Eiland's Online English Materials

General Distance
Education Terms

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Message Board · Announcements
Chat Room
Online Sources and When It's Not Online

This being a distance education course, more initiative on your part is required. That means paying attention to deadlines and using e-mail effectively. E-mail is correspondence of various lengths that are sent directly to the recipient(s). You will receive e-mail from me and other students. You might send work to me and others via the same route. Only the addressee gets the message or text you send (as opposed to Message Boards and other general postings). You must maintain an e-mail address. Free e-mail accounts are available through the college. If your e-mail goes down, take care of it. It is your responsibility to maintain the software and hardware required to progress in this class. Failure to do so will result in a poor grade or being dropped from the course.

For some help with style, clarity and brevity, please review the following links:

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Message Boards · Announcements
Posted at the main web site, Message Boards are similar to those you might see at work or on campus. They are designed to get short messages to large numbers of people. (Longer messages and pieces of text will be sent by e-mail.) They are posted at a site that the user (student) will have to actively access. In other words, it won't be sent to you personally. MBs are useful for posting notices between students, and you will certainly want to check the commonly used MB. You will receive appropriate addresses as the semester progresses.

We will use Message Boards is this course to discuss the topics raised, as well as to make important schedule changes and announcements. The messages can be grouped by topic; to reply to a point made in another message, select Reply off of the originating message. Be sure to be concise and clear. For specific questions to ME, send me an e-mail.

For information about message boards, please review the following links:

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Chat Room
We will meet at a prearranged time in the chat room, and I will be present to facilitate and answer questions. (See Main Page on the appropriate ENGL 101 site for access and times). A chat room is live -- you get answers in real-time, as opposed to e-mail and Message Boards, which are analogous to their non-Internet counterparts. The first use of the chat room in this course will be to discuss literary approaches to literature. We will discuss the stories themselves, so prereading is imperative. Another use of the chat room is the discussion of your papers.

When you meet you will go through each story, concentrating on coherence, development, and appropriate use of literary terminology. Thus you will have feedback on your paper that does not come attached to a grade. This exercise introduces students to one other, but it also has an important function: It allows you to see your own thoughts and perceptions through another student's eyes. This discussion is not about egos or who's smartest. It's about learning from each other, and it can be very effective. So be kind, but be honest.

You are required to participate in at least one hour per week of chat room time for this process. If one is unable to attend because of legitimate scheduling conflicts, the student is required to make weekly Message Board contributions which parallel the discussions in the chat room, which are archived off of the main Chat Page. Failure to attend/participate by an individual in the group will adversely affect the other group members, so it will adversely affect that student's grade. If a group wants to set up an alternative chat room to meet more often, please feel free to do so, but regular attendance to the main room (or postings on Message Board) is still mandatory.

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Online Sources
There will be readings assigned from the Internet along with the hard text assignments. Although one can find a great deal of information through a simple subject/name search (feel free to do so) with many search engines (see appendix), the sites I have assigned are relevant and concise, and almost uniformly emanate from University and other reliable literary sources. These credible online sources will be critiques, biographies, and bibliographies, all of which will be useful for your analysis. The college has subscribed to EBSCOhost, a periodicals source on the internet, and other sources are listed on the I-Net Reading List. I prefer not to use the Internet for the stories themselves, primarily because these are usually put on the Net by users, and are often prone to grammatical and syntactical errors. Also, in-text citation will be more consistent if we all use the same book. If you find a site that has merit, I encourage you to share it with the rest of the class (including me). This medium is always evolving, so there will be new discoveries all the time. However, remember: the Internet is a vast resource for information, but is also a vast dumping ground for anyone with a modem. We are looking for academic-quality, well-chosen analysis. Choose carefully.

Search engines:

When It's Not Online
There will be about five (5) times you are required to come to the campus. The first meeting is orientation. The next three are for in-class, timed essays. See instructions on web site in course handouts. The last will be for the final exam. (Of course, you may also come to campus to see me during my office hour.) Finally, you will choose the topic of your final paper from a list provided by the department. I will make that list available to you. The texts of these works will be available in the college library and (usually) online (*although I prefer the library source).

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© T. T. Eiland, January 1998
Last modified: March 30, 2000