This information is related to my undergraduate courses. I suggest you review it carefully before your course begins. Policies related to my graduate courses are either included in, or linked from, course specific syllabi.
You will have reading deliverables for each class meeting … they must be completed before you arrive for class. If you are not prepared for class it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to engage effectively in our class. If you consistently do not engage effectively in class discussions it will have a negative impact on your performance and, therefore, my assessment of your performance. Your success in our course will require you to actively participate in the discussions that we conduct in person and in the cloud. The difference between engagement in a F2F and an online course is really about the platform.
Writing on a Digital Platform
Many of you may be unfamiliar with writing in a digital platform. Since this may be the first time that many of you are working in a digital platform I suggest that you review Professor Gerald Lucas’ essay, Writing Top Ten, as a starting point. If you are unfamiliar with the appropriate way to source your digital writing, and most of you will be, please review his discussion of Digital Citation for additional guidance on citation when using a digital platform. Since the correct use of hyperlinks will be important to your success in our course discussions I recommend that you consider his advice on using links in your digital writing.
When you use digital platforms to support your submissions you must incorporate multimedia (audio, video and images) in all of your writing deliverables.” It is important for you to transition from thinking in terms of text on paper to a text+ environment. As Bo Ren suggests in his essay Why I Believe in Text,
“The future of text is going to be text+ (text + multimedia e.g. photos, videos, gifs, podcasts etc). … readers and users want text+ for a faster, more immersive, gratifying consumption experience. Multimedia stories are the future of text.“
In the event that you are unsure about working in Slack, I suggest that you visit the Using Slack – Slack Help Center pages but particularly the resources related to Composing a post and Formatting for posts.
Writing and Research
Many of your course deliverables will involve research and writing. Those assignments will also require that you meet both content and form requirements. I describe the requirements of each deliverable in terms of minimums to provide you with the opportunity to exceed those minimums. They generally involve the use of digital platforms to deliver the content you have developed.
The content requirements are straightforward. You must provide a thoughtful, substantive and well-reasoned submission that draws upon the course readings and materials and that details your perspective and analysis of the implications of the issues raised in the question(s) posed. It is also important that you address the ethics issues raised by the assignment. You must also include sources sufficient to support all aspects of your submission.
The content requirements represent a significant expectation of performance. I may set a minimum requirement for the number of sources used in your submissions. I expect that your sources will be sufficient, both in quality and number, to support the breadth of analysis that I have described above.
The form requirements are equally straightforward. These form requirements are generally described in terms of a minimum word count and the use of live, in-text hyperlinks in lieu of footnotes/endnotes (please see Writing on a Digital Platform above). When you use digital platforms to support your submissions you must incorporate multimedia (audio, video and images) in all of your writing deliverables.
My assessment of your submission will be based upon the extent to which you meet the minimum requirements as to content and form required by that particular deliverable. You can improve your prospects for a strong outcome by exceeding the minimum requirements of the deliverable, i.e., expanding the scope of your content and analysis, including addressing potential ethics issues, of the question posed, broadening the scope of the sources used to support that content and analysis, and meeting the form requirements outlined above.
It is important to remember, though, that if you simply meet the minimum requirements the result will be an average grade.
Writing deliverables will be completed using a digital platform unless otherwise specified. Do not post a Word document or Google doc unless the deliverable specifically requires it. Please see your course syllabus for the specific assignment requirements.
When taking a quiz or exam, please be certain that your broadband connection is reliable and stable. My students in past semesters have occasionally experienced connectivity issues.
In the past, this type of connectivity problem arises as a result of an interruption in your connection (a hiccup in your broadband connection) to Blackboard or where the test has opened in a new tab or window. When that happens your connection times out in the first tab/window while you are working in the second. That has the same effect as the first possible cause … your connection to Bb is interrupted. Your quiz/exam stays active in the second tab/window but stops recording questions because the connection was interrupted due to the timeout in the first tab/window. Your best option is to be sure that your browser opens the quiz/exam in the same tab/window where you originally logged into Blackboard.
Most frequently connectivity issues arise when using Wi-FI particularly when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. It is best if you avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots when taking a quiz/exam. Be certain that your Wi-Fi connection is strong and stable. I suggest, if possible, that you connect your computer directly to your Internet source (router) via an Ethernet cable. This should assure that you have a stable connection while completing the course assignments.
If your connection is interrupted, I suggest that you exit Bb, login again, try to reenter the same quiz/exam attempt and finish the quiz/exam.