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Turkey Center Pre-departure Online Course Report:

There will be an online, not-for-credit course for students who are enrolled in the ACS Study Abroad Program in Turkey. This online course will prepare students for their experience in Turkey and should require about 10 hours of student time for the academic component (about 1 hour reading and 30 minutes answering study questions per module). It will be designed so that students can work on it on their own time (asynchronously), but there will also be a chat room and the faculty advisors for the upcoming semester will hold online "office hours" (3-4 hours) during the 3 weeks prior to the students' arrival in Turkey.

Students will also have the opportunity to "meet" one another via this chat room. Perhaps an initial assignment could be for each student to post something about why he/she is participating in the program and what he/she expects to get out of it. Part of the material available online will be for orientation/informational purposes. Students will not be expected to turn in any written assignments on this part of the material. A second part of the material will be academic in nature. There could be two kinds of questions about each "academic" module: study questions and discussion questions. Students will be expected to turn in study questions to he ACM/GLCA/ACS faculty advisors prior to their departure for Turkey. They will be asked to post answers to discussion question to the online bulletin board, and encouraged to read and respond to the posts of other students (to the extent that this is possible, since students will not necessarily be simultaneously engaged with the material).

Instructors would determine how much weight to give the online component in the overall course. For example, they might decide that completion of the online course is required and that it counts as part of the grade (5 percent perhaps) in the core course. Another option would be just to say that it is required and if students don't complete it, they don't pass the core course. This would be analagous to the map, say, that American history students must learn in an American history course in order to pass it , even though completion of the test on the map doesn't enter into the computation of the final grade. Elements of information/orientation components of the online course (which might also be of interest to students' families):

  1. An introduction to living in Turkey
  2. Customs
  3. Basic language
  4. Videos or photos of the campus(es) where the program will be held and sites that students will be visiting
  5. Course syllabi
  6. Music

Elements of the academic components of the online course:

  1. Introduction to the Geography/Geology and Environment
    This would essentially be scientific in nature beginning with the geological history of Anatolia and how that has affected the topography, climate and agriculutre, etc.
  2. Anatolia's Geopolitical Situation throughout history
    not sure this needs to be a separate module but it is important to look at the changing national borders over time in the East and West and how Turkey has developed along with those changes.
  3. Ancient History
    this would cover the Paleolithic through Byzantine eras (a long time, yes, but at this point we are going for the basics).
  4. Ottoman history to 1900
    also a long period
  5. The Turkish Republic
  6. Current Political and Economic situation in Turkey
  7. Religious and Cultural Life

There will be articles available online and links to other sites for each topic. The next step in the development of the online course will be to locate appropriate materials, create our own materials where necessary, and to design the web page. The online course component committee requests suggestions for readings, websites, etc. and looks forward to comments on the outline above.

Libby Rittenberg, Colorado College,
Rebecca Schindler, DePauw University,

Some preliminary links:


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