Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extra Credit!

Maria Theresa Hernandez will present, "Cemeteries of Ambivalent Desire," based on an old Mexican cemetery in Sugarland, Texas.

Where: LSC-North Harris, CE 101
When: Monday, March 2, 2009 2-3:30.

Sign out for extra credit (1 point added to your final average)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

1301, Online, Unit 2 folder was invisible!

A student let me know that the Unit 2 folder has been invisible for 1301 Online. I have fixed it, and Unit 2 should be fully functional. Do let me know if there are problems with any of the modules. The smallest error on my end can cause problems on your end that are invisible to me. Have fun with the unit!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting Caught up after a Rough Week

Here is where we stand with my face-to-face classes:

  • The Exam 1 scores have been adjusted.
  • Unit 2 is fully loaded, including the study guide.

There is nothing to do in preparation for the learning module titled, "The Radical Revolution." Just show up for class, and we'll take it from there. There's nothing to read, no quiz to take, no outline to download. Just remember to get your chapters 5 and 6 quizzes done by midnight Saturday night. And don't put it off to the last minute because the server might crash just when you need it most!

I'll try to have the discussion paragraphs graded over the weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can't log on to Lonestar!

Sorry guys, I didn't get to anyone's email today. I got totally jammed, and now seems to be down. I'll have to catch up tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Study aids for online history course

Find chapter outlines, etc. at

Hat-tip to Tamera :)

Update: Some of these tools suggest that you email me stuff. Don't do that. Only email me when you want to "talk" about something.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is a Paragraph?

I know that you folks know what a paragraph is. However, you still need to know what are my expectations of your discussion posts. Below, I clearly lay out these expectations along with the rubric under which your work will be evaluated. I look forward to reading your posts.

A paragraph is, first and foremost, a unit of thought. You are telling me what you think about a particular topic. In this case you are responding to a question prompt. Therefore, the first sentence should introduce your thought as clearly as possible. I should be able to tell by the first sentence what that paragraph will express to me. Ideally, your first sentence should state a claim. The following sentences should draw evidence from the book, film, or document to support your claim. They should convince me that what you say is supported by the assigned sources. Be sure to use at least one keyword (evidence) from each of the assigned sources. Then completely identify that keyword in terms of "Who, What, When, Where, and So What? (how is that keyword related to the historical problem we are discussing?" The concluding sentence should answer the question, “So what?” How has this paragraph responded to the historical problem we are discussing? How has it added depth or breadth to our understanding of the topic? How am I a smarter or better-informed person for having read this paragraph? Very few paragraphs answer all these questions, but you should try to accomplish at least one of them. That is the ideal and the basic structure. Remember, I want to know what you really think; not what you think I want you to think. Have fun, and speak your mind! It’s easy when you actually believe what you are writing.

Grading—paragraphs will be graded on the following:
1. Structure/organization, does the paragraph function as a unit of thought (does it have a topic sentence that states a claim, which is then supported by a body of evidence that is carefully explained and then brought together in a conclusion sentence)?
2. Evidence, does the paragraph draw specific references from all the assigned sources as evidence to support the claim(s) made in your paragraph?
3. Analysis, does the paragraph explain logically how the evidence presented supports the claims made (are all the keywords fully identified?
4. Proofreading, the paragraph should be free of grammatical errors and misspellings.

A paragraph that meets all the above criteria will receive an A (95); a paragraph that meets three of these criteria will receive a B (85); a paragraph that meets two of these criteria will receive a C (75); a paragraph that meets one of these criteria will receive a D (65); a paragraph that meets none of these criteria will receive an F. Good luck, and have fun.

Writing assignment/discussion post

Thanks to everyone who has brought up stuff in the comments. I think I need to clarify a few things about the writing assignment/discussion post.

First, I refer to this as a "writing assignment" because I want everyone to treat this as a formal writing assignment wherein the rules of grammar, structure and style apply. However, the format is a discussion post, meaning that you post your paragraph in a discussion forum.

Here's how you do it:
  1. Go to the John Chavez, "The Lost Land" learning module.
  2. In the table of contents (links on the left side of the window) click the one that says, "Lost Land discussion"
  3. That will open a window that gives the instructions, along with the four questions I have suggested as prompts for writing. Only respond to one question.
  4. Compose your response in a word processing program. Print it. Proofread it (preferably by reading aloud). Make your corrections.
  5. Copy your work and paste it into the window that opens when you click "create message."
Be sure to read "What is a Paragraph?" before you write your discussion post.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Office hours

I thought it might be useful for you guys to know when you can expect me to respond to your emails.

Let's start with Monday through Thursday. On those days, I'm in class, or otherwise occupied, all morning; and I don't get to my emails until afternoon. I try to have them read and answered by 3 PM. I will log on again around 8:00 PM.

On Fridays, I log on in the mid-to-late morning, and I will probably not log back on until Saturday.

I have scheduled most deadlines for midnight Saturday night, and I try to make myself available off and on throughout the day to deal with problems that might arise as students try to meet this deadline. Saturdays nights, though, I like to party with my friends; so don't expect me to get your late-night emails until Monday afternoon.

I take Sundays off. I won't get your Sunday emails until Monday afternoon.

I hope this helps. dld