2 World History: 1102- Fall 2021

SyllabusExperimentsScheduleD2L - Home - Book it!

2021-09-17, 16:23 Emails and meetings

That's been my day. Grading on Experiment 3 will have to wait, until Monday. Good to chat with a bunch of you by Zoom, Teams, and phone this weekend. No matter how bad the news of the day, talking with students always improves my day: so thank you!

2021-09-16, 15:45 Quizzes updated

Closing Quiz 3, Question on Busbecq and the textbook article. Strong answers used specific examples to demonstrate an understanding of primary and secondary sources.

Opening Quiz 4, Question on the biographies of Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Wu Cheng'en. Strong answers offered specific examples of how an author's historical context influenced their writing. For example,Cervantes fought in wars and was a prisoner and you could argue his ridicule of knights springs from that. Weaker answers restated the question, such as we know something about Wu Cheng'en from his fictional writings and his historical context." This is true but doesn't demonstrate to me a student understood how historical fiction can be used to study the past.

2021-09-15, 15:16 Reflection Boards back up

Your Reflections board should look about the same, but I've consolidated those student posts that were previously in several threads. Please always respond to your previous week's thread.

2021-09-15, 10:01 Reflections Boards offline today

I need to take the Reflections Boards offline to fix them. You won't see them for a bit, but I'll have them back up by this afternoon.

2021-09-14, 16:29 Reflections 3 and Consultations 3

The Consultations were good and the Reflections were great. I love the honesty and analytical complexity of Reflections. For reasons I can't explain, students demonstrate learning in wonderfully articulate, complex, and humane ways in their Reflections (with small drops of humor). Keep it up.

2021-09-10, 13:59 Opening Quiz 3 and Experiment 2

The strongest answers related to Ghiselin used multiple, specific references from the historical context of the readings, not necessarily quotations from his work. What was going on around Ghiselin that helps us understand his world? If you look back your Historical Thinking Chart from week 1 you'll see good examples of context.

Experiment two demonstrated a tremendous amount of thinking for most students: well done. Evaluating credibility is immensely important for explaining the past in an evidence-based way. It's also important for caring for our fellow humans. To give three examples:

  1. Conspiracy theories spread on Facebook fueled a genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
  2. An immediate family member of mine in health care treats people dying of COVID because they believed vaccine conspiracy theories.
  3. A former student of mine is in jail for a long time partly because conspiracy theories convinced him of the need for gun violence.

Evidence-based history and thinking aren't just important to accurately describe our past, they are important because history shapes the world and the choices we face today.

Wishing you a restful and fact-filled weekend.

2021-09-08, 14:24 Quesiton 6: Pine Calamari

Most students effectively used SIFT to find that the page I referenced was a hoax. The strongest answers showed their work. For example: "I searched wikipedia and found this. I then searches Snopes and found this. Finally, I attempted to trace this inoformation to a credible source and found this." Weaker answers referenced general processes "I googled it and found it to be a lie" which may be true but I can't see your work. History, like math, needs to see the work.

Thank you to all who are scheduling Book It appointments to check in about their work. Little chats make big differences.

2021-09-8, 9:42 Reflections

I graded Week 2 Reflections. For those wondering on how to reflect or respond to another student in their own Reflection, I'm asking you to reflect on another student's Experiment or Consultation, not their Reflection. I model this type of response in the prompt at the top of the Discussions page, so please review their.

Human learning is socially constructed. When you situate your learning in the context of someone else's learning, you learning is stronger. This is why I want you to mention another student by name and their Consultation or Experiment work in your Reflection.

2021-09-03, 16:32 Experiment 1

Not sure what happened in this class, but most folks only answered the questions in Lesson 1, and most of the answers were pretty weak. Sometimes the first couple of Experiments posted set the tone for the week, other times I have missed emphasizing some element. My other two sections answered all the questions in all the lessons, so I'm going to puzzle over why this section did not.

This class follows directions well (look how many of you have pictures or avatars in D2L), so my presumption is that there was a disconnect between my intention and your execution.

Despite most folks missed more than 70% of the questions, I didn't think it fair to crush grades, so grades are all in the passing range.

One of your classmates did answer all the questions, so, hmmm?

I default to trusting my students (hence the moderate rather than harsh grades), and I'm going to review instructions and subsequent guidance.

Good luck with readings for week 3 and the Opening quiz, which closes Sunday night, as usual.

2021-09-03, 09:59 Question 6 on quizzes and grading guidance.

  • I only give zeroes (0) for work I can't see. If you submitted work and it has a zero, it means I can not or did not see it. All work that I see gets some points.

  • Question 6 Grading

Out of 4 points.
0 points- Student gave no answer
1 point- Student answered something, often a single sentence
3.4 points- Basic understanding of historical skill
3.7 points- Developing understanding of historical skill
4.0 points- Competence understanding of historical skill

  • Opening 2 Question 6

Strong reddit/AskHistorians answers demontrated a credibility-checking process that used lateral reading, getting outside of reddit to check its credibility. Weaker answers relied on a reading of just the site, or relying entirely on prior knowledge of reddit. There was no right answer to credibiity: what I wanted to see was a process, preferably SIFT.

For your information, AskHistorians is reasonably credible as it is heavily moderated by historians, and removes known false information. Books and journal articles are better, but often less fun.

  • Closing 2 Question 6

"Explain in a few sentences any clues you have that indicated the source is credible or not credible."

Upon reflection, I find this question to be insufficiently precise in what it asks students. Therefore, I awarded everyone a 4/4.

  • I'll grade Experiments this afternoon.

2021-09-02, 14:30 Tips for workflow and Experiment 2

Your fellow student, Li, has written out a workflow that you may wish to consider. I really like their notation.

Lab Consultation 2 -> Lab Experiment 2 -> Closing Quiz 2 -> Lab Reflection -> Read/Screen/Take Notes on Week 3 Materials -> Opening Quiz 3 -> Lab Consultation 3 -> Lab Experiment 3 -> Closing Quiz 3 -> Lab Reflection -> Read/Screen/Take Notes on Week 4 Materials -> Opening Quiz 4 -> ...

The lessons in Check, Please! for Experiment 2 have "Questions for Reflection,"" typically in sections labelled "Discussion." Please answer all the questions, though I do not expect robust, paragraph-long answers for them. A couple of sentences is sufficient for most of the questions. For example:

  • "One of the understandings key to media literacy is "authority is constructed and contextual". Different communities (scientists, reporters, politicians, psychologists, car mechanics) have different criteria for authority (constructed) and the type and level of authority you need may depend on your context (contextual). What other types of expertise could this issue benefit from?"
  • Answer: I think the issue of global climate change could benefit from multiple experts on the topic, including Allen's co-authors on the report. As well, indigenous peoples have climate knowledge that might help understand the issue.

2021-09-1, 16:09 Reflections

I'm still accepting Reflections for week 1 (see below). I'm also grading these, and assigning zeroes if I don't see work. Don't worry, I'll give you full credit if you submit, but 0s get attention in a way even this note won't.

On Reflections, there are 16 weeks and you can earn up to 5 points each week, which would by 80 points. Except I drop you lowest 5, which makes your maximum points 60. So, each week you do a Reflection gets you 5 more points toward 60, yes?!
2021-09-01, 11:35 Grades and grading

  1. Your opening Quiz 1 and Consult 1 grades are recorded.
  2. Two grades in each category (opening quizzes, closing quizzes, experiment) are automatically dropped. Four grades are dropped from consultations and reflections. After the first week of learning, I hold students to high standards for Consulations and Reflections, so expect some no-credit weeks if you miss a required element of your post.
  3. D2L automatically drops grades. It only drops what it can see, so until you have more than the minimum dropped grades, you'll see "dropped" next to your grades.
  4. I grade as soon as a can, typically the week after an assignment is completed. I grade 500 assignments a week.
  5. If you are annoyed by this course, it's working. I designed the course to require regular, medium level attention. That ensures no binge and purging of information.
  6. My pedagogy is rooted in decades of scholarship in teaching and learning, so I'm happy to explain why I did something: just ask.

2021-08-31, 08:19 Experiment 2: what to answer

Good question from a fellow student: should you answer the reflection prompts and the questions in what you post to Experiment 2? Yes, please answer both the Reflection prompts and the general questions in your submitted work.

2021-08-30, 16:05 Consultations thus far

I responded to a couple of your Consultations this afternoon. Great start! It's normal to feel anxious as you navigate a new course. That anxiety means you care about your learning. Even if your anxiety emerges in uneven ways, I want to celebrate that you care about your education.

2021-08-28, 20:50 An apology

MOTHER@#$@#% Sorry, I just changed a setting in D2L, and in two of my courses it wiped out the Reflections. D2L is rubbish, so I can't reverse the changes or check a database for where the Reflections went. I'm sorry.

Please check you Week 1 Reflection. If it's there in your Reflection discussion board great. If not, please repost your Reflection for full credit.

My course, so it's my fault. My apologies.

2021-08-27, 15:39: Keep those questions coming and a Quiz hint

I'm enjoying the questions coming in from email. Going forward, I hope we can focus those questions to the Consultation board so that others benefit from your wisdom. As well, "I've experienced a problem, tried to solve it in this way, and would appreciate some help" is a great email when asking for help.

Question 6 for Closing Quiz 1 refers to the article "Primary and Secondary Sources in History" you read this week.

I try to welcome every student in our opening Consultations. Check back to see my quick welcome to you.

2021-08-26, 20:56 Closing Quiz 1

A couple of y'all took the closing quiz before it's start time of 10 pm, and were likely befuddled by old questions. I'll restrict the quiz to its start date in the future. I've eliminated any attempts before 10 pm tonight, so everyone has the same 4 attempts (I want you get 100%, yeah) on the material for this week.

Quick quiz: If there were a quiz called Opening Quiz 463, what week's reading would be on it? Very good, Week 463.

2021-08-26, 17:06: Navigating our websites


  1. If you enter the NYtimes through a google search, you get a certain number of articles a month free. So, if you know the article title, and you google search it, you should be able to click through to it.
  2. Many, many articles in the Times are free, depending on the topic. There's not way for me to know which ones they'll put in front of or behind their paywall, but just clicking on a couple other articles might give you a free one.
  3. If you have a Hennepin County Library card (free to anyone) you can access it here: https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S109C4693309

Easiest way:

  1. Sign up for a free NYtimes account through the Normandale Library with the following directions.
    How to Register for New York Times Website Access Courtesy of Normandale Community College Library
  2. Go to http://bit.ly/NormandaleNYTimes
  3. Click Create Account.
  4. Fill out account form. Use your Normandale email address. Uncheck the box to opt out of marketing emails.
  5. Click sign up.
  6. Your access is good for one year from date of sign up. (At the end of the year, re-visit the link above, click the Log in here >> link for people who already have an account, login, and request another annual pass.)
  7. Click Go to NYTimes.com. You are automatically signed in.
  8. To sign in on other computers, go to NYTimes.com and click the login button in the upper right of the screen. Log in with your Normandale email address and password you set when registering.
  9. If you want, download the New York Times app from the iTunes or Google store and login with your email address and password for access on your mobile device.

Note: Our subscription does not include access to the crossword puzzle app, Times Insider, or e-reader editions. NYTimes.com provides only select access to The New York Times Archive and does not replace our library database coverage.

2021-08-26, 09:19: Three things

  1. The Return to Enter lessons have five parts. Please post answers to questions in all five lessons to the Experiment 1 discussion board.
  2. I drop your lowest two grades for quizzes and experiments and you lowest four grades for reflections and consultations. Consider it paid time off. You don't need to ask for grade extensions or exceptions, it's built in to the grading system. Also, for Reflections and Consultations, this lets me hold you to a high standard, failing a couple of less-than-best-efforts, while not hurting final grades.

D2L will show all grades as dropped until you have more than the minimum. So, all your grades will be "Dropped" until you have 3 or 5 total grades, depending on the category.

  1. I'lll post a helper video later today to walk students struggling to understand the course. Stay tuned.

2021-08-25, 16:01

I'll be answering discussion board questions tonight.

2021-08-24, 14:16- Hint

Hint: For the Return to Enter Lessons, all questions are marked with a pencil. "Experiment 1" is answering all the Return to Enter Lessons. I'll post a model in the Experiment 1 discussion board.

Welcome to World History 2. To get started, read this first