Course Syllabus

Class Syllabus

Instructor: Tristan Traviolia    Email:

Office Phone: (818) 710-225

Pierce Campus Office: Alder1000

Online Office Hours: Thursday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Via Zoom by appointment. 

Pierce Sheriff Station- Emergency 710-4311     Non-Emergency 719-6450     National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Online Participation Policy It is ultimately your responsibility to withdraw from class if you quit participating. Students should never rely on the instructor to exclude them. I reserve the right to exclude any student quits participating in the class. You can only fall behind one week in online assignments. If you miss two weeks of online assignments, I reserve the right to exclude you from the class.

Required Texts:

The Making of the West Volume 2 from 1500 5th Edition by Lynn Hunt et al. Bedford/St.Martin’s (2016) ISBN: 9781457681530

Required Technology: 

This class requires reliable Internet access. Upon completion of the orientation module the instructor assumes students can navigate Canvas, access email, submit assignments in Canvas, post in Canvas discussions, and send and receive messages in Canvas.

Pierce College Internet Technology Support:

You can reach Pierce College Information technology at Pierce IT online (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.).

You can reach the IT office by phone at 818 710-6496.

You can also email

If you cannot log on to Pierce Online to access the class Canvas page you can access a pdf document with instructions here Logging on to PierceOnlineLinks to an external site.Links to an external site.Links to an external site.

Download the PDF to your computer of phone and bookmark these log on instructions so you can access them when you cannot log onto Canvas. 

You can watch a video with log on instructions through this linkPierce Online Log On Video (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Course Description                                            

This course will survey the development of western civilization in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The course begins with the rise of agriculture, animal husbandry, and the appearance of cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt around 3,500 B.C.E. and ends with the Renaissance and Reformation. We will focus on major themes such as family organization, gender roles, religion, law, commerce, warfare, literature, art, agriculture, government, technology, and philosophy as they developed in the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Levant, Greece, the Hellenistic World, Rome, Byzantium, the Carolingian Empire, and the dynastic realms in Medieval Europe. We will emphasize the reasons for the rise and fall of civilizations and the importance of their cultural legacies for contemporary society.

Course Transfer Information History 1 meets the Humanities requirement in Area C of the CSU GE-Breadth Certification Plan and the IGETC.  For more information contact the Counseling Center website (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.).

Student Learning Objectives

1.Students will be able to evaluate the significance of geography and identify important persons as they relate to the major trends in the history of early western civilization.

2.Students will be able to assess the impact of the major intellectual, religious, and cultural events of early western civilization.

3.Students will be able to develop critical thinking skills by learning how to analyze, evaluate and interpret the historical evidence of primary sources.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change the syllabus with proper notification to the class. I do not like to change the syllabus, but fires, earthquakes, and other unforeseen circumstances could require me to do so.

Grading Scale

The course grade will result from the following scale based on a percentile score arrived at by dividing the points earned by the possible points on all assignments.

A 100%-90%           

B 89%-80%

C 79%-70%

D 69%-60%

F 59% and below


1) Discussion Participation-You will have mandatory discussion participation each week. (10pts per week)

2) Exams-You will have weekly exams. (Approximately 35pts per week)

3) Writing Assignment-You will have a writing assignment (100 pts)

Accommodation Statement:

Pierce College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities in accordance with state and federal laws. If you have a disability that you will request an accommodation for please inform me as soon as possible. You need to contact the Office of Special Services, at (818) 719-6430 or visit their website at Special Services (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) to begin the process to secure accommodations. Do not wait. Contact OSS immediately to begin your application.

Student Academic Integrity 

It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the Pierce College Standards of Conduct as well as the Student Academic Integrity Policy Statement in the Pierce College General Catalog as well as those in the LACCD Board Rules and abide by them. This class will follow the policies contained in LACCD Board Rules 9803, 9804, 9805 and 9806.

Important Dates:

The Spring 2021 semester begins on August 30. 

The last day to drop a class online without incurring fees is September 12.

The last day to drop classes online without a grade of “W” is September 12.

The last day to drop classes online with a grade of “W” is November 21.

Students dropping classes online from September 13 to November 21 will have a “W” recorded on their permanent record.

You cannot drop the course after November 21. 

Make-Up and Late Work Policy: I realize that outside obligations and circumstances can keep you from turning in assignments on time. I accept late work under the following criteria.

  1. Late work cannot receive full credit.
  2. I have sole discretion to determine any grade reduction on a case-by-case basis.
  3. If you want to avoid a grade reduction turn your work in on time.
  4. You can only fall behind one week in online assignments. If you miss two weeks of online assignments, I reserve the right to exclude you from the class.
  5. You cannot turn in discussion participation late. 
  6. You get to make-up one and only one exam that you miss during the semester. Any further missed exam will receive a zero grade. 

The deadline to turn in late work is 11:59 PM December 19, 2020. 

An assignment turned in weeks late will receive a drastically reduced grade, but any grade is better than a zero and completing the assignment could provide you the points necessary to pass the class rather than fail it.

Contact procedures:

1-We can arrange an appointment at a mutually agreed to time.

2-You can always email me at Include your first name, last name, and class in all emails. Please allow twenty-four hours for a response.

3-You can always post a question in Questions for the Professor discussion. Please allow twenty-four hours for a reply.

Counseling Resources:

 Pierce College offers extensive counseling services to help students reach their goals by developing individual educational plans and monitoring progress. Counselors also help students with personal and crisis counseling concerning any problems interfering with academic, career, or social issues. The veterans desk advices military veterans on their academics, military benefits, and financial aid.

You can visit the counseling center online at  Counseling Center (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)


The Center for Academic Success (CAS) offers history tutoring and ESL support on a walk-in basis. The CAS provides ESL writing workshops.

You can find the CAS on the first floor of the Pierce College Library in room 5130.

You can call the CAS at (818) 719-6414.

You can find the CAS online at Center For Academic Success (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

The Pierce College Canvas community offers NetTutor.

With NetTutor you can drop off a questions or live video chats with tutors. You get to access the service free of charge as a student in the course. You can also submit papers for review to the NetTutor paper center. You can also access their college student success tutorial.

You can find all the NetTutor services on the Canvas course home page menu under “NetTutor.”

Student Responsibilities:

  1. You are responsible for all material covered in class announcements.
  2. You need to have access to the textbook. Do not claim you cannot take an exam or write essays because you cannot access the book.
  3. Do not ask for any special consideration or privilege not offered to the entire class.
  4. Do not use work, vacations, or family events as an excuse for missing exams. If you have an event that conflicts with an exam you need to adjust your schedule.
  5. Do not ask for special grading consideration because you need a better grade to achieve honors, transfer to the school of your choice, to maintain eligibility for financial aid, or to avoid flunking out. Earn the grade that you desire.
  6. It is your responsibility to check your email regularly and make sure it is working. Claiming you did not receive an email is never an acceptable excuse.
  7. It is your responsibility to maintain internet access to the class Canvas page. It is never an acceptable excuse to claim you cannot access the class Canvas page

Student Health Center 

Medical and mental health services are available to all currently enrolled students at the Pierce Student Health Center. There is no cost to students to see any of the medical and mental health providers during extended office hours. Pierce College Student Health Center is now Family PACT providers too. Call 818-710-4270 to make an appointment or to ask a question. Located on the 2nd floor of the Student Services Building. (Links to an external site.)

Diversity Statement

Pierce College strives to build an inclusive, welcoming community of individuals with diverse backgrounds, talents and skills who are committed to civility, mutual respect, social justice, and the free and open exchange of ideas. We commit ourselves to change, growth, and action that embrace diversity as an integral resource of our educational experience and of the community we create.

Netiquette: Guidelines for internet communication in our course

Recognize that online communication in emails, discussion posts, chat notes, and other online formats excludes important physical cues that add meaning when talking in person- voice inflection, facial expressions, and body language. Without non-verbal cues an online message might lose its intended charm and unintentionally offend the audience.

Some simple guidelines will help you successfully communicate online.

1-Always proofread a message before clicking on “post” or “send," always. 

2-Treat others with the same respect you want to receive.

3-Avoid criticizing your classmates. Leave that task to the professor.

4-If you do not have something nice to say then do not say it.

5-Keep your posts short and to the point, less is more in the online environment.

6-Take the magnanimous approach and give the person the benefit of the doubt when a post could have more than one meaning.

7-Avoid pettiness and arrogance and instead choose to tolerate differences of opinion and remain humble.

8-Finally, do not respond to a post by the professor unless requested to do so. The professor gets the last word in the online world

Provisional Reading and Examination Schedule:

Week One         

Sep 1- Course Introduction

Week Two

Sep 8- Making of the West Chapter 14 - Global Encounters and the Shock of the Reformation, 1492–1560

Week Three

Sep 15- Making of the West Chapter 15- Wars of Religion and the Clash of Worldviews, 

Week Four

Sep 22- Making of the West Chapter 16 - Absolutism, Constitutionalism, and the Search for Order, 1640–1700 

Week Five

Sep 29- Making of the West Chapter 17 - The Atlantic System and Its Consequences, 1700–1750                               

Week Six

Oct 6- Making of the West Chapter 18 - The Promise of Enlightenment, 1750–1789                         

Week Seven

Oct 13- Making of the West Chapter 19 - The Cataclysm of Revolution, 1789–1799                 

Week Eight

Oct 20- Making of the West Chapter 20 - Napoleon and the Revolutionary Legacy, 1800–1830                            

Week Nine

Oct 27 - Making of the West Chapter 21 - Industrialization and Social Ferment, 1830–1850           

Week Ten

Nov 3- Making of the West Chapter 22 - Politics and Culture of the Nation-State, 1850–1870

 Week Eleven

Nov 10- Making of the West Chapter 23 - Empire, Industry, and Everyday Life, 1870–1890        

Week Twelve

Nov 17- Making of the West Chapter 24- Modernity and the Road to War, 1890–1914

Week Thirteen

Nov 24- Making of the West Chapter 25 - World War I and Its Aftermath, 1914–1929

Week Fourteen

Dec 1- Making of the West Chapter 26 - The Great Depression and World War II, 1929–1945                     

Week Fifteen

Dec 8- Making of the West Chapter 27 - The Cold War and the Remaking of Europe, 1945–1960s

Week Sixteen

Dec 15- Making of the West Chapter 28 - Writing Assignment