World History 2, 1102- Section 00- Online

Syllabus: ExpectationsSyllabus: Grades and ScheduleSyllabus: Campus ResourcesHomeD2LAssignment Files

2023-12-19, 10:36 *All Grades Submitted8

A note on final grades

  • I own all the grades so I can change your grade anytime. That is to say, please do not call in the middle of the night fearing a grade will be permanently on your record. Once final grades are submitted I must fill out a digital form to change it, and I can change it 5 minutes, 5 weeks, or 5 years after it’s been submitted.
  • Data errors are easy to fix and I welcome your emails.
  • Technical errors (google ate my homework) will involve a longer discussion that goes beyond when grades are due.
  • Your class citizenship grades are based on your participation, the honesty in your reflections, and respectful behavior towards everyone in this class, including me. Good citizens show up and make their communities better places. If you did that, you will score well.
  • I am willing to discuss individual assignments, but not the final course grade. Please consider your communication carefully when asking for regrading.
  • Grades are a measure of your performance on a set number of tasks over the course of four months. Grades are not a measure of intelligence, effort, ability, or my afinity for you. Grades reflect what you turned in, and only that.

2023-12-15, 15:43 Finished final projects and desserts

Several students demonstrated tremendous effort in their revisions. I can’t grade effort, only product, but I can acknowledge the work, and mostly it paid off with much stronger final projects: well done.

I take your suggestions to hear about what to change in the class. I can’t always act on all suggestions, but this course is better due to brave students sharing their ideas over more than a decade, so thanks for that.

2023-12-13, 13:23 Now grading

I’ve created a single page for updates on what assignment and class I am grading. I’ll update it daily.

2023-12-12, 15:58 Numbers 2nd Plate Assessed

I finally assessed your numbers second plate. A huge variety in quality, from carefully argued and well written to single drawings with one sentence explanations.

Of note, not all numbers are counting data. For something to be countable, we need to be able to add it and have that mean something. 12:30 pm plus 1:35 am does not equal anything. Nor does longitude or latitude. Those numbers are valuable measures, but they are countable.

I enjoy the intellectual diversity of explanations this class brings when you get to chose your own source base.

2023-12-07, 15:56 1st Drafts Assessed

Your grades are for doing a full first draft, with citations, not for the overall quality of the draft. Poorly argued first draft often make great final projects. The top three items to improve most projects:

  1. Get quality sources form our Library databases. Britannica, Khan academy, Wikipedia are all credible but not quality sources. The Journal of Water History is available through our library.
  2. Focus your projects on a single thesis, or main point, that addresses a specific place and period sometime between 1400 CE and 2020 CE. All your sentences should support that one thesis.
  3. Focus on the history of a specific people, place, and period. As a final project for a history course, your focus needs to be on the history of your chosen topic in our period.

I’m enthusiastic about reading your final work.

2023-12-05, 21:37 Workflow

I’ve offered general comments on our course page and tried to focus several of your proposals on the spreadsheet. Please note my comments below on ways to improve your projects.

I will offer additional comments on Thursday and then I will be away from work Friday to Sunday and not answering emails. I will check in on Sunday night and all day Monday, responding to questions so that your final projects are as strong as they can be.

2023-12-05, 10:50 How to improve your final project

I’ve reviewed the spreadsheet of your proposed topics and left some comments. Many of the issues students face are common. Below are the three items I think the majority of students need to do as they move to researching and drafting their projects:

  1. Focus on the HISTORY of a use, access, or meaning of fresh water. Many students focus on fresh water topics, but there needs to be a focus on history, not current events or a general introduction to an idea.
  2. Limit your project to specific place (region or country) during a specific period (from a couple days to a couple decades.)
  3. Chose quality sources that are not on the open web. We have a Research Guide for our class. There is also a Journal of Water History and 9 volume book series on the History of Water.

Change in syllabus notice

I’m losing patience with students using generative AI for their work. Effective immediately, if you use Generative AI on your final project, for any part of it, you will fail the class.

I have a process for helping students learn how to quote and cite appropriately after they’ve failed to quote and cite appropriately or used an AI disclosure, but it is lengthy for everyone. Plagiarism (which is what using Ai without disclosure is) is doubly hurtful: the plagiarising student deprives themselves of a learning opportunity and that student deprives their classmates of more meaningful engagement with their teacher because the teacher has to devote more time to addressing the plagiarism.

Your words, your analysis, your intellectual production is far superior to Ai generated material, and you benefit by doing the actual writing. Please recognize and honor your worth as a thinker and writer. You deserve better than the trecherous temptation these billionaire-enriching algorithms offer.

2023-11-29, 10:00 Spring Registration

Continue your historical journey by registering for one of Normandale’s spring history courses! Sharpen your analytical skills and foster a global perspective through different cultures and time periods with a well-rounded historical education that prepares you for success in any field.

Normandale’s history courses are stand-alone and can be taken at any time. This means you can take World Civilization 2 or United States History 2 (HIST 1102; HIST 1112) without first having taken World 1 (1101) or U.S. 1 (1111). You can also take one of our three-credit specialization courses.

Spots available for:

  • History of World Civilization 2 – online and in-person
  • United States History 1 – online and in-person
  • United States History 2 – online and in-person
  • Family: Sex/Gender/Power: A Cross-Cultural, Historical Perspective – online
  • Black History and Civil Rights in the United States – in-person

2023-11-27, 14:46 Monster grading session today- Podcast, Numbers Appetizer and 1st Plate Updated

The podcasts were largely great. A couple students struggled to incorporate revisions, or focused on contemporary rather than historical topics, but overall very strong research, writing and presenting. I live to hear students read the podcast: a hopeful sound.

Sources for your appetizer assignment were fantastic. I’m stealing an article from the Smithsonian Magazine and a video on the history of numbers for future classes.

For the 1st plate, please note that only a global pandemic can decrease the global mortality rate. As well, you do not need to be worried about dying at 34, because age of death for one year is not predictive, it is historical. As well, as many of you noted, the mode of 1 pulled the mean down. If you posted an incorrect answer I responded with [Recheck your answer. -Jack].

Good luck with your 2nd Plate Assignments.

2023-11-21, 11:49 Check and update your podcast links

Many students have not shared their podcast links. Here’s a video on how to do that.

Reviewing podcasts

I’ve reviewing podcasts and it takes longer than regular assignments to listen to them. So, please be patient as I work through the 100 (3 sections) I have. I’ve complete one class and have two more, including this section.

2023-11-17, 11:33 Podcast Appetizer and 1st Plate Assignments Assessed

I’m impressed at how sophisticated most students analyses are of water issues and how invested in finding solutions you are: that gives me hope.

Less hopeful is the continued use of Generative Ai (like ChatGPT) in assignments. It’s easy to identify, takes a huge amount of my and the student’s time to address, and can result in a failed class. Again, ChatGPT can’t write history accurately because it was trained on the open internet, which has more lies than evidence-based history. Trust your brain, and your words: you are smarter that Ai’s trained on twitter.

2023-11-16, 14:43 Numerical Literacy Readings and Work Posted

2023-11-14, 23:23 Feedback on Podcast Drafts

2023-11-10, 17:25 Podcast drafts review

I reviewed and offered comments on your podcast drafts. Lots of work in rewrites to be done, but solid first effort by y’all. Keep it up.

A couple of overarching ideas to consider:

  1. Don’t write a more interesting Wikipedia entry. Write a quirky story that your average listener doesn’t know. Smaller stories are more interesting than big stories: you’ve only 3 minutes.
  2. Open web sources lack the depth of information and scholarly quality you need. Brittanica is credible, but it’s middle school quality. You’ve access to the a research guide for our class with high quality sources.
  3. Podcasts need to include 51% history material. If you are focusing on an idea, or object, make sure you are addressing those things in their historical context.

The quality of the writing (conversational and confident) is mostly great.

And please, quote and cite all your words not your own.

2023-11-14, 21:19 Feedback on Podcast Drafts

I’ll have feedback on your podcast drafts up tonight so it can be included in your revisions. I’m going to push the due date for the recorded podcasts back to Thursday, because you need time to incorporate feedback in your revisions.

I’ll update last week’s grades asap, but the podcast feedback needs to happen first.

2023-11-09, 11:52 Sources and Assignments for next week have been posted

Note tthat the assignments ask you to write and then record your podcasts. Please give yourself time to do this.

2023-11-07, 11:36 Podcasts assignments

I didn’t save my links appropriately last Friday, when I regularly post assignments, and only learned today they were missing. So, the assignments you’ll do for the rest of the podcast module will be different than our usual 1st plate, 2nd plate, dessert cycle. Your 2nd plate will be scripting your podcast and your dessert will be recording it. FYI.

2023-11-06, 15:09 Podcast examples

If you would like examples of the types of podcasts you will be producing, here some. You will not be producing music and interviews, but this type of scripted podcast is what you will be writing this week.

Sample Podcasts
“The Nile Project: Producing Harmony In A Divided Region.” Weekend Edition Sunday. NPR, September 14, 2014.
“Exhibit Explores How Native Americans Use Water — and How the Resource Has Been Politicized.” Accessed February 21, 2023. .
“Flowing Through Time: The Past, Present, And Future Of Water”- Peak Academy Podcast , accessed 2023-11-6

2023-11-3, 15:14 Second Plate and Dessert

A huge variation of assignments. A couple notes:

  1. Read instructions carefully. Several of you input the texts for the World History 1 course that stops in 1400 CE.
  2. The instructions asked you to review both texts.
  3. The 1848 Revolution in France is the basis for Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and the subsequent musical. In additiona, the year 1848 witnessed many revolutions. In India, the transfer of power from a company — the British East India Company — to the British Government in 1858 was hugely influential in expansion of colonialism and its concomitant exploitation. If you’re Wikipedia searches didn’t show you some of this history, I encourage you to read some of this background on your own.
  4. Students often had the seeds of good ideas, and needed to spend more time and words on the assignment. Many students reported in their Desserts their work on college applications, so I can speculate on why so many wrote such short answers.
  5. Your desserts remain fantastic, especially those of you how let your personality and curiosity out for a walk. That said, the purpose of the Dessert’s is to reflect on your learning and its influences. I find your pets and families interesting, and I encourage you to think about how those influences shape your learning.

Have a good weekend!

2023-11-02, 16:27 Voyant, Dessert, and next week

I’ve reviewed but not graded the Voyant assignments and your Dessert.

Next week’s sources are podcasts. To the extent that you can, please listen, don’t just read them. Listening will give you a sense of how to write for listeners rather than readers (which is most of your reading.)

As well, I plan to ask you to record your podcast in two weeks. So, if you do not have an established means for recording your voice (no mixing necessary), please take a look at Audacity ( in the next 10 days. It’s free, open source, and available for all mainstream operating systems.

2023-10-27, 18:23 Appetizer and 1st Plate

I’ve assessed the appetizer and 1st plate assignments. The 1st plate assignments demonstrate sophisticated thought with regard to algorithms.

I would point out that more than 60% of the class uses the SnapChat AI, and I wonder what information students are giving Snap to use.

Several students related that they regularly used Artificial Intelligence to complete homework. Always check with your instructor about this. Just as students should use AI disclosure statements, facutly should offer clear guidance on their expectations for AI usage.
2023-10-19, 21:50 Change of plans

I am moving our podcasting 2-week module back, and moving our words and computers module to next week.

Words and computers includes both training on AI and on distant reading.

NOTE: I’ve altered the appetizer this week. Instead of you usual find a source and pair it, I’ve given your five questions about the readings to answer.

My world 2 class got the privileged grading position this week, so I’m now working on this week’s work from World 1 and Minnesota.

2023-10-18, 17:59 Grades up to date

I’v finished reading your Appetizers, 1st and 2nd Plates. I encourage students to review the definition of descriptive metadata. This type of metadata tells us what is inside the data, the file. So, a title may tell us what to expect in a file, but "last accessed" doesn’t tell us anything about what’s in a file.

You will note that as we are pivoting to the second half of the semester, my standards for the quality of your historical thinking are going up. As my standards rise, so too does the robustnes of the feedback that I offer. So, you can expect more rubrics that spell out specifically the areas you are succeeding in and areas for improvement.

This class has an unusually high number of students who have, by all obvious measures, used generative AI to write assignments.

So we’re clear, you do not have permission to use generative AI, like ChatGPT, in this class. If you do, it’s considered plagiarism and we will have a conversation about why you making this choice and what better choices you need to make to continue in the course. The harm that using ChatGPT does (failing a class) greatly outweighs it’s benefits. Your words are rich, and historically deep, and meaningful: let me hear them.

If you have a note in your Assignment file to schedule a chat, please do so, or else we can’t continue your participation in this class.

2023-10-15, 23:04

Still working on grading. Some have grades, others no. Will post ASAP as soon as all are done for last week.

2023-10-13, 18:37 Updates

I continue to struggle with time-intensive plagiarism cases. Grading will happen this weekend, as a result.

There’s been an uptick in students using ChatGPT. Please don’t. The consequences for plagiarism are significant and your words are more powerful and credit worthy than anything a bot outputs. I’m revising my plagiarism policy to account for ChatGPT and other AI, with attention to finding a policy that is fair (holds people accountable), clear, and humane.

Please don’t use ChatGPT. I’ll train you on what it is, but right now it is causing huge harm through plagiarism that results in failed assignments and dismissal from classes. It’s like oxycodone, powerful if used in a limited, supervised, supportive, and regulated environment but hugely harmful otherwise and being pushed by those who want to make money off you.

2023-10-8 Appetizer and Reading

The Readings for this week weren’t available this weekend (I posted them last week but clearly didn’t double check that the updates saved.) So, I’m pushing your Appetizer due date until tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10 pm.

If you are emailing me about plagiarism, please do so from your Normandale account. I can’t discuss grades with outside Normandale accounts. Thank you.

2023-10-8 2nd Plate and Dessert: Finished

The second half of the class had an equal number of plagiarism issues, mostly from AI generated sentences. Using AI without designating what parts are your words and parts are AI generated is plagiarism, as noted in the syllabus.

The first instance of plagiarism results in a 0 and we have a conversation about what you did and how to avoid it.

The second instance of plagiarism results in failing the class. For those of you who are PSEO, that means you will need to pay for the class out your own pocket.

The third instance of plagiarism can result in dismissal from Normandale.

Using Chat GPT is not simple: it can cost you both money and your college career. I will train you on how generative AI works during our words module.

But please, don’t use it now, for any course work, unless your professor has given you specific guidelines on what is allowed.

2023-10-05 2nd Plate and Dessert -Ongoing

I’m seeing an increase in the use of Generative AI and other plagiarism issues. Your words are always worth more (both for class credit and intellectually) than anyone else’s words. Plagiarism cases are challenging both because students are failing to learn (in several ways) but also becaue they take enormous time to address. So, I’ve only finished 2/3s of this class because there are 5 or more plagiarism cases.

As we enter the 8th week of class, and your have demonstrated familiarity with expectations for this class, my expectations for your historical thinking increase.

For example, on the 2nd plate assignments, students needed to reference specific a specific historical societies for their analysis. A society is a group of people in a place and time. Egypt is a place, but not a society. Using examples is expected for all historical writing. "For example," and "such as" are great phrases in writing history.

Your desserts are mostly wonderful. I encourage students to write about their learning, not only their learning context. Learning about your non-class life if valuable, but not if that’s all your share.

2023-10-5 Meetings today

I’m in meetings most of today, so I will answer emails and questions this afternoon. Just for your information.

2023-10-2 1st Plate Object Analysis assessed

Students answered most questions with accuracy and some whimsy.

A typical answer to question 25 was "This tells me about the skill of the artist and the culture of the country XX." I encourage to give details or an example of what that skill is or exactly what the culture that your refer to is. Show your reader your point rather than tell your reader you have a point. "For example" are the most powerful words in the historian’s writing toolbox.

2023-09-27 Appetizer has been assessed

Some fascinating articles students found.

Be sure to directly connect your outside source to a specific reference to our readings for the week. That means offering examples and using words like "such as."

2023-09-26 Back in the swing of things

I look forward to reading your Object Appetizers. FYI, my work laptop died and I’m setting up the replacement, so you may see some odd formatting in my comments for this week. I have many auto-completes (like date such as 2023-09-26 ) in a program called AutoHotKey that I need to reinstall.

Using text expander programs like AutoHotKey is what many who communicate for a living use, in business, medicine, the arts and humanities, and in code .
2023-09-22 1st Plate and Appetizers now read and assessed

I found some wonderfully thoughtful, and analytically complex responses in both assignments. Don’t forget to apply SIFT to your outside readings for the Appetizers. Sometimes a SIFTed article that doesn’t demonstrate credibility can still be a useful discussion comparison for our readings.

Many of your maps were wonderfully rendered in both physical or digital formats. The analysis that went with the maps varied in analytical strengths.

Give yourself engough time to the reading this week. Students often ask for a traditional reading that gives an overview of world history: this is one week for that.

2023-09-21, 8:22 Away from Normandale again today.

I am having continued side effects from the COVID shot, though nothing concerning and the side effects are lessening.

Thus, I will be not working today.

As I cannot support your Assignments in the usual way, I have decided to treat this week’s work as credit no credit.

I’l grade tomorrow and if you’ve made a good faith effort (all the parts of the assignment are there in the usual college-level writing) you’ll get full credit. If it’s not there, or only partly done, no credit.

Many students have written to express how they are struggling in our class emotionally and intellectually. I will try to respond to these emails today.

2023-09-20, 7:25 Class suspended for 24 hours

My family is a bit tired recovering from our COVID shots yetsterday (yay!), so I’m suspending class today.

The regular Wednesday at 10 pm assignment due today (2023-09-20) will be due Thursday (2023-09-21).

I’ll resume regular communication tomorrow.

2023-09-18, 10:56 Academic warning email

If you currently have an F in our class, I’ve submitted your names to our Counseling and Advising department for additional support.

For some of you, you had early difficulties and are now producing regular, credit-worth work. For others, there are continued struggles. I am committed to helping you succeed and passing this class, and inviting your advisor into conversation is part of the commitment.

2023-09-15, 14:21 ARC Gis and Dessert Assignments

Your Dessert assignments continue to be a delight to read. You are thoughtful, articulate, voluble, often humorous, and honest. Keep it up.

The StoryMaps assignments displayed some strengths and opportunities. Most students made strong use of images and maps- well done. Making an argument for the historical significance of a historical object remains challenging, as I expect at the beginning of the semester.

A typical, weak, historical argument ran like this: "This object shows the important religious, cultural, and culinary themes of the age and offers key insights in the world of this state." To improve this statement, the writer would need to first define a theme or insight, and then offer evidence for how the object had historical significance. Focusing on a specific historical significance that clearly relates to the object and then supporting that with evidence is the way to go.

Students typically make overly large and vague arguments at this stage of the semester, so I’m not concerned. Your writing and engagement is excellent, so I’ve confidence your historical thinking is developing.

2023-09-14, 16:55 Grading, email, and expectations

I’ve been grading the ArcGIS assignments today, though not your class. About 25% of students did not publish their maps. Please double check the link in your Assignment file to be sure I can view your map without logging in as you.

Email etiquette in this class has been outstanding. Thank you! Your writing has been polite and to the point. The only suggestion I’d make is to include your class and section so I can respond quickly without looking you up in my class lists. I have many similarly-named students across my classes.

So you can set realistic expectations for this class, if you have a grade issue, say you mis-post a link, that requires I address it individually, please recognize that I need to prioritize the big assignment grades before I go back to fix individual grades. I’m not Amazon, get it by the next day at 10 am. I try to clear all grading issues that come in during the week by Friday.

2023-09-11 Error on my part, benefit to you

I mis-sequenced the assignments for our GIS Module, putting this in the order 2nd plate, dessert, first plate, appetizer rather than how they should be served to you: appetizer, 1st plate, 2nd plate, dessert.

Because of this error, I’m extending the due date for the 2nd plate assignment to Wednesday night at 10 pm to allow us more time to work through this robust tool (StoryMaps) and challenging questions (what is the historical significance of an object).

I’m cleaned up our Syllabus: Schedule and Grades as well (there were a couple typos).

Mea culpa.

2023-09-11, 11:46 – Three quick tips on grades and email

2023-09-07, 16:33 Week 3 1st Plate Graded, Grade one-offs

Many well-considered and articulated answers to the questions. Two notes: multiple students wrote the flood article seemed like they had lots of good information. "Looks good to me" can be true, but historians need evidence to back up claims. Often I needed just a bit more from students, another sentence, to understand your thinking.

The overall writing quality of this class is great. Keep it up!

If you have an individual grade concern that is not timely, as in you’ve received a grade but want clarification, I will get back to you ASAP. That said, I need to keep on track for all my students and backtracking to troubleshoot file submission errors takes a great deal of time. I have a workflow and I will respond, just recognize I have to triage my time. Thank you.

2023-09-06, 21:37 Week 3 Appetizers Read and Graded

A great collection of articles students found and compared with this week’s readings. There are still several students who are not posting all their work in their single Assignment file. To see the Assignment file you’ve shared with me, go to our Assignment Files page and click on your name.

2023-09-06, 16:05 Week 4 readings and assignments posted and update

I’ll grade Appetizers tonight and possibly tomorrow morning. Dessert assignments were especially well done: thank you for sharing.

2023-08-31, 20:59 1st Plate for Week 3 posted

NOTE: Your Appetizer assignment is still due Monday night.

2023-08-31, 17:05 Tired- updates coming tonight

Sorry, there’s been some one-on-one students issues that have required my attention today – which are vital and worth the time – so my assessing of your work is running a bit behind.

I’ll have the 1st plate up for next week tonight.

2023-08-25, 16:37 2 minute video on links and next week’s work

Have a great weekend: I hope you find the video useful.

2023-08-25, 13:22 FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What about tests, like a midterm or final?
  • A. There are no tests. I designed this class around 32 assignments that worth 2-3% of your total grade. That means each week you learn a little and earn a little (grade). There are no tests. You do have a final project, and it follows the same steps (apptetizer, 1st plate, 2nd plate, dessert) that our regular weeks do and should be just 10% more work than a regular 2 week group of assignments.
  1. Is there something due every week?
  • A. Yes. Every Monday and Wednesday, unless otherwise noted in the syllabus, there is something due.
  1. My family scheduled a vacation, my sports team is travelling to Florida, my sister is getting married: can I have an extension?
  • A. No. There is no late work. I drop two weeks worth of grades with a 12% grade. The exceptions are for deployment and hospitalization. If hopitalized, please wait until you are better to contact me, no need for bedside chats- history is full of dead people, they can wait until you’re home.
  1. Why are the assignments called "Appetizer," "1st Plate," "2nd Plate," and "Dessert."
  • A. We’re using food (and flood) as a theme, so using food metaphors made sense to me. Also, calling the assignments pre-work, 1st project, 2nd project, and reflection bored me.

2023-08-23 Appetizer 1

Thanks to all who have done the Appetizer Get-to-know-you form under Syllabus: Schedule and Grades. This form is how I start the class for you, so if you haven’t filled it out, please do so as soon as possible. Thank you. Looking forward to a great class with you.

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