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Geography 150

World Regional Geography - Syllabus

Tropical foilage and rice field
Instructor: Dr. Steven M. Graves
Meeting Times/Room: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 PM in Sierra Hall Room 108
Office Hours in Sierra Hall 130 B: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8AM to 9AM, or by appointment.
Dr. Graves' calendar:
Dr. Graves' email:
Office Phone: 677-3517   Department Phone: 677-3532

Course Description

Geography 150: World Regional Geography  

This course is designed to help students learn a bit more about the world outside their local context. Mostly we will focus on the "non-Western" worlds of Asia, Africa and Latin America. This course takes a "regional" approach, which means that you'll be asked to first consider each of the places we'll be learning about in terms of its internal regional dynamics (weather, religion, agriculture, politics, demographics) , then place it in a global context.

Three main goals act as the organizing prinicples of this course.

The first goal is for you to become much more knowlegeable about the regions we'll study. Such knowledge is characteristic of the the educated person and indespensible to the peaceful operation of a democracy such as ours. Second, student will learn to think spatially, become able to consider the consider the role of space and place on the processes that shape the world; while learning some of the basic tools of this discipline. Third, your knowledge of other cultures and conditiions should help you better appreciate and respect the diversity that characterizes the planet. The world is shrinking and ignorance of other cultures undermines our ability to interact sensibly with other peoples.

Hopefully, this course will help you understand the world and your role in it.

 Required Materials

Rountree, Lewis, Price and Wyckoff. 2008. Globalization and Diversity: Geography of A Changing World. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall

ISBN: 0-536-45780-8

See the textbook page for details

On-line Learning Modules

This course will feature a series of online learning labs or modules that are designed to introduce you to some of the tools used by geographers to solve problems and to make decisions.


During the semester, a number of quizzes will be administered on-line.  These quizzes are intended to assess student comprehension of assigned texts, maps or other information.  Quizzes are also designed to keep the student progressing in a timely fashion through the reading assignments.  Quizzes also are a component of the semester evaluation. 

On-line Discussion Forums (not every semester)

Students are invited to participate in on-line discussion forums.  Forum topics may be introduced by the instructor and students are encouraged to respond on-line to questions, statements or other prompts fashioned by the instructor or other students in the course.  Your responses will be visible to other students enrolled in the course and all students will be encouraged to engage classmates in constructive criticism and analysis of statements.   Participation points will be awarded to students who regularly participate in such forums.

Attendance and Classroom Obligations

During those semesters when the course is offered on campus, participation in classroom discussions will count toward the calculation of your final grade.  If you cannot attend regularly, you will not earn a high participation grade.  If your attendance is regular, but you do not participate in the class discussions, you will not earn a high participation grade. 

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities must register with the Center on Disabilities and complete a services agreement each semester.  Staff within the Center will verify the existence of a disability based on the documentation provided and approve accommodations.  Students who are approved for testing taking accommodations must provide a proctor form to their faculty member signed by a counselor in the Center on Disabilities prior to making testing arrangements.  The Center on Disabilities is located in Bayramian Hall, room 110.  Staff can be reached at (818) 677-2684.

If you have a disability, please make Dr. Graves aware of it at the beginning of the semester.  I am eager to help make arrangements to accommodate any student with differential learning needs.

Other campus-wide disclosures are available at:

Course Schedule

The course schedule is posted on line.  It is subject to occasional updates and changes. 


Attendance is a key component of good grades.  I expect students to complete each assignment on time.  You owe it to yourself, to whomever is paying for your education and the taxpayers who support your education.  Students who fail to maintain regular study habits should not take this course. 

If you have medical or personal issues that demand your absence, please contact Dr. Graves immediately.  If a student must miss an extended period of time, he/she should arrange to drop the course or make special arrangements with Dr. Graves.

Other Obligations

There is a mandatory un-graded course contract that constitutes the first assignment of the course.


Students will be evaluated by a variety of tools, including multiple choice quizzes, writing assignments, on-line exercises, etc.  Students will be evaluated on their ability to demonstrate basic knowledge/comprehension of the subject matter as well as the ability to apply critical thinking skills to the subject matter, by evaluating issues, applying knowledge acquired in novel situations, synthesizing multiple points, issues and knowledge.  Listed below are the intended learning outcomes for this course and the evaluation and assessment tools used in the class to determine your success

Intended Outcomes

In accordance with best teaching practices, intended outcomes for this course are made transparent to students at the beginning of the semester.  Students should be able to demonstrate at least basic competency with knowledge and skill sets listed below in order to earn a passing grade in this course.  The assessment and evaluation tools used during the semester, designed to measure your success in acquiring these knowledge and skill sets are listed below each learning outcome below. 

Goal A: Building a Knowledge Base - Students in this course will identify and define key terms and concepts central to the discipline of geography and important to the study of the world. 

The general goal of this course is to produce students who will become knowledgeable world citizens, capable decision makers and life-long learners .

  1. Students will be able to define and explain key terms such as, region, landscape, diffusion, globalization, development, nationalism, etc.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions
  2. Students will be able to identify on a map important physical, political and cultural features.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Map Quizzes
  3. Students will be able to recognize, list and describe key ideas, facts and spatial conditions in the following categories: language, ethnicity, religion, politics, economics, demographics and culture.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions
Goal B: Acquiring Knowledge - Students will develop skills for acquiring new knowledge.
  1. Students will recall information presented to them textually, cartographically and through numeric or graphic communication.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions.
  2. Students will demonstrate their ability to interpret non-textual information visible on the cultural landscape.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions
Goal C: Problem Solving Skills Students will demonstrate their problem solving skills.
  1. Students will analyze non-textual messages in the landscape and from maps, graphics, etc.
    Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions, Short Written Assignments, On-line map making exercises.
  2. Students will apply abstract concepts, such as urban primacy, dependency theory, sustainability and supranationalism to real-world locations. -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions
  3. Students will evaluate, compare and contrast opposing views on subject matter contained in the course as it is debated within and beyond the academy. - Assessment/Evaluation tool: One page writing assignments.
  4. Students will compare the similarities and differences between and among various culture and ethnic groups.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions, short writing assignments.
  5. Students will explain one or more current social, cultural political or economic issue by using spatially informed logic.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: One page writing assignments
  6. Students will explain selected interactions between and among culture, economics, politics, physical geography and ethnicity. 
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: Multiple Choice On-line Quizzes, Exam Questions, One-page writing assignments
Goal D: Communicating Knowledge: Students in this course will be able to communicate ideas by using words, numbers, maps and other graphic devices.
  1. Students will effectively communicate ideas and opinions using textual communication.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: One page writing assignments.
  2. Students will construct one or more legible maps.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: On-line map making exercises, writing assignments.
  3. Students will effectively communicate facts, ideas and statistics using maps and graphic devices.
    -Assessment/Evaluation tool: On-line map making exercises, writing assignments. 



Grades will be determined by your performance on the various assignments and tests as well as your attendance/participation where appropriate.

Grading Regime*   

Participation will count for 5 percent of your total grade.

Reading and map quizzes will count for 15 percent of your total grade.

Labs and other assignments will count for 30 percent of your total grade.

Exams will count for 50 percent of your grade.

* These percentages are subject to class approved modification as conditions warrant.

Tentative Grade Scale

A= (90-100%)
B = (80-89%)
C = (70-79%)
D = (60-69%)
F = (59% or less)


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