The Ancient Near East Discussion
The Discussion Rubric
What is a Rubric?
A rubric is simply defined as a set of criteria used to evaluate your work in this class. These rubrics are, in fact, scoring tools that identify the various criteria relevant to an assignment and the course learning outcomes. There are learning outcomes for this course – articulated by the History Department and by BRCC’s General Education Committee (please refer to the syllabus for those learning outcomes). These rubrics explicitly state the possible levels of achievement along a continuum, for example, “poor to excellent.”
I post these rubrics here for your review in order to clearly communicate expectations of your work, and I use them to evaluate your work for fair, objective, and efficient grading. By reviewing the learning standards in these rubrics, you will become more aware of performance markers needed to earn high marks.
In more practical terms, for each discussion forum, you will be asked to respond to a question(s) to discuss substantively with your classmates. The questions and issues for discussion will be based on your weekly readings. Please click on this rubric Download this rubricto understand precisely how you will be graded on the discussion forum..
Rules of Netiquette
Netiquette is a way of defining professionalism through network communication, whether for online discussions or email correspondence. Literally, it refers to “network etiquette.” At all times, students are expected to maintain a civil and respectful tone with each other and the course instructor.
The following are Student Guidelines for the class:
Never type in all caps. Be aware that typing in all capital letters when communicating in an online environment is known as “shouting.” This usage is considered a rude method of communicating.
Be careful with humor and sarcasm. Both can easily be misunderstood!
Do not use vulgar or offensive language. An online classroom is not the place for graphic terminology, sexual discussions, swearing, or any pornographic resources. Inappropriate language and materials of this nature are inexcusable and absolutely will not be tolerated. It moreover may be subject to academic penalties.
Avoid sweeping generalizations. Back up your opinions with facts and reliable sources.
Use proper, standard English, as opposed to popular online/texting abbreviations. Avoid using vernacular and/or slang language. This could possibly lead to misinterpretation.
Similarly, avoid Acronyms (LOL, SMH, etc.) and emoticons (smilies). Although they are commonly used online, do not use them in the online learning environment.
Use correct spelling and grammar. Always proofread your comments and posts.
Be patient: Once you have posted a question or concern to your instructor, please wait patiently for a reply. There is no reason to bully your instructor or make judgment calls about his or her performance. In an online community, patience is a virtue.
Keep in Mind: Behind Every Name There is a Person
Respect the privacy of your classmates and what they share in class.
Ask classmates for clarification if you find a discussion posting difficult to understand.
Understand that we may disagree and that exposure to other people’s opinions is part of the learning experience.
Be respectful of each other. We’re all in this together. Before posting a comment, ask whether you would be willing to make the same comment to a person’s face. Indeed, while it is acceptable to disagree with fellow students please do so with respect and tolerance. Name calling and cyber bullying will not be accepted and may be grounds for dismissal.
Discrimination: Derogatory statements about race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and veterans will not be tolerated.
Keep in mind that everything you write, indeed every click of your mouse is recorded on the network server. On the Internet there are no take backs.
Keep in mind that you are taking a college class. Something that would be inappropriate in a traditional classroom is also inappropriate in an online classroom.
Learning Objectives (Southwest Asia-Nile Valley)
What am I going to learn in this Module?
Explain how writing shapes what we can know about the past and how writing developed to meet the needs of cities and states.
Describe how the people of Mesopotamia formed the world’s first states.
Discuss how geography, leadership, and religion enabled Egyptians to build and maintain
a cohesive and prosperous society.
Explain how migrations and invasions shaped Egypt’s fate.
Describe how the Hebrews created an enduring written religious tradition.
Identify the strengths of and major differences between the Assyrian and Persian Empires.
Reading Assignments (Southwest Asia-Nile Valley)
For this module on the complex societies in Southwest Asia and the Nile River Valley, you will read Chapter Two in A History of World Societies.
Learning Activities For This Week (Southwest Asia-Nile Valley)
FORUM: Students this week will participate in a forum about the a couple of important aspects about empires in the Ancient Near East.
You must submit an initial post by Thursday evening at 8:00 PM. Your overall participation in the forum must be completed by Sunday evening at 8:00 pm. Before you proceed, please review the various pages in the Discussion Forums module.
Before the First Discussion Forum
Before you embark on this first Discussion Forum, and in order to prepare you to approach this exercise properly, students should read the following four pages, all of which will be found under the module “Discussion Forum,” which will be found immediately under the Course Documents module:
(1) How to Succeed in the Discussion Forum;
(2) Responding to Classmates’ Posts [which will explain how to respond adequately and successfully to the original posts of your peers].
(3) Rules of Netiquette [which will emphasize that the tone and language of the Forum must be professional and respectful];
(4) Discussion Forum Rubric [which will lay out the basis upon which your participation in the Forum will be graded].
Forum: The Ancient Near East
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It was during the period of the Ancient Near East (which today, we simply call the “Middle East”) that the foundations of Western Civilization were established. Based on your readings in this module, answer the following question.
In your opinion, what was the most important contribution (whether political, cultural, technological, or architectural — but not religious) made by each of the following peoples: (1) the Sumerians; (2) the Egyptians; (3) the Assyrians; and (4) the Persians. For each, be sure to explain why you feel that way.
In your response, you must explain your reasons, citing specific examples (points and arguments, not simply quotes) from the readings.
Please note that you are free to consult sources other than the class textbook.
REMEMBER: When writing your post, you must follow the guidelines that are outlined in the “Rubric” and under “Discussion Forum: How to Do It,” both of which are found under the Discussion Forum module.
You must submit an initial post by Thursday evening at 8:00 PM. Your overall participation in the forum must be completed by Sunday at 8:00 pm. Understand that although the forum will remain visible after 8:00 PM on Sunday [strictly for the purpose of providing feedback, as has been explained], posts submitted after the 8:00 PM deadline [regardless if it is one hour late or one minute late] will not be scored