glad to have you in my online courses this semester. If this is your first online
course you may be a little nervous. Relax … the online part of online courses
is not that difficult and I think you will enjoy the experience once you get used
There are three habits
that will help you to succeed in an online course.
1. Stay on Schedule ... when you get
behind, things quickly snowball.
Take your Time ... when you rush, you always miss important details
and that may cost you points. Don't wait until the last minute!
3. Use All Resources ... when you don't
use every available resource, you miss things designed to help you.
Cultivate those habits
and you're on your way to a successful semester! This page is the main Online
Courses page and is the starting point for all courses. Please read through
this page carefully. It contains general course policies and all
posted during the semester.
To access your course, choose one of the five discipline
links above - Economics, for example. (See the course layout graphic
below as an example.)
When you reach the page for that discipline, look for your specific course link
in the discipline - ECON 2301, for example. Be careful to choose the course
for which you registered … the course number on this site should match the course
number on your registration receipt.
Each course link takes you to the main page of the course
syllabus. Each course syllabus has
links to all of the material needed for that course.
On the main syllabus page, find the Course Policies section. You are
responsible for knowing and following the policies in that section. If you ignore
the course policy information you will have problems passing your course.
Below the Course Policies section, find the Course Schedule section and chart.
The chart has the links to the eight units in your course as well as the assignment
due dates. Each unit page has the margin notes, presentations, text chapters and
downloads needed for that section of the course. Too, the details for completing
and submitting all assignments are on the unit pages.
I strongly recommend that you find your course syllabus as soon as possible and
start familiarizing yourself with the details of the course. Make sure you know
what the course assignments are, when those assignments are due and where you can
find the details on how to complete those assignments. Remember that college
courses (especially those online) are reading-intensive courses. If you have
problems reading for detail, begin immediately to change that habit.
you’ve read your syllabus, it’s important to make sure you know how
to reach me by email. If you don’t follow your syllabus instructions
your emails won’t reach me. That means I’ll never know if you have questions
and I’ll never receive your assignments. So … at the very beginning
of your course, send an email to test whether or not you are able to
reach me. When I receive it, I’ll let you know. To send your test email,
complete these steps.
Review the syllabus instructions on how to correctly send course
Open a new email.
Type my email address -
- and the correct subject line in the appropriate places. If you don't
know the correct subject line for your course, read your syllabus again.
In the body of the email, answer the following questions.
What is your complete name? Use the name under which you registered
but include a nickname if you wish.
Through what college/university did you register for your course?
If you want to be included on the Grades page, what code word
should I use? The Grades page is where I post course grades at
the end of the semester. The link for the Grades page is at the
top of this page. Before sending a code word, read the instructions
at the top of the Grades page. If your code word doesn't
follow those instructions, I'll ignore it. If you don't wish to be included,
don't send a code word.
What is your preferred email address? Make sure you type it correctly!
Give me the email address you are most likely to regularly check. It
doesn’t matter what email address you use when you send an email to
me. When I reply, I always use the Reply button, sending your
email back to wherever it originated. However, if I need to send information
to you in a new email, I'll use the email address you give me in your
test email and will assume you’ll see it.
In case of an emergency at what phone number can I reach you?
f. Copy and paste the following statement into your test email:
“I have read the course syllabus (includes Expected Student Learning
Outcomes, Communication Policy, Using Email in College Courses, Online
Participation Policy, Academic Integrity Policy, Drop Policy, Grading
Policy, Policy on Late Assignments, Recommended Text, Useful Resources,
Course Schedule and Online Final Exam Instructions) and I understand
my responsibilities in this course.”
Please note that you are pasting this statement into your test email
as a substitute for your signature and as a statement of fact that you
have done what the statement says. If you have not yet read the entire
course syllabus, you need to do that before you send your test email.
is one important thing to keep in mind: if you don’t follow the instructions
I won’t receive your test email and will assume you didn’t send one.
So … if a couple of days go by with no reply from me, complete the four
steps above again, paying better attention to anything you overlooked
the first time. [posted 01/03/17 @ 0500]
I'm migrating my website to a new software. (Nothing will look different
to you ... just easier for me to maintain.) In preparation for the change,
I'm going through my courses and making editing changes. If you
go to a page you've visited before, you may notice that it looks different.
Don't worry! I'm moving things around a little and even deleting a few
things but I'm not adding anything to the material for which you are
responsible. [posted 01/01/17 @ 1845]
Need a Little Help with College Expenses?
If you're a sophomore or junior with good grades and a track record
of community or campus involvement, apply for the GEICO Achievement
Awards. You could receive $2,500 to put toward books, tuition, housing
or other school expenses. The program is open to students in business,
computer science, mathematics or a related field. Learn more at
Skills for the 21st Century
After interviewing hundreds
of CEOS in business, non-profits and educational institutions Tony Wagner
of Harvard University identified the top seven survival skills needed
for the 21st century in his book
The Global Achievement Gap.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
The idea that a company's senior leaders have all the
answers and can solve problems by themselves has gone completely by
the wayside. The person who's close to the work has to have strong analytic
skills. Employees have to be rigorous, test assumptions, avoid taking
things at face value, discard preconceived ideas they're trying to prove.
Collaboration across Networks
and Leading by Influence
The biggest problem employers have is finding people
capable of exerting leadership across the board. Their mantra is that
you lead by influence, rather than authority.
I can guarantee the job employers hire someone to do
will change or may not exist in the future. This is why adaptability
and learning skills are more important than technical skills.
Employers need self-directed people who can find creative
solutions to some very tough, challenging problems.
The biggest skill employees are missing is the ability
to communicate: both written and oral presentations. It's a huge problem.
There is so much information available that it is almost
too much, and if employees aren't prepared to process the information
effectively, it almost freezes them in their steps.
Our old idea is that work is defined by employers and
that employees have to do whatever the employer wants ... but actually,
employers would like employees to come up with interpretations that
they like -- adding something personal, a creative element.
If you're interested
in seeing where the many links on that page will take you,
there's a link to the STUDENTTOOLS page at
the top of this page.
Any.Do dutifully reminds you to take a moment to plan
your day, every morning. For every task, you can share it
with a contact, add sub-notes, or set a reminder. Sync it
to your computer for greater control. For iOS and Android.
Google Play) is an eLearning platform for college admission
test (SAT and ACT) preparation. Creates a highly personalized
curriculum that actually focuses on improving scores.
puts all your loyalty cards on your phone,
so they’re there when you need them. Scan and store grocery
cards, gym cards, library cards, gift cards... you name
it. Loyalty cards scan straight from your phone at the checkout
counter, saving you money instantly. For iOS and Android.
Evernote is the
app that saves everything you need—literally. You can type
a note, take a photo, record audio or attach a file in this
app that syncs to all your connected devices. The more you
use it, the more uses you’ll find for it. (For starters,
it’s great for group projects and term paper research.)
is the world's largest community-based traffic
and navigation app. For iOS and Android.
-- Find the cheapest gas on the go. Locate
gas stations near you and see their current gas prices.
For iOS and Android.
If This Then That (IFTTT) -- You can tell this app to
send a text message if it’s raining the following morning,
reminding you to leave early for class. Syncs with 69 mobile
apps, meaning you can tell the program to send a text when
you're tagged in a Facebook photo or mentioned in a tweet.
For iOS and Android.
-- You can quickly type, write, say or photograph whatever
you need translated between over 70 languages.
makes it easy to pay - in stores, online
or to anyone in the US with a Gmail address. It works with
any debit or credit card, on every mobile carrier. For iOS
Read this one! It will make
a difference in how you think about higher education.
Excerpt: College professors want to make sure you are doing
more than memorizing the material, want to make sure you understand
how facts fit together. Professors want to see that students
can perceive the implications of each lesson. We want to see that
the class can think through the bundle of disparate data and make
connections, separating the relevant from the irrelevant … The important
bit is not just knowing what something is; the important bit is
knowing why something is the way it is and how it works and why
it matters. It’s about being thoughtful and disciplined in your
learning so you can think about what you know in a meaningful and
original way. It’s about constantly asking, so what? Why does
it matter? What are the implications? How can we use it? Improve
it? How does it connect with other parts of life or knowledge?
… This can be upsetting to students new to college, especially
those who mistakenly think that how hard they work determines
their grade, rather than how much they have learned and
how well they can apply that knowledge.
In the name of emotional well-being, college students
are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they
don’t like. That’s disastrous for education — and mental health.
Read about the issue in The Atlantic’s
The Coddling of the American Mind.
If You Need
I hold office hours every weekday. Check the schedule and instructions
Email me following the instructions in your course
Call or text me if you have an emergency situation.
Again, refer to your course syllabus.
Don't use all capitals. This is the
written equivalent of shouting and people consider it rude. Too, it’s simply
not correct grammar.
Don't include irrelevant items -
emoticons :), pictures, fancy signatures, closing quotes, scriptures, sales
pitches, stationery, business slogans or etc. in course emails. If your software
automatically adds any of those things every time you send an email, you must
disable that feature when you send a course email. If you email from your workplace,
this applies to your work email as well. The only exception to this is if you
use an email service that requires you to include the email service name
at the bottom of all emails.
In order to reply to an email, email software downloads
any graphics, pictures or etc. included in the original. Because I receive so
many emails, I have very strict security controls. Those controls block downloading
pictures, graphics and etc because they so frequently carry viruses. If your
email includes any of those things, my software will block any attempt to reply
backgrounds or ink. All course emails should use black print on a
white background. You don’t use pink paper and add smiley faces on your
hard copy assignments. The same is true for electronic assignments.
Don't use IM lingo. As with any
written college communication, your emails should use appropriate grammar and
spelling. At the beginning of your course, I will encourage you to work on any
spelling and grammar problems I see. As the course progresses, I will expect
improvement. Almost all colleges have writing labs and tutors that can help
you improve in these areas. Take advantage of those resources. If your college
does not offer help, let me know. I have some excellent online resources.
Don't send group emails to me ...
including the really sad one your best friend just forwarded to you AND the
one that absolutely must be forwarded to 10 people (or else). In case you didn't
know, that kind of email is spam and you should never send it to anyone who
did not request it or give you permission. Because the problem is so pernicious,
I treat it very seriously. My software treats every group email as spam and
not only deletes the group email but also deletes all future email from that
address before I ever see it.
Don't send forwarded emails to me.
Reread my comments about group emails above.
Don't send attached files
to me for any reason. I never open attached files because of the danger
of viruses and the extra time involved. Instead, copy and paste your work into
the body of your email message. It is never okay to send attached files
unless an assignment specifically asks for such.
a response. I respond to
every email that requires a response. If you don’t get a response from me, chances
are I did not get your email. Try the following
a. Check the original email you sent me to make sure you used the correct
subject line. (It's probably in a folder labeled something like SentItems.)
b. Check the original email you sent me for irrelevant items. (Reread
my comments in #2 above.)
c. Check for replies to the correct email address. When I reply,
I do not type your address into a new email. I use the Reply button.
This means that the reply goes straight back to the address from which you sent
your original message. If you sent your message using a friend's email address,
your work email address or your school email address, that's where my reply
d. Check the announcements on this page. You should check the announcements
frequently. I post announcements for things that affect most students - things
such as schedule changes, absences, computer problems and so on. If I'm going
to be out-of-town for a few days, for example, and won't have access to my email,
I'll post an announcement so you'll know to expect a delay.
If you discover you made a mistake sending
your assignment or if you're simply not sure, paste it into a new email
and send it again before it's too late for me to accept. Be certain you've
corrected any problems before resending it.
Always exercise patience. You are welcome
to send assignments early but if you work ahead so that I receive assignments
much earlier than they are due, I probably won’t reply until after I’ve replied
to students who are working on schedule or behind. Too, there are certain times
in the semester when it’s difficult to stay current – for example, at the beginning
or end of a semester. You can, however, talk to me during my office hours if
you need a faster response.
Always assume the best. Keep in mind that
email communication is not face-to-face. Always be specific and friendly. Since
we cannot see each other’s facial expressions, there is always the possibility
of miscommunication. Two things to remember:
a. Brevity: Out of necessity, I am
sometimes very brief in my replies to questions. I don’t do that because of
a lack of concern.
b. Responsibility: I will not do your
work for you ... this is college! If you email asking about something that’s
in the syllabus, I will tell you to check the syllabus. If you email asking
for the definition of __, I will tell you to read X. If, on the other hand,
you don't understand a concept and it's clear to me in your questions that you’ve
done what you can to figure it out, I'll spend as much time as you need. That's
If you are a person who tends to be easily offended, remember that things are
different when you communicate by email. I’ll assume you’re polite if you’ll
assume the same of me!
Submit each assignment in the body
of a new email. Due to the course management system I use, I do not
accept: assignments in attached files, assignments in forwarded emails or assignments
in reply emails. Nor do I accept faxed assignments, mailed assignments or several
assignments in one email. If we're carrying on a conversation or you have a
question or etc, you are welcome to use the Reply button but you must
use a new email when ever you send an assignment.
WARNING: You cannot always copy the content of
an old email and paste it into a new email. Software may treat the content as
a forwarded or reply email. I encourage you to complete and save your assignments
in Word, Word Perfect or whatever software you use and then copy and paste the
assignment into the body of your email. That will also make it easier to resend
it – by copying and pasting it from Word or etc. into a new email – should you
need to do so.
I consider an assignment to be on time
if it is correctly completed and in my Inbox by midnight of the day assigned.
I am not concerned with when you send an assignment … I have no way of
knowing that. I can prove only when I receive an assignment. Too, note
the phrase correctly completed ... you can’t ignore the instructions
and then say "but it was there before the deadline!"
POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Except for the final
exam, I will accept late assignments but I will deduct 1 point per day late,
including holidays and weekends. Be careful about turning in late assignments,
though. Even if your work is outstanding, a 10-point assignment turned in 10
days late will earn 0 points after late points are deducted. Don't waste your
time and effort ... stick to the course schedule and get credit for your work.
Use email or my office hours for course
communication ... not the telephone. If you have an emergency, don't hesitate
to call me. My cell number is above on this page for exactly that reason. However,
impending deadlines do not constitute emergencies. If you wait until the last
minute to start an assignment and need help, you’re unlikely to get an email
reply from me quickly enough to beat the deadline or to find me in my office
at an unscheduled time. You can’t fix the problem by calling me … you can avoid
the problem by better organizing your time. Handle all communication
other than emergencies by email or by visiting me during my office hours.
Never assume I know what you are talking
about! If you and I are in the middle of an ongoing email discussion always
include or refer to previous emails. Chances are I'm in the middle of several
discussions so I may not remember what your specific question / problem is unless
you remind me.
Always include your first and last
names at the beginning of every assignment. I will not assume I know
who you are from your email address or a first name only. Nor will I hunt for
your name. If I don’t see your name at the beginning of your assignment, I will
either return it or delete it.
If you send
me a non-assignment email - a question, comment, etc. - you don't need
to put your name at the beginning but you should always include your first
last names somewhere in the body of the email with
your message. First, it's simply the polite thing to do. While few people would
send unsigned letters to anyone, they regularly send unsigned emails to everyone.
That may be acceptable within social groups but it is not acceptable in professional
communication. Second, I often cannot answer students' questions, comments and
etc unless I know who is asking. ("Did you get my assignment?" If I don't know
who you are, I don't know if I received your assignment.) And, as with assignments,
I will not assume I know who you are from your email address or a first name
It's important that you frequently
check the Announcements at the top of this page. I post schedule
changes, syllabus corrections, absences, computer problems, updated or changed
instructions and so on under Announcements. I don’t know how many times
I’ve received emails from students angry or distressed about something that
would never have been a problem if they had read the Announcements.
Some of you print out the syllabus.
Remember that the
official syllabus and schedule are online. Although I detest making
changes in the middle of a course, I do have that right as your professor and
occasionally it is necessary. You are responsible for knowing any changes I
make while you are in the course. If I have to change an element in your syllabus
- a due date, assignment instructions, etc - I make the change in your syllabus.
I always make the change obvious BUT ... if you're working from a printout
that won't help you. If you feel better working from a printout that's fine
with me ... just make sure you remember to check the online syllabus - the official
syllabus - often!
In a college course you have rights
AND responsibilities. It was your choice to take this course, it is your
choice whether or not to follow course policy and it is your choice whether
or not to participate. You have the right to make those decisions. But you must
also take responsibility for your decisions and your performance in the course.
a. Extra Credit: If
you do not complete the assigned work in the manner requested, you will not
get the points for that work. I cannot (and will not) 'fix' that by giving you
alternative work or extra credit work. The assignments I want you to complete
are those I've assigned in the syllabus. You must complete those assignments
just like all of your classmates.
b. Making Exceptions:
If you miss a deadline, please don't ask me to make an exception for you. If
I make an exception for you, fairness will require me to make an exception for
all of your classmates as well. All of us have multiple responsibilities and
our own problems and hindrances. But if I make an exception for everyone, I
may as well not have deadlines. Conversely, if I give you extra time, a shorter
assignment or etc, I've given you an advantage that none of your classmates
Withdrawing from the Course: At the beginning of each semester
I will follow institutional policies regarding student drops. At the end of
the late add/drop period, I will send the administration the name of any student
with whom I have not yet had contact. That student will have one week
to successfully email me and begin the course work. At the end of that week,
the institution will drop any student who has not done so and will provide that
information to any student loan/grant agency that might be affected. However,
once the semester has begun, I will not drop you from your course if you decide
to stop participating. If you stop participating, you will earn whatever points
you had accumulated at that time. If you do not want that to happen, you need
to complete the course or initiate a drop yourself by contacting the college
through which you registered. I have provided the online address for your college's
Student Services web page above. [See
Links to Your College.] You can find that office's
phone numbers and/or email address on that web page.