What Classes Are You Taking This Summer? Check Out Span 322XW: Latin American Civilization

CATEGORIES: March 2016

We have asked award-winning instructor, Prof. Elisa Rizo, to tell us more about the course she will be teaching this summer, Span 322XW, Latin American Civilization (offered May 16 – June 24).

How did you come up with the idea for the course? I have always been a supporter of online education.  I think online classes can be a truly fulfilling experience for both students and teachers. A big advantage that I see in online courses during the summer is that they allow students to take advantage of other opportunities the summer has to offer: working, completing internships, visiting family and friends, all while getting college credits  with an online course!

I have been teaching online since summer 2013 and I love it. During that time, I have developed two courses, Latin America Today (Span 324XW) and Latin American Civilization (322XW).  I absolutely love teaching these two courses! This summer, I am offering Latin American Civilization.


Why Latin American Civilization (Span 322XW) Online? Latin American civilization is a survey of the social, political, religious, and cultural history of Spanish America. This course provides a panoramic, yet insightful, view of Latin America’s past which will allow students to understand present day dynamics. By exploring the development of colonial, national, racial and class identities, the course provides a well-organized examination of the cultural transformation in the region, such as the development of a Hispanic identity in the colonial era, the formation of national identities in the 19th, the clash of traditional vs. modern views in the first half of the 20th century, and the transformation of national societies during globalization.

It is a pleasure to accompany students as they delve into the historical, cultural, economic, political, and social reasons that explain today’s situations.  With the technology we have, students can listen to lectures and watch documentaries; they can also interact with each other, complete homework, take tests and even do oral presentations!

What’s new this summer for Span 322XW online?  This summer I decided to extend the duration of the course from four to six weeks (without adding material). My objective is simply to give my students more time to complete the tasks. I think giving the students six weeks (instead of four) to complete the tasks will allow for more flexibility. That said, since all tasks, readings and a/v materials are available since day one, those who want to go faster, can still finish the work in four weeks, if they want (or need) to do so.

Here are some FAQs, about this class:

1) Do we meet online at specific times? No. The class is asynchronous. There are weekly deadlines, but you have the complete freedom to choose at what time to work on your class work.

2) Do I need to come to campus to use the Testing Center?  No, you do not have to come to campus at all.  Any assignments or tests are completed at home, on your own time, according to the established deadlines.

3) What type of work do I need to complete for this class?  We have a series of activities to be completed in a friendly and supportive environment.  We have a textbook and the professor provides a series of readings and documentaries via blackboard. Class work consists of:

  • 4 Journals 10% each = 40%
  • 4 Review Tests 5% each = 20%
  • 2 Short-Essay Exams 10% each = 20%
  • 1 Oral Presentation = 10%
  • 1 Learning Portfolio= 10%
  • Total = 100