World Regional Geography at Ventura College is an overview of the human and physical characteristics of our world. We will use a regional approach looking at the locations, the economies, the levels of development, the settlements, the social structures, the languages, the religions, the topography, the climates, and the land uses of coherent country groupings. This course is closest to what people traditionally think of when talking about geography, but it is much more than just places and names. It is a comprehensive study of the complex and highly interwoven mesh of human activity taking place on the varied physical tapestry of our small, but diverse planet. This course will enlarge your perspective on life and provide an excellent base for study in geography, history, economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, earth science, environmental studies, and just about any other course. I know you will find the course both interesting and helpful in your future endeavors. An extra bonus is that is will increase your ability to make sense of world events in the news. This course also meets the Liberal Studies/pre-teaching requirements at CSUN and CSUCI and gets lower division credit at UCSB.
Required Course Materials: (available in the Ventura College bookstore)
Text and Atlas: The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography, 5th Ed.; De Blij, Muller, et al.
Goode’s World Atlas, 20th Ed.; Rand McNally or similar (or use online mapping like Google Earth)
Scantrons: 12 regular 100 question forms (for practice tests) [Form #882]
3 “mini essay book” 100 question forms (for exams) [Form #886]
Online Course Materials: (http://academic.venturacollege.edu/spalladino/geosci/geog8/geog8.html)
Maps: World region outline maps (See class web site for practice maps that will be same as used on the Map Tests)
Test preparation materials on class web site: Includes practice tests, terms list, map features list, and regional practice maps.
Optional Course Materials:
World Almanac (local bookstore)
World Map (local map store or bookstore) [Note: avoid Mercator or similar projection, i.e., Greenland is much too big]
Practice Tests: These short weekly assignments will help you focus on the textbook and prepare for the exams. These are found on the class web site. The scantron form is due at the beginning of class on the due date listed on the schedule. After I collect the practice tests, any practice tests turned in late (up to the beginning of the next class period) will be reduced by 20%. After that, they will not be accepted. Half of the points are based on performance, the other half on completion.
Midterm and Final Exams: These will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, matching, short answer, essay, and definitions. The bubble in questions will be drawn primarily from the practice tests, but will also include questions derived from the lecture material supported by the textbook. The essay will be a synthesis of lecture and textbook concepts [Midterm 1]. Definitions with examples will be drawn from the terms in your test preparation packet [Midterm 2 & Final]. The final is cumulative but will primarily focus on chapters 8-12.
Map Tests: These will require you practicing on the blank world region maps available on the web site. On each test, you will identify approximately 15 map features out of approximately 100 found on the map feature lists on the class web site.
Weekly Country Watch: 15 entries. You will be assigned a country to monitor during this class. Weekly (weeks 2-16) you will write a few paragraphs (1/4-1/2 page) reviewing the happenings in that country that week. Report on politics, economy, culture, natural disasters, environment, or anything else. Be sure to look for the geographic dimensions. Due with the final.
Participation: Despite lots of information to explore, I will try to make this an interactive course. You have geographical knowledge to share that I and the others in class don’t have. Please come to class and on time. I reserve the right to drop anyone who misses more than 9 hours of class (for ANY reason). For students on the border of a grade, I will add up to 1% for excellent attendance. Please turn off cell phones (i.e., no rings, calls, texts, RSS feeds, etc.)
[Optional] Country Comparison Report: This report can replace your lowest midterm grade. In this 4-6 page report you will focus on two countries of your choice (at least one should be a less developed nation.) Part 1 of your report will provide interesting examples of key components of the countries; the 2nd Part of the report will compare and contrast one geographically relevant aspect of the two countries. More on this later!
1) Weekly Assignments 14% Other Grade Opportunities
2) Midterm Exams (2 @ 23%) 46% Report (optional) 23% (May replace one midterm)
3) Final Exam 25% Participation up to 1%
4) Map Tests (2 of 3 @ 5% each) and Weekly country watch (5% that can replace one map test) 15%