Syllabus for World History,Spring 2015

Syllabus for World History,Spring 2015

Syllabus for World History,Spring 2015

HIST1050: World History to the 16th century
HIST1060: World History from the 16th Century

Courses offered by Dr. Roy J. deCarvalho of the History Department at the University of North Texas that satisfy the Cross-cultural, Diversity and Global Studies requirement of the University Core Curriculum. For more information e-mail the instructor.

Course Description

A study of important events in the development of humankind to the 16th century (Hist1050) and from the 16th century (Hist1060). Emphasis is on selected personalities and economic, intellectual, political, religious and social trends.

Texbook information

Volumes I for HIST1050 and volumes II for HIST1060

Textbook: William J. Duiker & Jackson J. Spielvogel, World History, 7th edition. ISBN-13, Vol I: 978-1-111-83166-0, Vol II: 978-1-111-83167-7.

Reader: Mark A. Kishlansky, Sources of World History, 5th edition. ISBN-13, Vol I: 978-0-495-91317-7, Vol II: 978-0-495-91318-4.

Objectives & Outcomes

The objective of the course is to acquaint students with world politics, ethnic diversity and intellectual currents. The major periods, events and historiographical perspectives will be covered and the most important details of each will be discussed. The course seeks to foster intellectual appreciation of historical events and processes and the particularity of each region's cultural and intellectual life. In so doing, it is expected to develop the students' critical and analytical skills and make them better world citizens.


This course has three types of evaluation: quantitative, qualitative and participative. The quantitative mode evaluates the student knowledge of basic facts, events, and names a college graduate should be acquainted with. This mode requires the ability to know and memorize information. The qualitative mode in the form of written reports focuses on analytical skills and the ability to understand and articulate a point of view. The participative mode evaluates the student ability to communicate ideas, present what has been learned and conduct a rational and well informed discussion. The quantitative mode (examinations) is 40%, the qualitative mode (reports) is 40%, and the participative (participation at the Discussion Board) is 20% of the final grade.

Quizzes Information

  • Grades policy. One quiz per each chapter of the textbook. Quizzes are bundled into 3 parts. The textbook is also divided into 3 parts. Quizzes are multiple choice. Each part as a deadline. All quizzes must be taken before the part deadline. You have in average 30 days to complete each part. Take a chapter quiz every five to six days. Taking the quizzes all at once the day before the part's deadline is highly discouraged and a prescription for failure. Quizzes are 40% of the course grade.
  • Delivery.Blackboard (Bb)delivers all questions at once. Questions can be revisited at any time before delivering the quiz. Make sure to save each question individually by clicking on the Save Answer following each question.
  • Duration. Quizzes have in average the duration of one minuteper question. There is a digital clock at the quiz page so students can keep track of time. Quiz software (Bb)disallows answer submission if time has expired. It will force the submission at the cut off time. Unanswered questions are considered incorrectly answered questions.
  • Timing and attempts allowed. Students are allowed only one quiz taking attempt. They should religiously follow the schedule. A missed quiz will count as a missed grade (e.g., zero score).
  • Make-ups policy. Make-ups will be allowed only in cases of documented medical and/or family emergencies.
  • Feedback and grades policy. Once a quiz is submitted to the course instructor a confirmation message is delivered. The quiz score will be released after the quiz period has ended and the instructor has certified all quizzes results. Click My Grades tool at the course homepage for the scores.

Surf-the-web Report

As soon as you finish reading a textbook's part (there are three parts) you should became acquainted with related internet material (see for example the weblinks suggestions at the Chapter Summaries link of the course homepage). You should thus surf the web exploring topics of the lectures that interest you. First and foremost have fun surfing the web. Once you have found sites/material you like you should write a surf-the-web report and post the report at the Discussion Board at the appropriate part's forum. One web report per part. There are three parts and therefore 3 reports. Reports are due before the part deadline. See the schedule of exams for the deadlines. Reports are 40% of the course grade. You should not waitfor the last day of the part deadline to submit the reports.

For link suggestions see the resources link at the publisher book companion internet site and the course link, Chapter Summary. If you have questionsabout a topic, resource material, etc,ask the UNT virtual librarian and/or the instructor by posting a query at the Discussion Board.

The web report can be topic or site centered. A topical report discusses various web sites with information about a specific topic. A site centered report rather focuses on one specific site that specializes in the topic of choice. Both types of reports should examine the content, appearance, structure and any other relevant feature of the site(s). Reports should have a minimum of 2000 words.

Students will find a link to 'Samples of Reports' (this is the Hall-of-Fame of surf-the-web reports) written by students of previous sections of this course and Hist 4010/20.

Outstanding web reports will be included in the Hall-of-Fame of the surf-the-web reports. It is assumed that the authors of these outstanding reports give permission to archive their work and make it available to students of other sections of this course. Students who do not wish to give this permission or who wish to keep their work anonymous should notify the instructor as soon as they are notified that their report has been chosen to be included in the Hall-of-Fame.

Reports should be posted with the 'copy and paste' technique at the appropriate forum of the Board and not via the Attachment tool. Write the report in your favorite word processor and then copy and paste it into a compose message at the Board. The instructor will not open and give credit for reports posted as attachments. E-mail communications with the instructor should also not carry attachments. The instructor of this course does not open attachments found atstudents' mails or posts.

About Wikipedia

My original policy concerning the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia was that students should refrain from quoting Wikipedia in their reports. However in the last few years Wikipedia has grown to become a world phenomena and is now available in most languages. I also noticed that it is a favorite among my students. In order not to be locked in an ivory tower out of touch with my internet generation students and due to on-going significant student pressure I am relaxing my policy on Wikipedia. Students may quote and cite Wikipedia in their surf-the-web reports as long as Wikipedia is not the only source of information. Students must back up any information gathered from Wikipedia with other more academic sources. Sometime by mid-semester we will have a discussion at the Board concerning the academic reliability of Wikipedia and the formulation of a policy for future semesters. I suggest students become acquainted with Wikipedia in order to have an informed opinion.

A Note About Plagiarism and Citations

The Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, defines plagiarism as 'the deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas, words or statements of another person as one’s own without acknowledgement.' According to this definition, you commit plagiarism when you copy the work of another person (or internet site) and turn it in as your own, even if you have the permission of that person. For more information about plagiarism and the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline go to the Policy Manual UNT, .

There is zero plagiarism tolerance at UNT and this course.

Your browser copy/paste facility makes it easy and tempting to import entire blocks of text from an internet site into the composition of your surf-the-net report. In order to prevent scholarly misconduct students must cite material found on the WWW just as they would with material taken from printed sources.

Plagiarism check-up (Turnitin)

Blackboard has incorporated a plagiarism check-up tool developed by Turnitin (TII). Students will find at the course homepage three TII links (one for each part of the course). Before posting a report at the Board students are required to submit their reports to Turnitin and run their own originality check-up. The software searches the net for material that has been plagiarized as per the definition of plagiarism of the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities. Based on the TII assessment students should exercise their own judgment if their report is original. The software allows students to overwrite their reports as many times as they wish. There is, however, a 24 hours waiting period between attempts. The instructor will take into consideration only the most recently posted report. Once satisfied with the academic integrity of their work students should paste a copy of their reports at the respective forum of the Board. Reports posted at the Board that were not checked for originality at TII will be automatically assigned a 0. At the part's due date the instructor will evaluate the TII originality reports and assign either a 0 for not passing the plagiarism check-up or a 1 for passing the check-up. Students will see the grades of 0 or 1 at their gradebook (My Grades). Copies of the reports assigned a 1 and posted at the Board will be graded at vthe Board according to their academic merit. Copies of the reports posted at the Board that were assigned a 0 at the TII originality check-up will be as well automatically assigned a 0 at the Board. The grading of the reports for content takes place only at the Board. The grades of 1 and 0 at Turnitin merely means that a report passed or did not pass the originality check-up. The instructor will not grade reports posted at the Board that did not undergo first an originality check-up at the TII facility. In conclusion, post your report at TII, make sure you are satisfied with the originality report and then post a copy at the Board. If not satisfied with the TII originality report rewrite your work and try again.

Writing Guidelines

Here are a few suggestions on how to write good reports. Your instructor will take all the following considerations into account when grading reports.

  1. Sources. It is preferred that you use at least three references, unless of course you are writing a site centered report.
  2. Wikipedia. Please read one more time the course policy about Wikipedia stated above. It is acceptable to use Wikipedia as a reference but it should not be the only source of information.
  3. Length of the paper: Around 2000 words doesn't mean 400-1500 but rather 1800-2200 words.
  4. Citations. We will make this easy. Cite everything. When you directly quote something from a source you must place quotation marks and cite the source. Even if you do not quote word for word, meaning you reword the text in your own words, you still must give full reference to the source. We may want to know more specifically what your source has to say about the subject that is why you cite so that we can read the source ourselves.
  5. Quotes: Direct quotes should be used sparingly. Direct quotes should be no more than 15% of your paper. If you submit a paper comprised mostly of quotes expect a grade to reflect your work. Instead of direct quotes you may rewrite the ideas in your own words. You tell us in your own words what you learned by visiting these sources thus reducing the number of direct quotes.
  6. Plagiarism. We assume you are aware of what constitute plagiarism and what does not. Plagiarism is a very serious academic offense and will not be tolerated in this course. Again, read the section about Academic Dishonesty and the Turnitin tool.
  7. Other general rules you should have learned long ago.
    Organization: Report has an introduction (preface), body and conclusion.
    Writing Style: Difficult to have rules here but we all know the difference between a comprehensible and a non-comprehensible style. Proper use of grammar.
    Presentation: Text is clean, neat, well presented; paragraph division is logic. The writing (or argument) is well articulated, logical and critical. Writing is coherent.
    Critical attitude: Don’t take for granted anything just because it was published somewhere and/or the author is a doctor, a professor or has any other fancy degree and/or title. The appeal to authority should always be questioned. Information found in Wikipedia should be held questionable until validated by more reliable sources.
    Validity of the information: Make sure your facts are correct and you did not miss the point or argument of the information gathered.
    Extras: Graphics, images, charts, etc, deserve bonus points. They diversify the presentation and make the reading more interesting.
    Content: The topic of the report must be related to the material of the module. Reports must remain focused on the topic and not digress into unrelated issues. Topics must be approved by the instructor. If in doubt post at the Board and ask your instructor.

Grades Policy

Task / Grade
18 quizzes / 40 %
(18 quizzes at 60 points each.Total of 1080 points)
3 Web reports / 40 %
(3 reports at 360 points each. Total of 1080 points)
at Discussion Board (Reader) / 20 %
(540 points)
Total / 100% = 2700 points

More specifically, there are 18 quizzes (one per chapter). At a 60 points per quiz to a total of 1080 points (40% of the final course grade). There are 3 reports at a 360 points per report (another 40% of the final course grade). Participation (the remaining 20%) is worth 540. Final course grade maximum points: 2700. A curve will be applied in order to convert the course's final numeric grade into the traditional letter grade.

Course Contents

For Hist1050 (World Civilization to the 16th Century) see textbook chapters 1-18. For Hist1060 (World History from the 16th Century) see textbook chapters 14-29.

Registration and Help

Students register for this course exactly as they register for all UNT courses. For the appropriate code or information on how to register see the Schedule of Classes. Web-based Courses are listed both under the Department of History schedule of courses and under a separate section, Distance Education and Web-Based Courses. The official first day of classes of the Academic Calendar also applies to this course. Students should introduce themselves to the class Discussions Board, and start reading the first chapter during the first days of the semester. All dates and schedules of the Academic Calendar and all regulations of the Undergraduate Catalog apply. Students who do not follow the course, History Department, College of Arts and Sciences, and University regulations or do not reply within ten days to e-mail from the instructor sent to their course mail box will be automatically dropped from the course with a W or WF grade.

What to do if help is needed. Depending on what kind of course related problem you are experiencing here is how you can get help. If your problem is of one of content, e.g., your problem is of an intellectual nature, post an inquiry at the Board. If you do not wish to share your inquiry with everybody else then e-mail your course instructor. Compose a message at the course e-mail box. Your instructor shows up at the course mail box as RoydeCarvalho (instructor). If your problem is technical, e.g., your problem is software or hardware related, then you have several avenues. First and foremost try to figure it out by yourself. Click Help at the navigation upper banner. A Help option is offered throughout most of the courses' pages. You should also try the Student Resources link at the Bb main entry page (where you enter the userid and password)or go directly to This is a very inclusive manual of allBb functions. If you still can't figure it out and it is not urgent then post your question at the Discussion Board. Again, if you do not wish to share your question with the rest of the class then e-mail your instructor privately. Your instructor has limited technical knowledge ofBb and computer systems. If your instructor can't help you or is not available immediately then call the Help Desk (940)565-2324. If you are in campus you can go to ISB Room 119 and get walk in help from a warm human being.Bb related technical difficulties are no excuse for missing deadlines. If you feel overwhelmed by information technology you should rather consider taking the traditional classroom version of this course. Basic knowledge and willingness to learn information technology is a course prerequisite.