Week 1: Aug.24-30

Welcome to week 1 of the course “HST137: People and Their Stuff in Chinese History”!

This week, there is something to do for you every day to set everything up for the rest of the semester. This week is NOT representative of the amount of time you will spend on this course: budget for about 6 to 8 hours per week from week 2 onward.

For most tasks, you will also fill out a Declaration Quiz on Canvas. These are linked below each task, and also in this weekly schedule. You can also find them in the Module for Week 1 on Canvas. This week, the quizzes have no points, and count as practice runs. They also stay open for the entire week. Next week, that changes: there will be a 12hr automatic extension period, and extra credit assignments to buffer any missed deadlines, but I expect you to work within the course rhythm. They are simple true/false quizzes. You can go back and adjust your answer, and there is no time limit, and from next week, you’ll start to build points for the “Sourdough starter” tasks.

If something about the process is not clear, let me know! Remember that for technical stuff the Digital Learning Assistants (DLAs) are availabe to help.

Monday Aug. 24

  • Time estimate: 30 mins
  • Watch the videos in the orientation module
    • These videos help you understand what the course is about, why I made certain choices, and how it’s all supposed to work as an asynchronous course (that means: Zoom is optional!)

Tuesday Aug. 25

  • Time estimate: 20 mins
  • Sign up for your account in the Cloud Lounge, and write a brief introduction.
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Wednesday Aug. 26

  • Time estimate: 45 mins
  • Set up or reactivate your Hypothes.is account, and join the group HST137
  • Annotate the course syllabus – ask questions or leave comments at specific points. If everything is clear, please just leave a page note indicating you read and agree with the syllabus.
  • Full Instructions here
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Optional Zoom check in:

11.30am-12.15pm, if you want to meet and greet your fellow students and me in video chat. Use the Pink Link from the SECRETS page on Canvas. I’ll happily field questions you may have about assignments, set-up and course contents, but please be reminded that I am not trained in giving tech support!

Thursday Aug. 27

  • Time estimate: 60 mins
  • Set up or re-activate your own Bergbuilds Domain, install WordPress, and write your first blog post for this semester.
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Friday Aug. 28

Check you have completed all assingments, and filled out all the Declaration Quizzes.


If you’re curious about why thinking about stuff matters, the introduction of this book does a great job of explaining that:

  • Miodownik, Mark. Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World. New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
    • ebook in Trexler
    • Time estimate: 10 pages/ 30 mins.

On to Week 2!