. At the same time, it is a process, and a concept, and a mythos. We will be looking at the West in all these contexts, in order to understand its peoples and events and roles in the broader history of the United States, and the world. Frederick Jackson Turner, one of the first scholars to address the history of the West, cast it as a sort of rolling sequence of successive "frontiers," with fur traders followed by miners followed by railroads followed by…Frontiers happened to Turner's West, but his West also shaped national institutions. Turner's emphasis was on the advance of Euro-Americans from the United States in the East, but he paid less attention to the people already living in the West. Patricia Limerick, a founder of what has been called "The New Western History," has tried to understand and present what may be a more complex West, and her interpretations are grounded in what she calls "The Four Cs:" Conquest, Continuity, Convergence, and Complexity. Our course will rely heavily on a textbook by another New West historian, Richard White. The book is sort of, but not entirely, chronological. I think you'll like the way It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own makes connections and links between past and present. In addition, he treats the history of the American West in light of themes rather than a series of events.

We will also be taking some virtual field trips each week, to augment the text and explore aspects of Western history that I think are especially important, or that White may have slighted. The links are an important component of the course because in many ways they reflect (and perhaps perpetuate) the mythos of the American West. They are tours of various museums, the National Park System, and tourist locations. Each week you will need to take part in class activities, by participating in what is called the "Class Discussion" with other class members and me. In addition, you will be required to write an 8-10 page research paper.


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the relationship between westward expansion and the development of American politics, economics, and culture.
  2. Explain the impact of American western expansion on indigenous populations from the colonial period to the present day.
  3. Explain the historical development of the American West as a region and the mythology of that region.
  4. Analyze the contributions of diverse populations to the building of the American West.
  5. Analyze primary documents within a historical framework.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 200 20%
Research Paper (1) 200 20%
Midterm (1) 300 30%
Final (1) 300 30%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Week 1 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Week 2 Discussions 25 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Week 3 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Week 4 Discussions 25 Sunday
Midterm Exam 300
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Week 5 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Week 6 Discussions 25 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Week 7 Discussions 25 Sunday
Research Paper 200
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Week 8 Discussions 25 Saturday
Final Exam 300
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

The ability to analyze and academically discuss an issue is a key component to understanding history. Historians gain a further understanding of historical accuracy when they discuss and critically analyze their views with others. The discussion portion of the course provides you with an opportunity to discuss and challenge each other’s views of the assigned readings for the week. Each week there will be five questions/topics over the week’s reading assignments and one virtual field trip topic. For Week 1, there will be an additional topic on the “Mythmakers of American History” article. Each week all discussions will be considered holistically.

For each discussion topic, you are required to answer the question(s) posed and tour two of the websites listed for the virtual field trip. In addition, you are required to respond to at least four (4) of your classmates’ answers from any of the questions/topics. This may include multiple responses between you and another classmate discussing the same topic. You do not have to respond to every student, but the point is for you to carry on a conversation with your fellow classmates by building upon or debating your points of view. You may post more than four responses to other students, but you will receive a maximum of 25 points for each week. You should have a minimum of 10 postings each week.

Your answers and responses must be written clearly, thoughtfully, and insightfully. Merely stating in your responses to fellow students that you agree or disagree is not considered a quality response, and will not be counted. Your answers and responses must show a familiarity with the reading assignments and a holistic understanding of the week’s topics by citing your sources and backing up what you say with evidence. Although you cannot receive more than 25 points, I will use extra comments in deciding borderline grades. See the grading rubric in the Content area for more details regarding assessment of discussions.

Research Paper

By the end of the course, you will be required to submit a research paper.  You will need to critically analyze primary sources and research related secondary sources.  This assignment will not only provide the opportunity for you to take an in-depth look at a subject, but also provide you with the opportunity to improve your research and writing skills.  During the first week of class, I would like for you to consider a topic for your paper.  You may choose your own topic but you will be required to submit that topic to the instructor via the appropriate discussion board.  A quality paper is one that consists of the following:
  1. A well constructed thesis statement.
  2. A critical examination of primary sources.
  3. Consulted quality secondary sources.
  4. Well constructed paragraphs.
  5. Proper use of language, spelling, punctuation, and other mistakes.
  6. 1 inch margins and double spaced.
  7. Uses the Chicago Manual Style for documentation.
  8. A separate Bibliography page, which list both the primary and secondary sources consulted.
For this class, the research paper should be around 8-10 pages, double spaced, standard font, and one inch margins. Please use the Chicago Manual of Style for citation and bibliography listing.  Also, you want to use both primary and secondary sources. Please be careful in using internet sources. Many of these are not good sources and are merely like Encyclopedias. They don't tell much. However, this is not to say that internet sources are useless. Many historical journals are now online. Your best sources are those found in JSTOR through the Columbia College Stafford Library.  Please see Grading Rubric in the Content area for grading criteria.

Exams

Historians like to test their knowledge and understanding of the past by engaging in examinations. You will be required to take two proctored exams. Each exam is worth 250 points toward your final grade. These two tests are an exercise to measure your ability to grasp the material that is being read, discussed, and analyzed. Each exam will consist of 25 multiple choice questions (worth 2 points each), 10 short answer essays (worth 10 points each) and 3 long answer essay questions (worth 50 points each).


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Defining the West and the Peopling of the West
Readings
• “Overview of Week 1” found in the Content area
• Thomas Bailey: “The Mythmakers of American History” in The Journal of American History, vol. 55, no. 1 (June 1968), 5-21. You can access this journal article by logging into the Columbia College Stafford Library and then clicking on this link: The Mythmakers of American History. It is an article that tells us not to be caught up in the myths in history. The American Revolutionary era, rightly or wrongly, has many myths that have endured generations. This article brings to light some of the myths.
• Rampolla: All.
o Note that Rampolla is a condensed version of the Chicago Manual of Style. Most historians prefer footnotes for the citation format, because in history, the QUALITY of your sources is critical in the development of your argument. Footnotes allow the reader to quickly assess how you know what you know. It's different from the MLA style sheet you learned in English Comp, but your computer will automatically create footnotes (check out the Insert function), so you might as well add this skill to your toolbox.
• White: Chapters 1 and 2.
• Milner: Chapters 1, 2 and 3.
     o Milner’s chapters are divided into two parts. The first part contains several primary documents. They are called primary because they were written during the timeframe we are studying. The second part contains essays which are called secondary sources. They are called secondary sources because they are written by historians who make interpretations of primary documents. For a more thorough understanding of these two types of sources, please refer to Rampolla’s book.
Week 1 Discussions

You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.

  • Introduction: Please introduce yourself to your classmates. Tell us who you are, what you like to do, where you are, and maybe why you are taking this course. Posts are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Discussion Questions: There are five separate discussion topic concerning the study of the American West and the early settlements of this region.
  • Mythmakers of American History: After reading the Bailey article listed above, discuss how this article makes you think about the study of history. What stands out to you, how do you feel about the study of history, etc.?
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: We will start by visiting some sites that you will find of interest in each week of this course. Review the following sites and share what you found fascinating or what stood out to you.
Week 2: Conquest and the Role of the Federal Government in the West
Readings
• “Overview of Week 2” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6
• Milner: Chapters 4 and 5.
Week 2 Discussions

You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Migration, Social Conflicts, and Western Industry
Readings
• “Overview of Week 3” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13.
• Milner: Chapters 6 and 9.
Week 3 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Week 4: Families and Community Building
Readings
• “Overview of Week 4” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 12 and 14
• Milner: Chapters 7 and 8.
Week 4 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Discussion 4: There are five separate discussion topics concerning families and community building in the West.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: Review the following sites and share what you found fascinating or what stood out to you.
Midterm Exam
The Midterm, which covers the material from Weeks 1-4, will be available from Monday at 8:00 a.m. until Saturday at midnight.
Week 5: The Maturing West – Politicization of the American West
Readings
• “Overview of Week 5” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 15 and 16.
• Milner: Chapter 10 and 11.
Week 5 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
Research Paper
Please update me on the progress of your Research Paper by posting a message in the Discussion Board under Week 5, Research Progress.
Week 6: The Great Depression and World War II in the American West
Readings
• “Overview of Week 6” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 17 and 18.
• Milner: Chapters 11 and 12.
Week 6 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Discussion 6: There are five separate discussion topic concerning the effects of the Great Depression and World War II on the West.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: Review the following sites and share what you found fascinating or what stood out to you.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: World War II and After
Readings
• “Overview of Week 7” found in the Content area
• White: Chapters 19 and 20.
• Milner: Chapters 13 and 14.
Week 7 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Sunday.
  • Discussion 7: There are five separate discussion topics concerning changes in the American West after the end of World War II.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: Review the following sites and share what you found fascinating or what stood out to you.
    • There are no Field Trips this week. However, if you have located a good website that you would like the rest of the class to know about, please post it.
Research Paper
Your Research Paper over an approved topic is due by midnight Sunday. Please submit this paper via the correct Dropbox folder.
Week 8: Imagining the American West
Readings
• “Overview of Week 8” found in the Content area
• White: Chapter 21 and Epilogue
• Milner: Chapter 15.
Week 8 Discussions
You must post an original answer to each of the discussion topics, but only need to respond to four (4) of your classmates’ postings. Original posts and responses are due by midnight Saturday.
  • Discussion 8: There are only two discussion topics concerning the imagery of the American West in modern thought.
  • Virtual Field Trip Posting: Review the following sites and share what you found fascinating or what stood out to you.
Final Exam
The Final Exam, which covers material in weeks 5 through 8, will be available from Monday at 8:00 a.m. until Saturday at midnight.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late work will not be accepted without prior authorization from me, and a grade penalty may apply regardless of the excuse.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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