Other Information about the Course
Course Information for COMP110.E59 Fall 2011 (last updated 3.14.11)
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 August (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 August 31 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 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 August 31 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 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 August 31 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)
I look forward to working with you all! 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 August, 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.