December 14, 2004
Thomas W. Moss, Jr.
John R. Moore
Welcome to History 121
Welcome to History 121, an online survey of United
States History from the discovery of the
First, a few words of caution. You need to beware of the nature of online classes. Considerable responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the individual student. Online classes require dedication, discipline and time management skills. Successful online students are self-motivated, goal oriented students who thrive on independent study. Some students believe that since an online course does not require them to go to class, then it must be easy. If anything, online courses are harder because the student must get more intensely involved in the material than in an on-campus course.
Students frequently operate under two misconceptions. “Since I do not have to go to class, it must be easy.” And “since it is one a computer, it must be easy.” Online classes place a greater degree of responsibility for learning on the student in exchange for a flexible schedule and medium. Students must be prepared to work at least 9 hours per week if they wish to successfully complete the course. Just because History 121 is offered on line does not mean that it is any less of a course than the one offered in a traditional classroom. If anything, an online course may be harder than a traditional course because the student is the active learner, not a passive participant in a lecture.
About 40% of online students do not finish the course for any of several reasons. Half of the 40% fall behind and cannot finish the coursework in a timely manner. If you need the prodding of attending class on a regular basis to successfully complete a course, then an online class is not for you and you should withdraw. Students should be prepared to devote at least 9 hours of work a week for this three-credit, college-transfer course. An online course cannot be left to the weekend for a spurt of catch-up activity. The student needs to be come involved with the subject matter on a regular, perhaps daily, basis, so as to assimilate the material.
Online classes require more than a casual familiarity with electronic mail, word processing, and Internet searching. While the online student does not absolutely have to have a personal computer (PC), he should have almost unlimited access to a PC so work can be completed in a timely fashion. It is essential that the student prepare a schedule so as to maintain steady progress toward completing the course.
Please note that while you may be enrolled in the course according to the Student Information System (SIS), you still must be added to the course Blackboard site. This enrollment will not take place until shortly before classes start. Until you are enrolled, you can access the Blackboard site as a “guest” by following the procedures described at http://www.tcc.edu/students/DTLS/blackbrd/index.htm.
1. Print this page for future reference.
2. Visit my home page http://www.tcc.edu/faculty/webpages/JRMoore/. Read all the materials, especially those on communicating with the instructor.
3. Go to the TCC Distributed Teaching, Learning and Services page at http://www.tcc.vccs.edu/students/DTLS. Read the material under the headings Blackboard, Class Listing, and Students. Review the contents of this web site.
4. Complete the Learning Styles Questionnaire (http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/ilsweb.html). Include the results of this questionnaire in your study plan and in the electronic mail described below.
5. Visit the course Blackboard site and review the materials in the Course Information folder. Follow the instructions to access the Blackboard site as a “guest” at http://www.tcc.edu/students/DTLS/blackbrd/index.htm.
7. Purchase the TWO required course textbooks:
8. Orientation Class. Make arrangements to attend an introductory orientation class during the first week of classes. The date, time and location will be announced by e-mail and on the Blackboard site. It is ESSENTIAL to your success that you attend this first and only class meeting, especially if you have not taken an online course before or if you have not used the CourseInfo/Blackboard system before this course.
9. Deadlines. Students may complete the course at their own pace, subject to certain fixed dates.
· A Schedule and Course Map lists topics, dates and evaluations by week; students may earn extra points by completing online discussions and evaluations according to this schedule. A detailed Syllabus is available in the Course Information folder on the Blackboard site.
· As shown in the Syllabus and the course Schedule, the course has a beginning, middle and an end.
o The midterm and final examinations must be completed on campus and by certain dates.
o Pre-midterm course material must be completed before the Midterm Examination. The same applies to the final examination.
· Deadlines will not normally be extended except for unusual circumstances. It is up to each student to manage his or her own time and to remain on schedule. Falling behind will make it harder, if not impossible, to complete the course.
Most students who fail an online course do so because they have not completed all course requirements. This is usually caused by falling behind or by leaving things until the last moment. Both of these practices place the student in jeopardy of receiving a failing grade.
Students in an online class must learn to manage their time if they wish to successfully complete the course. Students should plan on spending at least nine hours per week (three hours per credit) on the course. This course CANNOT be completed successfully by leaving it until the weekend. Information cannot be assimilated nor can evaluations be successfully completed in one day; the materials require time and attention. If you are not willing to put in the time, please withdraw from the course now. Just because a course is offered outside a classroom and on a computer does not make it easier. If anything, it makes it harder because the student becomes responsible for his learning.
Complete information can be found in the course syllabus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Most importantly, use this semester to get involved in U.S. History and learn about the people, places and events that make up our heritage as Americans.
With warm regards,
John R. Moore
Assistant Professor of History