Welcome to CAOT 97: Introduction To The Internet For CAOT

If you are registered for Computer Applications and Office Technology 97, Section 0507 in Spring 2007, this message is for you!

I'm your instructor, Gerry Clark.  This note is provided to answer some basic questions, and to give you a head start on getting the materials you will need to successfully complete the course.

The first thing to understand about this class is that is entirely online; we will not meet on campus at any time.  All of the course material, assignments, Q&A and communication will take place using the computer.  If for some reason you do not feel comfortable with this format, I suggest that you switch to the on-campus section of the class (Section 0508).

Common Misconceptions About Online Courses
If you've never taken an online course before, there are a couple of myths about online classes that need to be addressed.

Myth #1: Online courses are easier than "regular" courses.
This is certainly not the case.  Generally speaking, an online course is more difficult than the corresponding on-campus course.  In addition to learning the material, you also have to master the tool which is used to present the material.   In our case, that tool is a Web site called ETUDES NG.  It will be your central source for all course materials, information about the course, etc.   You will also use it to download and upload files related to your homework assignments, and to take the quizzes.

Myth #2: You can study at your own pace.
While there are no specific class meeting times, there are assignments due every week.  In order to be successful in this course, you will have to devote several hours each week for reading the textbook and "lecture" material, completing assignments and taking quizzes.

Of course there are advantages to taking a course online.  The convenience of an online course is hard to beat: no need to fight traffic, search for parking, or fight to get a good seat in class.  And you can attend the "lectures" in your pajamas!

Not sure if you're ready for an online class?  Try the "Student Skills Quiz" at this page: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/areyouready2.htm.

Next Steps
You will not have access to any of the actual course material until Monday, February 5th, the first official day of class.  However there are some things you should do before then, in order to prepare for the course.


What To Do Now

  1. Get the textbooks
  2. Get access to a computer, and make sure it meets the technical requirements
  3. Read the help pages

1. Get the textbooks
There are four textbooks required for this class (don't worry, they're short), one for each of the subject areas that we will cover: the Internet, Web Design, HTML and Front Page (see details below).  You will absolutely need to have these books in order to complete the class successfully.
The books are available from the LAVC Bookstore; you can order online at http://www.lavcbookstore.com (click on "Textbooks").  These four books are available as a bundled "Course Pack", which includes all of the books as well as a 90-day trial version of Microsoft Front Page 2003.
Note that we will only be covering two chapters from the "Discovering the Internet" Book; only these chapters are included in the course pack.
You are welcome to try and get the books from another source, but it is not recommended.  Although you may be able to find some or all of the books used online, you will not be able to find the entire course pack; you would have to buy the books individually.  This will probably not save you money, because

  1. the publisher has reduced the price of this course pack
  2. you would have to purchase the full book of "Discovering The Internet", rather than the cheaper "two chapter" version that's included in the course pack.

The books are:

Discovering the Internet: Complete Concepts and Techniques
Authors: Shelly, Cashman, Napier, Judd, Kaufmann
Publisher: Thomson/Course Technology
ISBN: 0-7895-6759-8
Publish date: December 23, 2003
632 pages
Note: Only chapters 1 and 6 are used in this class.

Discovering The Internet Cover

Web Design: Introductory Concepts and Techniques, Second Edition
Authors: Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Linda Kosteba
Publisher: Thomson/Course Technology
ISBN: ISBN: 0-619-25486-6
Publish date: December 1, 2005
264 pages


Web Design Cover

HTML: Introductory Concepts and Techniques, Third Edition
Authors: Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Denise Woods
Publisher: Thomson/Course Technology
ISBN: 0-619-25501-3
Publish date: August 5, 2004
224 pages

HTML Cover

Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003: Introductory Concepts and Techniques
Authors: Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Jeffrey J. Quasney
Publisher: Thomson/Course Technology
ISBN: 1-4188-5944-3
Publish date: January 26, 2006
304 pages

Front Page 2003 Cover

Important: If for some reason you decide to purchase these books through a different source, be sure to get the correct edition!  There are significant differences between editions -- page numbers, problems, etc.  You must use the edition of each book specified above.  The best way to be sure you have the correct edition is to check the ISBN numbers; different editions will have different ISBN numbers.


2. Get access to a computer, and make sure it meets the technical requirements
Obviously, in order to complete an online curse, you will need to have access to a computer that has internet access.  Although not required, a high-speed internet connection (DSL, cable modem or satellite) is preferable.
In order to be able to access the course materials in ETUDES NG, your computer has to have certain technical capabilities.  You can read about the tech requirements at this site: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/whatyouneed.htm.


3. Read the help pages
There are several pages to help you get going within ETUDES NG

  1. Virtual Valley Student Resources: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/studentresources.htm
  2. Getting Started Using ETUDES NG: http://www.lavc.edu/Distance/gettingstarted.html
    (Very helpful videos of ETUDES basics.)
  3. Find your user name and password, then log in to ETUDES: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/studentLoggingInOnline.html.
  4. ETUDES Login tips: http://www.lavc.edu/Distance/etudes_login_tips.htm
  5.  Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/studentfaq.htm

A reminder: you will not be able to actually login until the first day of class, Monday, February 5th. 


What To Do On February 5th

  1. Log in to the course (ETUDES NG)
  2. Read the announcements -- they will have further instructions for the first week of class


1. Log in to the course (ETUDES NG)
See one of the links below:

  1. Find your user name and password, then log in to ETUDES: http://www.lavc.edu/virtualvalley/studentLoggingInOnline.html.
  2. ETUDES Login tips: http://www.lavc.edu/Distance/etudes_login_tips.htm

2. Read the announcements
Once you login and get into the course, you will see an announcement with further instructions on what to do during the first week.  Also, feel free to explore the course -- everything that's in there is for you!


Communication - Very Important
If you wish to contact me via e-mail, please include "CAOT 97, Lastname" somewhere in the "Subject" area of your message.  If not, my spam filter will delete it, and I will not reply.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to a productive Spring Semester.

Gerry Clark