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    Classical Mythology Online Syllabus

    Instructor Information

    Name: Dr. Michael Robertson
    Office Location: Carlsen Center 336
    Office Hours: By Appointment Only
    Virtual Office Hours: M-F 9:00 to 10:0 a.m. in Canvas
    Phone: (913) 469-8500, ext. 4191

    Course Information

    Course Title: Classical Mythology
    Course Number: HUM 155-351
    Course Discipline: Classics & Humanities
    Course Description: This course provides a systematic study of the myths and epic cycles of the Greeks and Romans in both literature and art, and investigates their survival and metamorphosis in the literature and visual arts of Western Europe. In addition, this course provides several methodological frameworks with which to analyze types of tales, and their relation to history, religions and art.The course will provide the student with a general knowledge of the major deities and heroes of the Greeks and Romans. Comparisons with the myths of ancient Egypt, Israel, Mesopotamia, and India will frequently be made in order to demonstrate the broad cultural complex of Greco-Roman mythology. Reading assignments will emphasize the versions of myths by Homer, Hesiod, the Greek tragedians and Ovid. Lectures will stress the ancient and modern versions of the myths, their relation to folktales, history, religion, rituals and art, and their continued importance for contemporary culture (with special emphasis on art, literature and psychology). The class will consist of lectures and discussions about the many meanings and interpretations which can be generated from this material. We will examine the diverse forms which myth can take by looking at the ancient sources themselves: epic and lyric poetry, tragedy and comedy, the Homeric Hymns, Hellenistic novels, and philosophy.

    More importantly, however, the student should come to an understanding of how the myths of the past still affect our contemporary world. Although we live in what might be called a “scientific age,” we still create, and live by, myths. A systematic study of the form and meaning of myth should help the student gain a greater understanding of him/herself and the importance and continued relevance (or irrelevance) of mythico-religious thought.





    Prerequisite(s): If this is your first online class using Canvas it is strongly recommended that you attend one of the Online Student Seminars. Click the link for dates and times. If you are unable to attend, orientation materials are available via Online Webcast.
    Textbook (required): Classical Mythology, Mark P.O. Morford, Robert J. Lenardon, and Michael Sham. Oxford University Press, 11th edition, 2018. ISBN 978-0190851644. Textbook information is available at the JCCC Bookstore. Discounted new and used books are available from VitalSource (ISBN 978-0190851699).

    Course Requirements

    QUIZZES. There will be fifteen (15) quizzes in this course, each worth fifteen (15) points, corresponding to the weekly units of the course. The quizzes will cover material from the text and from the unit outlines and corresponding online lecture, and will be objective in format (T/F, identification, and multiple choice). The student will have twenty (20) minutes to complete the quiz, after which the quiz must be submitted. The quizzes constitute 40% of your final grade.

    • The dates for the quizzes are listed on the Calendar, or by clicking the AssignmentsSyllabus, or Modules links on the Navigation bar. Quizzes open on Wednesday of the week and must be completed by 11:59 the following Sunday. Since Canvas is available 24/7, there should be no reason for students to miss a quiz. Missed quizzes can be made up with a 2 point penalty.

    ONLINE PARTICIPATION. Each week students will engage in an interactive online discussion with their peers over the week’s reading and online lecture, which may include images and video materials. The online discussions are located in the Discussions and relative content Module, and by a link on the Calendar. A new discussion question will be posted every Thursday during the semester. This is not a self-paced course.

    The class will be divided into discussion groups by last name. Students will reply to their assigned question on or after the day when the discussion opens (Thursday). The student must make a reply post to a student in another group on a day other than the day of their original post. All posts must be made by the discussion closing day of midnight Sunday, after which the discussion will be closed and graded. The purpose is to create a meaningful conversation of the various topics under discussion.

    Initial Post: Students will receive one (1point for their initial post by responding in detail with information from the text and/or outline in such a way that provides an analysis of the relevance and importance of the information presented, and a synthesis of that information with the knowledge the student has accumulated from previous chapters / discussions / personal experiences. Posts can be supplemented with external source material, either from published works or the internet. However, internet source material must not supplant the text.

    Responses lacking detail or analysis will receive one-half (.5point, or posts that merely restate (or copy-and-paste) the basic information on the outline or internet sources.

    Reply Post: Students will receive one (1point for responding to a student’s post in another group. It is important to respond to the comments of your peer in such a way that advances the discussion by providing additional information or insights rather than a simple agreement to the comments, a restatement of basic facts, or a purely personal or subjective comment.

    One-half (.5point will be deducted if the student makes both posts on the same day. Students who post all responses on the last day of the posting period (Sunday) will be penalized 50%. Failure to respond at all will receive zero (0points. Posts that consist mostly of plagiarized content will also receive zero (0points, and will result in a warning for the first offense. A second offense will result in disciplinary action. Initial posts may also be assessed a one-half (.5penalty for spelling, grammar, style, or undocumented content.

    Each week’s discussion with be worth a total of two (2points. Each week’s discussion score will be calculated by dividing the discussion score by the total possible. For example, 1.5/2 = .75 or 75%). The student’s online discussion score will be calculated by adding the total discussion points and dividing by 30 total possible points to produce a percentage. For example, 26 points divided by 30 possible points produces 86 percentage points (86%). The online discussions constitute 30% of your final grade.

    VIRTUAL MUSEUM PAPER. The student will be required to make a virtual trip to at least five major museums in at least three countries and identify five (5) works of classical art, ten (10) works of post-classical art, and two (2) contemporary works of art based on classical myths. The student should discuss how the myths used in post-classical and contemporary art have been changed and adapted to new uses.

    The paper will be worth fifty (50) points and constitutes 15% of your final grade. There will be a one-point penalty assessed for each day that the paper is late. The due date for the paper is listed on the Calendar. For more information about the virtual museum paper, click the Writing Assignments module in the Content tab.

    Note: This is not a formal paper, but errors in spelling, format, and grammar, and typographical errors, will be graded. It is strongly recommended (but not required) that students are currently enrolled or have completed Composition 1 before taking this class.

    EXTRA CREDIT. The student can earn up to fifteen (15) points by making a trip to the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City, MO or the Spencer museum in Lawrence (or any major museum in your area), and identify two (2) works of classical art, five (5) works of post-classical art, and one (1) work of contemporary art based on classical myths.

    CALCULATED GRADES. Click on Grades to view your current calculated grade as  determined by the weighted percentages of the relative grade categories. Your current calculated letter grade is determined by the following grade percentages:

    • A = .900 pct.
    • B = .800 pct.
    • C = .700 pct.
    • D = .600 pct.
    • F = .599 pct.

    At the end of the semester, after all assignments and extra credit has been graded and posted to the gradebook, the student will receive a final adjusted grade which will be the Final Grade for the course. The professor reserves the right to adjust the final calculated grade to more accurately reflect the student’s overall academic performance, especially in regard to online activity. Students who are on the borderline between grades (79% for example) may receive the higher grade if the student’s overall participation (online discussions and online activity) is above 80%.

    NOTE: Students must fulfill the following requirements of the course to receive a passing grade of “C”: turn in the virtual museum writing assignment, and online participation not less than 60 percentIf a student’s calculated grade is tracking ‘F’ before the drop date, the professor may administratively drop the student from the class after notification of pending withdrawal one week before the drop date. Should you begin to have problems during the semester, either academic or personal, that might prevent you from completing the course requirements, please come see me as soon as possible. Do not wait until the last week of class.

    If you are an international student, student athlete or required to maintain full time status due to a third party or insurance, withdrawing from the class can have severe negative effects and may mean you will not have enough credits to be a full-time student.


    1. No quiz may be repeated and are available only during the dates and time ranges listed. If you are unable to take the quiz within the scheduled dates and time due to illness or some other legitimate reason you must contact me by Canvas email or leave an explanatory message on my voice mail at ext. 4191 within 24 hours after the initial scheduled time of the quiz to avoid point penalties for late quizzes. Those failing to make-up a quiz will receive a “0” for that quiz. The student will have the opportunity to make up lost quiz points by writing an extra credit museum paper. Extra credit, however, will not be enough to overcome the point deficit of not turning in the virtual museum paper or having an online discussions score below 60%.
    2. Those who wish to make an appointment with me and who are not free during my office hours, contact me either by phone or Canvas email to arrange an appointment, or schedule an online chat.
    3. An “I” (Incomplete) will be given only if special circumstances prevent the student from completing the class. Arrangements must be made before semester grades are submitted, and students must sign a contract with me agreeing to complete the class requirements by the end of the following 16-week semester (refer to the JCCC College Catalog for details).
    4. In order to avoid financial responsibility, you must officially drop the class within the stated refund periods. Be aware that dropping classes may reduce your eligibility for financial aid, resulting in debt owed by you. DO NOT assume you will be dropped automatically if you do not pay your tuition or if you do not attend classes. Courses not dropped will be graded, most likely resulting in an ‘F’ for the course. The last day to withdraw and receive a “W” is listed on the course Calendar.
    5. To view the deadline dates for dropping this course, please refer to the schedule on the JCCC website under Admissions > Enrollment Dates > Dropping Credit Classes. After the 100% refund date, you will be financially responsible for the tuition charges; for details, search on Student Financial Responsibility on the JCCC web page. Changing your schedule may reduce eligibility for financial aid and other third party funding. Courses not dropped will be graded. For questions about dropping courses, contact the Student Success Center at 913-469-3803.
    6. Cheating of any kind will not be tolerated. Any violation of the Student Code of Conduct. will result in being denied access to Canvas, an automatic “F” for the course, and referred to the academic dean for disciplinary action. Because this is an online class there is a greater temptation to cheat. Be advised that Canvas records your online activity and makes that data available to the professor. Quizzes are ‘open book’; however, they are also timed. Therefore you may not be able to complete all the quiz questions within the allotted time if you waste time looking for answers in the text, in the Outline, or searching on you smartphone or tablet. There is no alternative to succeeding in a class than good reading and study practices.
    7. Note to couples, roommates, and siblings: you can study together, but you must do and submit your own, independent work. You cannot share a computer for submitting exams or composing the writing assignments, nor can you use computers in close proximity in a lab or at home. The only exception to this are computers in the Testing Center. Canvas registers the IP address of each user. To avoid any suspicion of collaboration, my advice is to make sure that your exam submission dates are separated by time (1 day minimum) AND space (separate locations), and your writing assignments are quite different in topic and theme. If you are unable to accomplish this, one of you should drop the course and enroll in another course and/or section. Minor violations of this rule will result in the loss of one final grade bracket (for example, from a B to a C); flagrant and consistent violations will result in an ‘F’ for the course and being referred to the academic dean for disciplinary action.
    8. Access to Canvas is extended to you for the duration of your enrollment in the course, providing that you comply with class and school policies. You may not share that access with another person who is not enrolled in the course. Students who do so violate the privacy of other students as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA). The act may lead to the violator being denied access to the Canvas shell.
    9. On occasion, I permit others to enter the course, to critique my work, to view the operations of the course, or to work on a technical problem. For the entire term, my technical consultant has access to the course to provide continuity for you should I experience a personal emergency.
    10. JCCC provides a range of services to allow persons with disabilities to participate in educational programs and activities. If you are a student with a disability and if you are in need of accommodations or services, it is your responsibility to contact Access Services. and make a formal request. To schedule an appointment with an Access Adviser or for additional information, you can contact Access Services at (913) 469-3521 or Access Services is located on the 2nd floor of the Student Center (SC 202).
    11. The Academic Achievement Center. (AAC) in OCB 304 offers students walk-in assistance with study skills, reading, and test review. Students are also welcome to use the AAC as a place to study. AAC staff are available to assist students with forming study groups, completing class assignments, and using the Canvas learning management system and the Pearson My Lab platform. The AAC offers courses designed to provide students with the foundation they need to be successful in college and to meet academic goals, and also presents study skills workshops on a variety of topics.
    12. For more information about campus and online safety please view the JCCC Police and Safety. page, and the JCCC Student Handbook.


    This page was last modified 08-14-20.