Course Requirements and Grading.

1. Reading. Each week's assignments should be completed before our first meeting.

2. Participation. Learning is an interactive process and I strongly encourage students to participate during both lectures and discussion by providing comments and questions based on the readings for the week. We will regularly devote class time to discussion of assigned readings (particularly primary source readings), lectures, and films. Student participation in these discussions, writing weekly posts to their blogs, and comments on others blogs (see below) will be the basis for the participation portion of the grade. Students must make 13 posts during the course of the semester. In order to do these things effectively, students need to attend class.

3. Writing Assignments. The best way to become a better writer is to write often, in various formats, and for differing audiences. We will do all those things in the course of this semester, relying on public, open source, free web-based technologies as much as possible. Students will be writing for each other as well as for me, and we will all be commenting on each other's work. How will we do this? Blogs.

  • Blogs. Each student will register a blog on one of the free blog services available on the web. Instructions for how do this can be found here. As everyone sets up their blogs, I will aggregate their RSS feeds onto the class post page. Anything a student publishes on their blog will show up on that page. I would also suggest that each of you set up a Google Reader account to keep up with the course RSS feed. Please remember that a blog is nothing more than a publishing platform, so the verb attached to this exercise is ‘to write.' The bulk of your writing for this class will be on your blog. Each student will be required to post once per week. These posts should contain the student's reaction to and discussion of the week's readings, or film, or lectures, or whatever else is on your mind appropriate to the course. Some weeks I may give you a prompt or question to consider in your posts. For those of you new to the publishing platform of the blog, the sweet spot for posts tends in the neighborhood of 500 words. Your posts must be at least 450 words long to count. Links to all of the student blogs will be pinned at the top of the main course blog as well. Though you are required to post each week, your ultimate Blog Grade will come from a 3-post portfolio of your choice. That said, because you must comment on 2 other blogs each week, you should post by Sunday evening each week to give your compañeros the chance to read an make short comments before class on Tuesday.
  • Commenting on Blogs. As stated, I want you to read and comment on two other classmate's entries. Due to the wonders of RSS, I'll be following everyone's entries and comments.
  • Formal Paper. For this paper, students will choose a topic that relates to our course and write a short (5 page) historiographical analysis of two articles from two different academic journals. This paper will be turned in via email– as a pdf or doc file.
  • Exams. There will be an in-class midterm and a final exam due at the end of our scheduled exam period. The final exam will be optional, and must be turned in electronically by the end of the scheduled exam period as a pdf or doc file.

    Calculating your grade:
    Participation: 20%; Blog Portfolio: 25%; Formal Paper: 25%; Exams: 30%