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History 8 Proposal - Sherri Yeager

Course Title: U.S. History Post-Reconstruction

1. Need/Justification for this Course/Why this Mode of Delivery is Effective

History 8 (U.S. History Since Reconstruction) is a long-established, regularly-offered, 3-unit course. It has traditionally been offered in a lecture setting/meeting 3 hours each week, and as a telecourse with 5 class meetings during the course of the semester. Regardless of format, students have approximately 51 hours of scheduled time/instruction. Since History 8 satisfies both the Chabot American Cultures requirement and 3 units of American Institutions/General Education requirements, there is a high demand for the course, and our division offers many sections each semester. We have been offering a small number of telecourse sections each semester in an effort to allow greater access for students whose busy/complex schedules do not permit them to attend weekly, on-campus classes. In view of the on-going budget crisis, there has been some discussion of, perhaps, discontinuing the telecourses at some point in the future. In light of that possibility, we historians are developing on-line versions of both History 7 and History 8, so that we may continue to offer a reasonable, but limited, number of sections in a distance education delivery mode, and continue to offer scheduling flexibility to a diverse student population. Students whose work schedules or family responsibilities do not permit them to attend weekly, on-campus classes are able to work from their homes, communicate via phone/e-mail, and attend a very limited number of on-campus meetings.

2. Describe How the Course Will Be Delivered/Nature & Frequency of Instructor-Student Interactions

I plan to schedule 5 on-campus class meetings during the course of the semester. The first meeting will be mandatory, as I want to take this opportunity to clarify for the students the various technical aspects of taking an on-line course. Longman representatives (the publisher of the textbook and Course Compass program) have agreed to attend the first meeting to facilitate an initial training session. The ensuing 4 on-campus meetings (once a month) will be optional, but important for students who need some face-to-face contact with the instructor. Overall, instruction will be asynchronous, consisting of 25 hours of on-line lectures & discussions, 6 hours of on-line testing and submission of written work, and 20 hours of on-line research, as articulated in the course syllabus (which will be posted on-line, as well as provided as a hard copy). Students will receive weekly feedback and evaluation on-line, via telephone, and via regularly-scheduled office hours.

3. Criteria for Substantiating Student Learning & Methods for Evaluating Achievement/Assignments & Methods of Evaluation

Students will be required (a) to read chapters in their primary textbook, and complete weekly on-line quizzes, one mid-term, and one final exam; the grades for the respective quizzes and exams will be available on-line as well; (b) to submit their written responses to weekly interactive assignments requiring their review & analysis of primary documents, political cartoons, cultural artifacts, etc. at specific historical web sites posted in the course syllabus; and (c) to complete and submit a 10-page research paper on a topic approved by the instructor. Students will receive instructor feedback, responses & evaluation on a weekly basis, and will be provided with a midterm progress report. A point system will be established, and a specified number of points will be earned for each completed quiz, exam, written response, and research paper. Students will know from the start of the semester how many points they must accumulate to earn an A, B, C, D or F semester grade. Most instructor feedback will be provided either via Course Compass or via e-mail, but the 4 optional class meetings will provide a face-to-face opportunity to communicate with instructor, as will the telephone and regular office hours.

4. Availability of Adequate Technology and Support

The textbook publisher (Longman) offers CourseCompass (powered by Blackboard), a complete platform for teaching an on-line history course. Technical assistance is provided by the publisher, as well as a ?practice? platform for developing the course in advance of actually offering it. Students are also provided with a problem-solving ?hot-line?. I will be attending the Blackboard training sessions offered here at Chabot, at which time I?m hoping the pro?s and con?s of using the Publisher?s platform v. Chabot?s platform will be made clear to me. At this point, it just seems as if the publisher is able to guarantee a higher degree of technical support and learning materials!

5. Describe the Support Services that Ensure Student Success

Available technology is adequate for carrying out this proposal; other instructors in my division and others have successfully taught on-line courses. Students will have access to a technical ?hot-line? provided by the publisher. Students will also have access to all the support services offered to all Chabot students (counseling, financial aid, tutoring, etc.), but they will, of course, need to be on campus in order to utilize these services. The textbook will be available at the Chabot bookstore, and CourseCompass provides many links to historical websites and on-line research opportunities.

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