Syllabus for ART-166



History of Western Art I examines the greatest works of the Western visual tradition, highlighting issues of social content, form, and iconography. The course is a survey of Western European art and architecture from antiquity to 1600 CE. The course provides an excellent introduction and general overview of the seminal works of Western art. The social, political, and philosophical influences on the art and architecture are also examined. Students will gain a knowledge and appreciation of the great works, their artists, and the cultures that produced them.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss works of art that represent the greatest achievements of Western civilization and define the Western visual tradition from antiquity to 1600 CE.
  2. Identify key periods or movements and summarize their essential visual features.
  3. Identify important artists and political figures and associate them with their works.
  4. Discuss the social, political, and historical events that influenced art history.
  5. Discuss the technological advances that influenced art history.
  6. Compare and contrast artists, artworks, and styles.
  7. Analyze the qualities that distinguish the great works, great artists, and styles.


You will need the following textbook to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.


History of Western Art I is a three-credit, online course consisting of six assignment modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

History of Western Art I has six graded online discussions, each focusing on a different subject. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments.

All of these written assignments have three parts; Written Assignments 4 and 5 also have a fourth part. In part 1 you are asked to define terms. You will find these terms in the textbook chapter readings and glossary and in the Study Guide. Identify each term before you give the definition. In part 2 you are required to answer the one essay question. Copy out the question before giving the answer. In part 3 you must select two essay questions to answer. Indicate the number of each question you choose to answer and copy out the question before giving your answer.

In part 4, which is part of Written Assignments 4 and 5, you are asked to submit preliminary work associated with your final project due at the end of the semester. You can get specific information about these preliminary project submissions in the appropriate written assignment as well as in the Final Project section of the course Web site.

Your assignments should be typed, double-spaced, with a minimum of two pages for each essay answer.

Take the time to read through the written assignment questions before you begin each module. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Do not copy the answers word-for-word; they must be in your own words. However, when it will strengthen your answer, you may quote or paraphrase relevant facts, ideas, and theories from your course reading materials; be sure to cite these references in an appropriate manner by using footnotes or endnotes.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

When satisfied that your assignment represents your best work, submit it to your mentor.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored midterm examination.

For the midterm, you are required to use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It consists of multiple-choice questions, definitions, and essay questions. It covers all material assigned in Modules 1, 2, and 3 of the course and is two hours in duration. You will not be allowed to have any material with you.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

You are required to produce a final project in the form of a term paper that is due at the end of the semester. The final project will be worth 20 percent of your final grade for the course.

The term paper that you must produce involves comparing and contrasting either two Renaissance artists and their work, two Renaissance cities and associated artwork, or two particular pieces of Renaissance artwork.

Please note that in addition to submitting the final project term paper, you must make two preliminary submissions containing information about your project. For specific information about these two preliminary steps, see the Final Project section of the course Web site. This section of the Web site will also provide details about the final paper.

For details regarding the due date see the Course Calendar.

Final Project Expectations and Grading

When producing your final project term paper, you should always keep in mind what criteria your mentor will use to grade your work and what expectations he/she will have.

  1. Writingquality of written work. You will be assessed on how well you present your work ,including how logically you develop your thesis, how well you articulate your position, and how well you support it. You will also be judged on your grammar, spelling, etc.

  1. Researchquality and depth of research. The quality and depth of your research will be reflected by your choice of sources you use to build and support your thesis together with how well you utilize them to formulate your own critical opinions. Be selective; just because something appears in print or on the Internet does not mean it is a reputable source.

  1. Thesis provenquality of thesis and how it is supported throughout the paper. In essence, your thesis is your opinion on the topic you have chosen to research, and you will be judged on how well you can convince others that your opinion is valid. In this case your ability to argue your opinion in writing and support your argument(s) with reputable supporting material that reflects quality and depth of research will determine how convincing your thesis will be.

  1. Use of termsdemonstrated mastery of course terminology. One way to demonstrate that you have mastered a particular subject is the ability to use correctly any specialized terminology associated with it. Conversely, the improper use of specific terms will reflect a lack of mastery that will make readers question your knowledge and detract from your work.

  1. Comparison and contrastquality and depth of comparison/contrast points. The main point of your term paper is to compare and contrast two subjects and your grade will be determined largely on how well you do this. You will be judged not only on how well you can point out the similarities and differences between the two subjects, but also on how much insight into these subjects you can demonstrate through original and well-articulated arguments supported by well-researched and reputable sources.  


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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