Welcome to Online Speech 385, Directed Studies

Jim Marteney


I want to welcome you to this online version of Speech 385 Directed Studies.
Speech 385 is a three unit transferable course which allows you to
study three communication topics:


  1.  Creative Problem Solving
  2.  Male Female Communication
  3.  Decision Making

This is a self-paced course where you select all three of these communication topics to explore totally online. There are no in-person class meetings. Beginning Monday, February 9, your “virtual class” will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Enrolling in the Class

Before the semester begins, you may sign up for the class in the traditional manner of adding any Valley College course

After the semester has started, you can sign up for this class anytime during the first two months of the semester. After the semester starts you will need an add card. We can do this totally online. If interested, email me at martenji@lavc.edu

The Class

In Speech 385 you will be required to complete the five lessons of each of the three topics. That is a total of 15 lessons. Each lesson consists of reading a module, completing an assignment on that lesson and taking a short quiz on that lesson. I just total up the points you earn to determine your grade.

You will do this fifteen times and your three units is completed.

This is a self-paced course and so you can complete your work at your own pace. There are some final deadlines, but you do have the freedom of working at your own speed and at your convenience.

Sample Unit

To view a sample unit, just go to:


I just to warn you about two myths I often hear from students.

Myth 1: An online class is easier than a face-to-face class.
This class is not hard, but it may actually take more time than a face-to-face class. Instead of sitting and talking in a class, you will be reading lessons and writing comments in the discussion section. In a typical class you would attend three hours a week, spend another three hours or more reading the text and doing homework. In this online class you should be prepared to spend that much time each week online.

But here is the good news. An online class may take more time, but it is more convenient. You may take the class anywhere you can find an Internet connection any time day or night. Some students enjoy spending time at Starbucks drinking coffee and connecting to the Internet with their laptop.

Myth 2: I can do my schoolwork at entirely my own pace.
You do have a lot of freedom when and where you do your class work. You can work in the morning or late at night. Since this is a self-directed course you have a lot of freedom when you turn in your work, but at the end of the semester the lessons and assignments will be shutting down. You must have your work turned in by the final due dates. You need self-discipline, but you still have much flexibility when you go online to do your work.

I think you will find these lessons interesting and stimulating and you will want to join us online and participate in the activities.

Getting Started

To enter the class you will need to go to the class portal at:


When you get there you will need to do two things.

First, click the left hand link that is titled, “System Requirements.” Follow the instructions to make sure that your system will work well with the college’s online learning system called Etudes. Follow all the instructions there including those for the “cache” settings and setting up your “cookies,” “java” etc. Your computer will then be ready to go. One of the biggest problems students have is with their computer system. Follow these instructions and you will experience much less frustration and headaches.

Second, you need to log into the class. On the left hand column click the option titled, “login help.” Scroll down to where you can click, “Los Angeles Valley College login instructions”. There you will find the instructions you need to log on to our class.

Very Important

The first day you can log on is Monday, February 9, 2009.  This is a self-paced course. There are deadlines you must meet, but you can work at your own schedule to meet those deadlines. The last day to start the class is Friday, April 10, 2009. No additional students will be added after that date.

Help Desk

    If you have any problems with logging in or concerns about the class, you can find help at the Valley College Help Desk. Their phone number is (818) 778-5834 and email address is: etudeshelp@lavc.edu. You can also receive help in person the Computer Lab at BJ103. Complete listing of times of operation can be found at the website:


    I am looking forward to meeting all of you online and working with you so we can have a fun, stimulating, and successful semester.

Jim Marteney