GEOG 3221 Syllabus
Africana Studies offered by Central Missouri State University  
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phone: 660-543-8620
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  GEOG 3221 - Geography of Africa

 (Click here for a printable version of the syllabus.) 

Dr. Scott Zibell
Office: Wood 6B
Office Hours: M-W-F 9:00 – 10:00, T-R 10:00 – 11:00, And by appointment
Phone: 543-4827 (office) 543-4048 (Dept. Office)

Course Description:
This 2-credit course uses the regional approach to study the geography of Subsaharan Africa. Presented in seminar format, the course has three general portions: a regional overview, country studies from each region, and readings / discussion on various geographic aspects of the realm.

Course Objectives:
1. To increase familiarity with, and appreciation of, this realm of the world
2. To provide an opportunity to develop presentation skills
3. To help prepare students for graduate studies or professional service

Education Competencies:
This course addresses the following items from the CMSU General Education Matrix:
General Education competency: Communicating
Item 7. “Communicate effectively in groups by listening, reflecting, and responding appropriately and in context.”
General Education competency: Valuing
Item 1. “Compare and contrast historical and cultural ethical perspectives and belief systems.”
General Education knowledge area (Social and Behavioral Sciences):
Item 4. “Describe and analytically compare social, cultural, and historical settings and processes other than one’s own.”

Class Schedule:
Meeting Time: 12:30 to 1:20 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays
Place: Wood Building, room 3b
Dates: Tuesday, 13 January through Thursday, 29 April 2004
Final Exam: 11:00 a.m., Thursday, 6 May

Be here. If circumstances arise that are beyond your control, or if you have special scheduling considerations, please see the instructor to make arrangements. A 5-point deduction will be made for every unexcused absence starting with the fourth.

Country Study Presentations:
Each student will provide four, brief presentations on countries in this realm, one from each of the four regions. These presentations entail providing the class with geographic information in a “country study” manner. Country studies entail a brief description of a state, covering a broad range of geographic characteristics such as landforms, climate, economy, culture, religion, transportation, etc. Further information will be provided in class.

There will be three exams worth 40 points each. As a general policy, make-up exams will not be given. If circumstances beyond your control cause you to miss an test, please see the instructor.
Exam 1 will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions selected from the lecture material
Exam 2 will consist of short-answer / essay questions derived from the material presented by students in the country studies (10 pts from each region)
Exam 3 will consist of short-answer / essay questions derived from the textbook material discussed in class


Grading criteria for the country studies:
Each presentation is worth 10 points
Points will be assessed for completeness (4), clarity (3), & length (3)
Grading criteria for discussion participation:
Ten discussion days are worth four points each
To receive maximum points I will be looking for the following:
  - Submission of questions on time (instructions follow)
      - Correct grammar and spelling
      - Ask not only factual questions, but also insightful ones
      - Show some depth of thought
  - Explain the nature of your question to the class
  - Verbally demonstrate a definite familiarity with the material
  - Be able to relate / connect this material to other knowledge, and
  place the material within a geographic / historical context

Grading will be based on the accumulation of points earned in the following activities:

Country-study presentations
Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Discussion participation

Letter Grade
Percentage of Points
Total Points
180 & above
160.00 - 179.99
70.00 - 79.99%
140.00 - 159.99
60.00 - 69.99%
120.00 - 139.99
0 - 59.99%
0 - 119.99

Discussion Questions:
Students should come to class prepared to discuss the chapter at hand. To foster this value, prior to each chapter discussion, each student will submit to the instructor (via email) a question for the group to discuss. The instructor will then lead the day’s discussion incorporating the questions submitted. Questions must be received by the instructor no later than 7:30 a.m. the morning of the discussion.

For a Third Credit:
Those students wishing to earn an additional credit can do so by enrolling in GEOG 4251, Special Projects in Geography. This one-credit option will entail the student completing a research project and presenting it according to the criteria specified on a separate handout.

Class schedule and content are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Revised course information will be provided should circumstances warrant.

Conduct in accordance with the CMSU Student Handbook is expected.