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CORE 2213: Western Civilization in a Global Context - ONLINE: Assignment

This guide is designed to help you find resources for your collaborative group project on The Silk Road

Collaborative Group Project

Although we are concentrating a great deal on learning about European cultures, Europe did not develop in a vacuum. In fact, Europeans were in constant contact (and conflict) with peoples from Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, India and China.

The Silk Road was not a paved road, nor was silk the only or even the most important item carried.  Rather, the Silk Road was a network of ancient trade routes across Central Asia that linked people, ideas, goods, technology, and diseases from Rome to China during the period from c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 1500. This semester you will work on a collaborative project that will investigate the nature of the Silk Road, and the impact of the trade route and the peoples who inhabited it on the history of “Western” civilizations.

Part I

Part I: Week 3

Collaborative Assignment

(100 points - 10% of your total grade)

Students will be divided and assigned to groups of similar number. Each group will be responsible for researching and posting a wiki entry examining one of the following locations along the Silk Road:

  • Chang’an (Xi’an)
  • Kashgar
  • Samarkand
  • Palmyra, Tyre

Once you are given your assignment, your group should coordinate research on your assigned city using the resource on this guide.  If you use information outside of the LibGuide, you must be sure that all resources you cite meet the criteria for a credible academic or reference source.  Learn more about evaluating your resources.

  1. Summarize broadly how the silk road developed in general from the time period 500 B.C. to A.D. 1500.
    1. What factors led it to develop as a main conduit of trade?
    2. When did the city your group was assigned exert the most influence?
    3. What groups dominated it at different times?
    4. What contributed to its decline?

All outside information should be cited with a web-link with parenthetical citations in the forum post and wiki submission.

(Example: Silk Road Project, http://www.lib.umd.edu/eastasia/research/historical/silkroad)

Each group member is required to contribute in a significant manner to the summary. Although you will be graded on the quality of your answers as a whole, group members will not be penalized for lack of participation by other members. If you experience an issue with communication or follow through with a member of your group, please contact the instructor immediately.

Part II

Part II: Week 6

Wiki Assignment

(100 points - 10% of your total grade)

Part II of your collaborative assignment will consist of creating a wiki page about your city and its history regarding the operation of the Silk Road. Continue your research using the resources on this guide.  Each entry should consist of the following information:

The Silk Road summary your group created during week 3

  1. A map and at least 2 photographs/illustrations
  2. A more detailed discussion of your city describing/discussing the following:
    1. Where is it? What did it look like? Who lived there? What religion were they? What language(s) did they speak? Who ruled them? What was produced there? What was traded there?

 

All group discussion should take place in the group forum (not by private email, text, etc - you will not get credit). As with the previous assignment, each group member is required to contribute in a significant manner to the summary. Although you will be graded on the quality of your answers as a whole, group members will not be penalized for lack of participation by other members. If you experience an issue with communication or follow through with a member of your group, please contact the instructor immediately.

Part III

Part III: Week 8

Silk Road Summary Paper

(100 points - 10% of your total grade)

Part III of your project requires you to use the information provided in all of the wikis submitted by each of the research groups in the class to write a summary paper examining the history of the Silk Road as presented by members of your class. Papers should address the history of the Silk Road as a whole, summarize what they have learned in the wiki entries about each of the cities researched this semester, and evaluate the information provided in the wikis (what is interesting, what is strong, what is missing from the entries?). All information should be taken from the wikis and cited with a link to the wiki itself.

(Example - Wiki - Palmyra, http://moodle.obu.edu/forum/32345/)

 

Your paper should be approximately 3-4 pages long and consist of an introduction (with thesis statement), body and conclusion. Papers will be graded according to the effective use and evaluation of the information provided in the wikis, as well on grammar, structure, style and citation.