Course Exam—ANTH 277

ANTH 277 (The Archaeology of Us: First Humans to First Civilizations) is a three-credit introductory anthropology course that is designed to provide students with an understanding of world prehistory from the time of the split between human and chimpanzee lineages four to six million years ago (or possibly earlier) to the rise of the first cities and civilizations roughly 5,000 years ago. This course has no prerequisites.  It comes with an online e-textbook and has a challenge for credit option if you’re interested.

The Archaeology of Us: First Humans to First Civilizations is made up of four units containing thirteen subunits, discussion activities worth ten percent, one assignment weighing fifteen percent, a second assignment that weighs twenty percent, two quizzes worth  a total of fifteen percent, a midterm examination for twenty percent, and the final examination for the remaining twenty percent. The thirteen units within this course cover topics such as our early ancestors, where and how we lived, what we ate and did in our spare time, how we diversified, modern day humans, and much more. According to the syllabus, to receive credit for ANTH 277, students must complete ten discussion activities, two quizzes, two essay assignments, and must write the midterm and final examinations. Students must achieve a minimum grade of fifty percent on both the midterm and final examinations, and much achieve an overall grade of at least fifty percent for the entire course.

Students should note that the midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre.

Melissa Degenstein-Roelofs began studying at Athabasca University in May of 2019 and she is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and minoring in Anthropology program. With her transfer credits from Lethbridge College she is approximately halfway done.

“I’m 23 years old and from Lethbridge, Alberta.”, she says, “I originally started my post-secondary education at the Lethbridge College, but when I realized I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree I switched to AU. I was working at a cell phone Kiosk until August; this semester I’ve decided to take some time off and focus on school, as well as my volunteer position as the Undergraduate Representative with the Canadian Psychological Association. In my spare time, I typically am doing yoga, binge-watching something on Netflix, or hanging out with my cats and rabbit!”

When asked to explain the course to other students, she states “Anthropology 277 (The Archaeology of Us: First Humans to First Civilizations) covers the archaeological record and what it told us about the life of human beings from our descent to the ground to about when we built the first cities. The textbook covers in detail about various ancient people, from our primate ancestors to Neanderthals and the various hunter-gatherer societies and further on. I learned a lot about humanity from this course, it really gives you an appreciation for how far we have come as a species.”

As for the structure of the course, she explains that “This course has three quizzes. In the syllabus online it mentions a discussion forum but that is incorrect; I believe it was replaced with a quiz. It has two written assignments; both of which you can pick a topic from a list of preselected topics that are designed to help you build up knowledge you will need for the exams. The first written assignment is three essays together of about 750 words. The second assignment is a research paper of about 2000-3700 words. There is a midterm and a final exam; both consist of multiple choice and a written component. You must read the textbook to pass this course. I would strongly recommend really making sure that you can answer the learning objectives, the key concepts, and the practice questions in the study guide section of the modules. If you can answer these, you will surely get a good grade.”

Melissa would recommend this course, stating “I didn’t find this course to be difficult because I was really, really interested in it. However, if you don’t find ancient history interesting; you may find it to be a bit boring. That is something I have heard from other students who have taken this course or a similar course. But I loved this course and would highly recommend it.”

As for tips and tricks to completing this course, Melissa states “Make sure to answer the learning objectives, know the definitions of the key concepts, and answer the study questions. Pay close attention to details in this class.”

When asked how communications with her tutor has been, she explains “My tutor for this class was excellent. Her feedback was extremely constructive; every time I received feedback, I learned something new. My marks were always in very quickly, the mark for my final exam was on the same day I took the quiz and she responded to emails really quickly.”

Whether ANTH 277 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting information surrounding the topic of first humans to first civilization.