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Web Schedule Fall 2018

Revision Date: 15-Nov-18

HIS-2070-VO01 - Vermont History

Synonym: 172958
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-04-2018 to 12-17-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-24-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-05-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Cynthia Bittinger | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration
This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
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:

Surveys the history of Vermont from early days to the present. Students explore political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of the history of the state.

Essential Objectives:

1. Describe Vermont's earliest inhabitants and the impact of European exploration and settlement in the region.
2. Explain the events and circumstances that led to Vermont's independence and admission into the Union.
3. Describe how Vermont's geography and climate affected the pattern of settlement and economic, social, and political development.
4. Compare and contrast Vermont's history to broad patterns of change in the region and the nation.
5. Evaluate the significance of ethnic and minority groups in Vermont.
6. Interpret the experience of Vermont women in different historical periods.
7. Analyze the significant historical factors that have influenced Vermont's present political, social and economic institutions.
8. Explore Vermont history utilizing local historical resources.
9. Identify frame of reference, unstated assumptions, facts, and hypotheses in assigned readings.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

Welcome to Vermont History!  I hope you are ready to contribute to the class since your background in Vermont is a key to a lively class.  Students in past classes have been farmers and underwater divers, they have been nurses and veterinarians, they have been 16 years old, and 75 years old.  All are welcome!  I have taught in face to face classes in Wilder for many years and taught many semesters online.  I was surprised that I have been able to get to know students online and that a few in each class travel to meet me and/or go to a museum or historical lecture. Learning opportunities include role playing (we build a hippie commune) and listening to radio commentaries.  The online environment increases our opportunities to learn since so much is now archived online, even Ethan Allen's writings.  In the fall, many historical societies have programs, museums are open and the Vermont Historical Society is open in Montpelier.  Let us find some extra credit opportunities for you to visit these important local resources. I also welcome student suggestions and provide a section for you to do that.
My background includes being the Executive Director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation in Plymouth, Vermont for 18 years.  This non-profit preserves the history of the 30th U.S. president, Calvin Coolidge.  I have diversified my work with research on the history of women, Native
Americans, and African Americans in Vermont.  I have written a book on First Lady Grace Coolidge from Burlington, Vermont. My book Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History was written for this course of study.  Students have used it for many semesters and given positive feedback.  I give talks on these topics for OSHER( the University of Vermont's classes for retired citizens), and for Road Scholar (academic classes for those over 55).  I am a commentator for Vermont Public Radio.  My resume includes a BA from Wheaton College (MA) and an MAT from Teachers College at Columbia University.
In our first class we will share our backgrounds. I strongly recommend a picture in your profile.  Since we are in the online environment, make an effort to explain where you are in your academic journey and  let us share reasons for taking the course and what you hope to learn.  My goal is to find topics and issues to engage and challenge you.
Reading for the course:  remember to read about your town and the state online or in printed newspapers.  I suggest The Valley News, The Rutland Herald,VTDigger, Seven Days, The Burlington Free Press and Vermont Woman.  I do write for Vermont Woman from time to time. Vermont is great for state issues. One textbook for the course is Jan Albers's book, Hands on the Land: a History of the Vermont Landscape.  The author writes an excellent history of geology, topography, and the environment.    I will add readings as part of the course.   I supplement the two  books with material from a tall bookshelf of books on Vermont history and my own research.


Forums are created where students have read the textbook and other assigned readings and demonstrate their knowledge.  They also interact with each other.  That is very important in online learning.  You are to participate in the class.  That means working with the class.  Since the class runs Tuesday to Monday night, submitting material in the last hour of Monday night is not considered class participation.  Posting earlier in the week and working with other students is very important.  Each week the assigned reading is described in the syllabus and in Moodle for the week. You may read ahead, but posting ahead is not a good idea.  It is like speaking to an empty classroom. Correct English in your posts is essential.  If you submit a post with incorrect words, we will have to just guess at what you are trying to say.  Read over your contributions and correct them.
Two papers, each with considerable student choice, but required components must be submitted in a timely way.  The course is timed so that the workload is spread out over the term. I recommend you back up your work and save it in a file.  Choose a topic for a paper and tell me your choice.  I can point out useful sources.  Students should understand resources, endnotes and how to summarize material.  They should incorporate primary sources.  A good short handbook is A Pocket Guide to Writing in History by Mary Lynn Rampolla.  Papers are based on research and show independent thought and reflection.
A quiz and a final exam are based on the essential objectives of the course.  Students demonstrate their mastery of the course with essay answers.  The essays follow a suggested format with an introductory paragraph, thesis statement, supporting evidence and conclusions.  Writing at the college level is important.
I do suggest extra credit opportunities to enrich the class.  Often they are lectures or museum visits.  I believe that seeing the actual artifacts brings history alive.  Also, going to places where history was made helps you understand the events so much better.

Evaluation Criteria:

45% class discussion
10% topic paper
10% quiz
15% town or state issue paper
20% final exam

Grading system:  Participation in the discussion forum will account for 45% of your grade.  Each week 3 points can be earned for your participation.  Three points for excellent work, 2 for good to very good responses, and 1 for adequate participation.  The more you post with quality contributions, the more credit you receive.  A good post shows knowledge and thought about the subject for the week.  An excellent post includes outside research and contributes websites for exploration. I have provided a sample post in the first week.  It should show critical thinking about the subject at hand. I encourage students to visit the class often during the week and post a response to the assignment in about 200 words.  A one sentence response wil not gain much credit.  Do respond to other students and try to build a discussion of the topic for the week.  As the instructor, I will encourage students with questions during the week to elicit more thought on the topic.  You should respond to my encouragement.

The week runs from Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. to Monday night at 9 p.m.  After Monday night, the week is closed.  Time management is key to online study.  Posts during the week help build discussions; posts on Sunday and Monday are important, but do not give students time to react. They are not conducive to class discussion. Excellent work should include correct grammar and English.  To sum up, cover the material we are discussing, write in a well-mannered way, post early, build on what other students write, and encourage others.   
Writing papers  and essays is important.  You learn to present a case with focus, a clear, central thesis and purpose.  Your research has given you insight into a topic.  You have a clear, logical progression of ideas and build an argument.  You have college-level vocabulary with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  You cite sources correctly. You must credit sources.  Use endnotes or footnotes or citations in the paper.  Where did you get the ideas?  What hard data proves your point?  You incorporate primary sources into your work.  You show critical thinking about the subject and do not just state facts or pull together material off the internet without re-writing it with your own input.  These papers and exams are to encourage reflection on the history you have studied and a drawing of conclusions about the subjects we have discussed.

Grading Criteria:

A and A-
For any work to receive an A (96-100) or A- (91-95), it must clearly be exceptional work, demonstrating keen insights and original thinking.  It must demonstrate a full understanding of the topic or issues addressed as well as provide effective critical analysis of the same.  Finally, an A or an A- also reflects the student's ability to clearly and effectively articulate his or her knowledge and understanding through writing and written participation in online discussions.  College level English is expected and the material should be free of typographical errors.

B+ through B-
For any work to receive a B+ (86-90), B (81-85), or B- (76-80), it must be good to excellent work, demonstrate strong comprehension, critical thinking, and consistent attention to detail.  It also must demonstrate a student's ability to acceptably articulate his or her knowledge through writing and written participation in online discussions.  College level English is expected and the material should be free of typographical errors.

C+ through C-
For any work to receive a C+(71-75), C(66-70), or C-(61-65), it must meet the expectations of the assignments and demonstrate solid comprehension, critical thinking and attention to detail.  A C student must adequately demonstrate the ability to articulate his or her learning through writing and participation in online discussions.  The work may have less than college level English.

D and D-
For any work to receive a D (56-60) or D- (50-55), it must marginally meet the expectations of the course, minimal comprehension, critical thinking and supporting details.  A D grade will also take into consideration a student's ability to adequately articulate his or her learning through writing and participation in online discussions.  The work may have less than college level English.

For any work that receives the F grade (below 49), it does not meet the objectives and expectations of this course.  It reflects consistent problems in comprehension, critical thinking and attention to detail.  The F grade also reflects minimal participation in online discussions.


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: Cynthia Bittinger
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Laura Rubenis

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance at an online class is the secret of success.  Staying with the course by reading and discussing the material is important.  Remember to think about adequate time for the course.  A face to face class lasts 3 hours and preparation may be an additional 3 hours or more.  Missing three classes or three weeks means a non-satisfactory grade.  Not turning in papers or not taking the two exams means a non-satisfactory grade.Each paper and quiz has deadlines.  Not adhering to deadlines shows a lack of concern for the course and less credit will be given for that work.
Each week, a student is expected to read the sections of the textbook assigned and any other reading material before proceeding to the Discussion Forums so they know the work to be done.  Considerable reading may be required before a student can contribute a comment.  Our class runs from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 9 p.m. the next Monday, but attendance is taken at noon on Sunday.  Failure to participate before noon on Sunday is considered an absence. CCV has this as a requirement.  However, work can be done up to Monday night if necessary before the week is closed for credit.
If a student knows of a problem in attendance due to an extraordinary circumstance or an emergency, he or she should contact the instructor by email or phone.  Letting the instructor know about this in advance is a good practice.  Making up the class is a good plan.  Making up work in prior classes can be done up to two weeks afterward in email to the instructor for minimal credit.


''Week 1: Sept. 4-10''

Assigned reading: Albers, Jan, Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape, foreword, introduction and Chapter 1.Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History, Introduction to page 31.  If you do not have a textbook, the instructor will provide part of her book online.  However, when you do receive the books, please read the assigned sections.


Class focus: introduction by each student with their goals; understanding Vermont's regions, archeological remains and the Abenaki world. Using the skill of summarizing large amounts of reading.

'''Week 2: Sept. 11-17'''

Assigned reading: Albers, Chapter 2 to page 88.

Class focus: Understanding historical research and studying the settlement patterns in early Vermont. 

Choose a topic on why Vermont is so special (description provided).  Paper is due in week 6, Oct. 9-15.  However, a choice of topic and summary paragraph is due in week 4: Sept. 25-Oct. 1.Drafts may be submitted up to four days before the due date.  The paper is 10% of your grade and includes the use of a primary source.  Sources are documented.  The length is three pages.  Students often write more.  The paper is helpful in comparing Vermont to other states, seeing the significance of ethnic and minority group in Vermont, and seeing what historical factors made Vermont's present institutions.

''Week 3:Sept. 18-24''

Assigned readings: Albers, pages 88-96.  Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History, pages 31-40 and narrative accounts on the internet or at the library.

Class focus: Understanding the meaning of frame of reference, unstated assumptions, and point of view looking at primary sources.

'''Week 4: Sept. 25-Oct. 1''

Assigned reading: Albers, pages 96-125 and materials on the internet.  Paragraph due on the subject of the topic paper, 2 points toward the 10 points.

Class focus: the Vermont Constitution and the Republic of Vermont.  Students will read the first draft of the state constitution and research why is was such a radical document for its time period.  They will then suggest changes to modernize it.  Students will study the Republic of Vermont with its goal of wanting to be the 14th state.  They will also consider a Second Vermont Republic in today's times.

''Week 5: Oct. 2-8''

Assigned reading: Albers, Chapter 3, pages 126-166.

Class focus: Vermont's Hay Day or Growth Period.  What economic and political factors brought about this growth?

''Week 6:Oct. 9-15''

Assigned reading: Albers pages 166-195, and Civil War letters on the internet or from a repository

Class focus: Vermont's participation in the Civil War and the homefront.  Topic Paper due by the end of the week.

'''Week 7: Oct. 16-22''

Assigned reading: Albers, Chapter 4 to page 242.  Mid term evaluations by your instructor.

Class Focus: George Perkins Marsh and the environment and economic development. Mid term quiz.  This is based on the essential objectives with essay answers and counts for 10% of your grade.  Questions will be provided all week.

''Week 8: Oct. 23-29''

Assigned reading: Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History, Part II

Class focus: Evaluate the significance of ethnic and minority groups in Vermont.

'''Week 9: Oct. 30-Nov. 5.''

Assigned reading: Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History, Part III and Part I pages 40-50.

Class focus: women's history and the significance of ethnic and minority groups in Vermont

Town or state issue paper to be completed by week 13, Nov. 27-Dec. 3. Submit your topic in advance to the instructor for approval and suggestions.  Drafts are accepted up to 4 days before the due date.  This is a thesis paper which demonstrates your ability to present a point of view.  This paper is worth 15% of your grade and should be 5 or more pages.  It should show research and original thinking.  Topics in the past have included the need for affordable housing,legalizing marijuana,  health care,gun safety, zoning, the environment and planning.  You should demonstrate your knowledge of the history of this topic as well. Footnotes or endnotes and bibliography are included.


''Week 10: Nov. 6-12''

Assigned reading: Albers, Chapter 4: pages 242-267, internet sources

Class focus: town meetings and the flood of 1927, World War II stories.

''Week 11: Nov. 13-19''

Assigned reading: Albers, Chapter 5 to page 304, internet sources and instructor notes

Class Focus: the Republican Party, George Aiken and World War II

'''Week 12: Nov. 20-26'''

Assigned reading: Albers, page 304 to the end of the book, and internet sources

Class focus: hippie communes, the reapportionment of the legislature, the growth of the Democratic Party

''Week 13: Nov. 27-Dec. 3''

Assigned reading: instructor notes and sources

Class focus: the making of modern Vermont and review for the final exam.  What factors produced what we see today on the landscape?

Town or state issue papers due.

''Week 14: Dec. 4-10"'

Assigned reading: student papers

Class focus: current issues in Vermont.  Students contribute their papers and lead the class discussion.

Final exam: essay questions for 1.5 hours.  The exam consists of two out of seven essay questions based on the essential objectives of the course.  This is worth 20% of your grade.

''Week 15: Dec. 11-17''

Assigned reading: internet sources

Class focus: the future of Vermont.  What can we learn from past history and current concerns?

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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