Santa Rosa, California vineyard at sunset

online teaching & learning - an historic perspective

Roundtable: “The Excellent Inevitability”: A Roundtable on Online Teaching and Learning
Western Association of Women Historians • 2015 Annual Conference • May 16, 2015

History 202 • Summer 1997 • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Partial homepage, History 202 homepage, July 6, 1997

History 202 was a totally online survey of U.S. history from the aftermath of the Civil War to the late 20th century. It was the first “virtual” history course offered at Cal Poly Pomona. Both traditional print materials and online web resources were used.

The course emphasized developing the students' ability to interpret some of the most fundamental issues in U.S. history. Students were be encouraged to think critically about American history and to examine and analyze historical sources of information.

This course met the U.S. History part of Cal Poly Pomona's U.S. History and Institutions requirement for graduation. 33 students enrolled in the course long enough to be on the student roster; 29 students finished the course.

It was an experiment in education, mediated through the Internet, email, virtual collaboration, live online interaction and an asynchronous discussion between students, the instructor and James Loewen, a course book author.

Course Website

Internet Archives Wayback Machine logoView the original course website via the Internet Archives Wayback Machine. A later, more complete site is also archived. Many of the links still work - as well as some animated graphics. :/

Course Requirements

History 202 Course Evaluation Components

  • Electronic Discussion List Project
    Students read two assignments each week, detailed in the weekly links with supplemental websites. Questions for each assignment were posted to the class HSTLST email discussion list. They answered the question on one reading and wrote a substantive response to another student's answer to the other reading. Total list email messages: 755. I wrote nearly 200 more email messages.
  • Collaborative Term Project (20% + 15%)
  • Student Information Form - how the instructor learned about the students at the beginning of the class.
  • Concluding Student Reaction Form

online video archive

History 202 First/Last class meeting

Instead of a traditional final exam, students met each other face-to-face for the first time in the quarter. Part of this meeting included community dialog on “virtual” education with campus administrators.

In the clip above, President Bob Suzuki asks students, “ you feel you have learned as much in this virtual class as you may have in a traditional class?”

Video of the First/Last Class Meeting (unedited), September 3, 1997

Visit the Internet Archives for the agenda, guidelines for students to prepare for the meeting, a list of invited guests and photos.

Brown Bag Lunch Bytes logoLearning by Doing - Faculty Reflections on Participating in a Totally Online Course as a Student

The Fall Quarter 2002 Brown Bag Lunch Bytes series featured presentations by Cal Poly Pomona faculty on topics and themes of interest to the entire university community.

This vintage (unedited) Brown Bag Lunch Byte round table discussion features eight California State Polytechnic University, Pomona faculty members discussing their experiences as students in an online class about online teaching and learning. Faculty were participants in the COLT (Collaborative Online Learning and Teaching) Program.

Faculty participants - Päivi Hoikkala (History), David Kopplin (Music), Nancy Prince-Cohen (Education), Susan Kullmann [Puz] (Faculty Computing Support Center), Susan Rogers (English & Foreign Languages), Phil Rosenkrantz (Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering), Ralph Westfall (Computer Information Systems), and Lin Wu (Geography & Anthropology)

What does it take for traditionally educated college faculty to become successful online instructors?

Professional development for online instruction ~ one size does NOT fit all - There's no single, best-practice solution for developing a technology training and support program for higher education faculty. It's critical to understand faculty needs and interests in order to spend technology funds wisely. This 2004 article reviews faculty support programs at Cal Poly Pomona, including an evaluation of the COLT program.

Read the COLT program 2002 Call for Applicants