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LibraryThing: OU History of Science Collections HSCI 3013 - section 995 - Spring 2014

Topic 1 & 2 + Quizzes

# Due Date Pts Activity Time
2 Wednesday
11:59 p.m.

Topic 1 + Quiz
Background: Without a sense of context, history is anachronistic.
Primary sources: Without documentary evidence, history is speculation
The first of two topic assignments per week involving both background and primary sources.

90 min.


# Due Date Pts Activity Time
3 Thursday
11:59 p.m.

Topic2 + Quiz
Background: Without a sense of context, history is anachronistic.
Primary sources: Without documentary evidence, history is speculation
The second of two topic assignments per week involving both background and primary sources.

90 min.

Due: Topic Content 1, Wednesday, 11:59 p.m.; Topic Content 2, Thursday, 11:59 p.m.
Points: 25 each
Plan: 90 mins each.

Each week you will have two assignments that substitute for classroom lectures: "Topic 1" and "Topic 2." Both assignments have quizzes worth a total of 25 points. The content for each week is divided into two topics or areas of emphasis, with assignments due on different days. Each Topic content assignment has the following parts:

  1. From the Vault” video: Content assignments typically begin with a “From the Vault” video at Janux devoted to a particular topic, such as Stonehenge for the first week. “From the Vault” videos are virtual tours of materials from the vault of the History of Science Collections. Imagine that you are actually there, about to take one of the treasured rare books into the Reading Room for a closer examination. Ask yourself which volume you would choose! “From the Vault” videos are of varying lengths: some weeks, they may be only a few minutes long, and other times they may comprise the entire content for a Topic.
  2. Share your thoughts prompted by the “From the Vault” video and interact with others in a discussion stream.
  3. Finally, go to Desire2Learn for further instructions: “Dive deeper” into the topic with additional learning resources, such as a section from one of the assigned textbooks. Check the course site at Desire2Learn for these additional assigned learning resources, and to check your understanding with a self-assessment.
  4. After completing all of the above, take the corresponding quiz for credit at Desire2Learn. The quiz at D2L must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday for the first Content assignment, and by the same time on Thursday for the second.


Learning Objective: The Reading 1 assignment provides historical background and context related to the topics for the week.

The Reading 1 assignment is one of the first and longest activities you will do every week (see Weekly Assignments and time management tips). Don't be in a hurry; immerse yourself in the topic for the week so that you will be able to think about it and talk about it in the later assignments. The two reading assignments substitute for ordinary course lectures. Unlike listening to a few bars of background Muzak (see quote at the bottom of the page), the Reading 1 assignment is usually the most time-demanding assignment each week, so it would be wise to factor this into your schedule...

Begin the Reading 1 assignment on the same day as the Starting Assumptions!

Tip: Why not plan to complete it at least one day before it is actually due?

To provide a common basis for discussion, everyone in the class completes the same reading assignments.

How will I know what Readings are assigned each week? The Reading 1 assignments page for each week lists each Reading 1 assignment for that week and indicates where to find it. They are generally found in the required textbooks, or as exhibits in the Exhibits Online website (see the Exhibits Online orientation). Oftentimes, supplemental notes are provided for textbook readings, to point out interesting aspects or clarify certain ideas.

History is not just memorizing names and dates! Rather than emphasizing rote memorization, the Reading 1 assignments will clue you in to important aspects of the times and places involved in each week's unit, so that you will be prepared to recognize the significance of what you encounter in the primary source readings and subsequent discussions. In your Interpretation essay you will be required to cite evidence to support your point of view from both secondary and primary source readings.

Tip: After completing the Starting Assumptions, but before starting the Reading 1 assignment, take a quick glance at the Interpretation questions for the week, so that as you go through the readings you will be able to make a special note of points you want to make in your Interpretation essay.

Reading 1 Quiz:
After you finish the Reading 1 assignments, there's a Reading 1 Quiz for you to take at Desire2Learn. In the yellow box below are the instructions you will see each week for the Reading 1 Quiz. There is also a separate page About Quizzes which may answer other questions that you have.

Print the Reading 1 assignment page for a given week before you do the readings, because it contains the questions you will see when you take the quiz. As you read, write in the answers to the questions. In this way the quizzes are "open-book"!

This page is a general description of the Reading 1 assignment. For the specific questions you will be quizzed over on any given week, go to the unit page for that week by clicking the link for that week on the course home page.

TOPIC QUIZ: The statements are either True or False. When you take the quiz at Janux, you will see 12 of these statements, chosen at random, worth 2 points each.


"I object to background music no matter how good it is. Composers want people to listen to their music, they don't want them doing something else while their music is on. I'd like to get the guy who sold all those big businessmen the idea of putting music in the elevators, for he was really clever. What on earth good does it do anybody to hear those four or eight bars while going up a few flights." Aaron Copland, quoted in Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music

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HSCI 3013. History of Science to 17th centuryCreative Commons license
Kerry Magruder, Instructor, 2004
Brent Purkaple, TA

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Many thanks to the pedagogical model developed in Mythology and Folklore and other online courses by Laura Gibbs, which have been an inspiration for this course.

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This course is currently undergoing major reconstruction to bring it into alignment with the new version of the course at Janux