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.
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.
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.
http://www.bucks.edu/e-resources/virtual-campus/after-registration/kickoff/ 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.
Other Information about the Course
Course Information for COMP110.E59 Spring 2011 (last updated
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 in January (date TBA).
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 January 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Penn 314.
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
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 January 26 in Penn 314. 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 January 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Penn 314, 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. Students will also need to go to the Testing Center for two department mandated in-class essay assignments during weeks 9 and 14. You will have a 4 day window in which to fulfill these requirements. 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 http://direct.mbsbooks.com/bucks.htm),
which guarantees that they stock the correct version for your course, and
from the online sources linked below each text.
- From Critical Thinking to
Argument, 3rd Edition. by Barnet & Bedau. (Paperback,
2011, Bedford/St. Martins, $15 new)
- 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)
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 January 26, 2011 from 7 - 9 pm in Penn 314. You must email me this acknowledgment in order
to gain full access to our Bb Vista space.
Bucks County Community College
Language & Literature Dept.