missing image


Quick Links

Course Materials

BYU Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a basic geographical knowledge of the world, and more importantly, develop the ability to discuss how geographical and environmental realities, as well as cross-regional interactions, have impacted historical development.
  2. Be able to identify major societies of the pre-1500 C.E. era and make historical comparisons between them, in regard to political systems, trade and economics, social structures, religious beliefs, and gender roles.
  3. Gain an appreciation of influential cultural works produced in a variety of pre-modern societies and through them come to a clearer understanding of the fundamental values held by past peoples—including, how they understood the natural world, what it meant to be human, and their relationship with the divine.
  4. Be able to analyze historical questions and issues clearly, assess historical information accurately, and distinguish between questionable and valid historical assertions.
  5. Be able to read, analyze, and discuss both primary and secondary source documents dealing with world history (pre-1500 C.E.).
  6. Improve the clarity and grace of analytical writing.
  7. Recognize and be able to apply the tools necessary for a lifelong appreciation of the study of world history.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you should have done the following:

  1. Gained a historical consciousness by demonstrating a knowledge of major developments in world history to about AD 1500.
  2. Acquired the ability to analyze historical questions and issues clearly, assess historical information accurately, and distinguish between questionable and valid historical assertions.

In order to do these things you will need to become familiar with key historical events and developments that have helped to shape us as world citizens. I expect that you will begin to learn to see patterns of human development between various civilizations, and recognize cultural differences and the reasons for these differences. I also hope you will have developed a new understanding of the commonalities of the human condition and an appreciation for the rich fabric of human culture.

(Back to top)

Course Materials

Required Textbook

Additional Required Books

(Back to top)



Each of the lessons will have a quiz at the end. This will be a multiple-choice quiz. Any incorrect answers will be noted and the reason for the incorrect answer will be provided. Questions will be drawn primarily from information provided in the textbook and additional readings, but some of the questions will come from the lessons in the course.

Historical Essay

Writing an essay will allow you to show how well you can analyze and synthesize the historical materials you will be dealing with in this class. In this course, you will write 1 short essay (4-5 pages, roughly 1,000 words) that answers a question based on one of the assigned books (NOT the textbook!). Papers must be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins.

How to Submit the Historical Essay Assignment

After you have completed your historical essay, you are ready to submit the essay for grading by doing the following:

  1. Go to the "Historical Essay Assignment Submission" assignment in the Historical Essay Section. (It's right after Lesson 13.)
  2. Open the "Historical Essay Assignment Submission" assignment.
  3. Attach your essay by clicking the Open Dropbox button, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. When you are finished, click Submit.
  5. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  6. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

Journal Activities

The purpose for these activities is to help you internalize the information you are reading. The journal activity is a series of questions for you to consider and write a response. Depending on the lesson, there can be anywhere between 1 and 3 journal activities totaling 27 journal activities for the entire course. The journal activities are pass/fail and are worth 5% of your grade.

Journal Activities Grading

In order to receive a pass on this part of the course, you will need to do 14 journal activities (roughly half of them). Of those 14 journal activities, the instructor or TA will randomly pick up to 8 journal activities and will grade them according to the following rubric:

  1. Does the comment relate to the “Journal Activity questions”?
  2. Does the comment raise a point and/or provide a possible answer?

Here is how you will complete the activities and how you will submit them.

How to Create and Complete the Journal Activities

  1. Using word-processing software like Microsoft Word, create a document and name it using this pattern: [first initial, last name]JournalActivities. For example, "KJonesJournalActivities.docx"
  2. When you come to a journal activity in your course, open the Word document that you created and type the title of the journal activity. For example: "Journal Activity 1.1"
  3. Answer the questions that are presented in the journal activity.
  4. Save the document. You will continue to add to this document for each journal activity so it will be a running document.
  5. When you come to the next journal activity, open your journal activities document and type the title of the next journal activity. For example, "Journal Activity 1.2" and then answer the questions.
  6. Save the document. You will repeat Steps 2 through 4 for each journal activity.

How to Submit the Journal Activities

After you have completed the last journal activity in Lesson 13, you are ready to submit your journal activities document for grading. When you are ready to upload and complete the assignment,

  1. Go to the "Journal Activities Submission" assignment in the Journal Activities section. (It's right before the Final Exam section.)
  2. Open the "Journal Activities Submission" assignment.
  3. Attach your journal activities document by clicking the Browse button, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. When you are finished, click Submit.
  5. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  6. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

(Back to top)


There will be one midcourse exam and one final exam. The midcourse exam occurs after Lesson 6 and will consist of some terms for you to explain, one essay question, and will cover the material covered in the first half of the course. The final exam also will consist of terms for you to explain and two essay questions. One of the final exam essay questions will cover the material from the second half of the course and the other essay question will be comprehensive.

(Back to top)


You are all beginning this course with 0 points. You will earn points (hence your grade) by completing and doing well on the various assessments. When calculating your semester grades the various requirements of the course will be distributed as follows:

Quizzes 20%
Journal Activities 5%
Historical Essay 20%
Midcourse Exam 25%
Final Exam 30%

Grading Scale



























(Back to top)

Honor Code Issues

At Brigham Young University, the faculty insures that standards of academic honesty are followed; they check for and discipline students who cheat on exams and/or plagiarize their papers. The History Department faculty does not tolerate academic dishonesty in any form. Students who have questions about issues of academic honesty should visit the Honor Code office's website for specific examples of cheating, intentional plagiarism, inadvertent plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. Students in this course who cheat on examinations, plagiarize essays, or use the same essay for more than one class will receive a failing grade for this course.

(Back to top)

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

(Back to top)

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

(Back to top)

Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

(Back to top)