Course Policies

Learning Objectives

In this class, students will learn to:

1. Develop historical perspectives
2. Express themselves clearly
3. Locate relevant information
4. Identify key historical issues and debates
5. Support plausible historical arguments.

This course also meets the U.S. Diversity Requirement. The United States has always been and remains a place of diversity, contest and inequality. The U.S. diversity course explores the ways in which diversity has enriched and complicated our lives. The course examines the intersections of two or more of the following categories of identity in the United States: race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, and/or disability. By considering people’s lived experiences as members of dominant and subordinated groups, this course equips students to engage a complex, diverse United States.

In this course students will:
1. Gain a solid grasp of the course content
2. Become more knowledgeable about a complex and diverse United States
3. Enhance critical thinking about issues of position, power and privilege
4. Recognize the multiple identities that shape our interactions with one another

Attendance & Participation

Class attendance and participation are both required, though with some adaptations this semester owing to continued limitations caused by the global pandemic.  Our Tuesday classes will meet via Zoom.  Anyone who cannot participate live must email some thoughtful reflections on the reading assignment before the Zoom session begins.  Reflections should be about a paragraph or two in length and should focus on explaining what you consider to be the most significant insights or lessons from the reading assignment.    Everyone in the course must submit such emailed  reflections for our Thursday classes.  For those who are on campus, we will then meet at the HUB to discuss those short reflections in person.  After class, everyone, including those learning remotely, will receive a curated transcript prepared by Prof. Pinsker from those various reflections and his own comments.  All Zoom sessions will be recorded but those recordings are only intended for participants in the course and should not be posted or shared in any way.  The discussion sections at the HUB will not be recorded or broadcast.  Owing to the special conditions related to the pandemic, there will be extra flexibility for students regarding participation deadlines, but students must communicate their need for extensions clearly and repeated failure to contribute in a timely manner will result in a reduction in course grades. Participation grades will be determined largely on the basis of the quality of your Zoom discussion efforts and your weekly emailed reflections.

Sample Discussion Transcripts:

Electronics

No personal electronic devices such as phones, tablets or laptops can be used in this class except in rare cases with special permission in advance from Prof. Pinsker.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Dickinson values diverse types of learners and is committed to ensuring that each student is afforded equitable access to participate in all learning experiences. If you have (or think you may have) a learning difference or a disability – including a mental health, medical, or physical impairment – that would hinder your access to learning or demonstrating knowledge in this class, please contact Access and Disability Services (ADS). They will confidentially explain the accommodation request process and the type of documentation that Dean and Director Marni Jones will need to determine your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. To learn more about available supports, go to www.dickinson.edu/ADS or email access@dickinson.edu. If you’ve already been granted accommodations at Dickinson, please follow the guidance at www.dickinson.edu/AccessPlan for disclosing the accommodations for which you are eligible and scheduling a meeting with me as soon as possible so that we can discuss your accommodations and finalize your Access Plan.  NOTE:  test proctoring will not be needed for this class.

Privacy

All student course work can be kept entirely private using the publishing protocols of WordPress.  Students who want to work on an assignment without having Prof. Pinsker peering over their shoulder just need to save their posts as DRAFT.  He won’t look at your draft posts. When you are ready to submit an assignment, however, or when you want to have Prof. Pinsker review your work prior to submitting, then just set the visibility on your post as PRIVATE.  Prof. Pinsker will then evaluate your work and consider making it public.  If he publishes your post, it will appear in search engines and get pushed to various social media outlets.  If you don’t want a particular post to be considered for publication, simply opt-out by including this statement at the top:  NOT FOR PUBLICATION.

Writing Center Visit

All students should consider visiting the Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center to support their writing assignments for this course.  Writers of all levels and abilities need feedback in order to develop their ideas and grow as writers.  Dickinson’s trained writing tutors can help you generate ideas, begin drafting, revise a rough draft, figure out your professor’s preferred documentation style, understand and respond to professor feedback, edit your writing – among other things.   For more information about hours and procedures, visit the Writing Center online.

Plagiarism

See the Handout on Plagiarism at the Methods Center as well as the blog post on Plagiarism 2.0

From Dickinson College Community Standards (adopted 2006):

To plagiarize is to use without proper citation or acknowledgment the words, ideas, or work of another.  Plagiarism is a form of cheating that refers to several types of unacknowledged borrowing.

  • The most serious degree of plagiarism involves the wholesale and deceptive borrowing of written material from sources such as published authors, web sites, other students, or paper-for-hire services.  Students who submit papers or significant sections of papers that they did not write themselves are committing this type of violation.

 

  • Another serious degree of plagiarism involves less wholesale but still repeated and inappropriate borrowing from outside sources.  In some of these cases, students borrow several phrases or sentences from others, and do so without both quotation marks and proper attributions.  In other cases, students secretly collaborate on assignments in defiance of specific prohibitions outlined by their instructor.

 

  • Finally, there is a degree of plagiarism that involves the borrowing of specific words or phrases without quotation marks. In such cases, citations may be present, but they are inadequate. This problem most commonly occurs when students paraphrase sources by attempting to change a few words in a sentence or brief series of sentences.  It can also occur when students rely too heavily on parents or friends for ideas or phrases which they mistakenly claim as their own.