Course at a Glance
Welcome to a fascinating journey into the past! World Civilizations is a two part series. The first course covers the vast stretch of time from the dawn of human existence through the 15th century (this is our course). The second course covers the 16th century through most of the 20th century. Most courses that provide a broad survey do so over either a shorter span of time or in a focused geographical area, such as US History II. This course features a smaller time frame and space, far from a 5,000 year span, covering the entire globe. In order to make this enormous topic manageable, historians select events, people and movements that are the most significant in terms of their far reaching effects. The process of choosing these events is challenging and historians choose different events based on what most closely matches their own research. For example, a political historian will focus more on empires than a cultural historian who focuses on the beliefs and practices of various groups. An economic historian would key in on trade, whereas a military historian would emphasize warriors and the people who followed them. This means wherever you take this course and from whomever you take it, your course may be slightly different. One of the nice things about having a textbook is you learn about key events that nearly all historians agree are vital to understanding the history of the world.
This is a course in World History from the ancient past through the fifteenth century. This is a vast period of time, meaning we cannot cover everything; however, we will cover a great deal of fascinating material. In this course, you will examine these aspects of world civilizations:
- cultural history
Our focus will be the entire globe, meaning we will attempt to do the impossible, study the entire human history up through the year 1500. Our scope will be limited to civilizations; however, we will spend most of our time on population centers. Major topics include:
- how and why civilizations first emerged
- various types of civilizations
- the great empires of the world (Assyrian, Persian, Zhou, Rome)
- the origins of numerous world religions
- the Abbasid Revolution
- the Renaissance
- Achieve Historical Literacy The readings and timeline assignments will acquaint you with important names and dates associated with the civilizations of the world.
- Expand Critical Thinking The essays will build your critical thinking skills as you grapple with the causes and effects of events and with the reasons people made the decisions they made. Historians evaluate evidence about people and events to develop conclusions about the meaning of the past. They search for reasons why people chose particular courses of action and look for ways in which events influence one another. By learning to think historically, you learn to think critically.
Required Textbooks & Materials
Elizabeth Pollard, Clifford Rosenberg, Robert Tignor, Alan Karras, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World: From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present (Concise Edition) (Vol. 1) 1st Edition (WW Norton & Co., 2014) ISBN: 978-0393918472
Lessons & Exams
You have 3 to 9 months from your enrollment date to complete:
- 10 Lessons, consisting of:
- timeline assignments
- essay assignments
- open book tests
*Course information, including tuition, technology requirements, textbooks, lessons and exams, is subject to change without notice.
• $289.42 per Credit
• Independent Study
• 3 to 9 Months to Complete