Goals for HIST 103
The assignments and requirements of the course are designed to achieve certain goals in learning. Know the goals, and you understand the assignments better.
Listed below are four basic goals for the course.
1. To acquire a historical perspective, that is, to learn to think like a historian.
2. To master basic facts and interpretations associated with the most important themes in the history of the United States.
3. To build proficiency in discursive prose—writing.
4. To read and discuss a classic text, Tocqueville's Democracy in America, a catalog of concepts and traits that define the character of American life.
This course is approved for the NDSU general education program under the "Humanities" category. In the university's definition, courses in the Humanities "systematically explore cultural and intellectual forces shaping events, individual expression, and social values." One of the stated goals of general education at NDSU is that students "comprehend the concepts and perspectives needed to function in national and international societies." The first and fourth goals of this course contribute to that concern of general education. Another stated goal of general education at NDSU is that students "communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats." This matches up to the third goal stated above for this course. A further goal of general education at NDSU is that students "integrate knowledge in a coherent and meaningful manner." That's what we'll be looking for in writing assignments in the course.
This course is designed to serve learning in the History major in several specific respects, according with the "Intended Student Outcomes" for the major. These standards require students majoring in History to demonstrate "critical thinking skills" and "historical thinking skills" and to show them through writing essays. Goal #1 above is intended to cultivate these skills; for their demonstration, you are expected to complete written assignments.
If you're not a History major, but you might be interested, check out the Home Page of the History Department.