Asian Studies 270-80, Cook

Welcome Letter for

Professor: Theodore F. Cook
Department: HISTORY
Course No. & Section: ASN 270-80
Phone: (973) 720-2243
Office Hours: Atrium 206

Hello and welcome to !

Dear Students, I would like to welcome you to ASN 270-80. East Asian Civilizations, for which you are registered. My name is Ted Cook, Professor of History and Director of the William Paterson University Asian Studies Program and I will be your guide on this exploration of the Civilizations of East Asia.

Together we will East Asian civilization from its formative age to the present. The course focuses on the cultural heritage of East Asia, including Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, and the diverse paths taken by three East Asian societies, China, Japan and Korea, in their efforts to build modern nations. Special attention is given to interaction between the three societies that gave rise to a strong cultural bond in East Asia. This is an online course, as you no doubt know, so our activities, assignments, discussions, and examinations will be conducted entirely via our Blackboard (Bb) page.









There are NO REQUIRED BOOKS for this survey course. Assigned material -- texts, music, photos, web pages, etc. -- will be available exclusively on line. You will be able to access it through the Blackboard site for the class. I have made available through the bookstore copies of Rhodes Murphey (with Kristin stapleton), EAST ASIA: A NEW HISTORY (Pearson Longman, 2010), 5th Edition if you want to have most of the core reading in hard copy format.
Your total reading load should average the equivalent of 50 to 60 pages per Unit. You also may be asked to listen to music, examine reproductions of paintings, watch video clips, listen to music, search the Library and the Web, etc. Assignments will include material hosted on the Blackboard site as well as external web sites that you will be asked to visit. You are responsible for any and all assigned material. Allowance will be made in the event of technical difficulties. Including Discussions, you should plan on spending an average of 2 to 3 interactive hours on line per UNIT, plus off-line time for reading etc.



* Discussion & Response Assignments (30% of your final grade): Since this is an on-line class, we cannot meet in a traditional manner. Instead we will have virtual Discussion using the threaded-discussion feature of Blackboard. Regular participation in the Discussions is an important component of this class. Just as regular class attendance is required in a face-to-face class, here you are expected to log in regularly, monitor your email and all announcements, and take part in the web and reading reaction activities. Not only do you and your classmates benefit from the intelligent exchange of ideas and opinions, Discussions are your opportunity to demonstrate to me that you are keeping up with the class. Even if you have nothing to contribute directly on a given topic, it is incumbent on you to read what your classmates are saying and to think about it. Remember that I can and will keep track of how much time you are spending in Discussion. Many of the Units will ask you to produce roughly a page or so of commentary on primary sources, web sites, etc. You will be asked to post these comments on our Discussion Board for that Unit. Typically you will be asked to reflect briefly on what you've been asked to read and/or do. Cumulatively these mini-assignments and regular participation will account for 30% of your grade in the class.

* Three (3) 3-5-page Essays: 15% of your final grade each. Most likely, these Essays will ask you to evaluate short primary sources or statements in the context of relevant material we will have covered. I will describe them in detail during the sessio in which they are assigned. You will have the penalty-free option of rewriting your first Essay for a higher grade. I will grade the Essay according to a standardized rubric form you will get back with your essays called ns"Critical Essay Evaluation Form," a copy of which I will post under Course Materials as For style and grammatical tips in writing your essays please look there, too, for "Critical Essay, Grammar, and Style Help"

* A Final Exam: 25% of your final grade. This may be a combination of short identification questions, chronological exercises, map exercises, and/or essay questions asking you to synthesize what you've learned. The Final will be open for taking during the final week of the course.

How to Access Blackboard:
To log on to Bb point your web browser to and click the Login button in the upper left. Then enter your username and password in the spaces provided and click login again -- you'll find your course Bb sites listed on the right.

Some things to be aware of as you work with Blackboard:

  1. You probably won't find all your courses listed; the only ones that will appear are those that have been activated by the professor teaching the course. Professors who don't use Blackboard will not activate their courses.
  2. Your username is comprised of your lastname and firstinitial, usually appended with a numeral. If you don't know your WPUNJ system username password you can use the Username lookup link at , or go to it directly at:
  3. If you are already logged in to the WPUNJ system through WPConnect you won't have to re-enter your username and password -- just click the first login button.
  4. Blackboard documentation can be found in two places: at Bb Home,, before one logs in, and in the Blackboard Support tab after one has logged on.
  5. You can always obtain Bb help by using the Problem Report form at , or by going to it directly at: .

WPUNJ Student Email:
To access WPUNJ Student Email point your web browser to, enter your username and password, then select the Mail tab. If you are logging on for the first time you'll be asked to set your time zone and language.

Blackboard courses will use student email; third-party email addresses will not work on Bb

Good luck and have fun in the course! Theodore F. Cook