Tuesday, January 19

Today is Tuesday of WEEK 1 of class. 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, Tuesday. Please get to work on those assignments now!Class announcements. There will be class announcements like these every day, Monday through Friday. You can see the announcements each day here, or 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 (learn.ou.edu) 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 each student.)

Ning.com. For blogging and discussion, you will be using a Ning.com discussion board (oumyth.ning.com). 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 cannot find your email 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!

Ning blogs and comments. One of your Tuesday assignments is to post an Introduction about yourself in your Ning blog. You'll be doing two more posts at the Ning later this week... and then, after the posting assignments for the week are done, you'll have a "Read and Respond" assignment where you'll be assigned to a "blog group" with other people in class so that you can read and respond to each other's posts. Although you do the other assignments for class early, the "Read and Respond" assignment is something you cannot do early, since you need to wait until everybody has had a chance to finish their blog posting assignments for the week, which will not be until the end of the day on Thursday. As a result, the "Read and Respond" assignment will be available starting on Friday of this week - I'll let you know more about that later in the week.

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. A few people in class are already working on the Week 4 assignments!

Early Storybook assignments. As those of you who are working ahead turn in your Storybook assignments, I will get those back to you either that same day or the next day at the latest. You can check at this webpage to make sure I have received your assignment: Storybook stack. The Storybook assignments are the only assignments each week where I record the points you in the Gradebook; there is no quiz and no Declaration. For each Storybook assignment you turn in, you'll get comments back from me by email and that is also when I will record the points for you in the Gradebook.

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!

January 19: Edgar Allan Poe. Today, January 19, marks the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe in the year 1809, just over 200 years ago. You can read more about Poe's remarkable and tragic life in this detailed Wikipedia article. One of the best Storybook projects from last year was based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, so you might want to take a look at that; Poe's stories are so powerful and mysterious, and in this Storybook - Case Notes: The Mary Rogers Investigation - you can see the stories put to incredible use in the creation of a new mystery tale. Below is an image of the cover designed by the famous illustrator Gustave Dore for Poe's famous poem, The Raven: