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ENGLISH 151: Reading and Composition (1B)

Thank you for your interest in Online English 151! Before our adventure in online learning begins on June 16, 2014, I want to apprise you of a few details about your instructor and this course. The detailed information below is intended to be honest and helpful, but not to scare you. So here is what you need to know, and thanks in advance for the time you will take to read what follows.

Access Requirements

No mandatory campus visits are required to take this course. The course, however, is not a self-paced course but an online community of learners working through a 6-week accelerated summer session. It unfolds week-by-week with the whole class participating in weekly exercises and discussions together. If you are seeking an independent studies course, know in advance that this is not one. You do have to log on at least 4 different days a week to work in the course, but you can pick whichever days and times suit you. If you are unable to access the Internet on 4 different days of the week, then do not take this course. A new week of course content with assignments is released each Monday by 6pm for you to work on during the week.

Students should always access the class web site in Moodle via MyCOM. For information about getting a MyCOM account, read the FAQ's on the MyCOM Portal login page. #7 on the Portal login page explains how to get to Moodle.

First Day of Class Instructions

All enrolled students are required to login to the class Moodle website between 6 pm Monday, June 16 and 6 pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014 to hold their spot in the class. If a registered student does not login to the class site during this 24-hour period, his or her spot may be given to a student on the waitlist. (The waitlist is long and there is a shortage of class spots to meet the demand; so know that I will honor the waitlist if you do not confirm your spot and begin the course as required.)

Waitlist & Add Codes

There are only 28 spots in the course, so register as early as possible. (I will not go above this course cap for any reason, so please do not ask me to make an exception for you.) It is one of few online ENGL 1B courses being offered in the State of California during summer 2014. The competition for spots is very stiff. It is unlikely that you will secure a spot in the course, unless you register before the class begins. 

As of June 16th, you may email the instructor, Alisa Klinger, if you are on the waitlist or attempting to add the course. Do not email in advance of this date to indicate your desire to take the course, as the instructor will not be available to respond to your queries until the start of classes on June 16th. Please include your name, the section number of the class you wish to add, and your COM Student ID (if you have one) in your email.

I honor the official waitlist, adding students in the order they appear on the waitlist. No matter how desperately you want to take the course, there is no advantage to be had by emailing me in advance of June 16th. The only priority will be given to those on the official waitlist in the order that they have waitlisted.

Course Materials

You must have a text bundle with access code to take this course. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct bundle of the text by the first day of class. Plan your book purchases or rentals in advance of the start of the summer session, as you will not have time to wait for shipments once the course begins. 

Required: Steps to Writing Well with Additional Readings, 9th edition, by Jean Wyrick. Our course text is part of a bundle with special pricing arrangement from Cengage Learning. The text will be available to you as an eBook bundled with an access code for MindTap. Please DO NOT purchase this text from vendors other than the College of Marin Bookstore, even though they will seem to have the same book. The bundle available from COM has been customized with an access code exclusively for this course. Such a bundle with applicable code is not available to you from any other source. If you wish to purchase a print copy of the text, rather than the e-Book that comes in the bundle, that is your choice, though it is not necessary. The access code is a mandatory requirement so that you can participate in class activities and assessments. You can get our course bundle from the COM Bookstore in person or online:

Diana Hacker, A Writer's Reference for Online Learners, 7E, Seventh Edition, (Bedford/St. Martin's) ISBN 9780312551995 (Please use this one with the new MLA 2010 updates. Don’t spend your money on any other editions, as they are out-of-date and you will not be able to participate in buy-backs.)

What To Do When You First Access The Course Online

Be advised that Moodle works best with Firefox. Not all features function with Safari for Mac users. Moodle is not compatible with Google Chrome. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these 2 helpful Moodle FAQs for students and bookmark them for future reference:

Finally, there is an important note that you should read and heed at the top right of your Moodle home screen: "Closing this browser does not end your session. In order to end a session you must click on Logout (top right side of browser window). If you do not log out, your session will remain active. The next person to use this computer will have full access to your account." Make yourself a sticky note to remind yourself to log out!

I hope this email answers your preliminary questions. If you have others, please email me before May 23 or after June 16. (I will be offline and available from May 24 to June 15 inclusive.) I love my job and I love critical thinking. Know that I look forward to working with you in Online English 151, hoping to make you feel positive about your work and excited about critical thinking too. I look forward to our adventure in online learning!

Cheers, Alisa

Alisa Klinger, Ph.D.
English Department