Evaluation in HIST 431


There are no major exams, no major term papers. The approach to assignments and grading is much more incremental than that, emphasizing modest assignments, reflective writing, sustained discourse, and experiential learning. This approach spreads the work out over the semester, but it also makes it exceedingly important (for both students and instructors) to keep up and stay on schedule. There are two good things about this basic scheme.


1.      It values outcomes, achievement, more than raw talent. That’s the way it is in the so-called real world, after all.

2.      It promotes a work ethic grounded in personal responsibility.


Grading Scale

(300 points possible)

Letter Grade

Points Required










The table below shows how points are earned. Follow the links from the home page to find out more about various assignments and requirements. Note that some assignments have deadlines, as noted in the spec sheets or in the calendar.



A quiz every week, covering reading assignments preparatory for the class session and lecture material covered in the session

15 quizzes x 10pts/quiz



Completing one of the fieldwork assignments activated for this semester (see specs linked from home page)

1 project



Participation in class as well as online (see Participation link on home page)

25 events x 2pts/event


Text Responses

Completing worksheets preparatory to discussions of Webb and Beck texts

2 sheets x 10pts/sheet



Optional assignments (PrairieFare, Film Reviews, Primary Documents—see specs linked from home page)

10 to 20 points each


Total Points Possible



*Optional in the sense you can choose among options as to how to earn these points. Not optional as in extra credit. There is no extra credit in this course.


Notice that assignments have rubrics for evaluating work. Pay attention to these! Work is evaluated systematically according to the rubrics. Cover all the stated elements!


Finally, we need to avoid the problem of students turning in a glut of optional assignments at the end of the semester. They need to be spaced out through the term. Take this into account as you plan your work; do assignments early, take the pressure off yourself. As a baseline of prevention against end-of-term glut, however, we have a simple ground rule for submission of optional assignments:


No more than one optional assignment in any one calendar month


The Rules


Folks, we have to stick with the schedule. Work submitted late, or submitted in violation of the rule stated immediately above, will not be scored. The only exception is an arrangement made in advance, for reasonable and serious cause.




Make-up quizzes can be taken if legitimate reason is documented. All make-ups will be given during the scheduled final exam period for the course, which means 7pm Monday 12 December. No electronic devices to be used during makeup session.