SYLLABUS: ONLINE ENGLISH 101 OHS/OHC WINTER 2009
Instructor: Geeta Sadashivan
English 101 develops clear, effective writing skills and emphasizes writing as a process. Students practice writing in a variety of forms and modes. Five credits. Prerequisite: Placement by assessment, or Engl 092 or 093 with a C- or better.
The implicit subject of a composition course is language itself. But to lend shape and continuity to our conversations it will help us to have some more explicit subject, theme or goal. The overarching goal of this English 101 course is analytical writing.
All our writing involves representation; in our writing we present ourselves, our beliefs and arguments, and we represent others, as well as places, objects, institutions, relationships and so on. These representations are always shaped by decisions about what to emphasize and where to direct attention. This skill, also called "rhetoric," involves making decisions about communication/representation that are shaped by careful analysis of audience and purpose. If you are talking about your friend, how do you present her? Is that how she would want to be known? And should that matter? If you travel to some foreign land, how do you talk about your impressions in a way that is fair to the people of that culture, while at the same time being honest about your impression of them?
Today, the issue of representation becomes even more complex due to the fact that we live in a multimedia world; today, it is possible make home movies to represent our lives; we can make slideshows of the photographs we take when we travel, add music and narration and then upload them to websites. Given this complexity, it makes sense to study representation in a multimedia context—and in particular, to pay attention to the way visual images affect representation.
Therefore, in this class, we will write analytically about a variety of texts, ranging from advertisements, films, artwork and photographs, in addition to texts in written formats. Though we will explore a variety of subjects in a range of formats, our goal will be the same: to consider all these texts carefully and pay attention to their rhetoric.
Writing Analytically with Readings
By Rosenwasser and Stephen
Publisher: Wadsworth Thomson (Fifth edition)
A Writer’s Reference
By Diana Hacker
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin’s (Sixth edition)
Note that Writing Analytically with Readings is our main text, the one we will read and use as a class. A Writer’s Reference is a reference handbook.
Most college instructors assume that the average student will study one to two hours outside of class for every hour you spend in the classroom—a total of 10-15 hours per week for a five-credit course. I expect roughly the same total time commitment, even if this is an online class. The course requires you to be on-line, sometimes only briefly, five days a week, but the days are somewhat flexible. There are a lot of quizzes, but you'll have a week in which to take each quiz. The course also requires participation in online discussions. But you'll never have to meet on campus or be online at a specific hour.
The course has a certain rhythm to it and you would do well to get accustomed to a certain routine which would go “Read--Write--Quiz--Posts--Comments” as below:
Friday-Sunday: Read the assigned chapters or pages. Start working on the posts/drafts.
Monday: Take the quiz on the reading by midnight.
Monday to Wednesday: Do the posts/draft for the week by midnight of Wednesday.
Thursday-Friday: Read others’ posts/drafts and comment on at least three by Friday midnight.
ENGLISH 101 COURSE OUTCOMES
Reading. We almost always write in response to something we've read, seen, heard about, and discussed with friends or argued with opponents. Good writers are good listeners and good thinkers. By the end of the quarter, you should be able to
Pose and investigate interpretive questions about written and visual texts
Use one writer's ideas to illuminate those of another
Discuss your ideas and consider alternate ways of thinking about an issue
Writing process. Every good writer follows an efficient writing process—a process that produces the best possible work in the available amount of time. No single process fits everyone, but all workable processes include some common elements. By the end of the quarter, you should be able to
Use a process for writing: plan, draft, seek feedback, rethink, revise, edit
Give useful feedback to other writers who are at your own stage of development
Describe and assess your own thinking and writing processes
Writing skills. Ultimately, your goal as a writer is to produce something that others will want to read—to say something interesting and useful, in language that is clear, using examples and evidence that makes your argument convincing. So the goal by the end of the quarter, is for you to be able to
Formulate a clear, focused, main point in response to reading and discussion questions and develop it through your essay
Explain your reasoning clearly
Support your ideas with accurate, relevant facts, examples, illustrations, and explanations
Identify the sources of the information fully and accurately
Adapt your vocabulary and tone of voice to your intended readers
Edit to make your sentences more active, clear and focused, and proofread them to correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling
Here's a list of the kinds of assignments you'll do.
Quizzes Quizzes are short—5 to 10 questions each. Questions will often be about the literal level of the reading. These will have answers that you can point to in the book. Others will require you to apply the information you've read about. All quizzes are open-book.
You may not take a quiz you missed or retake one you did badly on. However, 10 quizzes count for the grade, and 13 quizzes are made available. This means you may miss or do badly on three quizzes without harming your grade. If you take and pass more than 10 quizzes, the extra points can be counted as extra credit.
Discussion You'll post a short 300-word discussion piece in the discussion area each week. The posts are not formal essays. Their purpose is to allow you to share ideas about the texts under consideration (whether visual or written,) to hone your analytical skills and to stimulate ideas for your next essay. The purpose of the discussion is not to critique the writing, but to help you focus and expand your ideas.
Notice that there are 8 posts assigned for a grade, but 10 posts are made available. This means that you may miss or do badly on 2 posts without harming your grade. If you do all the posts and get credit on all of them, the extra points can be counted as extra credit.
You'll find a more detailed description of discussion papers and discussion participation in a separate handout. The weekly assignment instructions page gives you the topic choices for each discussion paper.
Drafts You will write four essay drafts in all. Each essay draft must be at least 900 words in length. The essays are sequenced; as you write each essay, you will find that your current essay will refer back to analytical skills acquired in writing the previous one/s. At the end of the quarter, you'll revise your essays one more time and expand them from 900 words to 1000 words for your portfolio. You'll find more details on the weekly assignment instructions page.
Textbook Review At the end of the course, you will answer questions about your reaction to the readings we have done in class, indicating whether you found them appealing, challenging, difficult etc. You will also suggest an additional reading that we did not use but found interesting. This component will be graded on a completed/not completed basis. If you answer all the questions, you get 1% on the course grade. Otherwise, you don’t.
Portfolio At the end of the course, you'll revise, expand, and polish 2 of your drafts, write a final reflection essay, and put all of them together into a virtual portfolio (an email attachment that has all these pieces in it.) You'll find more detailed instructions for the portfolio among the week 9 Assignment instructions.
The failure to submit a portfolio, or turning in a non-passing portfolio, will cause you to fail the course. If you do not submit a portfolio, or turn in a hastily put together, unrevised, unedited, non-passing portfolio, then even if you have an “A” grade based on all your other work done for the course, you will not pass the course.
When you see a reading assignment on the calendar, it means you must finish the reading by that day. If you see a quiz, it is on the reading assigned for that day. All assignments are due by midnight on the due date.
To pass the class, you must do all of the assigned work within a week of the due date. I won't accept essay drafts that are more than a week late. 20% will be taken off for lateness on drafts.
You may not do discussion posts or comments after the posting and commenting cycle for the week has closed. A discussion requires more than a single participant!
Here's the grade scale I'll use:
You must receive a C- or higher to move up to the next highest course (Engl 201, 270, or 271). You don't have to wait for the end of the course to register for next quarter; you'll automatically receive the higher placement in time to register. However, if you don’t make a C- or better at the end, your placement will be erased, and the computer will drop you automatically from your next highest English class.
There are two sources of extra credit: (1) the extra quiz points described in the section on quizzes. (2) the extra discussion post points described in the section on discussion posts. You will not receive any extra credit assignments other than these.
You are responsible for
I accept responsibility for
My on-line week runs from Sunday evening to Friday afternoon. I may not be on-line between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
I expect all participants in the class to treat each other with respect. Please read the BCC Student Procedures and Expectations available online on the Arts and Humanities Division web page. The address is given at the end of this section.
Your essays must present your own ideas in your own words. I won’t accept an essay you’ve downloaded from the Internet or copied from someone else, an essay you wrote for an earlier class, or an essay in which you present someone else’s words or ideas as your own (have not cited your sources.) This is called "plagiarism." If you plagiarize, I'll give you a zero for the assignment. If you plagiarize a second time, you'll fail the course. For a more details see http://bellevuecollege.edu/ArtsHum/policy.html.
GETTING IN TOUCH
I work from home, and hold online office hours. That means you communicate with me by email. If you have a dire situation that compels you to meet me in person on campus, please make an appointment with me and we can work something out. Please do not contact me using BCC email unless you cannot reach me through VISTA mail.
Note: When you are having login trouble, or your computer or the VISTA server is misbehaving, contact the folks in Distance Education (Phone: 425-564-2438 or 1-877-6412712 toll free).
If you have emergency medical information to share, or need special arrangements or course because of a disability, please let me know right away. If you're not already acquainted with our Disability Resource Center (DRC), I can refer you there, or you may contact the DRC directly by going to B132 or by calling (425) 564-2498 or TTY (425) 564-4110. Information is also available on their website at http://bellevuecollege.edu/drc/
Confused? Overwhelmed? If you're new to on-line courses and are feeling confused or overwhelmed, take heart; your first online course is bound to be a bit alarming. Don't be afraid to ask questions, express distress, or come see me to get help.
Welcome to English 101
I look forward to teaching you and learning from you