Tuesday, August 23, 2011

English 101: Composition as Critical Inquiry

Today we'll go over the course syllabus and several the electronic resources we'll be using over the semester.

Start Out Writing
Before we get started, I'd like to know a bit more about each of you.  Please take a moment to fill out the Student Pre-Course Survey:

The Syllabus
We have a busy semester ahead of us.  The syllabus is your road map and guide book to the course.  Check here for course policies regarding my expectations for your assignments, attendance, and participation in class.  Here you'll also find a rough outline of our schedule and descriptions of the three major projects coming up.

The Facebook Group
Maybe you didn't expect this, but you'll be encouraged to use Facebook during this course.  Naturally, you'll need to differentiate between personal and professional use during class time, but this doesn't change the fact that Facebook is one of the most revolutionary changes to affect the web since the advent of Google.  If you don't already have a Facebook account, you'll need to set one up to take part in many of our online discussions and collaboration.

Be sure to introduce yourself once you've logged in to the group.  And please feel free to respond to the introductions by your classmates.  One of our objectives for the course will be to learn how to effectively manage Facebook groups and fan pages.

Additional links of interest:

Google Docs - Your Collaboration Tool
Yes, Google is somewhat monolithic.  Their online tools are also disturbingly free.  Despite minor bugs and shortcomings, Google Docs remain one of the best ways for multiple users to edit a single document.  If you don't already have a Gmail account, that's okay.  You can set your username to be an e-mail address that you use frequently.  Just note that when sharing documents, you must provide the e-mail associated with your Google account - you won't be able to access Google Docs through an e-mail address that isn't linked to Google.

Setting Up Your Own Blog
Part of establishing an online presence is putting together your own blog.  For this course, we'll be using Blogger to post and share certain assignments.  If you already have a WordPress blog (e.g. the Illinois State blogs), you may continue to use that instead, though I myself am more familiar with Blogger.  When submitting blog-based assignments, you'll simply provide the URL, and I'll check to see that you've uploaded the text/photos/video required for the assignment.

(no Gmail necessary)

Please note that Blogger is also tool provided by Google.  This website, as a matter of fact, is powered by Blogger.  If Google somehow went out of business, I can honestly say that the internet would become a very different place.

For additional blogging resources, take a look at my Quick List of Blog Platforms.

Please feel free to contact me.  You'll find my e-mail and phone number on the printed copy of your syllabus.  Also, if you have a question shared by others, simply comment on the blog post below so everyone can join in the discussion.  I'll automatically receive an e-mail so I know to reply.

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