Online Self Orientation
Welcome to my online class.. I welcome you. I look forward to working with you during the upcoming class, and I hope you're going to have as much fun with this online environment as I do.
For your convenience, I have created a web-based self-orientation to my online courses. I am not scheduling an on-campus group orientation; please send me an e-mail or see me during my office hour if you need additional assistance.
Also note that in addition to the information presented below you are required to review the syllabus for your specific cours(es). The syllabus is posted under d2l. Please read on to find out more details.
Course Website for Enrolled Students
Once you have officially enrolled with the college you will have a link to the Desire2Learn website for this course. We'll be using software called Desire2Learn. You just open your web browser to the web address for Los Rios Online: http://d2l.losrios.edu. You will log on to the website with the login and password. To check and see if your account is ready, open your web browser to the following address for Los Rios eLearning courses: http://d2l.losrios.edu
Please review all of the Orientation materials below BEFORE trying to log in. Remember the d2l course accounts are made available on the day the specific class starts. Please make sure you check the start date of your course before being alarmed if you do not see the course in d2l.
Online Classes – Be aware
There is a great mistaken tendency to think an on-line course is easy. BUT BE AWARE. Since there is no classroom environment, no lecture and demonstration and no immediate feedback students find that it is easy to put things off (procrastinate) until they are out of time. Please be aware that an online class is as challenging as an on-ground class since material is covered in the same depth and scope without any differences. Hence you as a student need to ensure that your work is not falling behind.
Additionally in an online class you will need to tackle problems with lost e-mail submissions, blocked files, and testing locks. Students must know how to use the Internet and E-mail on course start up (since your primary means of communication with the instrucror will be via e-mail). Once involved they must know how to manage their own computer hardware, software and settings.
You probably might be thinking that can a student actually succeed with all these problems? Yes you can! But you must understand that success in an on-line class has a lot to do with you. In the paragraphs below please find expectations and general guidelines to succeed in an online class.
Communicating with the Instructor
These courses are on-line, thus your primary contact with the instructor is via e-mail, although calls or voice mail, and visits (during office hours) are certainly welcome. You must establish an E-mail account, either on or off campus. I can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
I prefer e-mail as the primary means of contact. You are of course welcome to meet with me during my office hours or schedule an appointment with me. When sending e-mail to me, please be sure to include your name and course. Please do not assume that I will be able to recognize students based on their e-mail addresses. Additionally students may be enrolled in multiple online courses and I would not want to reply with incorrect information. If it is a question about a chapter please include the chapter you are referring to. If it is a question about a quiz please include the question as well. In other words, the more specific you are with your question/ comment, the less guesswork it will take me to respond to your question. Note: Please make sure you include your full name, course number and course title in all your communication with me.
It is the student’s responsibility to understand and abide by the add dates, drop, withdraw dates for the term in which you are enrolled.
Incompletes: No incomplete grades for on line courses will be given. Students should be able to plan their load and complete work in a timely manner.
Should you decide to either drop or withdraw, it is your responsibility to do so through e-services or admissions, in a timely manner to preclude an F on your transcript. Please note that I will assign a grade to ALL students whose name appears on the class roster at the end of the course. I do NOT assign W or IP unless there are extremenly extenuating circumstances and the student has contacted me prior to submission of final grades.
Again the student bears the sole responsibility for meeting withdrawal or drop deadlines.
The subject matter is treated with a scope and intensity, which requires a student to study conceptual material and learn and practice techniques for working with the software. Course completion times range from 36 – 72 hours of study, hands-on computer time, and examinations. Enrollment in the college assumes maturity, seriousness of purpose and self-discipline. Every student is expected to fulfill the requirements of all classes for which they are registered. Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodation should discuss options with me and with DSP&S office at CRC.
These skills will be called upon every time you face a problem with using the computer. Windows crashes. Files may be saved in the wrong location. The screen may not display properly. Printed hard copy will not be as desired. E-mail will kick your messages back. These and many other frustrations will daunt you. However, as your experience builds, so will your comfort level. You will become used to the term ‘workaround’ to get things done in an accurate and timely fashion.
NOTE: “COMPUTER/TECHNICAL” PROBLEMS are NOT accepted as valid excuses for missing an assignment/homework or quiz.
Please note that courses will have course-specific software requirements. Please check the course syllabus for more details. However don’t be in a hurry to run out and spend big bucks on software. While there are a number of sites that sell student software at deep discounts, the Foundation of California Community Colleges Consortium (FCCCC) has an agreement with Microsoft to sell their products through selected vendors at student prices.
Also note that all software required for any course is installed in the CRC computer lab.
Plagiarism Policy: Academic Integrity and Responsibility
Academic integrity and responsibility means your acting honestly, conscientiously, and most importantly, with honor in all of your academic endeavors.
The lack of academic integrity and responsibility takes the form of plagiarism. From the Latin word plagiarius meaning kidnapper, plagiarism is generally the taking of words, sentences, organization, and ideas from another source without acknowledging the source(s).
Academic honesty is highly valued within an Online class, just as it is at a regular on-ground campus classroom. A student must always submit work that represents his or her original words or ideas. If any words or ideas are used that do not represent the student's original words or ideas, the student must cite all relevant sources. The student must also make clear the extent to which sources are used. Words that require citation include, but are not limited to, all hardcopy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source. Within an Online class, all submissions to any public meetings or private mailbox fall within this scope of words and ideas that require citations if used by someone other than the original author. Academic dishonesty in an Online learning environment could involve:
- Having a tutor or friend complete a portion of your assignments/quizzes
- Having a reviewer make extensive revisions to an assignment
- Copying work submitted by another student to a public class meeting
- Using information from Online information services without proper citation.
It is inappropriate, and a violation of academic policy, to copy information from any source (including, but not limited to, textbooks, magazine articles, newspaper articles and Internet articles) without giving proper credit to the author by using standard quotation procedures such as in-line quotes, footnotes, endnotes, etc. Quotes may not exceed 25% of the assignment's total length.
Anyone found not citing sources (both in-text and in reference page) will receive zero points for the assignment the first time it occurs. If a student is found to not be citing sources (both in-text and in a reference page) on a 2nd assignment the student will once again receive zero points for the assignment and an official charge of academic dishonesty will be submitted to the Academic Affairs department with the recommendation that the student's final grade for the class be changed to an "F."
Once again you will receive no credit (0 points) for any assignment that copies any material from any other source without giving proper credit to the author(s). Repeat offenders of this policy are subject to academic discipline as outlined in the policies published by the college.
The syllabus for each course is posted under the respective course website on Desire2Learn. Please log in to Desire2Learn to review the syllabus (Remember that Desire2Learn course accounts will be made available on the first day of instruction for your specific class in the semester). You must review the syllabus in its entirety before beginning the rest of the class. The syllabus has important information about course work, deadlines, quizzes, homework, additional course policies and final exam among other things. Students are responsible for all material presented in the course syllabus.
The class syllabus has several different sections and you MUST read all sections of the syllabus to familiarize yourself with the course policies and procedures.
The class syllabus covers the textbook for this course, and I have also listed the ISBN number of that textbook so that you order it online or wherever else you'd like to acquire it. Beyond that it lists prerequisites. Make sure that you have the proper prerequisites covered for this course, and I will make sure that we're covered in that area. If you would like to get details of the required textbook ahead of time please vist the CRC bookstore online at http://bookstore.crc.losrios.edu/.
In addition to the viewing the prerequisites, you need to download some materials. Chances are you may have downloaded this page from the web site, if it is available to you. There may be PowerPoint presentations that I use for of my courses that are typically heavily web-link "infested", if you will, and guide you to all kinds of other information that goes beyond the book and beyond what I can share with you. So, depending on how much time and effort you put into this class, that's about how much time and effort and learning you'd expect to get out of it. My suggestion: follow some of those links, especially for terms that you may not be familiar with, that are in these PowerPoint presentations, and, of course, to do that you need to download the PowerPoint presentations to your hard drive first. If you do not have PowerPoint on your computer, you can download the PowerPoint Viewer which is available both from my web site as well as from http://www.microsoft.com/powerpoint. You can just search for the PowerPoint Viewer there and download the appropriate one for your operating system.
In addition to the course materials, there are, of course, several rules and guidelines that I'd like for you to follow. Listed in the syllabus are rules about plagiarism. I have mentioned that briefly before, but I'm going to reiterate it. Make sure you read that section, because if I do detect plagiarism you will not receive credit for the assignment, initially, and I will pass on your case to College officials if there is a repetition of it. So, you get a fair warning, and after that you are no longer talking with me. I hope I'm preaching to the choir, and I pretty well know I am, but there are always a couple of folks who just try to throw things together at the last minute, and they try to go to ways that they figure I'm not going to find out. I look at your writing style and look at the technical level of expertise that you're supposed to have at this level, and I find out pretty quickly whether or not that's your own writing. And what I've been known to do is type certain phrases that may just not be quite yours into search engines, and more often than not I find what I'm looking for. I really hate doing that. I hate finding something that's not supposed to be there. Part of an online class is academic honesty, and I will ensure that that's the case.
When you send any kind of communication to your fellow classmates, be sure that it's professional. We may disagree--I hope we'll disagree at some point in time; that is part of learning--but make your points professionally and make your points in a matter that is polite, yet again firm. It's difficult to measure sometimes how "firm" you can be over e-mail. Before you send of your e-mail or your posting to the Discussion Board, won't you read over it and ask yourself, if someone sent me a posting like that, what would I think? An in most cases, if you keep on your "professional" hat, there won't be a problem at all... and I really have not had too many problems. This is just F.Y.I., so you can see what's going on.
Beyond the information about interaction, there is information about your evaluation in the syllabus. I typically grade on a straight 90-80-70-60 scale, so if your points fall into that range, you'll get the grade that you've earned. At the end I just add up the points and I give you the grade that you've earned. So, I don't decide your grade; you do. What's really important as part of that process, by the way, is that the Desire2Learn grading system can sometimes miscalculate your score. I want you to double-check to be sure that you look at the number of points that you have, not necessarily at the percentage of what the folks in Desire2Learn provide to you. So be cautious that, when you check your grade, you look at the number of points that you have earned and then refer back to the class syllabus as to how that works. I have also listed the distribution of what assignments are worth, what exams are worth. Once again, your exams are worth half your grade.
Other things you'll find in your syllabus are find lab hours, if you do need to use the lab on campus--and for some of my online courses you may need to do that. I'll let you know if you're in that class, and you'll find out through the assignments pretty quickly. I'm also going to give you additional information about the general things that are just part of any syllabus, the kind of materials you need, etc. For example, you will need Scantron forms for your Final Exam, and those types of things. Read the syllabus; it's your first assignment.
Exams are worth half of your credit for the class. For a lot of online classes, there is only one comprehensive Final Exam; for other classes there may be several exams. As I said, I do check your ID, and if you go and take it at an alternate place as they become available, trust me that the folks there will check ID as well just to make sure that it is actually you taking the exam. We'll make sure that that's the case. My exams contain Multiple Choice and/or True/False questions, so they are pretty straightforward.
One of the first things that I want you to do once you get into Los Rios Online, if you haven't done so already, is to ensure that your e-mail address is current. I do need your current e-mail address for, if nothing else than, to be able to get a hold of you relatively quickly.
The Class Calendar in the syllabus is the system of record, if you will, for all assignments/quizzes/exams. You need to ensure that you get things in on time because as a rule no late assignments are accepted. Of course, if you have an emergency, let me know, and we'll see what we can do. You'd better have a good reason, though...
In case you did not notice above I don't accept late assignments. Neither does industry. Now, I know things happen; I know family things happen. And what I therefore recommend is that you let me know when something happens and get me verification. If you get into a car accident, things like that--I hope that doesn't happen to you, obviously, but just in case if you do--I want to be sure that you tell me and get me verification. A doctor's appointment... that is not an emergency. Sorry, folks! That's not going to work. You guys know these rules. You guys work. The same thing that would apply on your job--You'd better have a pretty good excuse about why something is late!--and the same thing applies in this class. And I just want to keep it that way so that I can treat everyone "equally unfairly", as my Master's Project chairperson said in graduate school.
If you go out of town and you cannot meet the calendar deadlines, you can always do the assignments early. If it's a sudden out-of-town assignment, I'll work with you, but the communication needs to come from you. My mind reading is really starting to go in my old age :-), so I'm hoping that you will start that communication. The more proactive you are, the more likely I'll be to work with you. That's just the way I work. Please refer to the course syllabus for additional details on assignments specific to your course.
What To Expect in an Online Class (Frequently Asked Questions)
Students who enroll in an online class for the first time often are unclear about what to expect from that online experience. Below, please find some questions and answers about Online Classes:
Question: Is an online class really easy?
Answer: No. As I mentioned above in fact an online class can at times be challenging since success in an online class depends entirely upon the student. Some may think it's even more demanding than a regular face-to-face class because you have to stay motivated and stay on top of your work for the class. The workload that you face in an online class usually is identical to that of an on-site class on the same topic. As in anything else punctuality, proactiveness, willingness to learn and attention to details are among some of the qualities essential to succeed.
Question: How much time do I have to spend online?
Answer: That is up to you. You should plan to spend at least the same amount of time you would spend on a face-to-face class. That is, for a one unit class -- you'll spend a minimum of one hour a week looking at some of the class resources, checking on assignments, contributing to discussions, and posting homework, and probably another 2 hours on reading, practice activities and homework.
Question: Do I have to log on to class at a particular time?
Answer: No. This is one of the adavantages of an online class. You do NOT need to log in at any particular day/time. Note however that you will have day/time-specific deadlines by which finish your work, but when you complete that work (2 am or 11:30 pm or any other time) is up to you as long as it is done by the deadline. You will need to refer to the course syllabus for details on weekly assignments/quizzes etc.
Question: Do I have to log on to class at a particular time?
Answer: You should try to do the reading and practice exercises during the week and begin your homework/quiz before the last day that it is due. That way if you have a problem you have time to contact the instructor or use the discussion bulletin board to try to get assistance from other students in the class. If you leave it to the last minute and then run into trouble, you'll end up submitting your homework late and losing half of the possible points.
Question: How is class held in an online environment?
Answer: In an online class we don't really "meet" in a physical face to face sense. Instead, we'll interact regularly through the Internet. We'll be using software called Desire2Learn. You just open your web browser to the web address for Los Rios Online: http://d2l.losrios.edu You will log on to the website with the login and password. See the Resources and Instructions for Using Los Rios Online. We'll communicate with each other using web-based bulletin boards and e-mail. If this is your first online class it can take some time to get used to "studying" without being physically in a classroom.
Question: Do I have to have a computer to enroll in an online class?
Answer: While having easy access to a computer remains an essential part of success in an online class, you do not have to own a computer. Students can access computers on the CRC campus in several locations (the Learning Resource Center, and the Business Computer lab, for example) or at other district colleges. Several students complete online classes from work (having arranged this beforehand with their employer, of course). If you do wish to work from home or work, you need to remember that you must have software appropriate for the class on the computer you are using.
Question: What Internet skills would be helpful in an online class?
Answer: The most successful students have had the following Internet skills:
- Familiarity with their web browser and an email program.
- Know how to make and organize bookmarks in your browser software.
- Some familiarity with web-based interactions--bulletin boards, newsgroups, listservs, email, and newsgroups will also be useful.
- Some familiarity with word processing.
- Experience in successful Internet searches using a variety of search engines.
WHAT TO DO NEXT:
Now that you have read through the online self-orientation I hope you have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to succeed in an an online class.
As a next step please log-in to each of your class(es) on Desire2Learn http://d2l.losrios.edu
Note: The Desire2Learn course accounts will be made available on the first day of instruction for your specific class in the semester. So if you are unable to access your class in Desire2Learn please check the course schedule to ensure the course start date has passed. If you are unable to access the Desire2Learn course site after the start of class please send the instructor a note with your name student ID and course name, number. Pay special attention to alternate start dates as per the course schedule before you panic :-).
The syllabus is listed under the “Course Information” Tab. Read through the syllabus and make sure you understand all aspects of it. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Pay special attention to due dates for all quizzes, assignments, exams. Make sure you understand the policy on missing assignments, quizzes, exams.
FIRST ASSIGNMENT: As your first assignment you will need to post a note to the discussion board on Desire2Learn indicating that you have read and understood the entire syllabus. Remember the course accounts will be made available the first day of class.
YOU HAVE ONE WEEK FROM THE START OF CLASSES IN THE SEMESTER TO POST THIS NOTE.