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History 161 - World History - Michael Felix

Course:World History
Professor:Michael Felix
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


My name is Michael Felix and I teach History courses for College of the Canyons. I am an experienced veteran History instructor and I look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

Course Description


  • Examines world civilization from prehistory through the 1500's, including Greek and Roman philosophies, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, political institutions, social practices, literature, women's status, and cross-cultural influences.



  1. Identify the locations, historical eras, and significant geographical and cultural characteristics of the major civilizations in early world history.
  2. Compare and contrast the social, political, economic, cultural, religious, and aspects of each civilization.
  3. Analyze and explain, verbally and/or inwriting, the role each civilization or culture played in the development of the present global community.
  4. Critically evaluate relevant historio-graphical issues relating to World History.


  1. Western Civilization (Near East, Mediterranean, and Europe):-Discuss the historical significance of the Neolithic transition from a hunting and gathering existence to an agricultural way of life-Define the characteristics of civilization-Examine the emergence and evolution of writing in the Near East-Compare and contrast the historical significance of the small kingdoms of the Phoenicians and the Hebrews with the mighty empires of the Assyrians and Persians-Analyze and describe the cultural and political legacy of the Classical Greeks to modern society.-Discuss the political evolution of Rome from a Republic to an Empire, and debate the historiographical arguments for why each form of government eventually collapsed-Examine the emergence of medieval Christian civilization during the Early Middle Ages and identify the cultural hallmarks of the Carolingian Dynasty of Charlemagne-Examine the cultural legacy of the Renaissance-Discuss the historical significance of the Reformation-Debate the historiographical arguments about the means, motives, and consequences of the Age of Discovery.


  1. Eastern Civilization (China, Japan, and Southeast Asia):-Discuss the origins of Chinese culture in the Shang Dynasty-Compare and contrast the primary Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism-Debate the costs and benefits of the unification of China-Compare and contrast the Chinese empire during the Han Dynasty with the parallel development of the Roman Empire-Discuss the classical development of the Tang and Song Dynasties, specifically as they relate to women-Analyze the causes of the Mongol invasion, which created the Yuan Dynasty, and the reactionary emergence of the dynamic Ming Dynasty-Examine the influence of China on the development of Japanese culture-Describe the unique characteristics of Japanese culture (Shintoism and the Bushido Code)-Identify the origins of Indian culture in the Indus Valley and the subsequent Aryan invasion-Examine the social and religious characteristics of India (Buddhism, Hinduism, and the caste system)-Describe the earliest Indian empires (Mauryan and Gupta)-Examine the rise of Islam in northern India-Identify the influences of the Chinese and Indian cultures on the emerging cultural centers of Southeast Asia.


  1. African History:-Debate the historiographical arguments about whether to define Egypt primarily as an African or a Mediterranean civilization-Compare and contrast Egyptian civilization with the Mesopotamian civilization of the Sumerians, specifically for the role of geographical determinism in their respective developments-Examine the Bantu migration across Sub-Saharan Africa-Analyze the interactions of Africa and the world (the spread of Islam, trans-Saharan trade, Indian Ocean coastal trade, and the rise of trading kingdoms)-Debate the various arguments about the origins, motivations, evolution, and hardships of the African slave trade.


  1. History of the Americas:-Discuss the various theories about the earliest migration of people to the New World-Identify the origins of Meso-American culture among the Olmec-Describe the classical achievements of Mayan civilization-Compare and contrast the Aztec and Spanish cultures-Describe the characteristics of Andean civilization (Moche and Inca)-Discuss the Columbian exchange-Identify the various historical eras and cultural areas of the Native-Americans of North America. 






  1. Compare and contrast the major intellectual, religious, and cultural premises of world civilizations over time. And, assess the impact of these premises on diverse ethnic, social, and gender groups.
  2. Describe and evaluate the geographical boundaries, historical eras, and landmark political, intellectual, and religious figures of the world's civilizations.

What to Expect in this Course

When this course is offered in a short-term, late-start, 5 or 8 week course, major time commitment will be required for success. In those cases, we must fit 16 weeks of material and learning into a 5 or 8 week format.


  • This course is held 100% online, asynchronous, and requires a secure computer connection with a compatible web browser because we use a learning management system called Canvas. Canvas collects assignments, stores assignments, grades exams for me, allows me to provide you with instant feedback, distributes copies for me, stores files, and documents, keeps your grades for you.
  • Canvas works best when viewed through Firefox or Chrome web browsers. Most students who use Mac/Apple devices and the Safari web browser on laptops, iPads, iPhones, tend to have random technical glitches and issues at random times. If you experience technical issues or glitches, always first try switching to a PC device or if you can’t, try downloading a more compatible web browser instead of safari to view Canvas through. Try Firefox or Chrome.
  • Some of the documents in this course will be available to you in PDF form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your computer, you can download it by going to



  • This course is 100% online format, which means this course does not require any on-campus meetings or contact. Also, this course does not require any zoom meetings for instructional purposes or lectures. I am always available for help and assistance through e-mail, zoom, or in person on campus. See page 1 for details or Canvas homepage for zoom links and options.  
  • While this course is primarily self-paced, self-directed, and requires mostly independent learning, I am available for consultation and guidance and provide extensive written feedback, evaluation, and assessment of writing skills. There are weekly opportunities for you and I to interact and communicate regarding your progress and performance.
  • The way this course works is through weekly modules that I have set up for you in Canvas to follow at a weekly pace that works to your liking and preference. Your journey begins by following the weekly module pages in sequential order.
  • Please check into each weekly module every Monday at the start of each week. Then you should plan and map out a strategy to complete the weekly assignments by the stated deadlines. Final weekly deadlines are usually, generally, though not always, on Sunday nights @ 11:59 pm. Always read instructions and directions thoroughly and carefully.  

Types of Assessments


Your final grade will be based on the total number of points you have accumulated / earned out of the total points possible for the following:

  • Course Check-In Assignment                                                             complete/incomplete
  • Analyzing Primary sources tutorial                                                     10 pts
  • Analyzing Maps tutorial                                                                      10 pts
  • Understanding Types of Evidence in World History tutorial               10 pts
  • InQuizitive online chapter activities [16 chapters]                              10 pts each
  • Weekly InQuizitive Map activities [16 chapters]                                 10 pts each
  • Weekly chapter quizzes [16 chapters]                                                20 pts each     
  • Various Primary Source Document Reflection writing                        10 or 15 pts each
  • Epic of Gilgamesh Exam                                                                  50 pts
  • Various online discussion boards                                                       30 pts each
  • Various public comment pages                                                           1 pt to 5 pts    
  • Final Exam [cumulative]                                                                     100 pts



  • The InQuizitive adaptive activities will help you learn the textbook material at your own pace, and the History Skills Tutorials will help you critically read and analyze like a historian.
  • You must access these activities through my Canvas course modules in order for your scores to report to the gradebook in a synchronized manner. The first time you click on any InQuizitive link you will be prompted to create an account and register a code [unless you are completing a direct access purchase where no access code will be necessary]. New textbooks purchased from the campus bookstore come with an access code which gives you access to all of these digital resources. Access codes are usually 9 digits and a combination of capital letters and numbers, and they appear in a 3 by 3 format [for example: XXX – XXX - XXX].
  • You may also sign up for a free 3-week trial access and then enter a code at a later time in order to continue. Or you can conduct a direct purchase access [no code needed] in order to continue once the 3-week trial is over. 
  • If you have any technical trouble open a helpdesk ticket at If you do not see your scores in your Canvas Grades, or if you are prompted to enter a Student Set ID, that means that you are not enrolled correctly. You must always click on each link here in my Canvas course and sign in, and your account will sync up correctly.



  • All quizzes/exams are open books/ open notes.  
  • All quizzes/exams are multiple choice format and taken on canvas in your own study space.
  • You get two attempts for each weekly quiz and the system will record your highest score. 
  • All quizzes/exams are timed – usually 60 minutes. [120 for the final exam]  
  • Weekly chapter quizzes are usually 20 questions, so these are worth 20 points each. [Some combined chapter quizzes may be worth 30 pts].   
  • All settings are randomized for testing security purposes. These quizzes/exams are set to shuffle up the order of the questions and to mix up the choices as well for each attempt. Each attempt experience is unique to each individual. No two experiences are exactly alike in any way. Only the questions from the question pools are the same and the questions do not change. But the order and how questions appear are randomized experiences.  
  • Canvas is set to grade quizzes/exams for you and provide brief and limited access to the correct answers on the day after the deadline and for one day only so that you can review your answers and learn material that recycles for the final exam. It’s to your advantage to make time to review your answers for the final exam. Breeches in testing security may cause me to make alternate decisions about releasing correct answers at later designated times.    
  • Each quiz/exam attempt must be completed in one sitting and whenever the timer runs out, the quiz/exam automatically submits what you have completed by then. [There are no "time-outs" or "pause" options during an attempt].     



  • You can also expect periodic online discussion boards on Canvas involving posts and replies to thematic prompts for participation points. Point values will vary depending on time and topic.
  • There are also lower stakes comment pages for less points where you are invited to leave comments and replies for anywhere from 1 point per comment to 5 points per comment.




  • You can also expect periodic writing assignments on assigned primary source excerpts. The full details, instructions, guidelines, rubrics, expectations and student samples can all be accessed and viewed in the modules after PSR #1. See page titled “Primary Source Document Reflection Expectations for Future Reference.”

Textbook Information


  1. J.R. McNeill, “Webs of Humankind. Seagull Edition, V1 Paperback with InQuizitive Access Card/code: ISBN: 978-0-393-41755-5


  • Or choose the E-book option with InQuizitive Access Card/code — [see links in Canvas to purchase direct E-book access or see bookstore for access card].   


  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh, translation by Andrew George. Penguin Classics. 1999 or 2003 Edition. ISBN: 9780140449198

Other Relevant Course Information


  • Participation is essential to your success in this class. In distance education courses you are required to participate just as if you were in a face-to-face course. This means that in order to get full credit for participation, you will have to complete your discussion assignments, lesson assignments and quizzes on a timely basis.
  • Students who stop participating in all assignments for more than a week without communicating with the instructor can be dropped and removed from the roster for lack of participation. This is known as an “Instructor Drop/withdrawal.”
  • All distance education courses currently follow the College of the Canyons Policy for Add and Drop. 
  • I am required by college policy to drop and remove any enrolled students who do not complete the required Check-In Activity by the stated deadlines. 


I don't give credit for plagiarized or AI generated writings. Faculty are now equipped with AI detector software. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 08/10/2023 Sub#: 1622