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Spring 2015
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Web Schedule Spring 2015

Revision Date: 14-Jan-15

HIS-1111-VO01 - World History I

Synonym: 131574
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-27-2015 to 05-08-2015
Faculty: Elisabeth Lehr | View Faculty Credentials

Materials/Lab Fees: $0

Course Description:

This survey course explores the economic, political, cultural, and social developments in world history from the rise of civilization to 1500 CE in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The course highlights geography, cultural and political movements, and human interactions that influenced the historical evolution of various world societies and their interrelationships within a global context.

Essential Objectives:

1. Discuss characteristics of various human societies from foraging to complex societies.
2. Analyze political and social structures found in ancient world societies and their impact on the modern world.
3. Investigate the diverse ideologies and religions found in ancient world societies including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Rational Thought, and Christianity.
4. Assess significant characteristics of social identity found in ancient world societies, and discuss resulting social and gender hierarchies.
5. Identify the new ideas and worldviews that characterized the Renaissance and evaluate their effect on European hegemony and its consequences.
6. Assess the impact of economics and trade on world cultural interactions.
7. Explore the relationship between the geographical landscape and the development of ancient world societies and cultures.
8. Engage in and evaluate historical research employing information literacy skills.
9. Analyze the theses, context, values, perspectives, and facts in historical primary and secondary texts.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

Hello Students,

I invite you to review the entire course description and join the class for Spring 2015.
This course explores the similarities and interconnections between societies and cultures of the ancient world. In the course, you will learn how ancient traditions, attitudes, and behaviors laid the foundation for the world in which we live. We use historical evidence to explore and critically analyze the past.
I encourage you to come to class with an open and curious mind. Open yourself to not only learn about our history, but to develop the skills in researching and writing about history. History, by its nature, is a reading and writing discipline. It is about looking at evidence and interpreting it to build a picture of the past. I look at history as a treasure hunt where we travel a path looking for clues that will eventually add up to understanding how we got to where we are today and why. 
To lead us on our journey we will use the book: Understanding World Societies, A Brief History, vol 1, first Edition from Bedford/St. Martin's Press. The book is sold from Edmap. Understanding World Histories is also available as an ebook from the publisher. If you purchase directly from the publisher, be sure you get the first edition of the book. In January 2015, a new edition is being released, which will surely be more expensive, though I doubt the content will be significantly different. 


History is a conversation about the past. This conversation takes place between readers and writers, and in this class you are both.  Sometimes that conversation will between classmates, and sometime between just you and I. As an online course, most conversation will take place in the weekly discussion forums, which include writing short weekly essays, and instructor and peer comments about what you are learning and your interpretations of the material. Also there will be a class presentation, and outside-of- class essay assignments that provide you with opportunity to delve deeper into different topics. There will also be vocabulary quizzes to help reinforce the terms used in the study of world history. 

Feedback that I give you on your work is not criticism of you, but a part of the conversation where you will learn more about the issue you are writing about, about writing clearly and effectively, and becoming the best student you can be.

Evaluation Criteria:

Over the course of the semester you will complete the following:
Weekly discussion forum posts consist of students answering questions posed by the instructor and fellow students--25%
Essay Exams --40%
A research-based presentation with related assignments including TILT quizzes--35%
Grading Note: 
Students are provided with direct feedback on their work in the discussion forums and in the comments section of the gradebook. It is very important that students routinely check the gradebook for comments that will help improve course work. 

Grading Criteria:

100 = (10)  

90-100 (9-10) A

80-89.5 (8) B

70-79.5 (7)  C

60-69.5  (6) D

below 60 ( 5 and below) F

A+ through A-: For any work to receive an "A," it must clearly be exceptional or outstanding work. The work must demonstrate keen insight and original thinking in which the student can draw conclusions about readings and ideas presented in class. Additionally, the A student is able to see and articulate relationships between societies and cultures that have directed the course of world civilizations across time.  All writing must not only demonstrate full understanding of the topic or issues addressed, but it must also provide a critical analysis of ideas and theses. In addition, an "A" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly and thoughtfully articulate his or her learning through writing.

B+ through B-: For any work to receive a "B," it must be good to excellent work. The work must demonstrate good comprehension and analysis, and attention to detail in readings. In addition, a "B" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly articulate his or her learning through writing.

C+ through C-: For any work to receive a "C," it must meet the expectations of the assignment. It must demonstrate  good comprehension  and attention to detail. In addition, a "C" grade reflects a student's ability to adequately articulate his or her learning through writing.

D+ through D-: For any work to receive a "D," it must marginally meet the expectations of the assignment. It demonstrates minimal comprehension and attention to detail. In addition, a "D" grade may reflect a student's difficulty in articulating his or her learning in writing.

F: Work that receives an "F" grade does not meet the expectations or objectives of the assignment. It demonstrates consistent problems with comprehension, organization, critical thinking, and supporting details. In addition, an "F" grade reflects a student's inability to articulate his or her learning in writing. Students are strongly urged to discuss this grade with their instructor and advisor.


Spring 2015 textbook data will be uploaded on January 5. We strongly suggest that you verify the information below with our online bookseller EdMap before purchasing textbooks from another vendor. If your course is at the Winooski center, check the UVM Bookstore for textbook and pricing information.

Understanding World Societies, Volume 1., ISBN: 9781457618734,    $101.14

Attendance Policy:

Full participation in all components of the course are mandatory. Attendance for the week is recorded with the college on Saturdays. Students who have not posted their weekly discussion questions to class by  Friday may be marked absent for the week.

Class Academic Honesty Policy

Students caught cheating or claiming any material as their own  that is not ( including copying directly from the textbooks), the assignment is awarded an F (0) and the student will receive a warning. If incidents of plagiarism happen a second time, the student will receive an F for the course and a Plagiarism report will be filed with the college. 

Faculty Contact Information:

Email Address:
Hiring Coordinator for this course: John Christensen -


''''Syllabus subject to change at Instructor's desecration. ''''

Syllabus for HIS 1111

Do the following each week of the semester

The class week begins on Tuesday. Check the weekly lesson block on or before Tuesday and review discussion forum critiques. 

The firat weekly question response assignment is due by 12:00 PM Noon on Friday.  Students will respond to questions available in the Discussion Forum. Students should plan to  write responses in the form of short (aprox 100-200 word) essays on one or two questions per week. 

Students who plan to complete most of their work on weekends will need to prepare for the Friday question responses the weekend before the Friday due dates.  

All comments and critiques to fellow students are due by Monday night. Students will provide detailed critiques (feedback) to other students on two questions other than those they answered. It is okay to give critiques to two question responses made by one student as long as the questions are different from those you answered. 

See Week 1 lesson block list for details on critiquing fellow student's work. 

Week 1—Introductions and Why Study History; Paleolithic and Neolithic Societies

             Complete assigned readings and answer questions listed in the discussion forum. You will do this every week unles otherwise noted. 


Week 2—First Civilizations  

Week 3—India—The Foundations of Society to 300 CE

Week 4—Classical China to 221 BCE      

Week 5—Greece 

Submit Research Topic and three general questions about what you want to learn as you conduct your research--Last day to post topic is March 2, 2015.

Week 6—Rome

Midterm Essays Due at the end of Week 6--March 9, 2015--See Essay questions in 0 block of the course page.  

Week 7—East Asia to 1400           

  If you have not yet done so, begin finding sources for your research presentation. You must consult with the embedded librarian on this. Each student is required to ask her at least one question about useful research appropriate sources. 

Week 8—Early Medieval Europe and West Asia:        

Week 9—Islam

Week 10—African Societies and Kingdoms: 1000 BCE-1500 CE        

Week 11—The Americas: 2500 BCE-1500 CE

Slide Outline due -April 13, 2015           

Week 12—Nomadic Societies of Central and Southern Asia

            Prepare PowerPoint presentation.

Week 13—Research PowerPoint presentations—Post on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 Week 14—Medieval Europe and the Renaissance          

Complete presentation reflection. Due Monday, May, 4, 2015

Week 15—Final Essays Due--questions available in course 0 block.

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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