Monday, August 25

WEEK ONE BEGINS. Today, Monday, is the first day of class. As you will see if you visit the class website, you have assignments that are due today, Monday.
So, go to the website for your course, and then click on the link that says "Week 1 Orientation." That is where you will find the list of assignments that are due this week, including the assignments that are due today, Monday.

Class announcements. There will be class announcements like these every day, Monday through Friday. You can see the announcements each day at the course website, in Desire2Learn, or at the Ning. For previous announcements, visit the announcements blog. You can also subscribe to the announcements by email!

Desire2Learn. After you log on to Desire2Learn ( and access this class, you will use the Quizzes and Declaration link to get to the quizzes and declarations. To check on your grade, click on the Gradebook link, and you should see your TOTAL POINTS displayed at the very top. As you take the quizzes and complete the declarations, points will be added to your total. If you do not see your Total Points listed at the top of the Gradebook, please let me know! Sometimes I have to do a little adjustment to make sure the Total Points are displayed. For blogging and discussion, you will be using a discussion board ( This is a private discussion board for members of these classes only. You should have received an invitation to join the discussion board (contact me if you did not receive this invitation). After you log on to the discussion board, you can update your Profile and adjust your settings . I hope you will enjoy using the Ning. It seems to be working very well so far! If you are familiar with the discussion board in Desire2Learn, I think you will see why I decided to use Ning instead.

Working ahead. I would strongly recommend that you work ahead in this class, instead of doing your work on the day that it is due. If you can work just a day or two ahead of the deadlines, you will find the workload for this class much easier to manage. If you want, you can work up to two weeks ahead! The assignments for Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 are all available to you now. Some students have actually finished the first three weeks of class. So, KUDOS to you guys who are already so far ahead: that will make the rest of the semester go so much more smoothly for you! I hope everybody will take the chance now, at the beginning of the semester, to get a week or two ahead, before you start getting lots of assignments in your other classes.

Contact me if you have questions. For many of you, this may be your first online class, and you may have a lot of questions as you get started. I hope the information that I've provided at the course website will answer most of those questions - but if something is not clear to you, or even if you are just curious about something, please send me an email! Teaching these three online courses is my full-time job, so you will find that I am very accessible online, Monday through Friday. Especially if you have a question that is preventing you from completing an assignment, please get in touch with me right away!

Words of wisdom... As you will see when you create your Ning Profile, there's a place where you can share words of wisdom. Not sure what words of wisdom are? Just ask Cookie Monster! (The cartoon is from Dan Piraro, a.k.a. Bizarro, one of my favorite cartoonists.)