Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Homework Questions Grading and Assignments Technical Questions

Homework Questions

Grading & Assignments

Technical Questions

Homework Answers

Will I be required to be online at a certain time?
Students should plan on accessing the online class site and checking e-mail at least three times a week. Students may be assigned to groups and the individual group members will be responsible for planning online meetings, talking on the phone or using the discussion board and/or e-mail to communicate. If a chat session is planned, I will announce several dates and times to meet in the chat room so that everyone will have a chance to attend a chat session.

How do I earn points for participation?
Participation points may be earned for discussion board messages, for chat sessions, for group projects and for e-mail assignments. Discussion postings, e-mail, and chat points will be evaluated on  the quality of the response, rather than on the number or length of the communication.

How do I access the class assignments?
I will post the assignments online and provide links in the class website.

How do I take tests for the class?
You will be required to take online quizzes and you are expected to write essays and submit them to me via the class website.

When an assignment is due on a specified day, is there a certain time in which I should send the assignment?
Assignments are usually due by midnight on the dues dates specified in the class syllabus. As long as you respond by the posted deadline, your assignment will be on time.

I noticed that there were several journal exercises throughout the textbook. Am I required to do these exercises?  Also, there are discussion questions listed after each reading.  Am I required to answer these questions?
Journal writing is designed to help a writer get ideas from the head to the paper. The more practice you get with journal writing, the more comfortable you will become with the process of writing. So, I suggest that you journal as often as possible. Use the textbook suggestions to give you ideas to write about. Many students keep daily dream journals, daily learning journals (where they record what they learned from each class they are taking)  or personal journals throughout the semester. I will not collect these personal journal assignments, but I will collect the reading journals. 

Journaling is usually a private activity, an activity where the author should feel as if he/she can write anything. I can only suggest that you do as many as you can. Setting aside ten minutes a day for journaling should suffice. The important thing to remember is that journaling should not involve a writer's “critical eye.” In other words, a writer must leave the proofreader, the cynic, the judge in another room. Journaling should be a free, expressive activity. Usually when writers are focused on grammar, spelling, and other sentence structure concerns, they are stifled and cannot transfer their ideas to paper effectively. So set those concerns aside and begin writing freely in your journal!

Reading the essays included in each chapter is an important part of the course and the more reading you do will ultimately strengthen your writing. Students are expected to complete all of the reading in the assigned chapters and to use the questions listed at the end of the readings to aid in understanding the reading material. Students should review the questions before reading and after  reading to improve their comprehension and retention of the material presented. Several online discussions will refer to the reading in each  chapter. I usually collect reading journals at some point in the semester. The more responses you have, the more participation points you will earn! Additionally, keeping a reading journal (summaries and comments on class reading material) will encourage you to read actively and will strengthen your comprehension, retention of information and critical thinking skills.

I don't have my books yet, what do I do?
I've put all of the books on reserve in the library. Simply go to the reserve desk and ask to check them out. You may have the text  for one hour and it must remain in the library, but if no one else needs it you may check it out for another hour.  

Will we be using the chat rooms in the course?
We will be using the chat feature throughout the semester. Chats are not mandatory. I will set up times to meet in the chat rooms. Students are also encourages to use the chat rooms together whenever possible. The chats are helpful in getting ideas for paper topics, and for giving each other support throughout the semester.

Grading & Assignments Answers

How long does it take for the instructor to respond to student assignments?
I do not update grades immediately after you send an assignment. I usually wait until all of the students have sent their work, and then I begin the grading process. So, the grades will not be posted until about 10 days after an assignment is due. I take your writing seriously and I spend about 20 minutes or more commenting on each student's draft. This process takes time, so I ask that you be patient. Just because this is an online course does not mean that the grading is automated. I must respond to each student's writing and I must enter each grade manually. Writing individual comments to students takes up much of my time. Your patience is appreciated.

How can I check to see if my assignment has been received?
After 10 days you should see a grade for your paper in the Grade area of the class site. Students should refrain from e-mailing me to inquire whether I have received an assignment. I reserve e-mail correspondence for one-on-one instruction rather than for administrative tasks.

Technical Answers

How do you copy and paste text from a chat session into a word processing program or from a word processing program to an e-mail or into  into a discussion board posting?

    1. select the content (Ctrl A);
    2. copy the content (Ctrl C);
    3. log on to your class,
    4. open the Bulletin Board,
    5. open a new message window;
    6. click your cursor into the message box;
    7. paste the text into the message window (Ctrl V).

How do I use the discussion board?

Students may find answers to their questions about how to use the class website tools by clicking on the help link in the website while using the tool in question.


Last Update: 05/07/11