COM English 150 (1A) Online Information Page

Fall 2011

(Please note that the information on this page is current for the Fall 2011 term. Although most of the information
will remain the same for future terms, some changes and updates will likely be made for succeeding terms, such as textbook edition updates.)


English 150 is designed to prepare students in the methods and forms of communication used in business and professional environments, with special attention paid to the new demands of electronic communication skills. The course involves careful study and practice of expository and argumentative writing techniques and the frequent writing of compositions with the ultimate goal of a research project. English 1A is designed to prepare the student for satisfactory college writing.

<>Students enrolled in English 150 Online will be using, in addition to a standard textbook, modern multimedia tools including digital video mini-lectures, demonstrations, and interactive tutorials, in order to enhance learning in a distance environment.  Communication between the students and instructor will take place primarily via the course website using Moodle, a Virtual Learning Environment. Basically it’s a website that let’s you access course materials, helps with your studies and lets you submit assignments. Once you get a Moodle account you will be able to send messages to your friends and professors, start discussions in your course, vote for things, submit questionnaires and a whole lot more. Moodle works in a similar way to some of the big websites such as Facebook. You can upload your picture and fill in your user profile. If you add your e-mil and mobile number we can send you important messages via your preferred method of communication. Don’t worry, your private information is not available for anyone else to see! Assignments will be posted on the class website and students are required to complete work by submitting assignments to the website by posted deadlines, by participating in electronic discussions with the instructor and with classmates, and by completing online quizzes. No campus visits are required, but are encouraged via visits to the writing center or in office hours with the instructor.

English 150 is a demanding class. Students should be prepared to dedicate a minimum of 6 hours a week to the class. (Taking English 150 in the summer is even more demanding. Summer sessions offer accelerated courses. Students are expected to complete the course--a course which would normally take 17 weeks to finish during a regular semester--in about 6 weeks. This type of workload generally requires that summer students dedicate approximately 15 to 18 hours a week to their English class.)

The online English 150 class contains the same content as a face-to-face class, but students do need to make a few adjustments in order to be successful in an online environment. Online learning requires much more independence than traditional classroom learning. Students must learn to take control, to be very organized, and they will have to motivate themselves to meet all of the deadlines

Students, especially those who feel tentative about the online learning environment, are strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center (LC 120) on the Kentfield Campus.  In addition to providing students with a free, drop-in tutoring service, the Writing Center provides a hands-on environment in which to reinforce the concepts covered in the course; additionally, the Writing Center gives students an opportunity for regularly scheduled contact with a "live" English instructors.  Historically, students who visit the Writing Center perform much better in the course. If coming to campus poses a problem, students may also use the Online Writing Center for help.

For a more detailed description of course content and requirements, please click the Syllabus link at the bottom of this page.


  • Students officially enrolled in the course are required to sign into their MyCOM account for important class information after 6 pm on the first official day of the term. The MyCoM announcement will include information on how to access the online class. Students should also check their MyCOM mail for messages from the instructor. (Students are highly encouraged to use the forwarding tool in MyCOM so that they will also receive MyCOM messages in their regular e-mail accounts.)
  • Please Note: The English 150 Website will not be available until the first official day of classes, after 6 pm. If you access the site before the first day of classes, the materials will not yet be updated for the new term. Please wait until after 6 pm on the first day of classes to access the class site. If you attempt to access the site sooner, you may get a message indicating that the site is not available and the the instructor has denied you access to the site. This message will subsist after 6 pm on the first day of classes and you will have access then.
  • If you are officially enrolled and you have NOT received any announcements in MyCoM from the instructor after 6 pm on the first official day of the term, you should e-mail the instructor immediately at AND leave a voice mail message with your name, phone #, and section # by calling (415) 485-9611.
  • All enrolled students are required to login to their class website by Wednesday of the first week of classes to hold their spot in the class. If a registered student does not login to the class site, their spot may be given to a student on the waitlist.
  • Students will access class web site via MyCOM in order to make certain that they do not miss important campus and class announcements. For information about getting a MyCOM account, read the FAQ's on the MyCOM Portal login page.
  • Students should purchase their books before the first day of the semester. Please click on the syllabus link below for a list of the required textbooks for the class. Students may purchase their books online  by visiting CoM's online bookstore,  or students may buy the books at the COM campus. All students must purchase the editions listed in the syllabus, old editions of texts will not suffice. If purchasing your textbooks online, make certain the ISBN number matches the number listed in the syllabus to avoid getting the wrong edition. Rush shipping is also recommended.
  • If requested by the instructor, students who are already officially registered, may be required to send the instructor proof that the prerequisites have been fulfilled (as described below) by the first week of classes, or they may be dropped from the class.
  • If you are on the waitlist or if you are attempting to add the course, you are required to e-mail the instructor at as soon as possible for further instructions. Please include your full name, the title & section # of the class you wish to add, and your COM Student ID (if you have one) in your e-mail. Many students drop during the first week of classes, so if you are attempting to add the class, you should check your e-mail frequently during the first week of classes. If an opening becomes available, the instructor will send out an add code via e-mail. If you do not receive an e-mail from the instructor by Friday, during the first week of classes it means that no spots are available and you should try to find another class.  (Please refrain from sending multiple e-mail queries about registration/add/waitlist status. The instructor will contact you instead.)
  • All students who add the class will be required to send the instructor proof that the prerequisites have been fulfilled (as described below) by the second week of classes, or they may be dropped from the class.
  • You may also contact the English Department Secretary, Mina Nimvar, for more information on classes that are still open and adding students. She is located in HC 125 at ext 7348.
  • For more information on how to register and how to add online classes, consult the Admissions and Records webpage.
  • placement test scores from COM indicating placement in English 150; OR,
  • copies of transcripts showing that a student has taken English 120 (or the equivalent at another college) or English 150 (or the equivalent at another college).
  • If a student submits transcripts as proof, they must also submit a copy of a description of the course from the official course catalogue; OR,
  • send an e-mail to the instructor including a URL which leads to the official online catalogue and online course description. OR,
  • SAT scores (unofficial and/or scanned & e-mailed copies are acceptable) indicating a score of 600 or more on the verbal section for the SAT I; OR,
  • 680 or better on the College Board SAT-II Writing Test; OR
  • 3, 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in English; OR
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate High Level English A exam; OR
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A1 exam
(Students will be required to send the instructor proof of eligibility as described above if requested. Please keep in mind that instructors cannot "waive" course prerequisites. If students have not met prerequisites for a particular course, but believe they have grounds for challenging those prerequisites, they should contact the Challenge Office and Sue Scott in Counseling at x7431. Please note that this challenge process must occur well before the start of the semester.)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

last update: 8/05/2011