United States History to 1865

Course Details

Course Number: 1133  Section Number: X10

Fall 2010

Location: Off-Campus

Classroom Number: internet course

Days & Times: internet course; not applicable

Course Attachments


America: A Narrative History. Volume 1. 8th ed.  ISBN: 978-0-393-93406-9

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Sharon L. Arnoult   
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Course Objectives This is a survey course in American history.  Its goal is to make the student aware of the major events and issues in American history from the decisive encounter of Europeans with America in 1492 through the American Civil War.

Course Expectations

In addition to the textbook, you will find, on the Blackboard/WebCT home page for this class, under “Course Content,” Essays, which correspond, more or less, to the textbook’s chapters. (Each Essay will tell you exactly what textbook chapter(s) it relates to.)  These Essays should be treated like the lecture portion of a traditional classroom course.  Therefore, they are of equal importance with the textbook, and you should take notes from all of them.  The Essays will often have information not in the textbook, and vice-versa.  Exam questions will be taken from both the textbook and the Essays.

There are three exams required in this course. Having three exams in a course is standard for college-level history courses, including the traditional classroom sections taught at Midwestern State.  A college graduate will be expected (by future employers) to handle large amounts of information, and so this course begins to develop that skill by having students learn and synthesize several chapters for each exam.

Each exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions worth two points each.  Each exam will cover the material assigned for that exam period, including the textbook and the Essays on the web site.  Each test is self contained. The "final" will not be comprehensive. The course grade will be the average of the three exams. Grading is done on a standard 100-point scale (i.e., 100-90=A, 89-80=B, etc.)

Each exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions over the material assigned for that exam period. Exams will be based on textbook readings and Essays on the web site. Each test is self contained. The "final" will not be comprehensive. The course grade will be the average of the three exams. Grading is done on a standard 100-point scale (i.e., 100-90=A, 89-80=B, etc.)

Submission Format Policy

This course will be conducted entirely over the internet, and it is the student’s responsibility to make certain that he or she has reliable and adequate computer access and capability for the course.  If you have not already, please go through the “Browser Tune-Up” tutorial on the Blackboard/WebCT log-in page, in order to avoid problems later.  Other tutorials offered there are helpful as well.

 There is a link for reporting technical problems or questions on this course’s home page under “Web Links.”  If you are unable to access WebCT, report the problem by going to the Midwestern website (www.mwsu.edu), click on WebCT/Blackboard, and then click on “Report a Problem” on the box on the left under “Student Resources.”

All exams will be taken through WebCT. You can find the exams under “Exams” on the home page or under “Assessments” on the left. Each exam will be available for a period of time during which you may log on and take the exam. (See the course schedule below for the dates.) You may not log on before or after the specified time. Once you log on you have 50 minutes (1 minute per question) to take the exam. If you go over the allotted time, two points will be deducted from the exam grade for each minute that you go over the allotted time.

The time limit means that if you try to do the exams by looking up the answers, you will not do well.  Instead, use all of the study resources made available to you in this course to learn the material in order to complete the exam successfully within the time limit.

The exams are set up so that you can go through and answer the questions you know right away, then return to those that require more thought.  Therefore, you must remember to save each answer as you complete it!

Before you take the first exam, please read “Instructions and Troubleshooting” on which you can click at the bottom of the screen after you have clicked on the exam but before you have started it.  Reading this will not take away any of your allotted time for the exam, and may be very helpful.

Once you have submitted the exam and logged off, you cannot log back on.

Therefore, please note: You should not log on to the exam until you are ready to take it!

Also, please note the following policy about technical difficulties during exams: If you have technical difficulties during an exam, contact tech support immediately and be sure to copy the instructor.  Extensions or make-ups for technical difficulties during exams will only be given if these are documented and verified by tech support!

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Exams must be completed by the established deadlines.  Make-ups will only be given to students who can present documentation of a major emergency or technical problem which prevented them from taking the exam during the scheduled window.  Incompletes will only be given to students who can present documentation of a major emergency, occurring after the last date to drop, which prevented them from completing the course within the specified time.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies

College courses presume that a student studies outside of class 2 to 3 hours per semester hour credit; in other words, a 3-hour semester credit course like this one requires a minimum of 6 to 9 hours of work each week, more when preparing for an exam.  Please budget your time accordingly.

You have, under “Study Aids” on the Blackboard/WebCT home page for this class, Study Questions for each exam.  These are designed to help you review and focus attention on material presented in the Essays, but you should not limit your exam preparation simply to those questions.  Be sure to comprehensively review all of the notes and readings as well.

To study the material presented in the textbook, you will use a free website, “Study Space,” provided by the textbook publisher. Go to:


This URL is also under “Web Links” for this course as well as on the Study Questions for each exam.  There is also on this course’s WebCT home page, under “Study Aids,” a Guide to Using “Study Space, which has this URL as well as important information to help you get the most out of this resource.  Please print out and refer to the Guide when using Study Space, especially the first time.

Instructor Drops: Students must maintain adequate progress in this course in order to continue to be enrolled in it.  If a student misses one or more exams, and does not contact the instructor regarding these exams, the student may, at the instructor’s discretion, be dropped from the course.

I will be available to meet in person with any interested students in this course on Tuesday, September 7 from 2 to 4 pm in PY 202.  However, as this is a Distance Education course, in fairness to students who are unable to come to campus, I cannot discuss or review course content.

 There is no provision for extra credit assignments!!!

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty involves the giving of credit to the original creator or publisher through citations, assuring that all submitted work is your own original work, not previously submitted in another course(s) at any institution and that all group members have contributed equally in graded group submissions. Your final earned grade in the course will be dropped one full letter grade if the above is not followed.

Academic honesty is also highly valued at MSU. A student must always submit work that represents his/her original work or ideas. Any words or ideas not original must be cited, giving all relevant sources. The student should also make clear the extent to which such sources were used. Words or ideas that require citation, refer to the Little Brown or APA style guide requirements, include but are not limited to all hard copy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source.



As a member of the academic community, conduct yourself in person, in print, and online in a responsible way and in the spirit of courteous educational inquiry.

Be courteous, even when you disagree, and always provide clear, logical support for your views.

Clear communication of meaning depends entirely on your choice and visuals, so choose your words and visuals carefully to communicate effectively with your audience.

Avoid typing in all capitals because it is difficult to read and considered the electronic version of “shouting”.

ADA Statement

Americans with Disabilities Act:

Midwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s disability and complies with Section 504 and Public Law 101-336 in its admissions, accessibility, treatment and employment of individuals in its programs and activities. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any disabling condition that will require modifications.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.