World History 1 (1101-01) – Online – Spring 2023

Syllabus - Weekly Schedule - Discord - Home - D2L - Assignment Files

2023-01-25, 16:21 Prepare Reviewed

Well-answered by most students. Oddly, many did not include the Indus River as in their answer to important Indian rivers. Good luck with your projects.

2023-01-25, 13:20 Money, Transfer Credits, and Hair as Art

Normandale has many scholarships available and this is the season to apply for next fall. In addition, there are two scholarships named after David B Jones that are open right now only until February 1st. One is for Native Americans (remember, for you or tell a friend) and another for low-income, students of color, or first generation students.

Students that transfer to other colleges often wonder if how their credits will be accepted. The website Transferology lets you input your courses and then add potential colleges to see how they transfer.

Finally, with historical art, consider how art can serve as an assertion of personhood. Functionally, people say "I'm here" in their art. This is especially the case with hair, which is everyday, but also used to express identity, and often policed by others. Consider this week's source in which a woman wears a crown over her long hair, or this Egyptian piece in which one woman does another woman's hair. Judging people by their hair is not new.

2023-01-23 Art Analysis

Thinking about art in history requires us to reflect on what art means to us today. Why do you make art? Why do you use it?

Consider the Seated Figured of Çatalhöyük of around 7000 BCE.

This sculpture is one of the earliest sculptures in existence, but we know very little of the society that produced it. Was this a religious figure, art of domestic contemplation, a governmental figure?

As you consider historical art, be sure to apply the question in the Historical Thinking Chart in this week's readings.

2023-01-20, 16:05 Grades and Next Week

Note that I only give a zero for work that I cannot see. If you've written anything, including "I'm so tired I couldn't do this work," I'll give you some points. A zero tells you I looked at your Assignment file and did not see the required work for the week.

We begin our study of the past, not just historical thinking skills.

My expectation is that you will take notes on readings and videos. The form is up to you (notebook, digital, post it, scroll, carved steele). I will ask to see your notes this semester to check in on your learning.

2023-01-17, 18:53

How is your SIFT process? Ready for a self-test? Answer this question: should we save the Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus?

2023-01-12, 12:45 BCE and CE

I post updates on this page almost every work day. Today I'd like you to note that the dating system we use previously BC for before year 0 and AD for after the year 0. Today we use BCE and CE for Before the Common Era and Common Era. The change in terms is to reflect multiple issues, one of which is that the historical Jesus figure we now know was born around 4 CE, not 0.

Welcome to World History 1101 - Section 10 (T-Th)

Below you will find essential information for our course. Enjoy this four-minute video introduction to our course.

The knowledge and skills of world history are invaluable elements in your college and work careers. This course assumes you have no previous college history and no specialized digital skills.

We face two primary challenges.

1. Students have widely divergent digital literacies, yet we need everyone to be digitally literate to be successful in college. The first two weeks of our course is to level up all students, ensuring you have the tools you need to succeed in this course and in college.

2. There is more inaccurate history available than accurate history. The internet, especially social media, spreads historical lies quickly and widely. Previously, students worked hard to find any information about a historical subject, say a book on the Tang dynasty. Now, students can find information about the Tang easily, but sorting credible from non-credible information presents significant challenges.

All tools and websites we use are free, web-based, and user-friendly. As long as you can use a web-browser, you can use this semester’s digital tools. I assume you can successfully navigate a web browser: that's it.


By way of introduction, my legal name is David, but everyone calls me Jack. You can address me as Professor Norton if that feels more comfortable. Any salutation offered in respect is welcome. I'll address you by your first names, unless otherwise directed and, most importantly, I’ll always address you respectfully.

I've been teaching at Normandale since 2009. I taught at the "U" while getting my Ph.D. in history, and have since taught on the south side of Chicago for two years before returning to MN. I'm a dad of two kids. My specialties are Spanish women's history and digital history pedagogy.

Course Design

The syllabus and schedule posted to our course page. Grades will be recorded in D2L because the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) requires we keep student data secure and private.

I am hosting our course on my own server. Doing so allows you open access to our material beyond the two years Normandale supports on D2L. Putting our course on the open web also lets me design a web site that includes only that which is useful for learning.

All your work will be in your own single file, that you control, in either Office 365 or Google docs. You will share that file with me (jacknorton at or jackhistorynorton at depending on which platform you use). I will read your work and give feedback in your file.

Instructions for setting up your own Assignment file

Office 365


First week to do list

[ ] Read the user manual for this course (AKA "the syllabus)

[ ] Complete the Week 1 Prepare and Project assignments as listed in the Weekly Schedule

[ ] Set up your Discord account.

[ ] Log in to your email account. Normandale email account

[ ] Log in and review your Normandale Office 365 account

[ ] Log in to D2L, navigate to our class, and find the gradebook under "Assessments"

Avatar: It would be useful to me if you could load a picture of yourself, or an avatar into D2L and Discord so that we can all get to know you. Please do not post pictures of multiple people, just you. Your picture will be visible to other students. You can use for a wide range of people or another avatar creator. Click on your name in the upper right corner of D2L to access your profile.

Most importantly, talking with students is the best part of being a professor. My door (real and digital) is open your presence is valued and welcomed.