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History of Science Course Syllabus - Flat Earth woodcut

History of Science Online

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

Discussion forums

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Home page of the main course website, which contains the weekly unit pages and syllabus. You are at this course website now. MORE...

Daily updates, answers to questions that arise. Check this every day you work on this course! MORE...

The public face of this course, with videos, self-assessment exercises, readings, discussion forums, and comments... MORE...

Take quizzes here. Check your grade, & make gradebook declarations... MORE...

These links in the upper right corner provide additional course resources... MORE...

Yuku smileys

Why are we using two discussion boards?

Our class discussion forums are much easier to use than the discussion boards at NextThought or Desire2Learn. Both are password-protected; access is restricted to members of this class only. You will post your Starting Assumptions, Interpretation and Reflection essays each week at Confluence. But you will use Desire2Learn to give fellow students individual feedback on their Wikipedia Editing Projects.

Confluence username and password:

You will choose your Confluence username and password as one part of an orientation assignment during the first week of class (here). Then you will apply for admission to the specific Confluence community being used by this class (here). As soon as the instructor has approved your new application, you will be able to enter the Confluence discussion board by clicking the Confluence link at the top of any page.

Getting to Confluence. You will find a link to Confluence on each page of the course website -- just look along the very top of the page. You can also save the address as a bookmark, if you want.

Confluence nicknames. You can choose a nickname to use at Confluence -- it can be based on your name (I'm "DrMag"), or it can be something that you choose just for fun. Choose your nickname carefully: you will be using that nickname all semester long!

Emoticons. One of the nice features of the Confluence discussion boards is that you can include "smileys" in your messages. This may help avoid misunderstandings arising from lack of inflection, tone and body language (see Discussion Board Netiquette). You can label your message with a Posticon, and you can include the smaller Emoticons inside any of your messages.

Confluence help:

When you have any question about Confluence, check out the extensive Confluence help pages. There are step-by-step tutorials for all sorts of topics, including:

Most of these things you can figure out on your own, but if not, eventually you will want to browse most of these help pages.

Polls and Surveys. In addition to using Confluence for class discussion, I will be putting up a few polls and surveys there, just for fun. Confluence surveys let you view the results in real time. Plus the polls and surveys are part of a discussion board, so that in addition to casting your vote, you can also add some comments if you want.

Profile and Personal Image. You can also add a personal icon or "avatar" to your Discussion Board posts. You can use a picture of yourself, or just a picture that you like as your personal image.

Important: read "Discussion Board Tips and Tricks."

Here's what the Confluence discussion board looks like:



"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." Peter DeVries

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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