ENG 101-95 Fall 2013

Online ENG 101 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor ME, taught by John A. (Don't ever, ever ask!) Goldfine

January 10, 2012

Getting started--

Getting started in ENG 101-95--online students only! Are you ready? Because ready or not, next week, here it comes--online English.

If you're taking online ENG, make sure you know what you're getting into:

* An online course does not take less of your time than a live-class course. The time you save not going to class, you then spend by teaching yourself from written lecture material and through trial-and-error.

* Taking a course online does not mean you can do the work whenever you want. Yes, you can do it at 3 in the morning; and, yes, you can do it wearing your pajamas or nothing at all. But, no, you can't let it slide for a week or two and expect the teacher won't notice or worry. That's a little too much 'whenever.'

* Taking a course online is a lonely job. If you need other people to sit next to and chat with in order to get yourself motivated, an online course will be tough sledding.

* Taking a course online means having to deal with the instructor...a lot. If you do best by sitting in the back of the room, keeping your head down, keeping your mouth shut, and never asking questions, you may find yourself hating life online. It's very interactive.

* If you're planning on taking an online course and do not have easy internet access, you're living dangerously.

* If your best method of learning is NOT by reading, you might not want an online course.

Okay, that's the tough stuff. If you're still reading, here's the good news: You have an instructor who's ready, willing, and able to help you. I've taught these courses for many years, and I know the kind of difficulties with writing and with blogs you might be having. I'm patient, I'm (nearly) tireless: we will solve or overcome problems together!

The only time I'm not just an email away is if my ISP has problems. (That occasionally happens.) You're going to write this semester--that's what it's all about--and I'm going to work with you on your writing to make it even better than it is. Okay, so what's next?

1. Take a look around this site http://hoganroad.blogspot.com/ .

Links to all your semester assignments and lecture materials will be here, as well as links to handouts, samples, and other course materials. You'll see that your syllabus is here, as well as a list of all assignments for the semester, announcements, a survey, and so on.

If you're still with me at this point, it's time to:

2. Create your own blog. Most of your writing this semester will go on this blog where I can read and comment on it.

Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and follow instructions.

Some additional advice from me: First you have to create a google account if you don't already have one. You can use any email address you have to create the account--it does not have to be gmail.

If you have a google account, sign in. If you don't, click 'Create a blog.'

There's a bunch of stuff there to fill out, and I'm going to let you struggle through it on your own. It might be pesky but persevere. Be sure, double sure, to remember the name, email, and password you type in. If you forget those, you will be hating life later.

You are about to create your blog!

Pick a name and address and, again, do not forget the address. Write it down! You can change the name later, but not the address.

Choose a template. That can be changed later so don't agonize.

And there, bingo, you have a blog. *

Click 'Start blogging' and put a message into the box and hit 'Publish Post.'

Now hit 'View Blog'! Pretty darn cool, eh?

You are almost done.

3. Email me johngoldfine@gmail.com with your name and your blog address which is at the top of your screen. Copy and paste it into your email. (Do that by clicking on the address. It should go all-blue. When it does, right-click your mouse, hit copy, then go to your email, position your cursor, right click again and hit 'paste.' )

Mail that to me because without the address we can not do business.

* PS: When your blog is set up, go to settings/comments and make absolutely sure

that 1. 'anyone can comment'

and that 2. comment moderation is 'never'

and that 3. word verification is 'no '

Please do not screw up 1, 2, 3!

Whew! Now on the course blog click on the left-hand link to '101 menu' and then to the 'course assignments' on that menu (first item, right on top)--and then you can get started writing and posting on your blog.


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