Assignments

I make extensive use of the Moodle Gradebook: this gives you the ability to check your course standing at any time.  I’m happy to discuss your grade with you during my office hours.  Please just take the time to calculate your current standing using the grade allocation outlined below first.  While the individual grades and comments in the Moodle Gradebook reflect my evaluation of your course performance to date, you cannot rely on Moodle’s calculation of your course average.

Grade Components:

Professionalism & Participation (10%):

Participation

Your active participation in class activities and discussion are crucial to the success of the course.  You are expected to come to class fully prepared to discuss the day’s texts; this includes bringing copies of your reading assignments so that you can support your ideas with specific examples, your completed historical analysis worksheets, and your notes and questions on the material.  You will be graded on the quality of your contributions to our class discussions.  Simply attending class without any further involvement in our discussions will result in a participation grade of “C” or “Satisfactory.”

You will be given the chance to evaluate your participation and make a case for what participation grade you deserve several times during the semester.  This is a chance for you to reflect on your involvement in the class, and to let me know how you feel you are doing.  I take your personal assessment very seriously.  Self Evaluation of Participation

Classroom exercises will include debates, primary source analysis, peer review, and short creative non-fiction. You will take a Map Quiz at the beginning of class on Monday, September 2.  You must pass this map quiz (score of 75% or higher) to pass the class.  Anyone needing to take the quiz more than once may make arrangements to do so during my office hours.

Wikipedia Exercises

A few times during the semester you’ll write short blog posts about your developing Wikipedia research project.  In addition, you’ll be graded on keeping up with the Wikipedia training and research assignments.

Two Formal Blog Posts (6% Total)

Class Notes Blog Post

Class notes blog posts serve as a place for you all to synthesize the work of our intellectual community. You are all authors building a common understanding of our class work.

Latin America in the News Blog Post

Thoughtful analysis of a recent (past month) article about Latin American history or culture, which places the topic in historical perspective.  You’ll also do an informal, 3-4 minute presentation about your post.

Historical Analysis Prep (15%)

Studies suggest that interteaching – in our case, student completion of short, targeted historical analysis assignments before seminar, coupled with shorter, student-tailored lectures – can help students focus their attention and better prepare for class discussions.  They give me a sense of what you do and don’t understand from the day’s reading.  In addition, they let us devote more time in class to active learning.  As you read each day’s materials, please complete the corresponding Historical Analysis Prep.  These will form the basis of our active discussions.  I’ll randomly check one third of the class’ work every session, grading for completion and good effort.  On other days, I’ll collect all the sheets to give more detailed feedback on your work.

Primary Source Essay: Revolutionary Mexico (10%)

This short paper (750-1000 words) will allow you to hone your skills as a historian analyzing a revolutionary leader’s description of the political and social climate in Mexico.  Upload your pdf to Moodle by 9am on Friday, September 13.

Wikipedia Entry (14%)

For this project, you’ll identify a missing/overlooked topic in the history of Latin American Revolutions on Wikipedia that merits further coverage to expand the depth and breadth of articles on Wikipedia, and counter its systemic biases.  You must pick a topic related to class themes, and that has sufficient resources available to demonstrate your skills of research and writing.  Final project due on Friday, November 27.

Midterm Exams (25% total; 12.5% Each)

Identifications, primary source analysis, and short answer. Exam #1 will be given in class on Wednesday, October 2 and Exam #2 will be on Friday, November 8. These are the only times the exam will be administered.

Comprehensive Final Exam (20%):

Identifications, very short answer, and two take-home essays.  The final exam will be on Tuesday, December 10 at 9am.  This is the only time the exam will be administered, so please take this into account when making your travel plans.