1 The lecture portion of this course is presented online on Blackboard, in the form of PowerPoint presentations. This course is posted on Blackboard: Click on "Login," log on as you do for My Site, click on the ticket number/biology 40, and you will enter our class site. There will typically be two lectures posted per week, available by Sunday (often earlier). Various other study aids will be posted as we go; it is to your benefit to check Blackboard on a daily basis and keep up with all new materials. Are you still only using one web browser? Stuck on Explorer or Safari (for the Mac)? I strongly suggest that you install and use Firefox or even Google Chrome on your computer, if you have not already. You can use it as an alternate browser in case you encounter problems. Sometimes a site will not load, or will hang up. Using a different browser often solves these problems. You might even find that you like Firefox better! It has great tabbing, custom add-ons etc. and other features. Both Firefox and Google Chrome work on Macs and PCs. I use Safari for my personal browsing, Firefox for my school accounts like MySite, Chrome for my Google calendar, and I browse on all 3. For Firefox, go to to download, for Google Chrome, go to MySite, go to these sites: If you need support with Blackboard, your college , and/or Student Technical Support Web Site Start here with this super all-in-one site! Then you can try this one: Login FAQ for MySite, Blackboard: Student Help Resources: Student Computer Labs on Campus: Our course is posted on Blackboard: socccd.blackboard.com. Always check Announcements first, then typically you will proceed to Course Documents for course contents. I often refer to Course Documents as the guts of the course nearly everything you need is located in this section. Your user name is your first initial, last name followed by the number that is a part of your Saddleback address as shown on your registration receipt. For example, if your address is your username would be jdoe0. Unless you have already changed it, your password is your four-digit PIN plus two zeros. You will see a listing of the course(s) in which you have Blackboard material. Click on our course ticket number to get into the course. If you add the class, it may take up to 12 hours until you have BB access. Always check Announcements first for What s New. The What s New announcement will always have a date on it which will tell what day I most recently modified the announcement, and what is new,
2 coming up soon, or due (exam, OCW etc.). Always look at that date to see how new the announcement is. Occasionally older announcements will be located below What s New. Check out Course Information by clicking on it. Course Information contains a copy of the syllabus, and a few other documents relating to how this course is run. Click on Course Documents for all other course files. Lecture units will be in separate folders, and each unit will also have a folder. Materials from past units will be below the new material, and may be moved down a screen, but will always be there (especially important as the final exam is cumulative!). This file structure may change during the semester, but I will always let you know when or if changes are made. Lectures are PowerPoint presentations, rich with text and graphics, and are available to you in 3 ways; as a.pdf in the form of a Slide Show (useful for studying on the computer) and in a.pdf in the form of 6 slides per page (useful for printing, called the Print File). Further, the text of the slides is pasted into a Word document (the doc), and posted for you for printing and studying. It will serve as your class Notes. You can reduce the amount of paper needed to print the notes.doc by enlarging the margins and reducing the font size and printing double sided, if you wish. I ll refer to these 3 formats as Slide Show, Print File, and Notes. You ll see that all materials are organized by unit. Each unit has a separate folder, e.g. Unit 1, Unit 2). Each lecture is numbered logically, e.g. Lecture 1.1, then 1.2, then 1.3 in the Unit 1 folder. Other materials are in separate folders. You shouldn t get lost! Elements in Lecture 1.2 Name of file Utility Slide show 1.2 pdf Study on-screen Print file 1.2 Print file Print & study Notes 1.2 doc Print & study Lecture is self-directed. You are expected to keep up on the lecture learning material, and to study as we go. To assist you in keeping immersed and engaged in the lecture material, you will complete Online Course Work (OCW) on a weekly basis. Composed of multiple-choice questions, the OCW covers the lecture unit for that week. I recommend that you print out the questions, and answer them, referring to the lecture materials. Mark your answers on the printed version, and then submit the answers on Blackboard. You are able do part of it, then save your work, and come back and finish it later. You may work on this with someone else, but it is to your advantage to complete it on your own; to find and learn the answers. I might suggest that after answering the questions on your own, you compare your answers to your study partners, to look for wrong answers, and to learn from the process. If your OCW is not submitted by the time it s due, it will not be accepted (grade of 0). There s one bug we were told about that is good for you to know about, although it may not still be a problem. When you are working on the Blackboard OCWs, if you accidentally hit enter or return, your OCW will be submitted. Right then! K Without even asking you! You must be vigilant that this does not happen to you, as this will be your submission for the week, incomplete as it may be. It is important that you participate in this online course 4-6 days per week. You will receive many study aids, suggestions, reviews etc., and the completion of the study guides is your choice. They aren t graded, though it d be a poor choice not to do them! J Dates for all assignments are given on the syllabus and will be noted on the Announcements on BB, as well as the blog. OCW and other due dates are firm, and it s your responsibility to meet these deadlines. The OCWs shut off at the exact time they re due, and if you re not finished, the OCW is graded based on the incomplete submission. 2
3 You will receive the weekly blog by from me each Saturday or Sunday. I would recommend that you read it carefully, and print the blog and put it in your notebook. The blog will summarize the week s lecture schedule, note what you should be working on or what s due and coming up. It will repeat some of what is in the Announcements page of Blackboard, and will be in a graphically appealing, printable form. You may want to keep this as a weekly reminder, or transfer the important dates to your personal calendar. The current blog is also posted on BB, so you can always access it online. The college home page is You can access Blackboard from the home page. You can access your via My Site, visit the library etc. all from this site. Information on logging onto Blackboard may be found on the Library YouTube channel: (there s a great, short video at The website for your textbook is located at If you have the access, click in, register, and you ll be at the book site. Bookmark it! The study aids here are good. There are various activities, animations etc. that I will steer you to as we go through the semester. Multiple choice quizzes are also well done, but may ask lots of questions on topics we are not covering. If you buy the book new, you have access to the e-book and you are then able to access the entire e-book online. Just go to the chapter you want, look at the Chapter Guide, and click on any section. Check out all of the resource links I put on the first page, especially this one: You can the help center at Saddleback at Then, if all else fails, just me. Hey, did you know that there is free tutoring at Saddleback? See the Learning Resource Center/Tutoring Center at There is both drop-in and appointment-based tutoring. All it takes is dropping by the LRC, room 212. Know how to be successful? See the short video at the bottom of the screen. These are Saddleback students in the video: An Introduction to Online Learning: Check out this great website from a college in N. California, College of the Siskiyous: The Tips to Ensure Online Success are terrific (scroll down). Successful Students in Online Courses Do These Things: Utilize the online supplement for the class textbook Go to the publisher s other related web sites Search the Internet for similar courses with web pages. Other instructors often have web pages with handouts, lecture notes and various other resources that may help you with this course. Search the Internet for explanations of difficult concepts. What Makes a Successful Online Student? Check out: Of the points made, perhaps the most important one is this: Be self-motivated and self-disciplined. With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process. 3
4 Are You an Online Learner? What about Different Learning Styles? What kind of learner are you? Are you best at learning with visual cues? Are you a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner? Read about learning styles at In this class, we will actually be utilizing your skills in all types of learning. The lecture section of the course emphasizes Visual/Verbal and Visual/Nonverbal learning, and the fossil lab will include elements of Auditory/Verbal as well as Tactile/Kinesthetic learning. Try the VARK Test (this one is my favorite!). VARK = Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic learning styles inventory. Strengths and weaknesses of online learning are discussed at It is pointed out that even though technology is increasingly sophisticated and reliable, it is never 100%. It is not a question of if the equipment will fail, but when. The strengths, however, of online learning include the near constant access to learning, facilitation of a dynamic interaction between instructor and student, and the student-centered, equitable learning environment. Don t know the Etiquette of the Net? Don t know LOL from IMHO from a ;-)? Are you an Online Knucklehead? Learn more about Netiquette at ctlt.ubc.ca/distance-learning/learner-support/communicating-online-netiquette/ and learn some manners, emoticons ( : b ) and acronyms (FYI) at Tips for Student Success from the Saddleback College Reading Department: There are links to slide shows and videos and handouts on study skills, memorization, utilizing your textbook and more. Saddleback College Student Handbook: There are some great videos on the Saddleback College Library s YouTube channel at A useful one is How to Login to Blackboard at Saddleback College and there are many more on topics specific to the library. 4
4 Using Forums, Chats, and Dialogues Forums are a powerful communication tool within a Moodle course. Think of them as an online message board where you and your students can post messages to each other
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