Contents


Authors

RICHARD HOOKER
Author, Principal Editor, Graphic Design, Technical Design

PAUL BRIANS

Principal Editor

RICHARD HINES

Secondary Editor

RICHARD LAW

Author, Director of General Education

ERIC MIRAGLIA, DOUG WINTHER

Learning Systems Design


Awards

Magellan Four StarsThe Magellan Group, 1995

NetGuide Four StarsNetGuide Magazine, 1995

NetGuide Gold SiteNetGuide Magazine, 1996

Pacifc Bell Blue Web'n Learning SitePacific Bell Education First Project, 1997

CyberLatin Odysseus Award for Promoting the ClassicsAcademy Online, 1997, CyberLatin Odysseus Award for Promoting the Classics

DoeWalking's Community AwardDoeWalking Community Award, 1997, for sites that contribute to the community.

The Perseus AwardThe Perseus Award, 1998, for sites that help to spread information about the classical world—from the Forum Romanorum


System Requirements

   System: most personal computers will do just fine. Because this is a graphics heavy site, the ideal processor will be functioning at speeds above 16 MHz and modem speed should be 14.4 MHz or higher.

   Monitor: Your monitor should have a color resolution of at least 1000's of colors; in 256 color mode, many of the graphics will appear color distorted. Your monitor should also be functioning in a resolution of at least 600 by 400 pixels; lower resolutions will cause many of the graphics to extend beyond the browser window margins. Extremely high resolutions will result in overly small graphics.

   Browser: You should be viewing these pages in a frames-compliant, Java compliant browser (Netscape 2.0 and above, Explorer 2.0 and above, Cyberdog 2.0 and above). The ideal browser for full implementation of the frames markup and the Java scripts is Netscape Navigator 3.0, Netscape Communicator or Cyberdog 2.0. Explorer is a wonderful browser but some of the JavaScript applications will not run on any version of Explorer. There are no Explorer-specific enhancements on these pages, such as ActiveX, VBScript, or style sheets. Outside of a couple JavaScript applications, there are no specific Netscape enhancement features.


History

   World Cultures is the culmination of over two years of web-based teaching and learning. The site combines the reading and course materials of two World Cultures courses taught using web-based materials since Fall of 1994. The site is now expanding into a larger resource for a larger population and distribution of students and will eventually consist of a rich anthology of readings, a complete set of textbook materials, a set of interrelated learning modules, and a finished glossary.

   In this second stage of development, World Cultures is metamorphosing from an individual project to a collaborative and collective one. Textual submissions of reading material, glossary material, textbook material, graphic design, learning modules, and classes are encouraged. Please refer to the submissions policy below.


Purpose

   World Cultures has been designed for freshman-level students; the readings require college entrance- level reading skills and college-level self-motivation. World Cultures is not meant to be a text, but an interactive reading environment that rewards independence, interest, self-direction, and intellectual interaction with the authors of the material. The entire design is oriented to teach independence, interactivity, recursive reading and learning skills, and constructed knowledge. Although designed for university freshman students, the texts, glossary, and learning modules are intended to be accessible and usable for high school level students and advanced undergraduates. In order to increase usability for advanced undergraduates, bibliographies of works consulted are being assembled for textbook entries, glossary entries, and learning modules. For reference purposes, individual authors and translators will be indicated at the bottom of each selection. For copyright information on texts or GRAPHICS, please consult the copyright notices.


Submissions

   Text Submissions World Cultures should grow through collaborative effort by scholars, teachers, and students; to this purpose, submissions are being invited on a variety of areas. These submissions should be oriented towards the level of learning that the site in general is geared to; in addition, submissions are invited which disagree or take issue with material already published on this site in order to encourage students to balance opposing viewpoints.

   Any submission will be read for the appropriateness and the presentation of content; you may be asked to revise unclear writing, difficult presentation, or overly slanted content. In order to submit, you will be asked to agree to the following: a.) you are not giving up your copyright or propriety rights over your own intellectual work, but you may not remove your work from this site once it has been accepted as a submission; b.) all work submitted to this site must be submitted with the understanding that it will be copyright-cleared for non-profit and educational use only; c.) the submitted materials will reside on your host server, but an electronic copy will be kept by the editor in case your host server is unreliable, or if your material is removed from your host server; you will be responsible for updating the editor's copy with any changes you make; d.) you may be asked to allow the editor to change the graphic design or interface of your submission; e.) the editor will ask you to insert links to other textual or multimedia material in World Cultures; f.) you will be expected to maintain a link to either an interactive discussion page or your e-mail account in order to be available to questions and comments submitted by readers.

   Internet Resources Submissions If you have a site that has educational value, you're encouraged to submit the URL and the material will be listed in the Internet Resources pages and relevant links will be built into textual material with World Cultures. Several guidelines operate on the selection of Internet Resources: 1.) the principle goal is education directed at an audience from high school students to advanced undergraduates; if the educational content is below or above those standards, the resource is of limited use for the users of these pages; 2.) the sites listed have as their central function the distribution of knowledge, art, literature, or culture rather than commercial interests; some commercial sites are listed, but only pages with significant content; pages whose central function is commercial or advertisement are rejected from the list; 3.) content must be factually sound; I do not really discriminate if there's bias or slant (it's important for students to negotiate a variety and diversity of opinions), provided that bias or slant does not overwhelm the factual material; I do not discriminate on "credentials," for I believe that scholarship, research, and education done by interested, disciplined, and passionate people can often be done as well (often better) than research or scholarship done by those with professional credentials. So these are the criteria for selection: a.) content; b.) user level intended on the page; c.) readability.   Submission queries should be directed to the editor.



Acknowledgements

   This project owes much of its existence to the wisdom, help, spirit, and encouragement of the Learning Systems Group under the direction of Phil Scuderi: John Meade, Joshua Yeidel, Wei-Chih Jao, Randy Lagier, Rich Cardon and Brian Harvey, and Peg Collins, all of whom are accomplishing a magnificent job in developing faculty computer resources. The frame navigation design is John Meade's, and the JavaScript controlling some of the menus is the original product of Brian Harvey. The intelligence, advice, dedication, and invaluable moral and institutional support of Paul Brians of the WSU English department is also deeply appreciated, as well as the unwavering support of Richard Law, Director of General Education, and Susan Kilgore, Assistant Director of General Education. There's no question that the innovative pedagogical work, analysis, and technical pioneering of Gary Brown and especially Eric Miraglia of the Student Advising and Learning Center have pushed multimedia and web pedagogy to its limits and have been invaluable in their creative genius, proving, as always that the best designers of technology are non-technical people. Eric Miraglia, in particular, has pioneered the development of interactive web learning, and much of this site incorporates both his pedagogical and his technological work and advice. Doug Winther, in the development of database learning systems and IPIP has changed the course of this project profoundly. In recent months, the Extended Degree Program at WSU has dedicated financial, moral, and intellectual advice to the conversion of this site to a distance-learning environment; Muriel Oakes, Ellen Krieger, Marjorie Rose, and especially Janet Kendall have been bulwarks of intellectual and moral support. My teaching assistants, Gary Holcomb, Heather Hill-Vasquez, Kim Holcomb, and Margaret Sherve have contributed substantially to the revision and development of this site and its evaluation. The Humanities Resource Center at Washington State University has donated computers, software, equipment and technical advice invaluable for the project.

   I also need to express my gratitude to the Boeing Corporation and Washington State University whose substantial financial grant to this project has allowed it to enter its third and most creative stage. Without this support, much of the current and more revolutionary development would be just a dream.

   However, Professor J. M. Massi of the WSU English department originally pioneered the use of newsgroups, e-mail, and computer networks in her classes. I am grateful to her for laying all the foundations for this project and personally supporting its development with unflagging pedagogical and creative advice.