World History 1 (1101-10) T Th – Spring 2023

SyllabusWeekly ScheduleDiscordHomeD2LAssignment Files

2023-05-12, 16:26 Yet to Grade

Only Reflections are yet to grade. I’ve continued to find plagiarism, even students using ChatGPT for their Reflections, which is writing about YOU. Don’t do it, in any class. You on your worst day is better than ChatGPT on its best.

2023-05-08, 13:04 Revisions Assessed

I enjoyed reading your final projects. Some wonderful analysis and research on display there.

In the D2L gradebook, I’ve switched the setting from "treat ungraded items as null" to "treat ungraded items as "zero." This means your current grade is accurate and can go up by up to 4% for your final grade.

2023-05-05, 13:03 Citizenship Grades Posted

If you were not in class on Wednesday to offer a self-grade, I duplicated my grade for you. With rare exceptions, I improved your own self-grade with my own. That said, I rarely gave a full 2.5/2.5 points unless someone had gone out of their way to help others consistently. On the whole, Citizenship grades pull final grades up.

2023-05-3, 22:04 Projects assessed.

Most students are making good progress towards finished Projects. Swapping in stronger sources and editing projects to eliminate anything that doesn’t support your main point is great.

2023-05-01, 13:26 LGBT History Course this fall at Normandale

For those wishing to extend your history education or to learn more about LGBTQIA history in general, consider signing up for this fall’s LGBT History (HIST 2111) course with Normandale professor Robert Frame.

2023-04-26, 09:54 Please complete the course survey (D2L) and the Fresh Water Stories permission form.

2023-04-25- Office hours today Office hours will be from 12:30 to 1 and 3 to 3:30 today. I am available, as usual, by phone or video conference, all morning.

2023-04-23- Regular class

We have class on Tuesday as usual. Your final project requires more work time, so the Prepare is not due until Wednesday, but we’ll spend all Monday researching sources and deciding on a topic.

2023-04-18 Office hours online today and tomorrow

My office hours will be on Zoom today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday). Click [here](Join Zoom Meeting to enter zoom room.

2023-04-13, 15:38- Prepare Data Literacy

Good tables with data. FYI, social security numbers are issued by the federal government, after parents have applied. Birth certificates are issued by state agencies, such as the Minneosta Department of Health. Both are modern institutions, and most pre-1400 peoples lacked precise, day and date, birthdays.

2023-04-12, 15:12 – STEM Scholarship

If you will be attending Normandale next year and are interested in a STEM career consider applying for the PRISM Scholarship. for up to $3750.

2023-04-11, 12:55 – Data Literacy Lesson

For the beginning of today’s data literacy lesson, please fill out the following form. with three questions about data history. You will need to login to your Normandale office account to complete the form.

2023-04-06, 12:48: Links for Maps

Estuary Floods Video
NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Map
National Geographic Water Gap Map
Streamflow predictions: 6 days
StoryMap: Coastal Flooding

2023-04-6- Office hours online today

My office hours will be on Zoom today.

2023-04-05, 13:20 Understanding Grades

For your final grades, I drop 4 assignments. To make D2L do that, I curve the total grade 12%. It looks like this. Your letter grade is accurate in D2L based on the below schema. To consider you place in the class, take your current points, and add whatever the points available (which is 35 for most students.) That gives you your maximum score. For example, if you have 50 points now, adding 35, your maximum score is 85. Realistically, I encourage students to add 80% of points (28 points) for what they could realistically score by the end of the semester.


2023-03-30, 9:19: Prepare and Absence

I’ve read your Prepare questions and they’re mostly well-answered. A couple folks needed to fully-articulate their thoughts- good thoughts deserve great words, and lots of them.

Remember that Professor Rude will be in class today, and I may be able to join you.

2023-03-28, 10:24 Reflections Read Many ideas about AI bubbled up. I look forward to reading more from most students: the Reflections have become shorter over the semester. Give yourself space to think out loud: take up space on the page with your thoughts.

2023-03-23, 10:46 Revision on AI Assessed

Great questions raised about how to evaluate and possibly use AI.

2023-03-17, 13:51 Revision for next week has been published

I’m going to introduce you to Artificial Intelligence by way of ChatGPT. And you won’t believe what you’ll discover . . .

2023-02-28, 11:55 New Podcast due date

My reading of the podcast scripts is that students need more time to produce quality work, so I’m giving you all until Thursday at 10 to record, upload your audio file, share the file and place the shared file link in your Assignment file.

2023-02-23, 10:34 Prepare podcasts assessed

Many, many missing assignments, which is concerning. I look forward to your podcasts, due by tonight at 10 pm. We’ve so much original thinking in our class, the potential for fascinating podcasts is huge. Get yours!

2023-02-22, 20:07

Normandale is closed on Thursday, February 23rd for both face to face and virtual classes. I’ll be live on Discord from 1-2 to answer questions in the the text or voice channels related to your Podcast Projects.

2023-02-17, 17:13 Reflections read

A lot of illness in our ranks. I hope the three-day weekend (Normandale is closed on Monday), helps you all recover. Safe home.

2023-02-10, 13:40 Metadata Project Assessed

20 students earned an non-passing grade. We’ll talk on Monday on what is going on, but I’m intensely worried. Of those who wrote full assignments, the quality was decent. More historical details are always better.

2023-02-03, 15:45 Reflection read

Best part of my week are the Reflections. Your effort, personality, and curiosity are on full display. To those of you experiencing life-altering hardship, I see you and tried to offer resources that Normandale has that might help. Thank you for your honesty. Llegamos juntos, o no llegamos allí en absoluto. (We arrive together or we don’t get there at all.)

2023-01-30, 15:56 Art Project

I reviewed your Art Projects. The quality varied widely, though the writing was uniformly good. The strongest paragraphs clearly tied evidence from the readings to a hypothesis about a specific historical society. We’ll talk more on Thursday.

Good luck with your Revisions.

2023-01-20, 16:03 Next 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.

2023-01-19, 15:12 Water History

To access the journal Water History, go to, then select "Journal Titles" on the right tab and type in "Water History."

2023-01-19, 12:00 Grades

Please note, I only give zeroes (0) for work I can’t see. If you have a zero in the D2L gradebook, that means when I went to grade your work, it was not there. Any work, even "sorry, I’m really busy" will receive some points.

2023-01-17, 10:47

Learning Circles: Please sit together the first part of class.

Red Orange Blue
Emran Grant Will
Ernie Jake Badria
Abigail Bushra Elliott
Jacob Mohamed Darrian
Sumaya Annabelle Jenny
Sam Brooke Mustafa
Green Purple Yellow
Farhan Jon Coral
Kiera Tenzin Tristan
Najla Bobbye Luke
Riley Amir Charlie
Luke Caleb Ibrahim
Nathan Canann

2023-01-16, 16:13

I have posted all the Assignment file links that I can see. Check your link to be sure that is the correct file. Email me with corrections or additions, and please include your section number in your email (subject line of the email works great.)

For example,

Professor Norton,

_I don’t see my Assignment file linked on our Assignment file page. For your reference, the link is (shared link here) and I shared it with your jackhistorynorton google account on (date).

_Please let me know if the link does not work.

Awesome student in History 1101, Section X.

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.