Vess's World Civilization Interactive Journey
The links below will bring up a series of interactive modules I wrote
in Authorware for my World Civilization (and other) classes during my
years first at DeKalb College (now Georgia Perimeter College) and then
at Georgia College & State University. I have always intended these
files to be primarily for the use of my students; I have received so
many requests in the last few years, however, to open these files to
the public that I have decided to make them available to anyone else
interested in the great world civilizations of the past. I hope other
students and instructors find them useful.
These files contain interactive primary sources, chronologies, maps,
glossaries, and other resources for the study of antiquity. The world
geography unit is useful as a general orientation to the location of
the world civilizations studied in the first half of a World Civilization
survey. I designed the modules to teach students how to analyze primary
sources; many of the units are Socratic in nature, and I intended them
to encourage independent thought about the problems encountered. While
students may often find my commentary following the Socratic modules,
students will also engage in exericises which test their understanding
by asking them to apply important concepts. I also designed the modules
to enable students to master facts, dates, events, chronology, and geography.
Each module contains at least one formal quiz and a variety of other
means for students to assess their understanding of the materials. Students
and instructors in world literature, humanities, and other areas may
also find these materials useful.
I have found these programs to be very effective in improving student
performance. Colleagues who are interested in a more detailed description
of the theoretical design of these programs and their impact on student
learning should consult my article, "Socrates On-line: A Multimedia
Tool for the Development of Critical Thought," in Proteus: A Journal
of Ideas. Special issue on Technology in Education (March 1997):13-22.
A caveat: I am not a professionally trained programer; on the
contrary, I am a history professor who fell in love with educational
technology and taught herself everything she knows how to do. Consequently,
there are one or two graphics in these programs that do not look as
nifty as I wish they did, nor do these modules always work as well on
the Internet as they do on a network or in the labs on campus. I do
hope users will forgive me an occasional less-than-perfect graphic or
experience via a modem connection!
These interactive programs are also set up to record the amount of
time you spend in the modules, your scores on quizzes, and other information
onto a floppy disk. They do not write to your hard drive. (Please
only use this feature if you are a student in one of my classes. I regret
that due to the length of time it takes me to read scored disks, I cannot
at this point provide support for this feature for other instructors
or students. It just makes my already complicated life even more complicated,
and then my children, colleagues and even my pets cannot stand my presence.
Do your part for world peace and my sanity and don't ask me to read
them for you. The programs provide scoring information online, so those
who cannot use the disk feature can still clearly see their scores.
I may consider uploading the scoring programs should there be sufficient
interest from colleagues at other institutions. E-mail
me if you are interested.) If you are one of my students
and you wish to or are required to use this feature, please insert
a 3 1/2 inch disk in your floppy drive and set up your browser (Netscape
or Internet Explorer) to operate in trusting mode.
Clicking on the links below will bring up the Authorware modules and
then minimize your browser window. You will see only the Authorware
interactive units; when you are finished, click on the quit option,
which you can find in the top left corner of each program under the
"menu" option and then restore (maximize) your browser window.
These modules are designed for optimal use on a T1/LAN connection.
Users who are connecting via a modem should be prepared to wait for
the modules to download. The waiting period can, unfortunately,
sometimes be a bit longer than I would like for it to be. I think, however,
that the rewards are worth the wait. At least I hope that is the case.
You will also need to install the Shockwave (Authorware Web Player)
plug-in from Macromedia, which you may download by clicking on the button
All rights to these programs are reserved. Users
are forbidden to reproduce or distribute these programs in any form
without the written permission of Dr. Vess. Copyright, 1996 and 2000.
Geography This is a very simple drag-and-click introduction to
the major regions and civilizations of the world most likely to be
covered in the first semester of a World Civilization course.
(contains interactive versions of the Code of Hamurabi and Epic of
(contains interactive map, chronology, glossary of Hebrew terms, and
social justice units, as well as an interactive critical analysis
exercise of the three accounts of the flood in Genesis.)
*note: in the map section of this module, users will often notice
hyperlinks which bring up web sites in a new window. Unless you
click on the hyperlinks, you will be unable to continue the map
exercise. Once you do click, the program will continue and you can
explore the web sites or not as you choose.
(contains interactive versions of the Rig Veda, Bhagavad Gita, and
Upanishads, an interactive glossary, and critical analysis exercises
and quizzes. Modem users should be prepared for a long wait time for
the program to download the first segment, but then it will perform
very quickly as users navigate through the various chapters.)
(contains interactive units on Daoism, Confucianism, and Legalism,
as well as quizzes.)
Greek Temple facade Learn the parts of a Greek temple.
(contains interactive map and chonology units, a discussion of the
origins and meaning of the Nicene Creed, and other resources. Long
download time via modem. Sorry. Wait time for modem users may
be as long as 3-5 minutes.)
(contains interactive maps, quizzes, and interactive units and primary
sources on medieval Ghana, Ethiopia, Benin, Mali, and the Great Zimbabwe.
Long download time via modem. Sorry. Wait time for modem users
may be as long as 3-5 minutes.)
As a final aside, if you are wondering why I stopped with Africa,
let me simply say that I spent two years of my life day and
night writing these programs. When I began to dream in Authorware
I knew it was time for a break.