***Assessment Pre- and Post-test
To earn the 50 points for this assignment, you must take both the Pre-test during Weeks 1-2 and the Post-test during Weeks 7-8. The test consists of approximately 50 multiple-choice questions covering the entire course. Full-credit is awarded only for completing both tests (the actual score on the test does not affect the course grade). No partial credit is awarded; students must complete both tests to receive credit.
Your discussion posts are a core part of this course. To that end, your instructor has posted two “Discussion Questions” for you to answer each week with a total of four brief posts as follows:
First, you should write two substantive, Initial Posts, as your answers to each of the two weekly Discussion Questions. Both Initial Posts should be posted before Thursday 11:59 pm CT. Each Initial Post should consist of at least 200-300 words of thoughtful prose and should include a properly written “Works Cited” statement. (The latter almost always is nothing more than a simple, properly written, footnote citing the textbook, its author, and page numbers you refer to in your initial post.)
Second, you need to write two Response Posts each week. One should be in response to a fellow student’s Initial Post in one of the two Discussion Questions and a second Response Post should be directed to a fellow student’s Initial Post in the second Discussion Question. (In other words, avoid writing two Response Posts in one Discussion Question.) Response Posts to each question should be at least 200 – 300 words and should include a “Works Cited” statement. (Please avoid minimal “Good Post!” type responses! Engage! Discuss!)
Third, you need to plan on following the progress of the discussions at least three times each week so that you can participate in ongoing discussions. Remember, both Initial Posts are due by Thursday 11:59 pm CT. Response Posts are due before Sunday 11:59 pm CT. Exception of Week 8, when response postings are due on the final Saturday.
Fourth, you need to carefully read the Discussion Rubric in the course Content area to understand how your Discussion Posts will be graded. May I add that you will likely find our weekly conversations fascinating as we discuss the two questions at hand, and consequently, you may wish to make more than the four required posts. You are certainly encouraged to do that. (Response Posts beyond the two required need not be 200 – 300 words.)
Discussion Posts are central to the success of this course, so be aware of the guidelines below.
Discussions postings should respond to the relevant questions I have provided. Please do not use long quotations. Effective discussion posts will present ideas in your own words. Those that merely copy in text from the textbook or some other source will be much less effective and will not receive high scores. Learn to paraphrase and summarize, and always cite the source from which you are paraphrasing/summarizing. Paraphrasing—as opposed to mere copying—shows me that you have understanding of the material.
Each response to your classmates should add to the discussion in a meaningful way by bringing up an original and relevant point. It is not your job to tell other students that they have not addressed parts of the discussion topics, although you are encouraged to express a different interpretation or ask for additional information from other students on particular topics. Aim to support each other, stay respectful, and be aware that electronic communication can be read in ways you may not have intended. Note: in a college history course, all institutions and traditions are held up to light for examination and discussion. This may include institutions and beliefs to which you or your classmates are deeply attached. Please respect that others may hold different perspectives. This course examines traditions and institutions from a historical standpoint.
Be aware that each chapter is followed by a set of primary sources (sources from the actual period), including art. I will be especially impressed by discussion postings that aim to bring in some of those primary source materials. (Note that your textbook has a section on “Working with Primary Sources”; see p. xlv.) I will also be impressed with postings that use materials and resources found on the textbook's website or other reliable sources (do not use Wikipedia). If you do use any source other that the textbook, please note within the text of your discussion posting where you got the information.
Essay 1 and 2
You will write two essays in this course, due in Weeks 3 and 5. Both essays are responses to questions based on your reading of primary source documents, but will require that you understand the background material presented in the required textbook. Essays 1 and 2 must be a minimum of 700-900 words in length, double-spaced, completed in either MS Word or saved in Rich Text Format, and submitted to the dropbox. (Note that MS Word has a word-count function.) Longer essays are allowed, but do not get extreme; learn to self-edit. A longer essay is not a guarantee of a better grade. See “Writing Guidelines and Grading Standards” for advice on essay composition. Be aware also that your textbook has a section on “Working with Primary Sources” (pp. xlv-xlix). Be sure that your essay actually points to evidence from the documents. Show me, don’t just tell me. Be sure to see the late-assignment policy for this course, below in the “Course Policies” section.
In responding to the questions in the discussions and on the essay, you may want to use resources in addition to your textbook. This is encouraged, as it allows you to explore areas of interest in more detail. I do caution you, however, to be aware of any biases that some authors might have in dealing with the subject matter. Remember that Wikipedia is not an acceptable resource, as it is not refereed, and therefore not reliable. I recommend the sources found in the databases available through the Columbia College library. Be sure to document your sources properly using the Turabian (Chicago Manual of Style) format, which is also covered by the Rampolla text. Please see the plagiarism tutorial within the course website; essays that have any plagiarized material will receive zero points.
Note: The dropbox folder for Essay 1 will not open until students have taken the Plagiarism Tutorial and Quiz, located in the “Quizzes” section of the course.
Collaborative Assignment - Primary Source Compilation
The collaborative assignment must be a minimum of 1,200-1,400 words in length, double-spaced, completed in either MS Word or saved in Rich Text Format, and submitted to the dropbox.
You will work in two-person teams. Early in the session, each team chooses a particular resonant historical event, process, or phenomenon from a list I will create (immigrants in ancient Egypt; the Song Dynasty economic miracle, Disease on the Silk Roads, The Islamic Golden Age, etc.).
Working together, you will compile from the web a set of primary sources (documents, images, and/or artifacts) which shed light on the above event, process, phenomenon. You will work to arrive at a reasonable 4-6 required resources. At least 75% of the sources/artifacts, etc., will come from digitized state archives, museums, or libraries.
Working together, teams will compose a Sources Introduction document--which features interpretive introductions and discussion questions relating to each source chosen (this will be a single document, uploaded into the dropbox.
Written sources must be submitted as .pdfs; images and artifacts as .jpgs. The assignment will be graded on the content of the Sources Introduction and how well each introduction engages with the historical background, its level of source-analysis, the quality of the discussion questions and grammar.
There will be three quizzes in this course in Weeks 2, 4, and 6. Quizzes will open on Monday of each week, and must be completed before 11:59 pm CT Sunday of that week. The quizzes will consist of approximately 30 multiple-choice questions covering the assigned reading material. There will be a 45-minute time-limit, set to where you should have ample time to answer the questions, but not enough time to “look them up” in the book (or online) while taking the quiz. You will need to study for the quizzes.
The Final Exam will be comprehensive and will consist of two main parts of roughly equal weight. The first section will consist of around 30 multiple-choice questions, and the second part will consist of a single essay. The Final Exam must be taken in a proctored setting. (Please see the Proctor Policy for more information.) You will have two hours to take the exam. This will be a closed-book exam. You will not be able to use your text or other references or notes during the exam. The exam is due Saturday by 11:59 pm CT. You can post questions about the Final Exam in the discussion forum that will open in Week 4.