ENGL& 101 - English Composition 1
Spring Quarter 2012
Instructor: Carrie Tomberlin
(emergencies only- otherwise write me through our course e-mail!)
This English 101 course is taught completely online; you are not required to attend classroom sessions on
campus. However, this is not a correspondence course, completed on your own timetable in isolation.
There are speciﬁc deadlines, and you will be communicating with your instructor and classmates
How To Succeed In This Course:
If you signed up for this course thinking that it would have less work than a course in the classroom, you were mistaken. Any online course has more writing work than a class on campus as all of our communication must be written.
Please be advised that the workload may be very difﬁcult for you if work
and/or family demands do not allow you a minimum of two to three uninterrupted hours every weekday to work on the assignments for this class. I have tried to focus and space assignments to facilitate as many learning styles as possible, but extra time may be needed, especially around paper writing/editing time.
Because of the special method of course delivery, several requirements must be considered.
First, and probably most important, the student enrolled in this course MUST have a computer and some attendant software and services, including a word processor (Ofﬁce 95/Word 7.0 or better minimum), an Internet Service Provider, and a browser (Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer).
Perhaps more importantly the student must be familiar with the use of the above-mentioned items. Whatever web browser you use, be sure to upgrade to the newest version. If you are not using Microsoft Word to write your papers, then make sure that your software allows saving documents in Word format (.doc) as this is the only form I can access. If you are using the newest version of Microsoft Word be sure to save your ﬁles as .doc rather than the default .docx.
Be aware that I do not teach computer skills; I teach English. I will help if I can, but I am no expert in computer systems. Always keep me informed if you have problems with the technology, and I will try to ﬁnd help for you. However, I expect that you bring some expertise with you to help in solving any problems that arise.
Ultimately, your computer and Internet services are your responsibility. If you are signed up for the online section and you have computer problems, you may use the computer labs on the BC campus if you have an emergency. Additionally, please read and print the following linked page to help you if we run into technology problems with VISTA: Server Problems.
You will occasionally be required to access audio or video ﬁles. These ﬁles will be in a format accessible to most computers with typical software and will be usable even if you have a slow internet connection. However, you may ﬁnd it easier to access these ﬁles from a faster system. Of course, if you are near campus, you can always use the computer lab in the N building—it even comes equipped with staff to help you out. An alternative would be your local library. Almost every public library has computers with fast internet connection for your use. Some will even loan out a laptop for you to use while in the library. Remember these options any time you experience hardware, software, or server problems.
As you know, every teacher has expectations. These are mine.
I expect that you signed up for this course because you want to learn to read, think, and write critically. We call that formal academic writing. Therefore, I expect that you will complete the work I have created to teach you these skills.
I expect that you will try, to the best of your ability, to master the skills taught in this class. I will point out what needs work, and have provided you with many useful tools, including links and a text (Marius), but you need to utilize them. If you struggled with passing English 092, then you need to take extra initiative to improve your skills. I will suggest links as well as encourage you to utilize the Writing Lab's virtual tutor or go to the Writing Lab on campus for help with grammar problems. All papers with major grammatical errors lose points in this class, so it is in your best interest to utilize the resources you are given.
I expect that you will participate in all class activities, including peer reviews, seminars, and essay discussions. You must complete every assignment in a timely manner to pass this course.
I expect that you will take care to back up your papers assignments on more than one disk
and/or store them on your hard drive AND a disk or other portable media. It is your responsibility to keep track of this material. If some computer catastrophe should occur, you will still be responsible for producing the work by the due date in order to get a grade. Be careful--save and back your work up regularly!
I expect that you will show respect to everyone by responding to e-mail and discussion postings in a way that is not judgmental, degrading, or derogatory. Even though we may disagree with the interpretations of others, please use some self-restraint and compassion in dealing with these issues. Logical and questioning responses are encouraged. Choose your words and the tone of your message with utmost care. I also expect tolerance for others' abilities and learning styles. Please notify me immediately if you feel another student has not extended these courtesies to you.
I expect each ﬁnal draft will be submitted to the appropriate locations and in the manner speciﬁed on the assignments page by the date shown on the speciﬁc assignment page and the class calendar. Papers submitted after that date will one letter grade for each day that it is late (including weekends). I will not accept papers more than 4 days late. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your work to avoid losing points for late work.
I expect honesty. I expect that you will neither do work for others nor use work done by others. Cheating and/or plagiarizing will not be tolerated. Plagiarizing is cheating, as is copying answers on a test, glancing at nearby test papers, swapping papers, buying papers, using ideas from other sources without proper documentation, writing papers for others, or having them written for you. BC utilizes a plagiarism detection software, and I use it for random spot checks. Plus, if I even remotely suspect your paper is plagiarized, I will submit it to this site. If you cheat or plagiarize, the following actions will be taken:
Personal conferences on your paper can be held via an e-mail
conference. If you are interested in doing this,
please e-mail me through the Blackboard e-mail to arrange a time to "meet."
"Netiquette" (Courtesy Expectations)
As a preventative measure, please review the following. Most
students have excellent "netiquette," but online has the ability to
make us forget real humans are attached to the other end of the computer. I
expect you to be courteous to each other and to me. This includes:
Online Is Still Live On the Other End
My goal is to create the best learning environment possible.
I can only do this with your help, so please help me to make this class good
(percentages of total course grade)
Effort, Attitude, and Participation 5% *
Discussions (10 points per week averaged together) 25%
Peer Reviews see below **
Essays 70 % ***
* The Effort, Attitude, and Participation grade reflects the following: Do you log in daily M - F? Are you respectful and clear in your communication with your peers and instructor? Do you read the posts of others on the discussion threads and are your replies thoughtful? Is it evident in both your work and communication with others that you have carefully read the syllabus, course calendar, all of the assigned readings, and assignment details carefully? Have you utilized the supporting materials under the Resources tab?
** You will have Peer Reviews for every essay. These reviews will count for half of your letter grade on these essays. which constitute the bulk of your grade.
If you fail to do a peer review, your grade will start at a C before I even read the paper- not good!
*** Note that your final essay, Essay #4 counts double. I average all essay grades together for this portion of your grade at the end of the class
The My Grades link will take you to the gradebook for this class. This area will contain all of the grades for your work when I have completed the grading. To ﬁgure out your grade at any time, simply divide the total points you have earned by the total points you have submitted to that point. I use standard percentage markings, using the mean for each:
94-100% = A
90-93% = A-
87-89% = B+
84-86% = B,
80-83% = B-
77-79% = C+
74-76% = C
70-73% = C-
65-69% = D+,
55-65% = D
51-54 = D-
Below 51% = F
Please note that A and A- are reserved for excellent writing, B+, B, and B- for good writing, C+, C, and C- for competent writing, D+ and D, and D - for unsatisfactory writing, and F as failing.
You must complete all assignments to receive a passing grade in this course.
The instructor reserves the right to adjust assignments or points as needed throughout the quarter. Students will be notiﬁed when this happens
Required Reading: There will be a tremendous amount of reading in this course. The average amount is 20 pages per day. I strongly suggest that you read these pages as early in the week as possible. Your best plan is to read them the weekend before so that you will be ready to participate in the Discussions. There is no point value for reading (I can’t exactly look over your shoulder while you do it) but every other weekly assignment is based upon the reading. DO THE READING.
Discussion: All discussion threads open on Monday at 12:30 am and close the following Monday at midnight. Please note that your first post is due at least 24 hours prior to that deadline (earlier is preferable). Late posts will not receive credit. You are expected to participate thoughtfully to all threads each week. In addition to your own original post responding to the course material, you need to reply to at least one post by a peer for each thread in a separate post (total of two posts minimum). More posts are highly encouraged.
Posts should be several lines in length, but keep in mind that I grade on the quality rather than the quantity written. You will be graded based upon the depth and quality of your participation, not simply number of times you post. Your posts must be relevant, thoughtful, and respectful, and you are welcome to attach images, links, quotes, or any other material that you feel will deepen the discussion. A simple "I agree/disagree" is not sufﬁcient.
As we don't see each other in person, posts are a very important part of your learning, deepening your understanding of the readings, deepening your critical thinking skills, exposing you to new perspectives, giving you fodder for your essays, and strengthening your reading and writing skills. Ideally, it is best to post early in the week to enhance the quality of discussion. If we all wait until the last minute to write our posts, the discussion is useless in helping you to understand the course material. I do my best to participate in the discussion, however, I cannot possibly respond to every comment or answer.
Discussion thread grading:
- If you fail to put your first post on the thread less than 24 hours prior to the close of the thread you will lose 4 points (out of 10) for your grade on the thread.
- If you fail to reply to the post of a peer you will lose 4 points (out of 10) on your discussion thread grade.
- You can see how this adds up quickly, so please make sure that you are following discussion thread guidelines guidelines.
- Please read the Discussion Tips and Best Posts of Week 1 thread. I have included the grading criteria along with strong posts from previous courses to make certain you understand what I expect in your discussion posts. Additionally, at the conclusion of our first thread, I will add the strongest posts from our class.
Keep in mind however that though you may have a strong post, you may not receive full credit for late posting and/or failure to reply to the post of a peer.
Essays: You will write four essays, 3 - 5 pages in length (you may exceed this length if you feel inspired) during the course of this quarter. All essays will have a peer review.
You will post an original, self-revised draft of each paper to the discussion area in the appropriate peer review forum by the date on the calendar. This draft MUST be attached to a message in the correct forum. If you expect to get help on your papers, you must post them early. Papers posted late in the review process may be overlooked by other students as the deadline nears.
While you wait for comments on your paper, you will give peer comments on two other group members' papers which have been posted. I will give you a grade on your peer comments for Formal Paper 1 only so that you know how to do this important work. I will also post the strongest peer reviews for our first essay, so you have examples of strong work for future reviews. Before the first review, please review what is expected of you. The guidelines for this process can be found on each assignment under the link, "How to Peer Review."
After giving comments, collect the comments on your paper. Then, revise and edit your paper before submitting it to me through the assignment tool by the date and time listed on the calendar, using the editing tools provided under Course Info.
Directions for submitting your ﬁnal draft to me are posted in the Course Info. Once the paper crosses my virtual "desk," its grade is permanent.
You can ﬁnd sample essays for each assignment (under the Assignment tool), along with essays from Seeing & Writing 4 that will be useful. Please take the time to look these over.
All essay assignments must be double spaced with a 12-point font that is easy to read (Arial, Times, Helvetica are always safe choices), and no extra space between paragraphs. As specified on the assignment details, all essays should be saved in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pages. If I cannot open your essay, it will be an automatic F, so please avoid this.
We will be learning to follow the rules of MLA formatting so you will need to make sure that your third essay follows MLA guidelines. Written assignments must be submitted by midnight on the due date.
Peer Review: Much of what you will learn in this course will come from participating in a peer review of others' papers. Do not fail to participate in this area of the course. See the Assignments area/Peer Tools & Instructions link located under Course Content for how to complete this critical work. In general, to participate successfully in peer review, you will complete these tasks:
(1) You will analyze two other students' papers using the Peer Review guidelines. You MUST follow the Peer Review guidelines completely that I have provided in order to earn full credit for comments on student papers.
(2) THOROUGHLY evaluate the content, organization, and editing with at least one full typed page of review pasted into a new message on the Peer Review Discussion Thread. After you have analyzed and evaluated each student paper,copy-and-paste your evaluation of each paper as a REPLY to the paper you reviewed in the peer review forum NOT as an attachment. Please be certain to put your review in the body of a new message to receive full credit. This speeds up the feedback loop tremendously, as your peers will not be hindered by faulty attachments and will be able to read and respond to your comments more quickly.
In addition, you may want to go through the draft and make comments on the draft itself
(highlighting, different colored text, or the comment tool in Word) and attach this edited version with your comments in the body of the post. This is highly advisable. However, please be certain that the review itself is in the body of the message to receive full credit.
(3) Peer Reviews must be submitted on time. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you will NOT receive points, and your peer review constitutes half of your essay grade on each of your essays.
Keep the Golden Rule in mind as you peer review. What would you like others to do for you? If you are a thoughtful reviewer, you can expect the same in return. If you fail to review the work of others, don't expect any help in return.
How Do We Communicate With Each Other?
In the toolbar at the top of each page, you will ﬁnd links to class announcements, your mailbox, your gradebook, and the class discussion area.
Announcements will be posted for you as needed throughout the quarter. Please read these
announcements carefully so that you will know of any important changes or issues in the class.
A mailbox has been provided for private e-mail communication between you and I or you and other classmates. Please use this rather than my BC email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for everything but the most dire of emergencies. Since I get between 40 and 50 e-mail messages every day at my various work addresses, I will appreciate "URGENT" notices in the subject line, but only if you have a real emergency.
I do my best to respond in a timely manner to all messages, whether or not they are
urgent. Please do not use e-mail to submit your work. All assignments should be submitted through the assignment tool.
The My Grades link will take you to the grade book for this class. This area will contain all of the grades for your work WHEN I have completed the grading. You can also make sure that you have submitted yourpapers by checking the Assignment Tool. Click on the submitted tab to be certain that your paper was in fact submitted. When I have finished grading, you will receive a grade and an audio file containing detailed comments under the graded tab. A green star next on the Assignment tool indicates that your grade has been posted.
The Discussion area provides a place for discussions of course materials. The discussion area has several topics (areas) each of which has a speciﬁc purpose.
The Student Union - This area is for student-to-student discussion. For example, you may post
announcements here if you wish to petition your classmates to join you in a face-to-face discussion group or a chat room discussion. However, be aware that I do not read this forum regularly; therefore, do not post questions for me here.
Questions for Instructor - Post questions for me in this area if you think that others in the class may beneﬁt from knowing the answer to your question. I will check this area at least twice per weekday. However, if your question is of a very personal nature, please use my VISTA/Blackboard mailbox.
Weekly Discussion - These topic areas will house your discussions about our readings. Each forum is listed with the weekly topic. Please follow the dates on the class calendar for posting questions and for commenting. I have allowed time for you to do this work; don't fail to do it before the deadlines posted on the class calendar.
Peer Review – You will be split into Peer Review Groups, and I will post these a week prior to the start of peer review. Here is where you will post your rough drafts and evaluations for peer review.
Writing Lab: http://bellevuecollege.edu/asc/writing/ Room D204 (425) 564-2200
Please visit the Writing Lab outside of class. The lab offers tutoring and help (both personal and computerized) on grammar and basic skills. Make an appointment ahead of time (walk-ins will have to wait). When you go, take your assignment with you so the tutor knows the assignment expectations.
Special Needs: Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with the Director of The Disability Resource Center to establish their eligibility for accommodation. In addition, students are encouraged to review their accommodation requirements with each instructor during the first week of the quarter.
Main Campus, B132
Whew! This is a lot of information, but I try my best to make you aware of what to expect. Please refer to this document regularly before e-mailing me or posting to the Questions for the Instructor thread. I spent many hours writing this document to give you all the information you would need to succeed in this course.
Welcome and I look forward to a great quarter!