Class sections will be divided between lectures and seminar discussions. The seminar discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of scholarly literature and as a testing ground for student hypotheses. The instructor will encourage students to elaborate, refine and revise ideas. Discussion sessions will also include tutorials in conducting historical research, the exploration of primary source documents, and practice in oral presentations. Participation in both lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course.
A sample course outline may include the following topics.
Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.
- The Roman Empire and the Crisis of the Third Century
- The Transformation of the Late Roman Empire
- From Empire to Tribal Kingdoms
- Missionaries and Monasteries
- Mediterranean Worlds
- Empire in the West: The Carolingians
- The End of the World? Division, Invasion, Reorganization
- Manors, Farms and Fields
- Economic Revival: Towns, Trade and the Clash of Cultures
- Consolidation: Kings and Emperors
- Rulers, Renewals and Revivals
- Looking Forward, Looking Back
At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:
- Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).
- Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).
- Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).
- Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).
Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.
Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.
The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.
An example of one evaluation scheme:
Attendance, Participation, In-Class Work 15%
Seminar Presentation 15%
Primary document analyses 25%
Short analytic paper 10%
Research essay and presentation 20%
Final summative assignment 15%
Textbooks and Course Readers may be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.
An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned. Additional reading lists and links to specific resources also may be provided online or in the instructor’s course outline.
Backman, Clifford R. A Medieval Omnibus: Sources in Medieval European History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Backman, Clifford R. The Worlds of Medieval Europe. 3rd. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Rosenwein, Barbara H. A Short History of the Middle Ages. 5th ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.
Rosenwein, Barbara H., ed. Reading the Middle Ages: Sources from Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.
One 1000-level History course or permission of the instructor