History is an attempt to understand the stories of the past.  We must not ignore dates and facts, but interpretations define the way we view the world around us.

Course Information:


Western Civilizations I (Hybrid)


Hist 101


Fall 2020


Refer to Canvas Calendar for Zoom meetings


Virtual through Zoom

Instructor:                                                                                                Questions:


John (Kinch) Kincheloe

What is this Course?



What do I need to do?



How do I do assignments?

Office Location:

HEC 316-A                                 

What are the course rules?



What is a Hybrid Course?

Office Hours:  Listed on Home page (link)

What is this Course?


-Although often falsely depicted as a linear and inevitable march of increasingly complex land based cultures, Western Civilization can better be classified as an amalgamation of hundreds of different civilizations interacting and learning from one another across a series of waterways that connect the ancient world. 

 - This course will examine numerous Western Civilizations to better comprehend how nomadic, agricultural, African, European, Middle Eastern, pagan, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian societies contributed to the development of present day Western Civilization.  In the process you just might gain a better understanding of the complexity of the various cultures in this age of increasing globalization.

 -The course focuses on two main themes: Culture as a construction of Maritime relationships and the phrase: “Religion is the Opiate of the Masses.”  (Karl Marx)  You will be asked to assess the meaning of these two themes as we play out the complicated history of the Western World. 

 By the end of the semester you should:


Course Description and Objectives:  Stuff the college makes me include:

Course Description

Surveys the general history of the Western world from about 3000 BCE to 1600 CE and allows students to reach a basic understanding of the characteristic features of the Western world's early historical development in that span of time. Students will learn about some of the important political, economic, social, intellectual, cultural and religious changes that shaped the development of the West from earliest times.


- Establish a chronology of historical events in the Western world before 1600 CE. 

- Explain the changing geopolitical structures of the Western world up until 1600 CE. 

- Define the importance of key individuals and developments in Western civilization before 1600 CE.

- Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of early and medieval Western history.

- Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of ancient and medieval Western civilization.

- Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials.

Lectures may contain disturbing content, including, but not limited to: violence, sexual assault, war crimes, genocide, mental or physical illnesses or disabilities, discrimination or persecution on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or sexual orientation, etc. If you have been personally impacted by one or more of these topics and suffer from PTSD, please email the professor if you would like prior notification of lectures containing discussions of the effecting topics.  


Recommended Co-requisites or Pre-requisites:

There are no pre-requisites, but this is a writing intensive course so an introductory English course is highly recommended.


OER Course Materials:  

There are no books to purchase for this class.  All textbooks and monographs are free Open Online Resources linked below:
-Textbook (online)=                   - WC =Western Civilization     and     BWH=Boundless World History     course draws from both textbooks housed by 'lumen learning"

-Additional online books =       Use any full text online or print version of these that you want.
- Epic of Gilgamesh

-Additional online materials will be made available via the Course Schedule.

-Tip= Use nightlight or nightshift screen setting to make reading online easier.  (How to turn off Blue Light-click here)

Lecture Review Materials (links) 

-Lecture Review Materials:    WC1 Lecture Terms    Early Western Civ.(religion) PP slides     Maritime PP slides

What do I need to do?

Fall 2020 - His 101 Hybrid Course Schedule

note: This is ONLY A GUIDE to help you plan your weeks with easy access to readings. Assignments, Lecture videos, Discussions, etc. are explained in Modules on Canvas.



Class Date



Face-to-Face Meeting



To be completed before Zoom class

Read Secondary source (textbook)

Read Primary sources (document links)

Assignments due this week

Week 1

Intro, What is Civilization?

Read WC (Textbook) Ch. 1

-Introduction Post
-Introduction Assignment

Week 2

Mesopotamia and the rise of Riverine civilizations

Read WC: Ch.  2

-Hymn to Aten 
-A Poem Attributed to Zoroaster 


Complete Unit 2 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 3

The Nile and the creation of Cultural stability


Read WC: Ch.  3  

Read =Epic of Gilgamesh

-Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-8)

Complete Unit 3 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 4

The Aegean and the Hellenic Maritime Powers
1150-480 B.C.E

Read WC: Ch. 4 

==Paper 1 due==

Watch Videos:

Week 5

The Eastern Mediterranean
and the Hellenistic World
359-200 B.C.E.

BWH: Persian Empire &  Ancient Africa

Research Project Proposal due (Discussion)

Watch Videos:

Week 6

The Western Mediterranean
and the Roman Republic
53B.C.E.–305 B.C.E.

Read WC: Ch. 5 

Roman law, The Twelve Tables
Polybius on the Roman Constitution 146 BCE
-The Roman Candidate

Complete Unit 6 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 7

   The Roman Mediterranean
and Beyond


Read WC:  Ch. 6 

-Slavery in the Roman Republic
-Grandeur of Rome
-Luxury of the Rich in Rome

Midterm Exam

Watch Videos:

Week 8

The Rise of Monotheism and the Jesus Cult    
0-350 C.E.

Read WC: Ch. 7 

Complete Unit 8 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 9

  Islam and the

Rise of a new Empire


Read BWH: "the Rise and Spread of Islam"

-SUNNAH excerpts

Complete Unit 9 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 10


North Sea Powers and the Viking Age

Read WC: Ch. 8  "Germanic tribes" -> Vikings"

Read - Beowulf


Complete Unit 10 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 11

Battle of the Mediterranean:

The Early Medieval age.

Read WC: Ch. 8"Catholic church->fourth crusade" 

Pope Innocent III.  -Summons to a Crusade
Capture of Constantinople:  (Crusaders)
Capture of Constantinople: (Defenders)


==Paper 2 due==

Watch Videos:

Week 12

Middle Ages:
Christian Church and Era of Crisis



Read WC Ch. 8"feudalism->black death"

-Pope Innocent III - Letters on Papal Policy- 
-Emperor Henry IV Concerning a Truce of God

Annotated Bibliography due

Watch Videos:


Week 13

The Reformation

Read WC:    Ch. 11

Martin Luther: Letter to the Archbishop, 1517
Martin Luther: Address to the n Nobility...(1520)      
Complete Unit 13 Discussion

Watch Videos:

Week 14

The Great Oceans and the Age of Discovery    

BWH: Age of Discovery & Humanism

-Columbus Letter to the King and Queen of Spain
-Vasco da Gama, Round Africa to India (1497-1498)

Watch Videos:

==Research Project Due===




Week 15

Final Exam


Final Exam        

Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course schedule at any time as he/she deems appropriate.


Grading Policy:

All assignments are graded on a 100 point scale and averaged accordingly to the percentages listed below.




Group Discussion Lead






In class Participation


Grading Scale










Research Project   











59 and below


o   Group Discussion lead---Click Here = for detailed instructions.

§  You will be assigned a group in Canvas in week 2 of the semester.         

                                o   Failure to appear will result in a “0” grade for this assignment.

              o   Hybrid Discussions

§  Primary Document discussions will occur following class the week assigned.

§  Discussion will be graded based on both quantity and quality of posts.


o   Participation

§  Based on attendance and active engagement in Zoom class discussions.

o   2- 3pg. argumentative papers

o   Utilizing readings from primary sources, books, and the textbook.

o   (All papers should be submitted via attachment on Canvas before class of the assigned due date.)

o   Midterm & Final                     
     §  Open Note exams completed on  Canvas during the exam weeks.

 (Review sheets will be posted on Canvas 2 weeks before the exams.)

o  Research Project

                                §  Travel Log Research Project   Click here fore details


Extra Credit Assignments (due by the end of Week 13) =    Digital History Project- check it out here.

                   Take a look and email Kinch if you are interested. 

What is a Hybrid Course?

ZOOM Classes

Once a week will meet on Zoom.  Attendance is mandatory and you are expected to take an active part in Discussion & Interactive Lecture.
-- You are required to turn on you Camera and your Microphone at these times.

-- You will need to log on through Canvas directly to participate.

The class will typically consist of:

    -Story time  (10 min.)

    -Questions   (10 min.)
    -Business of the week  (10 min.)

    -Skill session  (10 min.)

    -Interactive lecture  (10 min.)

    -Class discussion (All class & Breakout rooms)  (30 min.)

Hybrid Attendance Policy: 

This is a hybrid course whereas 50% of the coursework assignments are completed outside the virtual classroom.  Students are expected to work at least nine (9) hours a week to completed coursework expectations.  Students are required to log onto Canvas at least three times a week, to ensure awareness of assignment updates, coursework modifications and weekly announcements. 

Absences, Late arrival, and leaving early will affect a student’s grade due to the student not being able to participate in class/group discussions. Students missing more than 30 percent of the scheduled classes without an excused absence from the professor will receive ZERO points for the class participation grade. Class absence does not excuse a student from meeting assignment due dates

Minimum Technical Requirements and skills for Hybrid Course:

Course includes both classroom (Zoom)  and online meetings. A portion of this course is delivered virtually in lieu of traditional classroom hours.  Student must have access to a computer a reliable high-speed Internet connection.

-Students must have some version or equivalent of office, and have a basic working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

-Students must store course work on a cloud server such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.  (A computer crash is not a valid excuse for late work.)


Hybrid assignments are intended to take the place of in class learning, and should be thought of as an opportunity to engage with the material, not just basic HW.

How do I do assignments?

Tree Preservation

This is a paperless course. 

- All additional readings, assignment details, and course materials can be found in the schedule above. 

-All assignments, discussions, and quizzes need to be submitted in Canvas.
                -All feedback will be given through Canvas.

-To access Canvas = Log in to “My NOVA”  https://nvcc.my.vccs.edu/jsp/home.jsp

Guidelines for Written Work 

Formatting: All Papers should be double spaced, using 12 point Calibri font and one inch margins.  All papers must be word processed and submitted through Blackboard as “doc,” “docx,” or “rtf.”      E-mail submissions will not be accepted.  

Style and Grammar: You must present your arguments in clear, concise, and grammatically correct English.  Make sure to proofread and use spell-check. For information on writing papers for this class, make sure to read Kinch’s writing guide (under course documents on BB.)  You also might want to consult the following handy websites:

o       NVCC Loudoun's Writing Center

o       Charlie Evans’ History Writing Center

Citations:  You MUST include a formal citation any time you refer to a specific passage in a text, even if you do not quote the text directly.  The required method for citing sources in this class is Chicago Style formatting for footnote citations.  According to this format, you “Insert Footnote” (under references) and enter the citation information as laid out in this link.

What are the course rules?

Late Assignments 

-Late papers and all Hybrid activities will be accepted after the due date and time for half credit, as long as they are submitted before the final class period of the term.

-Quizzes, Participation, and Presentation assignments will only be accepted during the week they are due.

-All assignments should be stored on a cloud server and submitted online.  Excuses such as “my dog ate my homework” and “my computer crashed” are no longer valid.

Exams and Make-Up Exams

For exam sessions, make-ups will not be given other than in the case of a genuine emergency with appropriate documentation (ie, emergency room documents, court summons, etc.)  Missing class due to "not feeling well," not being able to get a ride, having to work, and the like are not genuine emergencies.

Posting of Grades

Hybrid Assignments, and presentations will be graded and posted within a week of their due date. 

Papers and Exams will be graded and posted within two weeks of their due date, in order to give more detailed feedback.

Attendance Policy: 

Absences, Late arrival, and leaving early will affect a student’s grade due to the student not being able to participate in class/group discussions. Students missing more than thirty percent of the scheduled zoom classes without an excused absence from the professor will receive ZERO points for the class participation grade. Class ((Zoom) absence does not excuse a student from meeting assignment due dates

Academic Dishonesty: 

Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students involved in cheating will receive a grade of “0” on the activity during which cheating occurred and particularly flagrant or obviously intentional instances of cheating or plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" for the course.  In addition the student will be reported to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.

**Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  F. Academic Dishonesty in the Student Handbook.


Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

         1.       Cheating on an examination or quiz; including the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials.

        2.      Plagiarism - This is the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own.

-Please note that even copying a sentence or two from another source without citing it is enough to trigger a plagiarism penalty.  Likewise, changing a word here or there from content which you copy is plagiarism.  Your work should be entirely in your own words except for the passages which you quote and appropriately cite. All of your papers for the class will be checked for plagiarism by SafeAssign software.

Be aware of the following:

- Internet-enabled devices, dictionaries and/or calculators are prohibited during in class testing.

- If you need to leave the room during in class testing, for whatever reason, your test will be collected immediately for grading without any additional time for more work on the test or quiz.


Instructor/Student Communications Policy:

The primary means of communication outside the classroom or Zoom session between the Instructor and the student is via e-mail. Students should check Canvas and their e-mail daily for any Instructor communications. Failure on the part of the student to check Canvas and e-mail on a regular basis is not an excuse for missed/late assignments or exams. The Instructor turn-around time to respond to e-mails is 24-to-48 hours Monday through Friday.

Instructors receive a significant number of e-mails from students over the course of the semester. To specifically identify the course in which the student is enrolled, all e-mail from the student must include the course and section number (e.g., ACC211-000) in the Subject of the e-mail.


I will email you at the email address on my class list which is your VCCS email address. If you do not check this address frequently, I would recommend you set it up for automatic forwarding to an email address you do check more frequently. When emailing the instructor, always send email from your VCCS email address.


Student Professionalism

Please be considerate. Disruptive behavior, on the ground and online, will not be tolerated.  Private conversations during lecture or class discussions, ringing mobile phones, texting, sleeping, or walking into class late or out of class early all distract and disturb your instructor and your classmates, and will count against your participation grade.  Repeated instances of rude behavior will result your removal from the classroom.   If you have a question or a comment on the course material, please raise your hand and share it with the class.

All students are considered adults and will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  B. Student Conduct in the Student Handbook.



"Netiquette" is an abbreviation for "Internet etiquette" – simply, basic rules of the road for the "Information Superhighway." Online learning involves much communication using email, bulletin boards, chats and other methods.

Anonymity – While anonymity is often, and justifiably, desired in many Internet communications, maintaining your identity is essential in an online course. If at any time you have concerns about your privacy in an online course, please let your instructor know. Make sure you include your name on all your emails as some messaging systems will not include this and many email addresses do not indicate the name of the sender.

Brevity – Very few people want to read long messages. Other than for special situations, try to keep most of your communications brief and to the point. Others will thank you, and you'll be equally grateful to everyone else.

Communication – Use the Subject Line. Make your entry in the Subject Line concise and informative. Focus on one subject per message and always include a pertinent subject title for the message; that way the user can locate the message quickly. Include your name at the bottom of email messages. Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Without face to face communications, your joke may be viewed as criticism.

Inappropriate material – Suggestive or pornographic content or links do not belong in online courses, nor does anything promoting hatred or discrimination.

Large files – Avoid sending unnecessarily large files and attachments. Many of those cute screen savers and computer games circulated via email place a heavy load on email systems and create large downloads, particularly for those who are on slower modems or using older computers. They often may also carry malicious content such as viruses.

Privacy – It is simple to forward a message you have received from someone else. However, unless it is clear you have their permission to do so, check first. This is particularly important when you post a private message sent to you from someone else to a public bulletin board or email list.

Readability – Try to format your messages with lots of breaks and headings. One long paragraph that fills some else's full screen with no breaks will very likely not be read. Watch for errors: a careful read as well as a spell-check will solve most problems--lots of mistakes are extremely annoying.

Shouting – What is shouting? THIS IS: TYPING A MESSAGE IN CAPITAL LETTERS IS TYPICALLY UNDERSTOOD AS THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING AT SOMEONE. It is perceived as rude and will usually result in a request by others to "Stop yelling" or worse, a "flame"--a flurry of angry responses that will bombard your email inbox.

Adapted from http://www.jibc.bc.ca/onlineLearning/online/online/net.htm.

College Policies =

Click here  or Refer to the "NOVA Policies" tab on CANVAS Course page for:

Academic Integrity Policy / Closing Information (weather) / Communication (e-mail) / Course Drop/Withdrawal Policy /        Disabilities and Accommodations / Emergency Preparedness / Financial Aid / NOVACares


Financial Instability

Everyone was trouble at times, but there is help.  If you are struggling please reach out to me, a counselor, or click here

IT Helpdesk

The IT Help Desk provides first-level technical support to all faculty, staff and students of Northern Virginia Community College. Additional details and resources are located at http://www.nvcc.edu/ithd/.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.






Anyone observing an emergency situation should contact the Campus Police Office or the dean of students.
Procedures and items to be aware of (click here)

Loudoun Campus

Campus Police:


Dean of Students:


------Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course and course schedule at any time as he deems appropriate.-------


contact: jkincheloe@nvcc.edu