World History 1 (1101-20) – MW- 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.

2023-05-9, 22:05 Final Revisions Assessed

There were some wonderfully well-execute final Revisions: thank you for all your hard work.

Sadly, more than one student has chosen to use ChatGPT to generate their final project, without citing their sources, resulting in zeroes on their final Revisions

A reminder from my lesson on this: AI (including ChatGPT) are a source and you must cite all your sources, always. More importantly for history, ChatGPT produces factually incorrect information about the past. The software is equally stupid about geography and culture.

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.

2023-05-02, 11:38 Feedback on Projects

As promised, I’ve left feedback for your Projects so you now have a full three days of revisions. See you tomorrow in our regular room.

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.

2023-04-28, 14:24 Classroom Change: College Services 1040

I forgot to mention that we are getting kicked out our classroom on Monday again and we’ll be in College Services 1040. I’m posting this on our course page, sending you and email, and posting to Discord.

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 Monday 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.

2023-04-12, 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.

2023-04-10, 10:01 Data Literacy Worksheet

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.

2023-04-6, 21:14- Revision and Reflection reviewed.

Revisions were stronger than on Tuesday (yeah) though some students stilled need to expand their arguments for why their piece should be in a documentary. I gave two points for the Thursday worksheet (I know it was four questions, but 4 points seemed excessive.)

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.


2023-03-31, 10:46- Story Maps Assessed

I’m please with this class’s efforts on StroyMaps. The strongest Story Maps clearly articulated the historical significance of the objects you chose. Some students described the objects more than explained the object’s importance. Still, even when students did not full-realize the expectations of the assignment, they produced good work.

I anticipate I will be in class on Monday as normal, though with a new scar that is oddly in the form of a question mark (apropos for a professor I thought.)

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.

I’m going to be out today for medical reasons, but will check in tonight on email to answer questions.

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 . . .

2023-03-17, 10:34 Project Voyant Assessed

Strong article selection and good attempts. The strongest answers focused on specific mentions of word counts and stop words they used, and drew conclusions based only on the word counts.

2023-02-26 Changed Classroom

Tomorrow, 02/27, our class will be in the Partnership Building, 0808A. It’s on the ground floor. Apologies for the late notice.

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.

2023-02-22, 15:24 Prepare Podcasts

Great to "see" many of your on Zoom today. I’ve reviewed the Prepare documents for this week and am looking forward to your Projects. Podcasts are a chance for you to pursue your own pre-1400 CE interest, so choose something you find fascinating.

2023-02-22, 8:48 Class on Zoom today

Our class will not be face-to-face today, but on Zoom. Please see Discord or your Normandale email for the Zoom invite.

2023-02-17, 13:06 Normandale Closed Monday

Monday: Normandale is CLOSED

Sorry, I forgot that Normandale is closed on Monday, for President’s day. Please remind your other Normandale friends. See you Wednesday.

2023-02-07, 12:11 Prepare on metadata assessed

Students have a strong sense of what metadata they like to use (or not) and are still struggling to define descriptive vs. structural metadata. We’ll do more work on this tomorrow.

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.)

2023-02-01, 15:38 Project and Revision Assessed

Most students paragraphs would benefit from additional historical detail. Overall writing is fine, but more of it (extend your thoughts with examples) and showing more connections between your sources will improve your writings.

2023-01-28 Class Cancellation

A health issue will prevent me from holding class on Monday. Please work on your Revision assignment as planned, asking and answering questions on Discord, the best place for assignment questions. I’ll do my best to respond to questions digitally (Discord or email) and will see you all on Wednesday.

2023-01-23 Text expansion

I mentioned using text expansion programs in class today. Auto Hotkey works well for Windows computers. Espanso seems similar, and for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but I haven’t used it. Both are open source and free.

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, 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, 10:40

Image of Class Groups
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 20 (MW)

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.