COMP110: English Composition I
Section: E59     (eLearning)

About This Course

Semester and YearFall 2010 / (15 weeks): Aug 25, 2010 to Dec 16, 2010
(See "Getting Started" below for details about orientation)


Michael Hennessey   Email:
Phone: 215-968-8164
Campus Location: Grupp 139

Course Credits

3 credits

Time Requirements

Plan a minimum of 6 - 9 hours per week for your coursework. While online learning courses provide flexibility in time, geography, and travel, the work required for successful completion is identical to that for the face-to-face course.   Your instructor may specify additional time requirements in the "Other information" field below or during your orientation.

Delivery Mode

Web-based course

Official College Course Description

The complete college course description can be viewed at:

Student Characteristics

Open to self-motivated, self-disciplined students who can handle college-level work and study independently.

Instructor Provided Course Syllabus

A sample Course Syllabus is typically available in WebAdvisor's "Search for Sections" results. A Course Syllabus explains how the instructor will conduct the class and may include: course policies, grading guidelines, assignment due dates, etc.

Student Requirements

This course has the following requirements for students:
  • Read the important instructor supplied information located at the end of this document
  • Other special requirements may apply. Consult "Other Information about the Section" for details.
  • Mandatory orientation at the Newtown campus

Getting Started With This Course


This information has expired. If you are looking for current course information you must go to the current semester course information page.

Accessing Your Course

Blackboard Vista (Bb Vista)

Your course is using Blackboard Vista (Bb Vista)! Your student account in Bb Vista will be created about 2 weeks prior to the start of your class and you can log into the system at that time. Please use the time before the start of your class to become familiar with Bb Vista by using the tutorials provided for you.

You will be able to access your course as of 1 AM on the official course start date.

Logging In

Log in to your Bucks Bb Vista course space at:

  • Username: Your new user account will consist of your last name and first initial, and if necessary, followed by a random number. For example, John Smith's user account will be smithj4567
  • Password: Your initial password for all systems will be reset to "bd" followed by your birthdate in mmddyy format. (Example: bd042372 for 4/23/72). You will need to establish your new password immediately, which is 6-9 characters in length, using letters & numbers. You should also establish a password hint at this time.
  • To obtain your new user account go to and select WebAdvisor. Select Account information (upper right hand corner of the screen) then select What's My User ID? and follow the prompts. You will need to provide your last name AND your 7 digit student ID number OR your social security #. Your new user account name will display on the screen

Note: If you registered late, there may be a short delay in activating your Bb Vista login.

Computer Requirements and Settings

Your computer must be correctly configured to work with Bb Vista. Before you login do the Check Browser located on the Bb Vista login page. This will ensure your browser is configured so the complete functionality of this application is available to you. If errors are detected, mandatory or recommended changes will be indicated.

Access Codes

Some Bb Vista courses that use content provided by textbook publishers require an access code. If your course requires one, you will be prompted to enter it the first time you access the course. This access code may be included with the purchase of a new textbook, or may be purchased separately from the textbook publisher through

If you purchased a used textbook and do not yet have an access code, you can obtain a 15-day temporary code the first time you log in by clicking the "get temporary code" link. You will then have 15 days to purchase your access code.


Detailed troubleshooting information is available by clicking on Help on the Bb Vista login page or on any page within the system after you have logged in.

Learning To Use Bb Vista

  • Face-To-Face Workshops! are offered at the beginning of each full semester at the Newtown campus.
  • LIVE Online Sessions! are offered via web conferencing before the start of each modular session and full semester.

Check for dates and times.

We also encourage you to use the various "Learning Bb Vista" courses provided online when you log in to your Bb Vista account.

Purchasing Your Books and Other Course Materials

While you may purchase your books and other course materials from the provider of your choice (using the ISBN number available through the course's academic department where applicable to ensure the correct version), both the campus bookstore and our online bookstore, guarantee that they stock the correct version for your course.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to the start of the session you can use the link below to see the list of books that have been selected by your instructor. If you have any questions about the course materials listed, please contact your instructor or the academic department directly.

Click this link to see the book list for your course.

Other Information about the Course

Course Information for COMP110.E59 Fall 2010 (last updated 4.15.10)

My name is Michael Hennessey, and it is my pleasure to be your instructor for this course.  This page carries the basic information you will need to start the course successfully, including how to contact me. 

Students who have never used BlackBoard  must complete the student tutorials available on the BlackBoard My Online Campus page prior to the start of the semester.  These tutorials, along with the first week's assignments, will facilitate your success in the course.  If these tutorials are confusing to you, you should also attend the official Online Learning Kickoff Event on August 28.   Until then, please check the course information page through Online Learning for updates.  If you decide to register for this class, you must let me know by email that you have read this page, that you understand all the information, and that you will be attending the mandatory orientation meeting for a writing sample on the Newtown campus on September 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Penn 322.

Catalog Course Description

English Composition I emphasizes the systematic study of writing effective expository prose and argumentation, stressing development and support of a clear thesis. Essays must demonstrate careful thinking, ability to synthesize sources, and must employ appropriate diction, sentence sense, and standard organizational strategies. Reading assignments will provide models of good writing and support for student compositions.

You, Me, and Online Learning

Other than being conducted mostly in cyberspace, the course will be substantially the same as face-to-face sections. The primary distinctions are that asynchronous, online bulletin board discussions will take the place of face-to-face discussions, and that the student will bear greater responsibility for keeping pace with course work. Other than that, the standards and expectations will be identical to those of a traditional classroom. This means we will be creating a nurturing writing community based on discussion and considerate, yet incisive, peer criticism.  

Students must already be computer literate, must have easy access to a reliable computer and the Internet, and must come to the required orientation meeting on September 1. If you are not comfortable using a computer & word processors, or surfing the Web, or sending email with attachments, this course is NOT for you.  Internet access difficulties or computer technology problems do NOT absolve you from course responsibilities. You should plan for alternate Internet and computer access PRIOR to the start of classes.

Basic Course Requirements The first few weeks of the course will feature intensive reading from the texts and familiarization with technical issues related to posting to and retrieving documents from the course space. If you register and do not complete the mandatory first week assignments or do not attend the mandatory meeting orientation on September 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Penn 322, you will be withdrawn from the course. 

After the first few weeks, the reading gets a little lighter, but the intensive writing starts. For the most part, every week we will read about writing arguments plus 1 or 2 essays in the texts or online. Then we will discuss what we have read by writing some short responses on the discussion board. These responses are mandatory and will count for your participation grade. Your seven major essays will usually be in response to the readings and will add up to the 5000 word minimum department requirement. In addition, for most papers, you will share drafts for peer reviews, which will be treated as graded exercises in critical analysis . A detailed course format and schedule will be available the first day of the semester.

Online Learning is an exciting and challenging format in which to teach and learn composition. But keep in mind that this is not an independent study course: there will be definite deadlines for posting to the bulletin board and for submitting assignments, usually twice a week. In addition to perseverance, common characteristics for the successful Online Learning student are self-motivation, discipline, and good time management. Students should be prepared to spend 9 - 12 hours per week on this class, as with most college courses. I also will be dedicating this much time to the class and will make myself available to you as much as possible. I am looking forward to our experience.

Texts and Materials If you are ordering the texts online, do so well in advance of the start of the semester since you will need them the first week of classes and MUST bring them to the first meeting.  The textbooks may be purchased at the Newtown campus bookstore, from our online bookstore (MBS Direct, which guarantees that they stock the correct version for your course, and from the online sources linked below each text.

  1. From Critical Thinking to Argument, 2nd Edition.  by Barnet & Bedau. (Paperback, 2008, Bedford/St. Martins, $15 new) 
  2. Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper, 2nd Edition (Paperback, 2004, $12.95 new, as little as $2 used)

  • Writing Intensive: Essentials for College Writers. by Maimon & Peritz. (Paperback, McGraw Hill)
Please Note:

If you decide to register for this class, please let me know by email that you have read and understand all the information and that you will be attending the required meeting on Wednesday September 1, 2010 from 7 - 9 pm in Penn 322. You must email me this acknowledgment in order to gain full access to our Bb Vista space.

Yours truly,

Michael Hennessey Bucks County Community College Language & Literature Dept. Penn 139 215-968-8164