Welcome to Sociology 21, Human Sexuality,
Online at LAVC with Dr. Sally Raskoff!
This welcome letter gives you some basics about the course so that you know what you’re getting into! Please read it carefully and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. (My contact info is at the end of the letter.)
What you should know about the content of the class
I’ll assume you read the course description in the schedule or catalog. This is a course about human sexuality thus we will be dealing with a very interesting set of topics. This class does require its students to have some measure of maturity to succeed since we do talk about everything to do with sex. Don’t let this scare you, however, since we do so with a respectful and serious approach. We will be looking at sexuality from an interdisciplinary perspective, using a biological, psychological, and sociological lens to understand the complexities of sex and the human experience. We’ll “meet” Alfred Kinsey and Masters & Johnson; we’ll discuss sex and gender and transgender; we’ll get the mechanics of sex and the range of practices as well as problems and how to solve them.
What you should know about the structure of the class
- There are no on-campus meetings since this class is entirely on-line.
- The class will be available starting on the first day of the semester (no sooner) through the ETUDES-NG website. A link to the website and information on how to figure out your username and password can be found at: http://www.lavc.edu/distance.html .
- This class is designed for you to spend a certain amount of time in each module. There are six modules; each has a different set of topics and takes different amounts of time. You need to log at least three times every week, depending on how you organize your own work flow.. (Some of you may log in and stay for six hours; some may pop in for a half hour every day.) The modules, and their related discussions, assignments, and tests, open and close on particular days and times so be aware of the access (and non-access) issues. Each section within a module is important thus don’t skip any unless they are clearly marked as “Optional”. Make an effort to remember what you learn in each module since the content in the early modules are a foundation for the later modules.
- On-line classes have the same content as on-campus classes thus the time and effort required to succeed in both is identical. If you’ve heard that on0line classes are easy, you probably heard this from a person who is motivated, disciplined, and likes sitting at a computer to explore, read, and write. Consider taking the quiz at: http://www.lavc.edu/students.html if you are not sure if an online class is really for you.
- There are a lot of resources on the LAVC Virtual Valley website. (You can find it where you found this letter!) Look there for help getting online and set up.
- You need to have (and read) the textbook: Robert Crooks and Karla Baur. (2008) Our Sexuality, 10th edition. Wadsworth. ISBN-10:0495103268; ISBN-13:9780495103264. (8th or 9th edition are also fine.) [Purchase Options: LAVC Bookstore (on campus or online), Publisher website: ttp://academic.cengage.com/, Publisher related ebook/echapters/audio: www.ichapters.com.]
What you need to do right now:
- Make sure that you have easy and reliable internet access.
- Check to make sure that your computer system will work with the class site:
- Software needed (to read files): Word Processing (.doc; Word, etc), Portable Document Files (.pdf; Adobe Reader, Preview); Web Browser (.html; IE, Firefox); Video (.mov; QuickTime, etc)
- Correct cache settings
- For help: http://www.lavc.edu/Distance/etudes_login_tips.htm
- Have a back-up plan in case your computer decides to break. (Always back up your files—often!) Identify other computers you could use in case of problems, e.g., the computer labs on campus. Technical difficulties will not be an acceptable excuse for late or missed work.
- Have a working email address that you check regularly and make sure to enter that email address in your ETUDES profile.
What you need to do once the class opens:
- Make sure you start Module 1 and post your introduction as soon as possible. If your introduction isn’t posted by the end of the first week, I will drop you from the roster (and you will lose access to the site).
- Log on several times a week.
- Read all of the content materials (the “Modules” online and the textbook), participate actively in the discussions, and complete the assignments and tests.
- Ask questions whenever you have them: in the Chat Room, in the Discussions, in Private Messages, on the phone, in my office.
- Learn some new interesting, fun and useful things...
How to contact me
To find me in the course site:
- Send me a private message (in the Discussions area)
- Meet me in the chat room during my online “office/chat room hours” (to be announced).
To find me outside the course site:
- My campus phone number is 818-947-2937; it has voice mail and you can call anytime (although I won’t be there if you call at 1 am)
- My campus office is in Behavioral Science 111b
- My campus email is firstname.lastname@example.org although once things get going, I’d prefer to get your email in the course site (unless you’re having an issue that prevents you from communicating inside the course site).
I look forward to meeting you online during the first week of classes!
Dr. Sally Raskoff
Associate Professor of Sociology
Sociology and Ethnic Studies Department Chair
Los Angeles Valley College