History 202 (Online)

History 202 (Online)

Professor Rees’ Online US History Survey Course


History 202 (online)

Colorado State University – Pueblo

Professor Jonathan Rees

Spring 2019

Office: GCB 314

Office Hours: MTWThF 1-2PM or by appointment.  If we can’t meet face-to-face in the GCB, I am willing to arrange Skype appointments for night or day.

E-Mail: drjonathanrees@gmail.com


Before we start, here are a few things that you need to know about this course:

1.  It is almost entirely online. While I will be available during regular office hours, it is entirely possible and acceptable to complete all the requirements of this course on your computer, without physically meeting any of your fellow students.

2.  This course is asynchronous. That means there are no regular meeting times. You can complete the requirements during normal school hours. You can complete the requirements at home after dinner or at four in the morning if you please.

3.  In order to participate in this course, you will need to acquire access to a number of programs. Every part of the course will be housed outside of BlackBoard.  The main copy of the syllabus (the one that might be revised as the course progresses) and all the assignments will appear on Canvas – a similar learning management system which I happen to prefer. Besides Canvas, we’ll be using Globalyceum which hosts the main textbook, Milestone Documents for additional readings and Slack for discussion. Don’t worry if this list sounds daunting, the first couple of days of class will be devoted to helping you acquire access to and master all these tools.

Student Learning Outcomes (as approved by the CSU-Pueblo General Education Board):

Use the English language to communicate with clarity, coherence and persuasiveness, demonstrating critical analysis, logic, precision and rhetorical awareness. (Communication)

Identify, analyze and evaluate arguments and sources of information to make informed and logical judgments, to arrive at reasoned and meaningful arguments and positions, and to formulate and apply ideas to new contexts. (Critical Thinking)

Articulate the nature of a multicultural society and recognize the role of aesthetic awareness, foreign language skills, cultural and social perspectives or human and institutional systems of the past and present. (Diversity and Social Responsibility)

Clarify and evaluate their own values and ethical conduct and analyze the values and ethical conduct of others. (Personal Values and Ethics)


You do not have to purchase any physical books because all your reading for this class will be found online. Nonetheless, all students are required to purchase access to two resources; access to the Globalyceum platform for this course and an additional online collection of primary sources called Milestone Documents. [I will know when you have purchased access to both these resources as the publishers provide me a class list.] Access to Globalyceum is available for purchase through the link on Canvas.  [It’s near the bottom here on the left].  Milestone Documents will be accessed through their web site.  Give them my name when you sign up and you will automatically be included as part of the section of their platform devoted to this class.

If you have any trouble purchasing access to these sites at the beginning of the semester let me know.  One of the advantages of working with small online publishers is that the staff are willing to make adjustments to meet your needs.  I’ll put you in touch with someone so that you can work out a temporary arrangement so that you can have access immediately.

There will also be sources from out on the World Wide Web that you should consult in order to complete each assignment. The appropriate links to those (free) sources will be near the bottom of each assignment and will be listed on the class blog shortly after the assignment goes live here on Canvas.

You may be shocked at the amount of reading that is listed at the bottom of each assignment. Relax. You are not expected to read all of it every week. However, you will be expected to read and test on a few sections of the Globalyceum book for each assignment. Of course, I encourage you to read more than that if you are so inclined, but reading everything listed at the bottom of each assignment is not a requirement of this course.

Assignments and Grades:

10% OF YOUR GRADE will be determined in the first two days of class with a broad assignment based upon your ability to meet the technological and organizational requirements of this course in a timely fashion.  Do all the things listed in Assignment #1 by  the end of week 2 and you will get an “A.” I will take off one full letter grade for every one of those things that you fail to do.

20% OF YOUR GRADE will be based on 4 out of 5 short papers based on two or three Globalyceum chapters, some Milestone Documents and some outside sources.  You should write between 800 and 1000 words for each of those essays, and use at least five different sources.  You are also required to list those five sources (even if you do not quote them directly in your essay) at the end of your essay. Those citations do not count as part of the final word count. More information about these assignments (including the questions) will be available before each one is due under the assignments tab in Canvas.

The best essays that satisfy the requirements of this assignment are built from the multiple primary sources present in the assigned reading list each week.  Direct quotations in all these essays MUST be footnoted.  [Using one or two direct quotations from the primary sources in an essay like this is strongly encouraged, but choose a section of the document that helps you make an argument that answers the question at hand.  Don’t just quote for the sake of quoting something.]  If you don’t know how to footnote using Chicago Style read this or come visit me during office hours.  However, all I really need is enough information on the essays to identify the source where you’re getting it from and access that source if I want to examine how you used it.

The design of this class is study the sources, then use those sources to build an essay. It is NOT just assemble a bunch of random stuff from the Internet to build an essay.  The quality of your grade depends upon your sticking to the assigned reading and other quality primary sources.  It is also very important that you stick to the approximate time period we are considering in the section of the course that this essay is about.  Adding material from other time periods, including those that we’ve already covered, will be highly frowned upon because it means you have not adequately considered the sources in the assignment for that section.

You have to tell me at the beginning of the assignment period if you’re passing on an essay because you think your other four grades are (or will be) sufficient. A Slack note will be fine for that purpose. Otherwise you will get a zero for that assignment and it will automatically count towards your grade.  You are not allowed to pass on your responsibilities for each week’s Slack discussions and Globalyceum questions.

20% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon a Midterm exam that will cover all the sources and textbook materials chapters that you have read by that point in the course.  Your answer should be between 1200 and 1400 words long and no citations are required for this assignment unless you quote a source verbatim. Think of it as a take home paper.

20% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon a Final exam.  It should be based just like your midterm but will be based on just material covered after the midterm exam.

20% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon your Slack forum participation for each assignment in the course.  For each assignment where the Slack discussion board is being used to help you prepare your essay (namely #2,#3,#5,#6,and #7) each student should post at least four messages in the appropriate Slack assignment channel at some point during the first week of a particular course section, before 5pm the first Friday of the assignment unit or (in just one case) by Wednesday at noon the second week.  Here are the required Slack posts:

1) A brief summary of a particular source listed on the reading list of that week’s assignment sheet that has not been summarized already.  Make sure you begin that summary with the name of the document so that it will abundantly clear to students who summarize after you know which one you summarized so that they won’t duplicate your efforts.  This is due the first Friday of the assignment period before 5pm.  If your document has been summarized already, your effort will not count.

2) A name, a link and a very brief summary of a reliable PRIMARY source on the open Internet from the appropriate time period that might be used to answer that particular question that has not been assigned and has not already been summarized by someone else already located somewhere else on the Internet.  [If you have trouble finding one, try here.]  This is due the first Friday of the assignment period before 5pm.

While historians would count a picture as a primary source, you cannot use a picture to complete an assignment because pictures are not good evidence for short written essays.

3) A reply to SOMEONE ELSE’S 1) or 2) source that explains how that source might be used to help answer the upcoming essay question for that assignment.  This is due the first Friday of the assignment period before 5pm.
4) A response to the featured document that will appear on the second Monday of the assignment period that explains how you might use that document in your upcoming essay.  This is due by 5p, on the second Wednesday of the assignment period.

*** When you leave a reply comment, please run your cursor over the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the page. Then click “Copy Link” near the top of the resulting menu. Slack DM me the copied link so that I don’t miss your reply comment. If the comments continue, just type “Thread” in that message so I know to look for more. If you left multiple replies in different threads, feel free to DM more than one link.

These Slack posts will be graded collectively with the rubric that is pinned to the top of each appropriate Slack discussion channel. While no posts beyond three for a single assignment are required, you’ll see in that rubric that engaging with other student’s posts is a criteria for evaluating your participation. It should go without saying that if I respond to one of your Slack posts, you should definitely engage with that response. In short, additional, on-topic slack posts are encouraged, and as long as you have the minimum number done by that first Friday feel free to continue the discussion into the second week of the course section.

Your Slack forum participation grades will be computed the following week that the assignment is due, at the same time that your graded final essay is returned to you.  Even if you pass on writing a particular assignment’s essay (because you can drop one grade), your participation in all Slack discussions of the assignment remains mandatory.

10% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon 4 out of 5 grades based upon Globalyceum reading assessment tests. As part of your preparation to write each essay, you will be required to read multiple sections from the Globalyceum book. After finishing each required section you will take the appropriate reading assessment test or quiz poll. [If there’s no assessment test for a particular section, it’s just recommended rather than required reading/viewing] If you get more than 50% of the answers correct on each section, you will get an “A” for that week’s Globalyceum assignment. If you score more than 50% correct on only part of the chapter tests, you will get a “C” for that week’s Globalyceum assignment. If you get less than 50% of the answers correct for both chapters or if you don’t attempt the tests, you will fail this assignment for that week.  Your four best scores for the five chapter pairs will be the ones that count towards your final grade.

There are TWO mandatory face-to-face meetings with me during office hours (or via Skype at a pre-arranged time).  The first is during the second week of class (hopefully after you’ve done most of Assignment 1) so that I can help with any class set-up problems.  The second is during the week following the midterm exam.  These meetings are MANDATORY and your participation in them is a minimum requirement for passing this class.

Similarly, you must complete (or forego by writing me in advance that you won’t be doing that assignment) all required assignments in order to pass the course.  Failure to respond to Slack messages for two straight risks students failing the entire class by virtue of their poor online “attendance.”

A note about the grade book: Because the grade computation formula listed above is so complicated, I do not use the online gradebook in Canvas at all. That means you will have to total your grades yourself in order to know exactly how you’re doing in the class.  I will compile all your grades on a spreadsheet and only total them at the end of the course.  [The gradebook section on Globalyceum does, however, fill automatically.  For those reading assignments, just remember that any grade that is over 50% correct counts as an “A.”]

Any form of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the entire course. This includes plagiarism, the taking of words and/or ideas of another and passing them off as your own. If another person’s work is quoted directly in a formal paper, this must be indicated with quotation marks and a citation. If you do not understand this definition of plagiarism, it is your responsibility to discuss this topic with me further. For more on plagiarism, click here.

Weekly Routine, Readings and Assignment Due Dates:

The Globalyceum readings for each assignment in the course are posted now.  You can at least read those chapters ahead of time, but the quizzes are a little moody so you may have to wait to take those until the approximate time that they are due.  The individual essay and midterm/final exam question will appear one week before they are due.  All the Slack channels for discussions of those essays are open now, but you won’t be able to read the appropriate essay question until approximately a week before each essay is due.  That means you can only work on two essay assignments at a time.

The course calendar is complicated, but I will do my best to remind you of upcoming deadlines on Slack each day.  Look for periodic announcements about the course on Slack on the #general channel. It is YOUR responsibility to keep abreast of these announcements as various requirements and operational necessities may change as needed.  If you get the free Slack smart phone app (available at all the main app acquisition sites), new messages will appear on your home screen as they occur.  While not required, I recommend you download this if you can because it will prevent you from having to remember to check in every day for new announcements.

Here is a brief summary of the general topics we’ll cover in this course:

Assignment 1: Setting up Tech/What Is History and What Is a Reliable Source?

Assignment 2: Industrialization and Its Effects (1880-1900)

Assignment 3: Age of Reform (1900-1940)

Assignment 4: Midterm

Assignment 5: The Cold War Here and Abroad  (1945-1960)

Assignment 6: Radicalism and Reaction (1960-1980)

Assignment 7: Deindustrialization and the Post-Cold War World (1980-Present)

Assignment 8: Final Exam

This University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.” If you have a documented disability that may impact your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see the Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations. In order to receive accommodations, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to: the Disability Resource Office, which is located in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Suite 169.

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to maintaining respectful, safe, and nonthreatening educational, working, and living environments. As part of this commitment, and in order to comply with federal law, the University has adopted a Policy on Discrimination, Protected Class Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, & Retaliation. You can find information regarding this policy, how to report violations of this policy, and resources available to you, on the Office of Institutional Equity’s website (www.csupueblo.edu/institutional-equity).

Please familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements of this policy. Because I am a faculty member, I am a “Responsible Employee.” That means I have to report to the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity if you tell me that you were subjected to, or engaged in, of any of the following acts: discrimination, protected class harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and retaliation.

Early Performance Survey:

This course participates in the Starfish student success program. Early in the semester, information about student performance in this class will be communicated to each student by email and/or text from Starfish. Attention to suggested actions is encouraged. This information is also available to academic advisors and others involved in supporting student success. Your advisor may then ask to meet with you to discuss your plans for success. The program is designed to promote success among students through proactive advising, and through referral to appropriate resources. Efforts to inform and assist students continues throughout the semester with a mid-semester survey, and instructor concerns or kudos can be posted to Starfish at any time.