CIS140 CLASS PROCEDURES ~ OUTLOOK
Think of this as the Orientation Lecture you would have received if this class was being taught face to
face instead over the web. Some of this material is repeated elsewhere, but I have compiled the
information into this handout so you can refer to it easily. (And as often as necessary.)
During the semester you will be creating specific e-mail messages (and other Outlook items) as instructed
by the book. You will NOT send e-mail messages to me by clicking the Send button. You will be sending
the messages to yourself. After you have completed the assignment you will save specific messages or
Outlook items and send those to me as instructed by the Tutorial instructions you will find on the
Blackboard web site. Refer to the ‘Saving Outlook Items to your Computer’ handout available in the
Course Documents/Instruction sheets & handouts folder.
In summary, the process of completing an assignment is this:
1. Read the book instructions. Read the Tutorial Instruction sheets available from the Blackboard
web site. Instruction sheets often contain modifications to the book instructions. You are
responsible for these modifications.
2. Create the Outlook items as specified in the instructions. Use the content specified in the book;
do not make up your own.
3. Refer to the Tutorial instructions for specific files to submit via the View/Complete assignment link
associated with a specific assignment. Pay close attention to the format in which you are to
submit these files. Send only files associated with a specific View/Complete assignment link;
these links are directly associated with items in the instructor’s online grade book and if you send
‘extra’ files things will get messed up.
4. After you have clicked the Submit button on the Upload Assignment page, an exclamation point
will appear in the online grade book. The font used makes it difficult to see it, but that’s what it is.
When I see the exclamation point, I know an assignment is ready for me to grade. After I have
graded the assignment, I will enter your grade. Click My Grades on the course menu to – well,
check your grades.
In order to experience success in a web-based course, each student needs to be an independent learner,
a self-starter, and disciplined in their time management. If they do not possess these qualities, the end of
the semester will find them severely behind in their assignments, panic-stricken, and over-burdened with
work. Failure is not far behind. Trust me on this one. Just because we don’t meet face to face on a weekly
basis, does not mean you are not responsible for the weekly assignments.
The Weekly Schedule of assignments appears in the syllabus; you can also access it on the Blackboard
web site. Assignment Due Dates are as posted in the Tasks List on the web site. Because this is a web-
based course with no set class day and time, assignment due dates are on Fridays. If you do not have
your completed assignment submitted for grading by noon Monday of the following week, I will deduct
10% for each week it is late (the deductions start with the original official due date). The only exception for
this is that all assignments are due on the last day of the course – no wiggle room. Please contact me as
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soon as possible if you are having difficulty meeting the assignment deadlines! If you know you are going
to be out of town and unable to meet assignment deadlines let me know as soon as possible. On the
other side of the spectrum—you may work as far ahead as you wish.
Please take the time to organize the materials you receive during this course, whether they are emailed to
you or you download them from the Blackboard web site. These materials take the place of the face to
face lectures you would receive in a traditional class room and as such, you are responsible for them and
the information will be included in the assigned labs and quizzes.
Some students organize their course material in 3-ring binders, some use file folders. Some use them to
line the bottom of birdcages and then wonder why points are being taken off of assignments when they
don’t follow the modifications I’ve made to the book instructions. ;-) Get your ducks in a row so you don’t
I want to address another of the differences in teaching/taking a web course as opposed to a face-to-face
course. If this was a regular course and we all met together in a room at the same time, I would be
instantly available for questions and feedback. And I would know by your questions (and sometimes by
your expression and body language) if I needed to go over a topic not quite in greater detail.
But we’re not in a face-to-face classroom setting—so as students in a web course it is your responsibility
to contact me if you have questions or concerns.
EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR DISTANCE LEARNING INSTRUCTOR
This is a skill vital to your survival as a Distance Learning student and it will lessen any frustration you
All of the assignments you are given are Open Book but that should not deter you from asking your
instructor questions if you need to. My contact information is listed in the syllabus and on the Blackboard
web site but I will repeat it here. Phone number: 970-468-6802. You are welcome to call Monday through
Friday from the hours of 9am to 8pm excluding mealtimes. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com. I check my email daily during the workweek.
Learning how to effectively ask for help whether via phone call or via email is a skill that will help both of
us. (If you can get to a Dillon computer lab—Summit campus—I would be happy to meet you face to
face.) If you prefer to talk to me on the phone, don’t hesitate to call. My usual routine is to spend Monday
in the Dillon computer lab and I don’t have a phone number or extension assigned to me. But if it’s an
emergency, call the Dillon office and ask them to have me call you right back. If you call my home and I’m
not there, leave a message.
There might be occasions when I need to SEE what happened on your screen in order to help you. In
these cases, send an email and attach screenshots. I can either email back or call you—your preference.
Please always include the following information when you ask for help via email.
CIS140 should be in the subject line of the email.
Your name should always be included.
It is sometimes a real challenge to figure out just which student in which class is
‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Don’t laugh; it really happened to me.
Please don’t just say ‘it didn’t work’. Don’t laugh; it really happened to me. Give me as much
information about the problem as you can:
o Tutorial/Assignment name
o Exactly what part is giving you trouble
o What you tried to do to solve the problem
o Any relevant screenshots
If you want me to call you about your problem, let me know when and how I can reach you.
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You can also add me to your Messenger contact list (Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger). Use this
e-mail address: email@example.com. Please contact me for an instruction sheet if you need one.
Instant Messaging guidelines.
I will not initiate contact with you this way. It is up to you to IM me first. This is for your privacy.
I will not discuss grades using IMs. This is for your privacy.
If I’m busy when you IM me I’ll let you know and we can make other arrangements if necessary.
UNSOLICITED (BUT GOOD) ADVICE
Go to the Blackboard web site, download and print the Instruction Sheets and Handouts. Keep them
handy and refer to them as necessary.
BT – Book Tutorial. The book is divided into Tutorials instead of Chapters. The ‘book tutorial’ is the step
by step instructions that accompany each Tutorial.
T(Tutorial number) BT – This will be found in the online gradebook on the Blackboard site. For example
T1 BT will be the abbreviation I’ll use for the grade assigned to Tutorial 1 Book Tutorial. Tutorial 2
Book Tutorial will have an abbreviation of T2 BT, Tutorial 3 Book Tutorial will be T3 BT and so
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