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Web Schedule Summer 2014

Revision Date: 16-Apr-14

HIS-1111-VO01 - World History I

Synonym: 121440
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 05-20-2014 to 08-11-2014
Faculty: Paul D'Amboise | View Faculty Credentials
Faculty Email:
Materials/Lab Fees: $0

Course Description:

An introduction to the world's major civilizations: Ancient Mediterranean (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Greece, Rome), European, South Asian (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), East Asian (China, Korea and Japan), African, Islamic, and Meso-American from their origins to the time of the global expansion of European civilization.

Essential Objectives:

1. Describe the emergence of Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, and selected Neolithic cultures.
2. Analyze the cultures of classical China, India, Persia, Greece, and Rome in terms of their similarities and differences.
3. Describe the rise and spread of Islam and its impact on the areas of Europe, Africa, and Middle and Far East where it took hold.
4. Examine the centers of civilization in the Americas and Africa, and assess the factors involved in the decline of these societies.
5. Identify the new ideas and world views that characterized the Renaissance and evaluate their effect on European and non-European cultures.
6. Survey the variety of ideological and religious expressions found in the major global culture areas and describe the impact of missionary efforts in and on these cultures.
7. Identify the key factors behind the development of European hegemony.
8. Discuss the roles of women in the various cultures and periods studied.
9. Identify on world maps the locations of the key civilizations surveyed in the course.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:


My name is Paul D'Amboise and I've been asked to teach World History I this summer and I very much look forward to teaching it again (I have taught its companion, World History II a few times, as well as Western Civilization I and Modern World History for CCV, so it is not entirely unfamiliar ground).    The vast scope of the topic, as defined in the course title, favours an asymmetrical approach in order to make the material manageable.  So while the text covers a number of issues in depth, the essay assignment will allow you to explore issues that do not necessarily receive a close examination in the weekly discussions.

For the text, I have chosen Robert W. Strayer's Ways of the World: A Brief Global History (with Sources) Vol. 1--To 1500.  It provides a balanced approach to a subject of such breadth and includes a good dose of recent scholarship (something not always present in broad survey texts of this nature) as well as a finely edited collection of source material relating to each chapter. I have used Vol. 2 a few times already and have found it effective.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with how online classes work, let me tell you a bit about how I've run mine. I started teaching at CCV in June 2005 and have taught every semester since then. Prior to that, I'd never taught (or taken) an online course and while I think I'm getting better at it, I still discover new elements of the online education environment each term.

Each of my online classes, regardless of the subject, has relied heavily on weekly discussions. Each week will have three main tasks for you to perform. They are described in greater detail further below under Evaluation Criteria. For this term, I have decided to try a new approach with respect to assignment questions as the textbook includes significant primary source material. The main chapter reading will be the source of material for the discussion board portion of the course (wherein the questions will be student generated and I will moderate/participate in various student generated threads) and the supplemental primary source material will serve as the basis of the weekly assignments. It is something of a departure for me as I usually generate my own discussion questions, in large part because many of the books I use do not include questions of any kind or have exercises I do not find compelling. However, I have found that Strayer poses very good questions and am willing to try them out.

With respect to weekly assignments, please keep the following in mind. The bulk of the marks are found in the weekly work. Doing the bare minimum—submitting each task—does not guarantee a passing mark for the week (though it will earn you a minimum of 3/6 points for that week—omitting one of the three tasks means you will earn below 3/6 for that week). The quality of your posts has an influence on your mark as well. Generally, students who do the reading and do the three tasks each week pass the course without difficulty (presuming they also do reasonably well on the final). Aiming for a B-range or an A-range mark, however, requires doing more than just the minimum. Asking open questions that foster discussion, interacting with fellow students more than once, addressing any follow-up questions that might be asked of you—these are the ways to enhance your marks. I do not have a strict "post every day" rule but I do have specific deadlines for each task. Failing to meet the various deadlines will have negative consequences on your overall marks. 

I will update the general syllabus in a short while.  There may be some minor changes and/or additions before the opening week of the course, but, in the main, it will represent the nature of the course pretty well. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact me at my email address: and I will be happy to respond.

I look forward to “seeing” you in May.


P.S. As there is currently a technical problem with my ability to edit syllabus items, a document in the Moodle portal for the course will provide you with a syllabus. It will be located in the News Forum area, at the top of the main Moodle page for the course. If you have questions, please let me know via email.


  • Assigned readings from the text
  • Answering one of the weekly discussion questions from the instructor
  • Asking a question of the class
  • Answering at least one fellow student's question
  • Final essay

Evaluation Criteria:

Each week will have three main tasks for you to perform. They are as follows:

  1. Answer assignment questions from the Strayer text—450 word minimum. (worth up to 3 pts)
  2. Ask a question of the class (at least one). (worth up to 1 pt)
  3. Answer a fellow student’s question (at least one). (worth up to 1 pts)

There are six available points per week (3 + 1 + 1) for a total of 60 points (5 pts x 12 discussions)

  • The first task needs to be completed by 11:55PM on Mondays (the classes run Tuesdays 12:00AM to Mondays at 11:55PM). No extensions without a viable reason (doctor’s note, death in the family, etc.)
  • The second task must be finished by 11:55PM on Fridays.
  • The third task must be finished by 11:55PM on Sundays.

Penalties for late work are as follows:

  • Question to the class posted after the Friday deadline: 1 pt deduction.
  • First response to student after the Sunday deadline: 1 pt deduction. (any other responses can be made after the Sunday deadline without penalty)

Answers to assignment questions are to be posted in the appropriate area in Moodle. Student questions to the class and student responses to those questions will be posted in the discussion forum, also in Moodle, each week.

The final 40 points can be earned in the final assignment (35 points for the body of the text, 5 points for clarity of writing and proper academic formatting—bibliography, correct source citation, etc.). The details of the final assignment will be announced later in the term.

The final breakdown of points and assignments is as follows:

  • Weekly assignment and discussion forum: 5 pts/week for 60 points.
  • Final assignment: 40 pts.

Total pts: 100

Grading Criteria:

A+ through A-: For any work to receive an "A," it must clearly be exceptional or outstanding work. It must demonstrate keen insight and original thinking. It must not only demonstrate full understanding of the topic or issues addressed, but it must also provide a critical analysis of these. In addition, an "A" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly and thoughtfully articulate his or her learning.

B+ through B-: For any work to receive a "B," it must be good to excellent work. It must demonstrate strong originality, comprehension, critical thinking, and attention to detail. In addition, a "B" grade reflects a student's ability to clearly articulate his or her learning.

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

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

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. Students are strongly urged to discuss this grade with their instructor and advisor.

P: indicates satisfactory completion of course objectives (C- or better).

A+ = 99 to 100 points
A = 92 to 98 points
A- = 90 to 91 points
B+ = 88 to 89 points
B = 82 to 87 points
B- = 80 to 81 points
C+ = 78 to 79 points
C = 72 to 77 points
C- = 70 to 71 points
D = 60 to 69 points
F = 0 to 59 points


Summer 2014 textbook data will be uploaded on May 2. 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.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance in this class consists of posting in the discussion groups on a weekly basis.  Failure to post in any particular week will result in a zero for that week.  Moreover, there are NO makeup assignments for missed weeks unless you have a compelling reason (medical issue, funeral) that can be verified.

Faculty Contact Information:

Email Address:

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.

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