Office: D-102

Dr. Allen Salzman

Off. hours: TBA


Phone: 456-0300

Ext. 3317

email: salzmana@triton.edu


This is a "BlackBoard C E 8" (formerly known as "WebCt") course in the History of ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, with most of the emphasis on Australia and the South Sea Island Peoples in the modern period dating from European explorations and contacts, from the 17th century to the present.

(Note: for your convenience this syllabus will also be printed in hard copy. If you cannot drop by D-102 and pick one up, please run off a copy on your own printer. I suggest sticking it up on your refrigerator. )

It makes use of a text book and extensive use of a computer. As for the latter, you will need the following:
1. Pentium based computer running Win95 or higher with internet connection. Prefer  IE4 minimum. In case you have written work that must be uploaded, use Microsoft Word. You also must be able to open Microsoft PowerPoint displays, and possibly even Microsof Excel spreadsheets. There are computers in many locations on campus which meet these criteria. However, you do not have to come to campus. (Possible exception, see "Can I take the tests from home?" in Part V, Section 3 below.)
2. On the first day of class you may not be able to log in. It may take a few days for I.T. Services to put you on the system. You can certainly try to log in on your own using the information below. But if you cannot get on right away, use the time to do your first reading assignment.
3. First assignment: Read this Syllabus. Then, as soon as you can after you read this syllabus, go over to the Course Tools toolbar on the left, and click on the LEARNING MODULES icon.

For your first assignment, there are two things I want you to do in the Learning Modules area:

  •   Enter and study all of the materials for the "Quickie" Asia Module. This module does not count toward your grade. It gives you general background information that will help you with the other Modules. Complete this at your leisure.

  •   For the second part of your first assignment, you will need to attend class on the first and second days of class (December 17 and 20, 2010, 11:00--2:00 P.M., in D-126 of Triton's West campus) to get the DVD to do the assignment.  Attendance is absolutely mandatory on those days. If you do not make it to campus on those days, you will be dropped from the class. But once you have the DVD, do the first assignment of the first LEARNING MODULE.


  • WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE ASSIGNED READING , UPLOADED your files, or whatever the first assignment was, retrace your steps back to the main page of the Module you are working on. (There are 4 Modules), and do the second assignment of Module, and so on with each of the Module's Assignments until you are finished with the Module. Then go on to the next Module. Continue with each Module until you have completed all 4 Modules.
  • Discussions: Along with the Module activities, go also into the DISCUSSIONS area and participate with your classmates (and your professor) in debate and conversation about materials in the Modules.
  • EXAMS: Assigned day, or no assigned day? : If there is an assigned day for the Exam for each Module, take the test on the assigned day.

  •  Likewise, if you have missed the first week of Assignments    , Discussions       , exercises, etc., you will also be withdrawn especially if this is a semester of shortened duration, such as a 4 week class. You will simply be too far behind to pass the course.

  • If there is no assigned day, take each exam at your leisure before the end of the course.
  • Continue this process of Module Activities + Discussions + Exams with each module until you complete the exam for the last Module, and complete the course.

    4. This information is for the printed copy of this syllabus. Here is how to sign in to your course. Even if you are already logged in and reading this from inside the BlackBoard course already, it would not hurt to read it again anyway.

    • Start your browser. Make sure Java is enabled. Close all other programs.
    • Perform each "click" only after your previous command has been executed. Don't "stack-up" a long series of commands.
    • Use the navigation inside the BlackBoard program whenever possible. For example, do not use your browser's "Back" button if a BlackBoard "Back" button has been provided.
    • If you are going to "Maximize" or "Minimize" a window, do it when you first open the window, not later. This is especially important on exams.
    • The College will provide information on how to Log In on the Main Triton Web Page.
    • A listing will appear of the courses you are registered for. Click on "History 192."
    • Begin to familiarize yourself with the online course by clicking on the various icons.
    • This is enough to get you started. You will see in many places that you can email me for any help you might need.

    1. To introduce students to some very basic tools with which we can look at the histories of non-Western peoples.  We will learn about the above by examining some real life historical examples and narratives which reveal problems faced by their societies and their times.

    2. To give us an insight into our own time and society by looking at a culture that is “other” than our own.


          1. Learning Modules:  your online lessons and lectures are contained in 4 Learning Units which you will find by clicking the icon takes you to  the learning modules by clicking on the  "Learning Modules" icon on the left-hand toolbar.
           2. Online Class discussions found in    "Discussions" area .

        3. "Assignments" found in the "Assignments" area.


    1. Dr. Salzman's email address: salzmana@triton.edu

    (Note:    You can also use BlackBoard’s  internal email system to contact me.)

    2. A DVD which explores the history of the Enlightenment view of nature, which informs Cook's era (18th century), but it undergoes a transformation in Darwin's (19th century). [The DVD is given to you without charge.]

    3. Bounty starring Mel Gibson and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

    4. Master and Commander starring Russel Crowe.

    PART IV: Suggested TEXTS AND MATERIALS   (Note: These are recommended. You do NOT have to purchase them.)

    Donald DeNoon, et al, The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders, (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

    Marshall Sahlins, How “Natives” Think:  About Captain Cook, for Example

    Ditto,                Islands of History

    Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding

    Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country

    PART V: GRADING  =   "Assessments"  (Exams)     +   "Bulletins & Discussions"   +    "Assignments" (You may access the raw assignments if you click on the   "Assignments" icon. However, it will be more convenient if you access the Assignments by opening the LEARNING MODULES icon instead. )

    1. What is it based on? Your grade will be based on satisfactory performance (a grade of 60% or better is passing) on 4 multiple-choice, fill-in and/or essay timed tests to be taken online (consult "Assessments" area        and / or "Announcements" area  for dates and times). I expect you to participate and will grade your participation in the     "Discussion" area, and in the     "Assignments” area. (HINT: to repeat what I said above, it will be more convenient if you access the ASSIGNMENTS by going into the LEARNING MODULES area instead.)

    2.   Your participation in each of the last two will form my subjective judgement of your performance in the course (see PART VII: "Bulletins & Discussions" and "Subjective Judgement" below.)

    a) VALUES: Here are the values of each exam, and the value of your participation in the "Bulletins & Discussion" forums:

    Exam 1: 15 per cent

          IF THERE ARE ASSIGNED DAYS FOR THE EXAMS, AND IF YOU MISS THE FIRST EXAM, I MUST WITHDRAW YOU FROM THE CLASS. You will simply be too far behind to pass the course.

    MIDTERM: 20 per cent

    Exam 2: 15 per cent

    FINAL EXAM: 30 per cent

    BULLETINS & DISCUSSIONS: 20 per cent

    b) DAYS OF EXAMS:  check in 1.      the course calendar and in the    "Assessments" area.

    3.      Are there makeups? Extensions? What if I decide to Withdraw? When does the course end and what is the last day I can submit materials or post in the Discussion Forums? What if I am always going to be busy during all 24 hours of each exam day so that I cannot take the exams? You will reset the exam for me, right?

    There are absolutely no makeups nor extensions of exams or of other "deadlined" materials for any reason. All tests will be based exclusively on the text and what is covered in the lectures, discussions, exercises and other materials in this website and pages it links out to.

    Withdrawal date? I will sign legitimate withdrawal forms up to the withdrawal date published in the official course schedule found in the Dean's office. After that no form will be signed for any reason. Withdrawal is the student's responsibility, not the teacher's. Do not expect me to withdraw you if you just drift away and cease participating in the class.

    WHEN DOES THE COURSE END? I will accept assignments, Bulletin Postings, or whatever you have, until 11:59:59 P.M. on the last regular class day of the course, or the same time (11:59:59 P.M) on the Friday night before the beginning of EXAM WEEK, whichever comes first.

          (Please NOTE the following EXCEPTION to the above: Exams are different. They always shut off at 11:55:00 p.m. instead of 11:59:59. )

    This means you will have all exams, postings, everything completed and turned in BEFORE exam week. At the stroke of Midnight, 12:00:00 A.M. on the morning after the last regular class day (usually 12:00:00 A.M. Saturday), I will not accept or look at anything you post or submit.

    4. What is on the tests? How do I prepare? When are exams taken? Can I take the exam from home?

    What is on the tests? Much of what we discuss in the "Online Discussions" Forum and learn in the various "Assignments" and "Learning Modules" and their associated sub-lessons will reappear on the tests. Therefore, you need to create thorough study notes and outlines.   This is what is known in the academic world as a reading class.  You are responsible for any assigned readings.

    How do I prepare?     The bottom line is: when in doubt . . .

       KNOW THE READINGS. You should clearly understand all of the other online materials, because you will be tested on those too, but the assigned reading is your foundation. The assigned reading is your beginning and your end.

    When are exams taken? Your exams will be offered to you during a 24-hour period (check the "Assessments" area for exact dates.). You may take it at any point during that 24 hours. I highly recommend you don't wait until 1/2 hour before the test shuts down to start taking the test. 

    Can I take the exams from home?     You may take the test from outside the "A" Building if you wish. HOWEVER, I strongly urge you to take tests in the "A" Building on the Triton College campus. If anything happens to crash your computer, you can get a note from the tech person and show it to me, and I may consider your problem after discussing it with the tech person. OR I may not. It is my discretion and my call. But if you take the exam from outside the "A" Building, I will not consider technical breakdowns.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:       If you are taking HIS 192 during the "interim" session between regular semesters, the "A" Building may have limited hours to accomodate testing. Please stop by the "A" Building to make sure of the times it is open.


    a) "Assessments"= 80 per cent: There will be 4 multiple choice and/or fill in and/or essay exams (taken online on a designated day and time during a 24 hour period) of varying size. The value of each question is always 1.0 per cent of your course grade. Exception:    an essay question may have a variable per cent value.

    b) "Bulletins & Discussions" and other exercises and contributions which demonstrate so-called "Participation", and which are evaluated using the professor's discretion and "Subjective Judgement : = 20 per cent (See Part VII below.)


    60%--69% = D

    70%--79% = C

    80%--89% = B

    90%--100% = A


    My Plan right now is to have enough material for you to do so that you are fully engaged for each class day of the term.     You will also be taking exams on some of the class days you are also reading and participating in discussions.


    PART VII: "Discussions" grade = 20 per cent

    What is it comprised of? It is mostly comprised of my SUBJECTIVE JUDGMENT.

    This is simply my personal impression of you as a student in this class who interacts with your fellow students and with me. Teachers need to know that the individuals who will be performing in their classes are serious and oriented to success. For example, I ask myself, does he or she measure up to my idea of what a college student and a mature person should be based on my experience? I consider such factors as :

  • Online courtesy. Don't go overboard with this. I mean just normal good taste and good manners. Of course you can disagree. But I expect calm maturity out of you, because you are in a serious adult setting. For example, profanity is never appropriate nor permitted in a professional environment. Neither are insults, or other personal comments.
  • Completing work in a timely manner, if applicable

  • Making an honest effort, giving it the "old college try"

  • There is never any justification for any kind of academic dishonesty. Such infractions are severely punished at this College. Please read the College's policy on academic honesty, available in the College Catalog, which you can access on the Main Page.

    Special needs: I assume that anyone who has special needs has already been accomodated by the college or university where you are taking this course. If that is not true, then please contact your appropriate dean or counselor in your institution so that you may be directed to the appropriate office.

    [NOTE]:     Here is another possible situation that has caused some students confusion and anxiety: they see that a posting in the "Discussions" area, or an exam date, or something else in the course, is from a previous semester or year. Is this not an error? Probably not. Sometimes I carry over student postings that are particularly good from semester to semester. Often I do not update the testing date on an exam until a week or so before the target date, so an old date will still appear. You should not concern yourself with this. If it is in the "Discussions" area, go ahead and respond to it as if it was just posted 5 minutes ago. But if you want to email me that you noticed an older date, please go ahead and do so.]

    P.S. Oh yes! I almost forgot! The "GROUND RULES" : I do not have too many ground rules in these discussions. It is pretty much common sense.

    Here they are. Study them very carefully. Perhaps you should run off a copy and put it on the refrigerator alongside your SYLLABUS for the class:

  • There is no set number of postings.- The rule is that I need to be convinced that you are a fully-engaged participant in the Discussions. You need to show me that you are "in the ballgame" and not sitting on the bench picking daisies.
  • After we take the Exam for a particular UNIT, I will move on to the next Discussion question and not check back into the earlier Discussion question. But that doesn't mean it is shut off or you have to stop posting in the earlier one. If you are involved in a meaningful discussion, you may continue right up until the end of the term.
  • Warning about "crashing the gates" at the last minute: you will see me repeat this elsewhere. Sometimes desperate students who have not participated all semester try to make up for their non-participation by slamming down a whole bunch of hastily thrown together submissions in the different Discussions in the last weeks, or days, or hours of the course. Unacceptable. You must show me an ongoing movement of your engagement and participation across the set of Discussion questions and across the entirety of the semester, not all at once at the last minute. As indicated above, I will not even look at entries that are from the earlier parts of the semester, so you will just be wasting your time.
  • There are no individual points for Discussions. Remember, this is my Subjective Judgment of you, not something I am checking off on some rubric or checklist. It depends a lot on my feel for how deeply you have studied and understood what you have studied. But, although it involves my subjective feeling to some extent, that doesn't mean it isn't a very serious component of your grade. It is. It is that portion of your grade that is concerned more than the other segments of your grade with something called "professorial judgement." It is what the sociologist Max Weber was referring to when he wrote about the "moral authority of the faculty."
  • Only post something after you have thought about it, and AFTER you have read any Lessons, sub-lessons, or Chapter material related to it. In other words, we don’t want baseless opinions, mindless babbling and what used to be called "power-spewing".   (No B.S., in other words. No excrement of male bovine mammalians. )
  • If you are going to post something, make sure it is a real contribution that advances the argument, or poses a question about it that has meaning. For example, do not just say, "I agree with Sarah." That's nice that you agree with her. But you have not really contributed anything that I can grade, except your polite agreement with Sarah.

  • PROOFREAD ! PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD ! RHETORIC 101 & 102 are NOT required for this course. However, they are extremely desirable, and it would be extremely helpful if you have taken and passed a college-level writing class. WHY? Because I expect you to be able to express yourself in literate, grammatically correct English (you know, just like in a college-level class), both in DISCUSSIONS and on EXAMS. This is not text-messaging your friends. You will be severely graded down for poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. Highly recommend you take great care in composition of your submissions before you post, and before I see them.

    QUESTION: Why all the fuss about correct posting of submissions in the DISCUSSIONS area?

    Answer: Have you seen how much credit DISCUSSIONS are worth? TWENTY per cent !!!

  • Be respectful of your fellow-students at all times.
  • Please offer us no private or personal disclosures, or inappropriate comments or language, please.
  • Just remember that we are professionals in a professional setting.

    That's about it !! Please contact me if you believe I have overlooked something. Let's get down to business and have a great, FUN semester !! See you online !! --Dr. Salzman

    Rev. 12/2010