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.
Professionalism & Participation (15%):
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 readings; this includes bringing copies of your reading assignments so that you can support your ideas with specific examples, as well as your notes and questions on the material. You will be graded on the quality of your contributions to our class discussions. You cannot earn an excellent grade (A) in a discussion-based class like this one if you do not regularly contribute to our 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.
Born in Blood & Fire Moodle Reading Quizzes
Studies suggest that online reading quizzes 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. After you reading each chapter of our Born in Blood & Fire textbook, you’ll take a short multiple-choice quiz on Moodle. These quizzes are not timed, and you can take them any time before class meets (access will close at the beginning of class). There will be eleven chapter quizzes. Please do not work together on these quizzes.
Classroom exercises will include debates, primary source analysis, peer review, and research workshops. You will take a Map Quiz at the beginning of class on Friday, January 24.
Two Formal Blog Posts (5%)
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.
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.
Three Unit Quizzes (15% total; 5% each)
25 minute in-class quizzes with identifications, multiple choice, and very short answer.
- Unit Quiz #1: Friday, February 7 Study Guide Unit Quiz 1 MLA SP2020
- Unit Quiz #2: Friday, March 6 Study Guide Unit Quiz 2 MLA SP2020
- Unit Quiz #2: Monday, April 27
A digital timeline lets you tell a story about one of the major concerns of historians: change over time. Over the course of the semester, you’ll curate and analyze a set of ten primary source artifacts that illuminate the history of your chosen country.
Research Project (Prospectus 5%; Secondary source critique 5%; Presentation 10%; Essay 15%)
During the first weeks of the semester, each of you will identify a research question about modern Latin American history (any event between 1791 and 2005). Your research will analyze a range of primary sources as well as addressing how your topic and the historical questions it raises have been studied by other historians. How you frame your historical question and the approach you take are up to you. You may want to research a topic from the country you’re analyzing for the timeline project, but you can also choose to work on a different region.
This integrated project is also designed to emphasize how to use a range of high-quality, well-chosen sources as evidence to support an argument, whether you’re communicating your findings in an oral presentation or as a short public history essay.