Welcome to English 28 Online!
Hello! Thank you for considering this English 028 class (Sections 7014, 7015, 7031, 7032) that I have designed for us to work together on improving your reading and writing skills. To help you decide if this class is right for you, I have prepared this letter listing pointers about the class. The following is information to help you succeed in this class. Please read it carefully and feel free to email me (Marion Heyn: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
What you should know about the content of the class:
English 28 is a reading- and writing-intensive class that teaches you how to craft thesis-driven, research-based college-level essays. English 28 is the prerequisite course to English 101, and placement into either of them is by successful completion of the prerequisite course or placement via the English Placement Test. If you are not sure which course is correct for you or have not yet taken the English Placement Test, please see the Counseling Department.
English 28 students in this class will read about 30 short essays and a full-length book about Central Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan). Discussion of the assigned readings are required and graded. Group work—all arranged fully online—will be required for the coursework. By the end of the term, you will have written approximately 10,000 words in the form of essays, discussions and reading journals.
Students will be completing the same course work as the regular classroom course; that means that you should expect to spend between 9 to 12 hours per week on this one course. Please note that is 9 to 12 hours every week. It is not a typo, nor an exaggeration!
What you should know about the structure of the class:
- The class is entirely online—there are no required on-campus meetings. All work is done in Etudes, the campus learning management system.
- This is NOT a self-paced class.
- You have a great deal of flexibility in doing the course work, but regular participation and weekly submission of work is essential to success.
- You will be required to download and upload word processing files. If you do not know how to do that, please take the time to learn during the summer, BEFORE class starts. English 028 assumes that you know how to do those tasks.
- This class will require you to work in teams with other classmates, but that will all be done online. You will need to log on several times during the week, preferably daily, to complete the team project.
- This class proceeds at the same pace as the in-person sections. You will need to log on several times every week—weekends only will NOT do! L Content and assignments will open and close on specified dates—you can’t do it all the last week. In addition, the class content is constantly building on previous knowledge. It is very important to keep up and make sure you understand all of the current material before we move on. We move on together, as a class.
- An online class is not any easier, nor does it take any less time than the in-person version. You need to have enough time and be self-motivated and self-disciplined to succeed. If you are not sure if an online class is really for you, take the quizzes at:
- Due to the nature of the online environment, there will be a lot more reading and writing involved in this class than in a traditional class. That’s why I love teaching online! J I hope that you enjoy learning that way!
- The class will be available starting August 31st (no sooner) through the Etudes website. A link to the website and information on how to figure out your username and password (It’s really easy! J) can be found at: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/loggingonline.htm
- The following books will be used for the class. Please purchase them as soon as you are enrolled. They are available at the LAVC Bookstore, and Amazon.com; other bookstores may also carry them. All required books are on reserve in the LAVC Library, so not having the money to buy them is not an excuse from missing work.
English 28 Textbooks
Required—Everyone will need this one:
Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition, 9th ed.*
by Alfred Rosa, Paul Eschholz
- Please note the edition number—it must be the 9th edition—the others do not have the same essays in them!
- We will start with Models for Writers. Buy it if you can buy only one book right now.
Required—Choose only ONE of these three books:
Wait until the class starts and we discuss this; we won’t be using these until October
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time by G. Mortenson & D.O. Relin
- The Bookseller of Kabul
by Asne Seierstad
- The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan
by Christina Lamb
- Highly recommended:
English Simplified, 12th ed. (earlier editions will be OK, but my references in class materials will be to the 12th; in earlier editions page numbers will not match.)
by Blanche Ellsworth and John A. Higgins
- This book will serve you through all of your college classes, so it is a good investment. Note that I highly recommend it, but books are expensive, so I do not require it. Everyone is required to buy only two books for the class. s
Computer Software Requirements
- Students enrolled in the course must have the word processing application Microsoft Word or a fully-equivalent and compatible alternative. WordPad and Works are NOT acceptable. Students who do not have Microsoft Word (part of MS Office) can purchase it for under $100 (regularly $500+) as part of the College Buys program at http://www.journeyed.com/fccc/.
- Students who cannot afford that can download a copy of Open Office, which should work well; the download takes a long time, so do it before terms starts-- http://www.openoffice.org/index.html
- New versions of MSOffice (2007) are set to save files with a .docx extension. Those files will not open for many users and do not open for me on my Mac. If I cannot open your submitted files, you cannot expect to get credit. Learn how to change the file extensions to the standard, cross-platform .doc extension. See the Microsoft website for help with this. (If you do not understand what I am saying here, contact the LAVC Etudes Help Desk or get into the LAVC Writing Center for help in getting yourself and your computer set up properly—help is available for you at the college!)
- All assignments must be submitted as .doc or .rtf file attachments; all work must be submitted to the Etudes course site. You must be fully familiar with working with text files and attachments in order to succeed in this course. (Here, too, you can get help at the college computer labs, but do it now, before the semester starts.)
What you need to do:
- Make sure that you have easy and reliable Internet access. Dial-up service works, but you will find it very slow. DSL or cable access are recommended.
- Check to make sure that your computer system is adequate, that you have all the needed software, and that your browser cache settings are correct. Please see the following webpages for instructions on setting up your computer and do it BEFORE class starts:
Need help with the technical stuff? Contact the LAVC Etudes Help Desk.
- Every computer that you use must be set up according to the Etudes System Requirements.
- Have a back-up computer lined up (such as the computer labs on campus or the public library) in case of problems. Technical difficulties will not be an acceptable excuse for late or missed work.
- Have a working email address that you check regularly. I will send out important announcements to the class via the email that you list with the class site.
- Post your introduction to the class Discussion forum and join your first assigned group no later than September 5th. If you do not do so, I will drop you from the class as a “no show.” Your place will be given to a student on the waiting list.
- Log on several times a week, preferably every week day, after that.
- Read all of the content materials, complete the assignments, and participate in the discussions. Participation in discussions, reading circles, and peer response groups is required.
- Ask questions whenever you have them.
- Learn some new interesting, fun and useful (honest!) things!
How to contact me:
If you need to contact me before class starts, email is your best option—my email address is email@example.com. My campus phone number is 818-947-2532. I usually work from my home, but occasionally you can find me in my campus office, Campus Center Room 240. I look forward to meeting you in the discussion forums online during the first week of class.