Course Exam—HIST 202

HIST 202 (Western Thought and Culture II: Since the Reformation) is a three-credit introductory history course that is the second of two three-credit courses. Together, they survey the development of Western civilization from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the complicated and sophisticated world of the post-industrial era.  This course has no prerequisites, however, HUMN 201 or HIST 201 (Western Thought and Culture I: Before the Reformation) is strongly recommended.  There is also a challenge for credit option if students are interested.

This course is intended as a foundation course for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies students and is designed for learners with little or no previous university experience.  It provides a good starting place for new students intending to study history, literature, philosophy, or other aspects of the humanities.

Students should note that HIST 202 is offered as an individualized online study that contains a video component.  Any overseas students should contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio or visual component.  Also, HIST 202 is a cross-listed course, meaning that it is a course that is listed under another discipline as HUMN 202.  HIST 202 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HUMN 202.

Western Thought and Culture II: Since the Reformation is made up eight units, one essay assignment weighing twenty-five percent, a second essay assignment worth thirty-five percent, and a final examination that weighs forty percent.  The eight units within the course cover topics such as romanticism, nationalism, realism, early modernism, late modernism, and post-modernism.  To receive credit for HIST 202, students must achieve a grade of at least a “D” or fifty percent on the final examination and an overall grade of at least fifty percent in the course.  The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre.

Louise Robinson is 39-year-olds and is a full-time student, full-time mom, and works thirty hours a week.  She is currently enrolled in the 3-year Bachelor of Arts program with an English concentration.  She provides a brief introduction, stating “I work twenty-five hours a week in an elementary school and teach yoga five hours a week.  I have been married for fifteen years, and have two girls, Isabella who is fifteen years old and Sophia who is twelve.  I live in Calgary, Alberta and am working really hard to finish my degree so I can apply for my teaching degree in March 2020.  With eight classes left, every spare minute is dedicated to school.  I do, however, like to watch Food Network, bake with my daughters, and take our golden retriever into Fish Creek Park for hikes.”

When asked to explain HIST 202 to students, Louise states “History 202 is the second half of History 201, which covered the dawn of man to the 1400’s.  History 202 covered 1400’s to current date (well 2000’s).  The class covered everything from war, art, literature, music, architecture, important people such as rulers, and important events such as the industrial revolution, scientific revolution, world war one and two, and the cold war.”

As for the structure of the course, she explains that “The class had two papers, both of which I believe required up to 2000 words.  The class also had a final examination.  The exam consisted of three sections.  The first section required students to pick five out of seven questions and give a short 200-word response to each, the second portion was similar to the first but required longer responses.  The third portion of the exam was the longer essay portion, which required students to pick one response from three and write a 1000-word essay.”

When asked if she would recommend this course to other students, she states “The textbooks were easy to read, but I found I gained more information from the online videos with Eugen Webber.  I found the level of detail a bit hard to wrap my head around.  So many dates, names, and details.  Both of the exams for HIST 201 and HIST 202 relied more on the arts portion of the class then the actual events, such as wars.”

As for tips and tricks to completing this course, Louise recommends focusing on “the names of artists, the names of the art they produced, what “timeframe” it came from and why it was significant.  I lost a lot of marks on my exams because even though I knew the name of the artist, and what the painting looked like, I did not know the actual name of the piece, so I lost marks.  There were hundreds of art pieces to remember.  Add that to all the events, people, musicians, architects, and writers.  It was a lot and seemed unfair that I could not remember the name of a painting.  I noticed that in both classes, exams and rewrites (because I had to rewrite both) not a lot of focus was put on wars.”

As for communication with her tutor, she states “Sometimes my tutors were vague in response, because they can not give proper feedback for what I am sure is fear of giving any answers.  All of my items were marked quickly and fairly.”

Louise provides some final thoughts, stating “I feel like HIST 201 and HIST 202 could have been broken down into three classes just because of the sheer volume of information you are expected to remember.  I have spoken to a few that have taken these classes and agree it is a heavy course load.”

Whether HIST 202 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, historic content surrounding western culture over the past five hundred years.

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