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Web Schedule Fall 2018

Revision Date: 09-Jul-18

HIS-1111-VO01Y - World History I

Synonym: 179357
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Accelerated Section: This course has special meeting dates and times. See comments below or consult VSC Web Services - Search for Sections in the VSC portal for specific dates and times. If you have any questions call the site office offering the course.
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 10-30-2018 to 12-17-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 11-08-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-27-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: John Ryan | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration
This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
Global Perspective/Sustainability
Human Behavior
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

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.




From time to time, short video clips will be used in this course, in addition to the textbook materials. If you have a particularly slow modem at home, you will need to set aside some time for viewing them at a CCV site near you or at any local place that has internet access.

Online discussion counts for 40 percent of your grade, the -primary sources essay is 15 percent the and the final exam is 25 percent.  Also, participation counts for 20 percent of your grade, and will be evaluated at the end of the semester.

Discussion Board 

For detailed information on the expectations and criteria for the discussion boards, please see the "EVALUATION" section of this course description.

Writing Assignments

There are two assignments at various times in the course - a primary sources excercise, and a final essay. 

They are submitted through Turnitin in Moodle, and late submissions will not be accepted.



Evaluation Criteria:


1. Weekly participation in discussion forum. Please do your best to do this in a timely manner. Considering the abbreviated nature of this class, it is even more important. When people wait to chime in at the end of the discussion week, it leaves little time for real engagement, with the next discussion right around the corner.

2. Completion of all readings, questions, assignments and exams/essays

Having taken many online courses of wildly varying quality throughout the path of my own education, it's been my experience that the best online courses are ones where we challenge each other and meaningfully interact with each other.  I'm looking for your answers to not just regurgitate the text, but for you to demonstrate critical thinking and a comprehension of the material at hand.

When we all participate, we learn from each other. I will have an active presence in the discussion, and expect the same of students. It is important that you understand the grading criteria for discussion.  Although I will be reading your posts almost every day, often I will try to let the class get the discussion going and then chime in more as the week progresses, so I will not usually post every day. Often, the best discussions take place when the students themselves guide and participate. I will chime in when necessary and appropriate.

I will usually check in, at the very minimum, at the beginning of the week, before and after the weekend, and at the end of the week, but often, it will be more than that, as time allows.

The discussion questions will, for the most part, be based on the week’s reading, although from time to time, it may involve doing a bit of research outside of the textbook and supplied readings.

Discussion Rubric

One of the benefits of online classes is it allows us to attend classes on our own schedule, and I recognize that we all have busy and diverse schedules.  Nevertheless, it is important that you do not wait until the last minute to post to the discussion group.  If your initial posts are all posted on the weekend or Monday morning, they don’t give your classmates much time to respond, as many will have already started working on next week’s assignment, so those of you who choose to do everything last minute will have that reflected in the weekly grade.  If you were participating in a face-to-face classroom, you’d be there for three hours a week. You should put the same amount of time into your online forum.

Because of the abbreviated nature of this class, you have twice as much work to do. You will have two discussion forums each week, instead of one, and you must have your discussion posts completed by midnight of Thursday in both forums to have a chance at the highest grade possible.

Basically, unless otherwise stated, your discussion forum assignment consists of the following:

1. Answer one of the discussion questions – In most weeks, I will give you a choice of discussion questions to choose from, covering various aspects of the week’s topic. Answer one of them with a short essay response, generally at least 200 to 300 words, minimum. Ideally, your post will demonstrate that you understand the material, and that you can demonstrate critical thinking in your response. It should also, if possible, explore angles that challenge your own and your classmates thinking, and perhaps adds to the discussion in addition to what the texts covered. If the question requires you to find some information about something, don't simply paste what you've found - put it in your own words and add some of your insights to it, too.

2. Ask a question of your classmates -  In that same post, at the bottom of your post (in another paragraph), ask a question to your classmates about the material. It could refer to something you discussed in your post, anything covered in the week’s materials, or something that wasn’t but you feel is relevant to the topic.


It is important that you participate in the discussions on a regular basis. I will be evaluating your participation at the mid and end points of the semester. To get a good participation grade, this is generally what is expected of you:

1.      Obviously, first and foremost, post your discussion assignment. You should respond to at least one question from your classmates, and at least two discussion posts from your classmates. So, including your discussion assignment, that’s a 5 post minimum, if you want to get in to the "A" zone (and also, of course, the quality of your posts matters).

Your first-half participation grades, with, along with the second-half, count for 20 percent of your over all grade. 


Average of 5 posts a week - 95


4 posts - 85


3 posts - 75


2 posts - 65


And I adjust accordingly for ranges in between, as well as for those of you who go above and beyond.

2 . You should try to participate on at least three separate days during the week.

3.   Your postings should be of substance. Posts such as “I agree!” or “That’s great!”, with no further explanation, although well-meaning, will not count towards your participation. There is more in the Questions section below on what constitutes posts of substance.

The “week” runs from Tuesday until Monday, ending at midnight.  No points will be given for anything posted after the next week starts. If you know you are not going to be able to participate in an upcoming week as much as usual, at the very least, post your discussion assignment/question in advance.

 Do not post all of your work on one day and refrain from the class for the rest of the week. Another important thing: often, I, or sometimes another student will follow up your post with another question. Be sure to answer those follow-up questions. Check in periodically to see if anyone has asked you a follow-up question.

Some important questions you may have about the forums

How do I post?

When you go into the week’s discussion, you’ll see the instructions and the discussion assignment. Below that, you’ll see two or more “threads”, usually one labeled “Discussion Assignment” and one that says “Thoughts on this week’s readings”, although from time to time there may be additional threads. Click on the thread you want to post in – do not click “add new discussion topic”, and then click “reply” to whatever it is you want to post to. If it’s your initial discussion post, you will want to reply to my initial post at the top that tells you this is where you post your discussion assignment.

Also, the discussions can get rather lengthy. One of the best ways to follow things is to make sure in your headings to your posts, you’re specific:

“Bill’s Discussion Question”

“Sarah’s response to John”

…. and so on.

What makes a good question for your classmates?

A good question for your classmates is one that, of course, will further the discussion and force them (and the instructor!) to think critically and challenge them.  Questions that also ask for a clarification of something you read are okay, too, just be sure that it’s not something simple that you overlooked, but you should post those as a separate post and not as your question to the classmates.

Very general questions, or questions that are too broad should be avoided, as well as questions that are only tangentially related to the subject at hand, and questions that can be easily answered by looking at the week’s materials. Also, please don't ask a question that is essentially one of the discussion questions for the week, or can be simply answered by a 'yes or no'.

What makes a good response to a classmate’s discussion assignment?


Actually, it’s more or less the same as what makes a good question for your classmates. Perhaps comment on a similar connection in their post to something you have learned. Make an observation on what they posted that puts it in a different light. Or, ask them a question that might have them dig even deeper into the topic, or perhaps have them see it from a different perspective. There are many ways that you can go at it, but go deep! Challenge yourself, and challenge your classmates.

What are “Thoughts on this week’s readings” and the other forum posts the instructor sometimes posts?

Most times, there will be another discussion thread, called “Thoughts on this week’s readings.” This is an open forum where you can post anything about what we studied that week… observations, criticisms, questions, rantings, whatever. Sometimes, if I see a current story that relates to our week’s subject, I will put up another thread with a link to the story. Your participation in both of these kinds of discussions are optional, but if you do, it will count towards your participation, and will help you grade, provided you’ve completed the required part of the discussion. And regardless, it enhances the learning experience by taking the conversation in another direction.

How, exactly, do you calculate the grade?


A good deal of your grade is based on your initial discussion post/question. However, I do take into account your other postings in the forum, and how well they further the discussion. I have the grading set up so it can average the ratings of posts, as this gives me more flexibility. Let's say that your initial discussion post/question was a bit weak, but you participated really well in the forums, with some meaningful contributions. If something like that happens, I will rate the subsequent posts a bit higher, which will bring up your forum grade. I won't rate every post, and in many cases, if you've posted a strong discussion post with good contributions to the discussion in your other posts, I will only rate the initial posts. Also, in the rare occasion that you post a good discussion post, but your subsequent posts are very weak, I may rate some of those posts a bit lower.

Please read and understand the following criteria for online discussion, so you can gauge what it takes to get a desired grade.

A Discussion (90 - 100 points) –

A-level postings...

are made in a timely fashion, giving others an opportunity to respond

are thoughtful, and analyze the content or question asked

make connections to other content and real-life situations

extend discussions already taking place, or pose new possibilities or opinions not previously voiced

will sometimes use additional external research

asks challenging, well-thought out questions of classmates

responds to classmates with detailed answers that contribute to the overall knowledge of the class

B Discussion (80 - 89) -

B-level postings...

are made in a timely fashion, giving others an opportunity to respond

are thoughtful, and analyze the content or question asked

make connections to previous or current content or to real-life situations, but the connections are unclear, not firmly established or are not obvious

contain novel ideas, connections, and/or real-world applications, but they may lack depth, detail and/or explanation

asks intermediate question of classmates

responds to classmates with appropriate but not detailed answers

C Discussion (70- 79) -

C-level postings...

are usually, but not always, made in a timely fashion

are generally accurate, but the actual information they deliver seems thin and commonplace

make limited, vague connections between class readings and postings by other students

contain few novel ideas, reflecting what other students have already posted, and what class readings clearly articulate

asks very general, simple questions of classmates, and provides general, simple responses

D-F Discussion (0 - 69)

D & F-level postings...

are not made in a timely fashion, if at all, keeping other students from reading and responding

are rudimentary and superficial, lacking any degree of analysis or critique

contribute no novel ideas, connections, or real-world applications

may be completely off topic

does not meet at least the minimum three postings

If, at any time, you are unclear about the expectations outlined above, please don’t hesitate to contact me by e-mail immediately at  Thank you.




Fall 2018 textbook data will be available on June 4. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

The last day to use a Financial Aid advance to purchase textbooks is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Contact Faculty:

Email: John Ryan
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Laura Rubenis

Notes: The best way to contact me is at

Attendance Policy:

 No more than three unecxused missed forums will be tolerated, due to the accelerated format of the class. It is the equivalent of missing three weeks of a full-length class.



Syllabus: World History 1 – HIS 1111 – John Ryan

Every week, due to the abbreviated nature of this class,  there are two discussion forums to participate in, where you will be graded on the quality of your posts. There is also a participation grade that is calculated at the middle and the end of the semester, and there is a final, as well as a short research assignment about primary sources.

Week 1

1.      Read all of the documents in the Important Course Documents folder at the top of the page. Also familiarize yourself with what is in the Important course resources/links page, so you know what is available. Be sure to read ON PARTICIPATION, too.

2.      Read Week 1: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2.

3.      Read Chapter 1: Becoming Human, and Chapter 2: Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500-2000 BCE in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.

4.      Post your introduction and your discussion post/question and your discussion forum posts for in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts, over the course of the week.

5.      Lastly, you have an assignment due at the end of week 5, where you will analyze a primary source. All of the instructions and resources for this are at the bottom of this week's section. DO NOT put this off until the last minute. If you're unsure of anything int the instructions, please let me know by leaving a question in the QUESTIONS FOR INSTRUCTOR forum.

Week 2

  1. Read Week 2: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2.
  2. Read Chapter 3: Nomads, territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000-1200 BCE, and Chapter 4: First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.
  3. Please fill out the provided feedback survey, which I will find very helpful. Please note, this is anonymous, and is wholly my creation, not something produced by CCV.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts, over the course of the week.


Week 3

1.      Read Week 3: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2.

2.      Read Chapter 5: Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000-350 BCE, and  Chapter 6: Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350--100 BCE in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.

3.      Post your discussion post/question in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts

Week 4

  1. Read Week 4: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2
  2. Read Chapter 7: Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 BCE - 300 CE, and  Chapter 8: The Rise of Universal Religions, 300-600 CE in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.
  3. Post your discussion post/question in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.


Week 5

  1. Read Week 5: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2
  2. Read Chapter 9: New Empires and Common Cultures, 600-1000 CE, and Chapter 10: Becoming the World in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.
  3. Post your discussion post/question in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  4. Your PRIMARY SOURCES ASSIGNMENT, which you learned about in our first week, is due by midnight of Sunday. No late papers will be accepted.


Week 6

  1. Read Week 6: Things you should know, parts 1 and 2.
  2. Read Chapter 11: Crisis and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300-1500in your text, as well as view all materials in the required section.
  3. Post your discussion post/question in your respective group by midnight of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  4. Please note, there is only one chapter and one forum, this week.


Week 7

Well, we've made it to the end! There are no more readings this week, and no discussion forum, but I did set up a forum for you to share any final thoughts you have about the class. Your exam is due by midnight of Sunday, no exceptions. Read the instructions thoroughly, and if you have any questions, please post them in the QUESTIONS FOR INSTRUCTOR forum at the top of the class page.

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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