History 1101: World History from Prehistory to 1400 with Jack Norton
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” Wendell Berry
“Learning is always rebellion . . . Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before.” Margaret Lee Runbeck
Welcome to World History. We will be doing what is called digital
history for our course. That is, we will study the past by using
computing technologies (mostly webpages) to create digital projects. I
assume you are able to operate a computer (turn it on, open a browser)
and no more.
There are no prerequisites for this course, and you do not need any
specialized knowledge. The class will be taught in English, with
occasional cheesy jokes and mild vulgarities in Spanish.
I want you to learn about the past, learn new skills about how to analyze and present about the past, and learn new ways of how to learn (called metacongition). The learning goals (or outcomes, fit in these three groups. The goals for this course are below. I may sometimes call these learning outcomes, or the stuff I want you to be able to do by the end of this course.
- Correctly identify major geographic features of the world and explain how geography shapes ideas, human organization, material culture, and gender.
Write effective historical prose in different genres, such as blogs, historical analyses, and social media.
Identify and effectively use primary and secondary historical sources for building digital projects.
Analyze historical sources, including websites, videos, and journal articles, for their credibility.
Demonstrate the ability to research, evaluate, and present historical material.
Develop strategies for advancing your learning skills, such as effective reading, writing, acquiring new digital skills and critically analyzing historical sources.
Recognize how to apply skills used in this class outside of the academic setting.
Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of acquiring, using, and presenting historical sources, as articulated by both professional organizations and historical subjects.
- A computer or access to a computer that has multiple browsers.
Tablets and smart phones will not work for most work we do in
High-speed internet connection. You do not need to have home access-
you can use Normandale’s computers. For a map of public free wifi
spots, see here.
Yeah, that’s right, this course has \$0 textbook costs. Tell your friends.
Contact Information – Jack Norton
Office Phone: 952-358-8911.
Cell Phone: 612-208-3723 – Please do not send me text messages. No calls
after 7 p.m.
Email is the best way to reach me. I respond to emails and calls within 24-36 hours Monday-Friday (most of the time much faster). On weekends I respond by Sunday evening.
Office: Fine Arts Building, F 2204 (In the little hallway connecting
Science and College Services) of this map.
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 am – noon. Monday, 2-3 online office hour. Also, by appointment: we can always set up a time to
chat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by phone or video (skype google+, facetime).
Attendance- Attendance is required! You need to check in with our
course regularly throughout the week. In my face-to-face courses I take attendance. For online courses, I expect you to read, post, and otherwise contribute to D2L at least five times a week. The course grades are set up to reward students who keep up and penalize students who do not. For example, there are no make-up quizzes or discussions, no exceptions.
As an incentive for regular attendance, online-only students who turn in all
their assignments on-time, and miss no discussions or quizzes, will earn
a bonus of 4% on their final grade. the same bonus is available to face-to-face students who have no absences for the entire semester.
|Grades Items||Weighted Percentage|
|Discussions(Online)/ Response Documents (F2F)||22%|
E-Learning- What you need to know– You must use your student email
for all emails to me. Despite the digital methods of this history course, this is NOT a learn at your own pace course. The due dates for assignments are hard (Fridays at 8 p.m.) and discussion boards close at the same time (for online classes). Online-only education allows you to learn without coming to campus, but it is in fact a more demanding form of college. Online-only students need to be a reasonably skilled keyboardists and comfortable with computer technology. If the words upload, download, convert to pdf, or “As Jon mentioned in his post on religion. . . ” are foreign to you, an online-only course might not be the course for you. I want you to succeed, which is why I want you to be honest with yourself about your abilities. Face-to-face courses let me offer real-time support and are generally easier (or so report my students).
For all my students, to succeed in this course you will need to:
- Turn on a computer and open a browser.
Watch streaming video from pgs.org and other websites.
Navigate the Normandale Library website successfully.
Spell check everything.
For face-to-face students, you need to be able to:
- Download and install software on your computer.
Recognize that written communication requires more careful word choice than oral communication. For example, sarcastic comments don’t work because you can’t read sarcasm, only hear it.
If you need technology help, you may call our IT help desk at
952-358-8181. Even better, ask them a question on Normandale’s “Ask
Us” page, which will help
track your request.
Late Work- Assignments are due by the 8 p.m. on Friday for the week
of the assignment listed in the course calendar. Assignments handed in
late are penalized 15 points. Late work may be handed in until the D2L
Assignment Submission Folder for late work closes, the penultimate week of class. Quizzes, in-class responses, and discussions may not be made up.
Reading and Writing- This is a reading and writing-intensive course.
You will read up to 75 pages a week and write at least 16 pages of
typed, doubled-spaced pages of text. Writing guidelines for each
assignment will be discussed in course and included on the assignment.
All work will be written in plain text in the Markdown syntax. When it comes to formatting your own writing, I assume you know how to turn on a computer, and open a web browser. Everything else I will teach you how to do with careful instructions and diligent follow-ups.
Grading- Written work, unless otherwise noted, will be graded
according to a rubric (a grading chart,) which will be posted at the
time of the assignment. If you are struggling with any assignments,
please do not suffer in silence. Make an appointment with me so that we
can address your questions. I succeed when you succeed.
Students in this course will adhere to the rules of Normandale Community
College’s Code of Conduct. Such rules prohibit plagiarizing other’s work
(taking credit for someone else’s work or stealing work from the web)
and creating a hostile academic environment for students or staff. Refer
to your student handbook for the full Student Code of Conduct or see:
http://catalog.normandale.edu/398.htm . We will work through how to
properly cite material during the semester. Please be aware that the
penalty for plagiarism is failure of the assignment, then possibly the
course, and possibly dismissal from the College.
For a plagiarism tutorial and how to avoid plagiarism, see
Writing Resource- You are encouraged to use Normandale’s Writing
Center as you create and rewrite your assignments. It is located in the
central hallway between College Services and Fine Arts buildings (the
old bookstore) All good writers revise their work. Writing tutors can
help you at any stage of writing.
(Under “Resources on your D2L homepage) also has free, online writing
Automatic bonus points: all writing assignments worth more than 5% of
the grade submitted to Smart Thinking or that have been reviewed by the
Writing Center receive an automatic 2 points bonus.
Normandale provides a broad range of support services for you. I
strongly encourage you to use these resources as past student experience
shows that students who use support services succeed.
- Counseling- This department, located at the front of the College Services building provides personal counseling and can refer you to community services. For your mental health, they are there, including if you need an emergency mental health session. 952-358-8261.
Academic Advising- This department can help you chose classes, an emphasis, plan for your transfer to a four-year college, and offer career advice.
Veterans Resource Center- a one-stop shop for information and support. 952-358-8501
Tutoring Center- Houses the writing tutors along with math, science, logic, reading and EAP tutors. Free and walk-in hours. 952-358-8830
Child Care- Learning Tree
Development Center offer child care at Normandale. The rates are
decent and their flexible with schedules. Professors send their kids
here too. 952-358-8613
Office for Students with Disabilities-I welcome all students to this class, regardless of disability. Those students with disabilities or other special needs that require accommodation should talk with me in the first week of course.
Students should also call the Office for Students with Disabilities
at 952-487-7035 (952-487-7032 TTY). Students must be registered
with the Office for Students with Disabilities to receive
special accommodation. This syllabus is available in
Success box: I have the following items available to students who
are facing economic hardship and need a bit of help: snack bars,
juice, soda, vegetable juice, toothpaste and brush, soap, shampoo,
and deodorant. The items are in my office and I or the secretary who
sits outside my door can help you to them, no questions asked.
If you have a student in your home who qualifies for free lunches,
your household qualifies for a low-cost (\$10/month) internet
connection from Comcast. See here for details.
The bathrooms in the lower-level of the Koop Student Center have
showers, which can be used any time the Student Center is open.
###Why is are my grades on D2L but most of the course material is on jacknorton.org?###
Changes will be announced on our course website.
I reserve the right to amend this syllabus to better facilitate
students’ learning. Changes to the syllabus (if any) will be announced
in the news section and a new syllabus will be posted on the class
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