USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2014
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
Home
Index of Chapters
Syllabus
Course Description
 

In-Class Exercises

In-Class Exercise category involves three types of activity: 5 Assessments (plus a Bonus Assessment), 1 Pre-Test and 1 Post-Test. All data used in In-Class Exercises will be drawn from lecture notes as posted on this web site (see Chapters). No other course materials will be included on these exercises.

A. Assessments (5 X 80 pts. each); 400 pts.

Assessments will focus on the comprehension of the factual material presented in the three Sections (also called "lectures" and "chapters") making up the Part of the course most recently covered in class. The material that will be used on Assessments is found in the on-line chapters (written or audio). While some of this material is included in the powerpoints appended to those chapters, the powerpoint slides are designed to summarize the material and do not include all the information which can appear on Assessments. Please use the full chapters to study for the Assessments. Assessments are not cumulative; rather, they are specific to the Part of the class we have most recently covered. That is, the material included on one Assessment will not be included on other Assessments. [Please note that the Pre-Test and the Post-Test are comprehensive; see below.]

While other teachers might call these exercises "tests" or "exams," I find such terms imprecise and needlessly stressful; hence, I call them "assessments." Assessments have two explicit purposes: (1) they help students map out and document both to themselves and to me their grasp of the data covered in the class; and (2) in the course of doing Assessments in class, it is hoped that students will learn new things at the same time they show what they have already learned. That is, the point of taking Assessments is as much for students to figure out the right answer as to demonstrate the learning they have already achieved.

As such, Assessments take the form of fill-in-the-blanks (FITB's) in which answers are listed in a menu of options on the Assessment itself. There will be more possible answers than blanks to fill in. Students must match the correct item from the list to the proper FITB. All answers come from the key-terms highlighted in the lecture notes for each Section of the class. In setting up the Assessment this way, I hope that students will be able to deduce the correct answer if they happen not to remember or know it offhand. That is, if an FITB calls for the name of an Egyptian ruler and you know that Tuthmosis III was a pharaoh and he is the only King of Egypt named in the list, then Tuthmosis III must be the correct answer and the statement in the FITB must be true about him. In that case, you will have learned something new about this important historical figure! The ability to deduce the correct answer this way presumes, of course, at least some awareness of the facts relating to the issues at hand, but not necessarily global comprehension of the material.

B. Pre-Test (50 pts.) and Post-Test (50 pts.); Bonus Assessment (Chapters 16 and 17; 40 pts.)

The Pre-Test and the Post-Test are identical in format. Each is comprehensive (i.e. it will be drawn from all material covered throughout the course; i.e. in all five Parts and any material included after Part 5) and is made up of fifty questions formatted in the same fashion as that used on Assessments (e.g. fill-in-the-blank questions, no answer in the menu will be used twice, etc.).

Pre-Test/Post-Test. Every correct answer will earn ONE point toward a student's total for In-Class Exercises. Just as on Assessments, the Pre-Test and Post-Test include a menu of possible answers, with more answers than questions (two banks of answers on the Pre-Test and one on the Post-Test). The Pre-Test will be administered during the second class meeting; the Post-Test will be administered at the time scheduled for the Final Exam (see Syllabus). Questions on the Pre-Test and Post-Test will be entirely new, i.e. not drawn directly from upcoming or previous Assessments, though some answers may be repeated on Assessments and the Pre-Test/Post-Test. The goal of the Pre-Test and the Post-Test is to assess students' general understanding of ancient history before and after the class. The Pre-Test serves to demonstrate a student's general knowledge of course material prior to the term, and the Post-Test establishes the same at the end of the term. Together, they illustrate the degree of improvement in a student's understanding of the data underlying certain historical periods and the specific issues covered in this class.

Bonus Assessment (Chapters 16 and 17). Students who are interested in earning more credit toward their In-Class Exercises credit total may take a Bonus Assessment which will be administered along with the Post-Test during the time scheduled for the Final Exam (see Syllabus). This Bonus Assessment will be based on two Chapters (16 and 17) which will not be covered formally in class (i.e. there will be no lectures given during class time). Instead, the materials have been posted on the course web site along with the other 15 chapters. Students should read these two bonus chapters and note key-terms in the same way they do the other chapters.

The Bonus Assessment will follow the same format as all the other Assessments (FITB's with a menu of answers) but there will be only 20 FITB's, amounting to a maximum of 40 points. There will be only one page and therefore only one menu (unlike Assessments which have two pages and two menus). Menu answers will come from the key-terms of Chapters 16 and 17.

Home
Index of Chapters
Syllabus
Course Description