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Global Environmental History: An Introduction (HI2C4): Assessment


  • The assessment for this second-year 15 CATS option module is as follows
  • Class participation (formative)
  • 1,000 word source review (20%)
  • Group work project: (video) blog + presentation (20%)
  • 2,500 word essay (60%)
  • For full details of examination and assessment, please see

-Class participation

As a module consisting entirely of 2-hour seminars, class participation is essential. This consists of arriving well prepared by doing the weekly readings and thinking about the set seminar questions in advance, as well as through active contribution to class discussions led by the tutor or fellow students. Additionally, each student will on one occasion introduce one of the required readings to the group to open the discussion.

-Primary Source Review (week 5, Friday 12:00)

Select a primary source from the list (e.g. travel account, painting, photograph, song) from the Links and Sources page (including Online Resources) and write your own analysis of ca. 1,000 words.

The review should do at least the following:

- Briefly describe the source and its historical significance

- Explain in what way(s) the source is an interesting document for environmental history and relates to the main themes of the field. (See the page with the list of the primary sources for the questions your review should address).

- Discuss how the source confirms/contests/nuances one or more of the propositions from the secondary literature you have read for this course (provide references)

-Group Work Project: (Video) Blog + Presentation (Week 9, Friday 12:00)

In groups of 3 to 4 students you will present a focused case study pertaining to the module's overall theme, using a variety of media. You should structure the discussion of your chosen topic, theme or concept(s) around a relevant historical question. This group exercise consists of two parts:

1) a textual and visual presentation of your findings in a blog (e.g. Wordpress), vlog (e.g. on Youtube or Vimeo), or animated info-graphics.

- To allow you sufficient creative freedom, this part of the exercise does not have a set length. However, you are expected to include that information (and not more than that) necessary to explain and document your findings.

NOTE: each group member must submit the project via Tabula individually. You can choose to upload the file directly (if e.g. a video) or to upload a document containing the weblink to your project (if e.g. on Wordpress or Youtube).

2) a 12-15-minute oral presentation of your project, using audiovisual media (e.g. Powerpoint, Prezi, video).

- This is the spoken version of your digital project and your chance to show and explain your project to your peers. You are encouraged to cover some or all of the following:

-Justification of your chosen topic and question
-Documentation of your research process, including unexpected finds and challenges
-Explanation of your findings and why they matter
-Potential for further research

See Presentation Marking Scale and workshop page for more info.

-Essay (12 noon, Friday, Week 2, Term 2)

Your final essay (2,500 words) should be framed around a relevant historical question related to the theme of the module, which may be one of the weekly seminar questions, a question of your own choosing or a question from the list below. You are encouraged to adopt a comparative perspective, e.g. by incorporating examples and materials from different time periods and/or from different parts of the world and to engage with current environmental issues.

Please see the suggested titles for the 2500 word essay.

Your essay should engage with both secondary literature and primary sources. These may overlap with materials analysed in the Primary Source Review or Group Work Project, yet substantial development is required. Essays should be submitted via Tabula in accordance with Departmental rules.