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Course Information


TSI satisfied in Reading and Writing

Communication Policy:

Your Responsibilities to Communicate

You must log in at least 3 times a week and check both Blackboard Messages and Announcements. If I email you in Blackboard Messages, you must read and reply or call your instructor if you do not understand. You must be sure you have read all announcements since your last login.

Your Instructor’s Timeframe for Responding

I make every effort to return messages (course email, phone, discussion postings) within 36 hours (weekends and holidays excepted).

Online Office Hours, Hours On-Campus, or Help by Phone

During Online Office Hours (listed on the first page of this syllabus), I respond to Blackboard Messages and postings on the Discussion Board. I am glad to help you online, to meet you on campus, or to work with you by phone. If we both have Blackboard open, working together by phone frequently brings the fastest solution. I teach on two campuses: Richmond Campus on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Sugar Land on Tuesday and Thursday.

General Education Core Objectives:

·         Social Responsibility (SR) - intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities

·         Personal Responsibility (PR) - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making

History Department Student Learner Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

1)      Create an argument through the use of historical evidence.

2)      Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources.

3)      Analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on this period of United States history. The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides a link on why these matter to you.

Required Course Materials:

This textbook is required for all written assignments: David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, and Mel Piehl, The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic, 9th edition. It is the one-volume edition containing 41 chapters and is used for both History 1301 and History 1302. The ISBN is 9781337124645; however, that ISBN is a “bundle” and includes both the textbook and an online program called Mindtap. In this course, we will not use Mindtap.

You must use your textbook and other resources provided in the course (including primaries for your 3-Part Writing assignment) as your only source for your written assignments. For all written assignments, you must cite a specific page from the textbook or a primary for your facts. (See Required Writing and Evidence Requirements.)

Distance Education has provided these requirements: You will need a computer, an external webcam and microphone, a reliable internet connection, and access to the WCJC Blackboard site. Please note that embedded webcams cannot be used, since they do not give good scans of the testing environment. An external (clip-able) webcam is required for the webcam testing option.

An offer that may help some of you with costs: If you have a laptop with an internal webcam and microphone, I am willing to let you try to use it to do what Respondus calls an Environmental Check with the Sample Respondus Exam. My experience is that a person who is very careful can do it correctly. If you want to try this with the Sample Respondus Exam, email me in Blackboard Messages. I will file your message and reply back with some tips that I hope would increase your odds of making this video be clear enough. When you speak into the microphone during the Respondus process, remind me of our agreement. If I approve, then keep being very careful and continue to remind me of our agreement with each exam.

Getting Started provides Distance Education’s information on Respondus Monitor as well as my Penalties List.

Required Preparation to Use Blackboard:

You are responsible to prepare your computer and its browser to work with WCJC’s Blackboard. Getting Started provides the Distance Education FAQs that contain the technical information you need and how to get more help if needed.

Method of Instruction:

This course uses Learning Quizzes, Lessons, writing assignments, and other course work to help you learn the essentials of history, but also to prepare you for the world of work or, if that is your goal, for further academic study. You can:

·         Master basic concepts and content that help you figure out what is happening in the world you live in

·         Practice skills at learning new and varied things, something essential in a rapidly changing world where workers may have to retrain many times

·         Develop skills necessary as a successful decision maker about your own life and about your own vote

·         Strengthen practical skills in reading, problem-solving, and writing that are necessary for all those roles.

Organization of the Course (US History I):

United States History I covers from the 1500s to 1877. The course is split into three Units, or major time periods, that reveal shifts in our history:

·         Unit 1: From New World to New Empires - the 16th Century to 1776

·         Unit 2: From Making a Revolution to Making a Nation - 1776 to 1830s

·         Unit 3: Transforming the Nation - 1830s to 1877

Two resources at the top of each Unit help you know how to work:

·         The Checklist for Success for the Unit shows you what to do in the Unit.

·         The Unit Study Guide (at the top of each Unit’s folder) helps you focus your work so you save time—and make a good grade on your Unit Exam.

Organization of the Course (US History II):

United States History II covers from 1877 to the 21st Century. The course is split into three Units, or major time periods, that reveal shifts in our history. The three time periods are:

·         Unit 1: Creating a New America from 1860 to 1900 

·         Unit 2: Moving to the World Stage –  America from 1900 to 1945

·         Unit 3: Transformations – America from 1945 to the Near Present

Two resources at the top of each Unit help you know how to work:

·         The Checklist for Success for the Unit shows you what to do in the Unit.

·         The Unit Study Guide (at the top of each Unit’s folder) helps you focus your work so you save time—and make a good grade on your Unit Exam.

Method to Locate Work in the Course:

The safest approach is to click on Learning Modules. It provides everything you need in one place. Each Unit is the same: its content, its Blackboard discussion, its quizzes, and its Unit exam.

Course Requirements and Graded Assignments

Getting Started Activities:

The Getting Started activities are listed on the last page of the Course Orientation link. If you come in past the due date, you must still do these activities but I will record—temporarily—a 1.11 for the grade. At the end of the term, you email your instructor that you have not been late with other assignments and I will gladly change the grade to match what I have entered in the Comment for that grade.

Assignments That Help You Learn Efficiently and Prepare for Exams and for Writing Assignments:

How Quizzes Work in This Course for Both Self-Testing and to Earn Full Points

Whether Learning Quizzes or ones on the basics of evidence, quizzes always consist of:

·         A self-test so you find out what you know and you do not know. The name is self-test because you are testing yourself so you know what you need to do.) The goal is positive so no points are lost. Self-Tests are extra credit and have questions that are only worth .01. (A .01 is so small that it is equivalent to a penny compared to a dollar.)
Tip: On the other hand, it is in your interest to answer Self-Tests accurately so measure your own brain accurately for 2 reasons.  

1.       You want to know what you know and do not know so you can work efficiently and correct or complete what you do not know.

2.       If you already know the content in the Self-Test and prove that by being correct on over 80% of the questions on that Self-Test, you earn the points for its Full-Test without taking it.
The instructor enters those points at the end of each Unit after the Learning Quizzes close.

·         Once you submit the self-test, Blackboard automatically displays additional content (if needed) and a Full-Test that has so that you can earn full points while teaching yourself the vocabulary and map locations you do not know. You may repeat as many times as you wish, and your highest score counts.


A Visual to Help You: How a Self-Test and its Full-Test works.

You take a Self-Test

You are right 80% or more of the questions.

Notice what you missed.

You are right 79% or fewer of the questions.

Jot down what you missed—not the whole question but brief words. Tip: You can always go back to look at the Self-Test again.

Blackboard sometimes displays resources, such as dictionary definitions.
If you made more than a 0, Blackboard always displays the Full-Test.

Blackboard sometimes displays resources, such as dictionary definitions. If it does, use Ctrl-F (Find) to search the resources for what you missed. (Ask if you need help.)

If Blackboard does not display the Full-Test, you made a 0 on the Self-Test. Email with your name, class, and the exact name of the Self-Test.

If you want to, you may take the Full-Test.

You take its Full-Test until you understand.

When the Unit tests close,
your instructor enters Full points for you.

Your highest score counts.

You have the Full points
because you already knew it.

You have the Full points
because you taught yourself.




There is an incentive for persisting explained before the List of Due Dates at the end of the syllabus.

Evidence Quizzes as a Key to Understanding Historical Writing and Basics That You Must Apply When You Write

The main purpose of the Evidence Quizzes are to help you recognize the IF and the WHEN below:

Learning Quizzes as a Key to Understanding Concepts

Learning Quizzes let students focus on concepts, such as the meaning of words, the location and traits of places, and parts of essential documents. Understanding concepts helps you understand accurately the facts you encounter in print, online, or just talking. Questions from these quizzes are also 8 (about one-third) of the 25 questions on each Unit exam.

Learning Discussions for Each Unit

You work together as a group to ask and answer questions you have. The questions can come from Learning Quizzes, Evidence Quizzes, content in a Lesson, items in the Study Guide, or any content covered in the Unit. For discussions where students help each other learn, your instructor approves your post before it is visible to the group. If you made an error that might damage another student, your instructor gives you feedback so you can repost. Blackboard refers to these as “moderated” posts. Instructions and the grading rubric are in the Discussion’s Description.

3 Unit Exams and the Goal of Exam Questions (Questions are easier—and more useful.)

There are 25 questions in sets (so students in Blackboard see different questions). Eight of the 25 sets (about a third) in the Unit Exam are pulled from Learning Quizzes so you not only pre-earn points for the quizzes, but you can pre-learn 8 of the 25 unit questions.

The goal of the exam questions determines the remaining seventeen (about two-thirds) of the 25 sets of exam questions. In this class, questions do not require that you show you know everything, but you show that you know something. The questions focus on your recognizing significant traits of such things as regions, time periods and their dominant beliefs or events, and representative historical figures. Tip 1: The best way to recognize and learn these is in the instructor’s Lessons in each Unit, not in turning the pages of the textbook. Tip 2: The best way to use the Lesson links efficiently is to use the Unit’s Study Guide (at the top of each Unit’s folder).

The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides a link with examples of these types of questions.

Departmental Final Exam—F for the Course If Not Taken

The 25 questions, at 4 points each, in the Departmental Final Exam were written directly or chosen by the History Department. Caution: Departmental policy is an F for the course if you do not take the Final. In other words, if you have an A average for all the prior work in the course and if you do not take the Final Exam, I am required to enter an F for your final LETTER grade for the course.

Course Exams and Requirement for Monitoring of Your Final Exam

Distance Education has provided this introduction: This course requires the use of Lockdown Browser for taking online exams. The Lockdown Browser software prevents a user from accessing other applications or going to other websites during an exam. The webcam records you during the exam to ensure you're only using resources that are permitted. Together, these tools make it possible for students to take online exams from any location, and at times that are convenient. It also creates a fair testing environment for everyone in the course. Instructions for downloading the Lockdown Browser software are posted in the course.

In this course, you will find all you need for monitoring online exams in a folder within Getting Started.

Written Assignments:

Your Instructor’s Perspective

Throughout the 3 parts, your instructor is glad to spend time with you to help you. Caution: do not start the day before the 1st Part is due. It may be too hard to contact me and writing in history requires understanding evidence.

Also, if you think I have marked your evidence incorrectly, double check your source and then contact. If I am wrong and you can show me the evidence, I am glad to change the grade. I try hard, but everyone can make a mistake.

How Writing Assignments Work in This Course

Writing assignments are freshman level, brief, and use only the textbook and resources in the course. You focus on a specific historical question as though you were teaching another student. You follow rules for citation provided in the course. Every part of the writing and all feedback, including your peer review of others’ work, is to be based on the 5 Good Habits for Evidence.  Grading is not about your style or your opinion or your memories—or mine. It requires you practice skills essential to get and keep a good job. 

You post your writing in a type of Discussion that requires that you post before you can see other students’ writings. This means you must read the instructions carefully before you post your paper—you cannot rely on a good student showing you what to do.  Your instructor does 2 things:

1.       Opens and closes the same Discussion for each of 3 Parts according to the List of Due Dates

2.       Based on your action, either makes you a Participant (a person able to post in the Discussion) or a Reader (a person who can only see the posts):

·         If you have met the Evidence Quiz prerequisites, you become a Participant who can post the 1st Part.

·         If you posted the 1st Part and you replied to my emailed feedback on it, you become a Participant who can post on the 2nd Part.

·         If you did the 2nd Part, you become a Participant who can post on the 3rd Part

Tip: The objective of these prerequisites is to reduce the odds that you do work contrary to instructions and fail the whole assignment. Ask if you do not understand so I can help you.

By the date in the Course Schedule, you also post your peer review of 2 other students’ work in the same Discussion. That peer review must provide feedback on content and on evidence using the Good Habits for Evidence rubric. You must reply to the peer review feedback from each student to get points.

A 3-Part Writing Assignment – Paper, 2 Peer Reviews of Other Students’ Papers, and Your Responses to Feedback

·         1st Part: For your paper, you follow the instructions and answer the question provided. You use primaries. You write a brief paper. Since a word count can be hard to think about with Discussion, the paper—if printed—is to be under 1 page double-spaced. You provide citation as specified.
Feedback: Your marked paper and your marked Good Habits for Evidence rubric in an email in Course Messages

·         2nd Part: For your peer review, you follow the instructions on how to give specific feedback in the Discussion tool. You focus your feedback on whether the other student followed the 5 Good Habits for Evidence. You also follow the rules for evidence in your peer review. For example, if in your peer reviews you refer to something in the textbook or primaries, you must follow the same rules for citation as you did with the paper.
Feedback: Your instructor also grades your peer reviews with a rubric in the Discussion tool.

·         3rd Part: For your response to the 2 people who peer reviewed your paper, you write a brief, evidence-centered response.
Feedback: Your response and a brief rubric in an email.

The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides links explaining primaries, peer reviews, and citation. Use those links.

Grading Scale:

This is a 1000-point course, with points added as you earn them. Announcements let you determine your current letter grade at the end of each Unit. If the grade is lower than you want, ask for help. The Final Letter Grade is determined by this scale:

Point Range

Final Letter Grade

895 – 1000

A (exceptional)

795 – 894

B (above average)

695 – 794

C (average)

595 – 694

D (below average)

Below 594

F (failing)

Grading Formula:

The 1000-point course consists of these points, with the last 2 being written work:


Your Course Plan and Extra Credit for How You Work and Opportunities to Improve a Weak Grade:

This course does not offer extra credit at the end of the class to help a few people make a higher grade. It does offer extra credit to all students for doing things that will make them better students in writing and with quizzes (explained below).

Caution about the History Department’s Course Objectives and Its 25% Writing Requirement

The History Department has student learner outcomes that require writing based on evidence and that require that you use primaries as well as secondaries. The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides a link to explain those objectives and the meaning of the terms primary and secondary.

The written work must be over 25 percent of your final grade, a requirement for all history instructors. That minimum means formal writing assignments are essential to pass.

The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides a link to show you math examples so you can see how that 25% writing requirements makes success in writing essential.

How This Course Tries to Help Different Types of Students Succeed with Writing about History:

For many students, a United States history course is the first time they have had to write about something that is real—not just opinion—and therefore requires verifiable evidence from a reliable source. Some students never had United States history before. Some students are very uncomfortable and inexperienced with writing.

Also, history is cognitively like biology: both disciplines are real and both are also detailed, complex, and interconnected. That means you have plenty of ways to be wrong about those realities. Many students seem to have problems with both of these disciplines.

To try to help students with the issues above, this course does three things. First, it provides information and quizzes on these basic rules of evidence so you can find out what you do not know about evidence before you write. Second, it uses one rubric for all writing assignments and your feedback on that rubric tells you which of the 5 Good Habits for Evidence—which way of working—you may need to change. Third, with permission of the History Department to do this experiment to try to help students, it divides written grades in two parts:

The Syllabus & Success Assignment provides a link to show you how dividing written grades in those two parts can help your grade—and your skills.

How This Course Tries to Help Different Types of Students Persist by Providing Incentives

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the word incentive as:

something that makes a person try or work hard or harder.”

There are two types of incentives in the course to help you persist:

1.       With the 3 Learning Discussions, you earn 10 incentive points on each one—small but a 50% increase

·         If you post as its rubric explains and if you earn over 14 points out of 20

·         If you make over 60 on the Unit 1 Exam

2.       With Learning Quizzes and Evidence Quizzes, you earn 1 incentive point for each quiz if you:

·         Either already knew the content in the Self-Test and were correct on over 80% of the questions on that Self-Test, you earn the points for its Full-Test without taking it.
At the end of each Unit after the Learning Quizzes close, the instructor not only enters the points for the Full-Test but also the 1 point incentive

·         Or complete both Self-Test and Full-Test 3 days before the Unit Exam.
Why Do the Full-Tests? 1) Its Full-Test lets you teach yourself any missed concepts by taking the test as many times as you want and you pre-learn about one-third of the Unit Exam questions. 2) Completing both tests results in the 1 point incentive. 3) That the highest score counts is also an incentive to persist—what Duckworth calls “grit,” something everyone needs.)

For a link to Duckworth’s Ted Talk, use the Syllabus & Success Assignment. She is very impressive.

Grading Response Timeframe:

I make every effort to provide feedback for written assignments by the date in the List of Due Dates. If I cannot, I post an announcement. I generally:

Overview and Policies for Monitored Online Exams (Information Also in Getting Started)

WCJC and Academic Honesty and Monitoring of Online Exams and Your Instructor’s View

WCJC requires—as it should—that instructors include WCJC’s Academic Honesty in Online Courses statement in the course. Look carefully at WCJC’s Academic Honesty Statement for Online Classes (provided in Getting Started), and you will see the reason for WCJC:

·         Requiring instructors to monitor online testing

·         Requiring students to act with online testing with equivalent actions that they would do for an on-campus exam

To speak personally, I take my responsibility to WCJC seriously so I will be looking carefully at those videos of each of you taking each exam. There is also another reason that I take this seriously. The habits that students practice are who they become. If somehow a few of you got used to cheating, the greatest wrong is the damage that you have done to yourself. In the real world where you must make a living, you will not be ready to get or, what’s harder,-keep a good job.

Why You Want to Do Monitored Exams Correctly – 2 Reasons

Reason 1: Avoiding Penalties

You may have habits for testing that are totally innocent, such as preferring to take exams on your bed or couch. On the other hand, instructors experienced with the monitoring online testing say taking an exam on a bed or couch makes it easy to hide cheating from the webcam used in monitoring.

So what do you do? A person who did not want to look like a cheat would—for example—either not sit on a bed or couch for the test or be very careful to show that you are not using hidden materials. When you take an exam online, you do the equivalent actions to what you would do in an on-campus exam. In other words, whether you were cheating or not in an on-campus class, you would not want to look like you were cheating and you would act accordingly. The list of actions below let you know:

·         What actions dishonest students do during an online test

·         What penalties experienced instructors apply to exam grades when they see those actions

First, look at these penalties and the descriptions of the actions that result in 0 points for the exam or 30% off the grade. Second, look at the next sections so you do online testing in that way that protects you.

Caution about the Penalties List: Instructors experienced with monitoring exams recommend these penalties, and I will apply these penalties if you do these things:


If You Do One of These Things

The Penalty Is

0 for the Exam

Minus 30 percentage Points

Do an incomplete video for what Respondus calls the Environmental Check



Do not have enough lighting for the instructor to tell if you are cheating



Do not position your Photo ID carefully. Your name must be readable and your photo must be clear. Tip: practice with your webcam so you can do this.



Have anything near where you take the exam unless your instructor has told you to use specific resources during the exam.



Move so you are not recorded at all by the webcam



Move the webcam from where it was during what Respondus calls the Webcam Check so it no longer shows your face and upper body



Play music or other audio recordings during exams



Talk with anyone for any reason at any time during the exam



Turn off the microphone although it worked during what Respondus calls the Webcam Check



Reason 2: Being Able to See an Exam Monitored by Respondus Monitor

Instructors have to do online monitoring and students have to do online testing following the rules in Distance Education’s video for students. Students will not be able to see the current exam unless they either do 1 or 2:

1.       If you have never used Respondus Monitor at WCJC, carefully followed the requirements shown in Distance Education’s video for students and then take the Sample Respondus Exam that Distance Education provides (both provided in a folder for Distance Education in Getting Started). If you take it more than one time, be sure to tell me which one to check.

a)      You email your instructor to check your video and also state that you read and understand the Penalties List.

b)      Then your instructor checks the video and:

·         Either gives you feedback on how you have to redo it

·         Or emails that you were correct and enters the points for the Respondus Acknowledgement.

2.       If you believe you have correctly used Respondus Monitor at WCJC many times, you may skip the Sample Respondus Exam and just complete the Respondus Acknowledgement, a quiz used as a way to acknowledge that you know the requirements. The first link in the folder for Distance Education {in Getting Started) tells you what to do before you do that Acknowledgment.

What You Need to Understand about Online Monitoring and Your Grade for Exams:

Notice these cautions about online monitoring in all classes and specifically in this class.

·         Caution: Respondus Monitor is now a more powerful and more convenient tool for instructors.

·         Caution: Your points for any exam—even the Final—may change until the instructor announces that she finished reviewing all of those exams.

·         Caution: In this course, you cannot ignore your instructor’s concerns about the video of your taking your exam. If your video for the current exam is not correct (whether you took the Sample Respondus Exam or completed the Respondus Acknowledgement quiz instead), your instructor:

o   Will notify you by sending you screen prints of what you did

o   Will block you from seeing any future exams until you deal with that feedback

o   Will deduct the points from your exam according to the Penalties List

·         Caution: Although the current plan is to use Respondus Monitor only with Unit 1 Exam and the Final Exam, your completing the Respondus Acknowledgement quiz is a requirement to see Unit Exams 2 and 3 as well.
Why? I reserve the right to use Respondus Monitor with the other 2 exams also and—if that occurs—I will notify all of you with an Announcement that will automatically copy you in an email to your WCJC email.

Course Policies

Late Work Policy:

It is your responsibility to email or talk to your instructor if you do not know what to do. The earlier we communicate, the better are our chances for success.

With due dates for any assignment, including exams and required writing, there are no extensions unless it is appropriate to make an extension to all of you. You have these responsibilities:

  1. If your planning at the beginning of the term shows you cannot do these assignments, such as having previously scheduled a trip, tell your instructor immediately and suggest an earlier date for you do the assignment.

Tip: Examine the Course Schedule to determine if you have conflicts and immediately propose an earlier date. Caution: Use the Course Schedule (not the calendar and not any other source of dates). Ask; do not assume.

  1. If something happens that you cannot plan for, such as suddenly becoming very ill (doctor’s note required) or having a death in the family, tell your instructor immediately and provide a valid, written excuse.

·         With a valid, written excuse for something that no one could plan for, these rules apply.

§  If you miss an exam, your make-up exam is taken on the date of the Final Exam.

§  If you miss a Required Writing (with the exception of Peer Reviews), you receive an extension, set by me, with no penalty.

·         Without a valid, written excuse for something that no one could plan for, you receive a 0.

Tip: If you had an event that does not meet the criteria of something that no one could plan for and if you cannot prepare as much as you prefer, do the assignment as best you can. A low grade is better than a 0.

Technology Outage Policy:

If Blackboard is non-functioning, first, please try a different browser to determine if the source of the problem is browser-specific. If the problem persists within another browser, then submit a Request for IT Support Form (opens is same window/tab) or contact them directly at 979-532-6568. See the Blackboard Login Page for a link to IT Help Desk hours of operation. Also contact your instructor immediately using a working form of communication (email, phone, etc.) should a Blackboard outage occur.

Attendance Policy:

WCJC’s Student Handbook explains responsibilities for attendance and when a student should withdraw from the course. With distance education, Blackboard stores extensive data on time spent and where. Given the speed of an 8-week course covering 16 weeks’ of work, students should log in at least 3 times a week to work online with quizzes, resources, and student discussions. Students should also work offline, including careful reading of the required sources.

Online Classroom Behavior Policy/Classroom Civility:

WCJC’s Student Handbook explains student responsibilities for civility. As with on-campus classrooms, each student is expected not to disrupt the class or abuse any person. Blackboard stores what you do (including messages you create with any tool), when you do it, and where you go. Some Blackboard tools—such as the Discussion Board—not only store messages permanently, but also make what you write visible to everyone in the class. When communicating publicly with the whole class and with individuals, you need to be both kind and collaborative. (See the Course Orientation for specifics.)

Academic Honesty Policy:

WCJC’s Student Handbook explains student responsibilities and provides examples of misconduct. It states “plagiarism and cheating refer to the use of unauthorized books, notes, or otherwise securing help during a test; copying tests [or] assignments….” The Handbook provides details on college-level consequences. Also see the Academic Honesty Statement for Online Classes in Getting Started. In this course, copying any part of an assignment from the Internet or another source is a zero (0) on the assignment.

Dropping a Course with a Grade of “W”:

In the History Department, instructors may not drop students. Students must drop their course. WCJC sets the last date for a student to drop a course. That date is on the first page of this syllabus and also on the Course Schedule in the General Information section in the List of Due Dates. In making this decision, make sure you also understand the 6 Drop Rule from the Texas legislature.

Six Drop Rule:

Under section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, “an institution of higher education may not permit a student to drop more than six courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education.” This statute was enacted by the State of Texas in spring 2007 and applies to students who enroll in a public institution of higher education as a first-time freshman in fall 2007 or later. There are many exceptions to this rule. Please refer to the current WCJC catalog for information.

List of Due Dates

General Information:


Some dates overlap in order to give students maximum flexibility during each unit.

Last day for you to “Drop” the course with grade of “W” – October 5, 2018

Holidays during the 1st 8-week class – Labor Day (September 3, 2018).

Due Dates and Dates for Incentives

All assignments are due at the time in the column Due Date/Hour. There is however a small incentive for completing all quizzes 2 days before the start of each Unit Exam. Those Incentive Dates are listed below. (For details in this Syllabus, click Ctrl-F and type the words About Incentive.)

Password You Enter for Self-Tests

Learning Quizzes and Evidence Quizzes have this password:

selftest    < no capitals, no spaces, and no punctuation

Why that password? You measure what you know and do not know (thus the name Self-Test). Once you take it, Blackboard automatically displays its Full-Test and sometimes resources.

Password You Enter for Unit 2 Exam and Unit 3 Exam

Unit 2 and Unit 3 do not use Respondus Monitor but have this password:

onetimeonly    < no capitals, no spaces, and no punctuation

Why that password? Typing that password means you know you can take it one time only. 

The List of Due Dates and Where You Do Your Work

The List of Due Dates below have the same headings as the names on Learning Modules. For example, the first heading below—Getting Started (AUG 27-AUG 28…—is also the name of the 1st Learning Module that you use


When writing work occurs within the time period of a Unit, the row in the Unit includes the phrase Required Writing and Evidence Requirements so you know where you do that work.

Getting Started (AUG 27-AUG 28 with Respondus through SEP 9) & Staying Successful All 8 Weeks


Open Date/Hour

Due Date/Hour

Complete tasks listed on the last page of the Course Orientation link.  Caution: If you cannot do those tasks by 8/28, email your instructor a proposed date immediately either as a Reply to my email to you in WCJC email on 8/25 or as a new message in Course Messages (the email in this Blackboard course).

8/27–8:00 AM

8/28–11:59 PM

Complete Distance Education’s Sample Respondus Exam exactly as they require or complete the Respondus Acknowledgement quiz. Caution: You cannot take the three Unit Exams or the Final Exam without successfully doing one of these.

8/30-8:00 AM

9/9-11:59 PM

Unit 1: From New World to New Empires – 16th Century to 1776 (AUG 29-SEP 16)

Assignment (Listed in the Order They Become Open Date/Hour)

Open Date/Hour

Due Date/Hour

Use the Lessons in Unit 1 and its Study Guide (Textbook chapters: 1 to 6)

Take the Learning Quizzes in Unit 1. Tip: See instructions at the top of its folder.

8/29–12:00 AM

9/16–-11:59 PM

Post and/or reply in Unit 1 Learning Discussions. Tip: See instructions in the 1st post or in Discussion Instructions on the Course Menu for how you use current content and how you post. These Discussions end one day before the exam starts so others have a chance to use your work.

8/29–12:00 AM

9/13–12:00 AM (Ends 1 day before the exam starts)

In Required Writing and Evidence Requirements, begin Evidence Quizzes. Tip: See instructions at the top of the folder for how to work efficiently.

9/2–12:00 AM

Continues in Unit 2.

Take Unit 1 Exam   (Incentive Date for all quizzes: 9/12-12:00 AM, ends 2 days before the exam starts)

9/14–12:00 AM

9/16–11:59 PM

Unit 2: From Making a Revolution to Making a Nation1776 to 1830s (SEP 16-OCT 1)

Assignment (Listed in the Order They Become Open Date/Hour)

Open Date/Hour

Due Date/Hour

Use the Lessons in Unit 2 and its Study Guide (Textbook chapters: 7 to 14.)

Take all Learning Quizzes in Unit 2 (Tip: same instruction as Unit 1.)

9/16–12:00 AM

10/1–11:59 PM

Post and reply in Unit 2 Learning Discussions. (Tip: same instruction as Unit 1.)

9/16–12:00 AM

9/28–12:00 AM

In Required Writing and Evidence Requirements, complete Evidence Quizzes. You must complete the Self-Tests for Evidence Quiz 1, 2, 3, and 4 to see the instructions for the 3-Part Writing Assignment (9/11) and to post (9/18-9/25).

Continues from Unit 1

10/1–11:59 PM

In Required Writing and Evidence Requirements, post your paper in the 3-Part Writing discussion. Caution: You must post before 9/25 11:59 PM to do the other 2 parts of the 3-Part Writing Assignment. Late papers are not accepted.

9/18–12:00 AM (Instructions are available 9/11)

9/25–11:59 PM

Take Unit 2 Exam                            (Incentive Date for all quizzes: 9/27-12:00 AM)

9/29–12:00 AM

10/1–11:59 PM

Unit 3: Transforming the Nation–1830s to 1877 (SEP 30-OCT 16)

Assignment (Listed in the Order They Become Open Date/Hour)

Open Date/Hour

Due Date/Hour

Use the Lessons in Unit 3 and its Study Guide (Textbook chapters: 15 to 22.).)

Take all Learning Quizzes in Unit 3. (Tip: same instruction as Unit 1.)

9/30–12:00 AM

10/16–11:59 PM

Post and reply in Unit 3 Learning Discussions   (Tip: same instruction as Unit 1.)

9/30–12:00 AM

10/13–12:00 AM

In Required Writing and Evidence Requirements when the 3-Part Writing reopens, peer review 2 other students’ papers on evidence (not grammar). Caution: I will provide you with feedback by email in Blackboard Messages. You will not be able to post until you follow the directions to respond to that feedback. Tip: I am also glad to talk with you by phone or face to face.

10/3–12:00 AM (Feedback provided before end of day 10/2.)

10/10–1:00 PM (Notice extra time to post.)

In Required Writing, when the 3-Part Writing reopens again, carefully examine the comments about evidence by the 2 students who peer reviewed your paper. Reply to their peer review according to the instructions.

10/12-12:00 AM

10/17–1:00 PM (Notice extra time to post.)

Take Unit 3 Exam                          (Incentive Date for all quizzes: 10/12-12:00 AM)

10/14–12:00 AM

10/16–11:59 PM

Final Exam: 16th Century to 1877 (Opens early for those taking it early, OCT 8 –OCT 18)

Caution: You must successfully take the Sample Respondus Exam (Getting Started) before you can take the Final Exam.

Assignment (Listed in the Order They Become Open Date/Hour)

Open Date/Hour

Due Date/Hour

Check all existing grades. If you think there is an error, email the specifics.


10/14–11:59 PM

Take the Final Exam on either date. Caution: History instructors are required to fail students for the course if they do not take this exam.

10/13–7:00 PM

10/14–11:59 PM

10/17–7:00 PM

10/18–11:59 PM

Check all new grades. If you think there is an error, email in Blackboard Messages the exact name of the grade and your phone # before NOON.


Caution: I will be completing the review of the Respondus videos of the Final Exam over the weekend. Those grades are not final until I announce that I have checked all videos and deducted, if necessary, the penalty


10/19 12:00 PM (noon)

I reserve the right to modify the syllabus during the semester.