World History 1102, Fall 2018

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2018-10-2 Discussion date foul-up I misdated the discussion Forums for this week. Thanks to two students who brought this to my attention. It has been fixed. I’ve extended the date for the discussion one day to allow a full five days of discussion. The time and date for the weekly assignment is unchanged. See you on the discusson boards.

2018-09-28 Disussion Grades Discussion grades are up to date as of today. I’m still catching up on your assignments. Please review the grading guidance on what makes a good post if you have questions. 90% of the posts are strong, with only a few lacking specific references to sources or orther discussants. Remember that you lowest two discussion grades are automatically dropped from your final grade calculation.

2018-09-19 Grades I’m catching up on grading this week. The grade book may get moved around, but what assignments are worth won’t change from the syllabus. A number of students haven’t filled out the “Get to Know Your Form.” If you don’t have credit for it, please fill it out here

2018-09-16 Making our discussions better

I’m grading discussions for weeks 1, 2, &3. You’ll note that each week is worth 3 points. Guidance on how I grade is below. Because I haven’t given guidance on how I grade in great detail, I’m grading “lightly” the first three weeks.

Those who write exceptional posts or post their first post by Tuesday night (and there are many) may receive a 3.1 out of 3.

Please respond to the first thread (whoever writes first) of the discussion. Creating your own thread breaks up the conversation into silos, and I’m hoping for more big-tent conversations.

The first line of the post prompt will always include how many times you must post to receive full credit. Please try to make our first post before Wednesday night at 8 p.m. to allow for a full discussion. Three posts in a row at 7:50 Friday night is a monologue, and doesn’t help your fellow students.

A “post” is a single entry in the discussion board. Two posts will require two separate entries. For everything in this class, doing the minimum earns a passing grade (a C). Discussion posts will be graded 1, 2, or 3.

A 3 indicates a well-considered post, written in complete sentences. It should reference both the weekly reading or image (specifically), as well as relate to other posts. A 3 entry will uses evidence to advance opinion in order to analyze or respond to someone else’s post. All posts should contain a minimum of four, well-considered and articulate sentences.

A 2 post has a strong point, but may not use the evidence or refer to other’s ideas. A 2 post may also be too short (a couple sentences) or too long (many rambling paragraphs) and lack a clear point. It may have a couple errors of usage, but not many.

A 1 post makes not a great deal of sense, but relates marginally to the topic at hand. It does not reference a specific source nor others’ posts. Quick “I think this is cool” or “what Fatima said” posts will typically earn a 1. As well, dropping in multiple posts right before the Friday deadline at 8 p.m. will earn a 1 as these are not contributing to a conversation, but merely offering short monologues for points.

Not posting earns a 0. I’ll grade as quickly as possible. Discussions will run from Monday until Friday night at 8 p.m. I’ll try to post subjects as early as possible even if the discussion board isn’t open yet.

Spell check your posts. It’s the little abc button in the bottom right. See it? Repeated failure to spellcheck or use of text language will earn lower discussion grades. You deserve a capital “I” not an “i.”

Most discussion posts will ask you to make an argument about a subject. An argument is an opinion based on evidence. This evidence comes from both primary and secondary sources, but also from your existing knowledge. For example, when arguing over the justice or injustice of a subject, you have an existing comparative model: modern U.S. and MN laws. Everything can’t be related to the present, but we don’t exist in vacuum. My best advice for useful and interesting discussion posts is: a. have confidence in yourself and your arguments. And b., be as clear as possible in your logic and your language. Historians are lawyers of the past: evidence and good judgment are our guides.

I participate in the discussions in different ways. Some weeks I chime in regularly, particularly with controversial subjects. Some weeks I’ll just ask questions to help move the discussion. Some weeks (rarely) I just assess and send private messages of encouragement to students.


One of your fellow students asked for guidance on how to email me. Here is a list of email guidelines. I’ve adapted it from a longer list of email guidelines created for the University of Minnesota. You guys are doing a great job of reaching out to me by email: keep it up.

2018-08-28 Thanks to the two of you who found the plagiarism tutorial link was broken. I’ve fixed it in both the schedule and the syllbus. For a brief video introduction to our course, please see here


Welcome to our course. This is where I’ll post any updates for our course. Please read this first to get started with our course.