Scroll down or click on a link
This section provides very important information regarding how this course will function and what will be expected of you. So, please take the time to read all of the material provided.
After you have read the material in this section you will be required complete several introductory tasks. If you have additional questions after completing this section, please post them to the 'Course Questions' discussion topic on the discussion board. Don't be shy about asking your question(s). Remember, if something is not clear to you...it is probably not clear to others as well! Also, if someone posts a question for which you have an answer, feel free to help them out!
Welcome to this online section of United States History II. My name is C.J. Bibus, and I will be your instructor this semester. I have been teaching online history since 2003 and both on-campus and online history for WCJC since 2004.
I genuinely hope that you enjoy this course and acquire valuable knowledge about the government and your role in our society. While this is an online course, and we will not get a chance to meet face to face, I want to assure you all that I am here to make this experience a smooth one. I look forward to getting to know each of you online and hope that if you see me on campus, stop and say hi...its always nice to put a face to the names I see engaged in debates on the discussion board.
I am a native Texan who moved to Virginia for Master’s degree and then later returned to Texas to earn by doctorate. a long time. Californian. Born and raised in Southern California, I attended California Sate University, Long Beach, where I received my BA in Political Science. I moved to Texas in 1993 to begin a combined MA/PH.D. program in Political Science at the University of Houston. After completing my studies at U of H, I went back and received another MA degree in Sociology from UH Clear Lake in 2006.
I am married with a beautiful eight year old boy, who is full of energy, so I am very sympathetic to the many parents who are returning to school and the various demands of balancing work, school and family. Likewise, having been a student for most of my life, I know that these challenges confront all of us at whatever stage in life we are at.
I am always trying to improve the course each semester, for those of you who have taken me in the past I hope you like the changes this semester. If any one has suggestions to improve this course, feel free to let me know, I value and appreciate the input.
As this is an online course, our primary means of communication will be through email and discussion board areas.
Each semester I will post my virtual office hours. These will be posted as an announcement during the first week of the semester. During my virtual office hours I will be available to respond to student questions. Additionally I try to be online the evening assignments are due to help troubleshoot any problems that come up.
The Discussion Section of the course is used for a variety of purposes. You make your presence known to other members of the class and to instructors through your participation in the various discussions (not just the graded area). Hopefully this section will help to create a sense of community. Everyone is encouraged to answer questions if they know the answer. I regularly read through the questions and answers. If there is any particular area of confusion or "bad" answers I will send out the correct information as a general email.
There are several types of discussions/bulletin boards in this area:
Unit Topics: These are the graded discussions for the course. The background information for each of the discussion topics can be found in the Discussion Topics Section of the Course Menu.
Course Questions: You should post general questions that you have related to course in this area. This is generally the fastest way to receive a response. I will review and respond frequently. Students are welcome to post responses to questions if they so choose. Your participation in this discussion topic is optional.
Technical Questions: You can post questions related to computer related problems here. I am fairly good at problem solving technical issues. Also, many students have taken several online course and have experienced similar technical issues. Remember you can always click on the help button at the top of the course page to be directed to COM's support cener which assists students in troubleshooting any technical problem they might be experiencing.
Student Lounge: A place to discuss issues not related to the course. Your participation in the Student Lounge is optional. Please note that I rarely go into this area, therefore it would be a bad place to post questions for the instructor.
Student Introduction: A place to post a little bit about yourself so that other students and the instructor can know a little bit about you.
Email / Telephone
Reaching me through my campus email is the BEST way to reach me as I have it synched to my ipad and am usually able to view and respond very quickly. Feel free to contact me through my campus email (Please put "Online Student" in the subject area). I will generally respond within 24 hours (holidays and weekends being exceptions) but usually much quicker.
The "messages" tool in the course can also be used to reach me (athough I prefer you use my campus email) At a minimum, I check the course messages at least each morning and during my office hours each week.
If you would like to speak with me, please send me an email with that request, I will usually see that much faster and be aable to give you a call back.
These are general guidelines that will be applied when grading your class discussions. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.
You should participate in a 1 discussion topics per unit ( a total of 3 for the course - see course syllabus). For each unit there will be 2-3 topics associated with it.
You should select ONLY ONE TOPIC to participate in.
For the topic you select, you should post a MINIMUM of three posts.
The initial post should be at least 1 page in length (250 words), and respond to the topic starter. Be sure to read/watch the background material on the issue. The goal of the discussions is to have an informed debate on current controversies in American society.
After you formulate and post your initial post, you should then respond to at least two posts of your classmates IN THE SAME TOPIC. The response posts should be about 1/2 - 3/4 of a page in length (125 - 175 words).
Please do not post your responses as a file attachment. If you would like to save a copy of the post, type your response in your word processor and save it there, then simply cut and paste your response into the discussion post.
The topics are drawn from a variety of sources. I try to select topics that the class will find interesting and relate to politics. Each Unit's topics will only be open until the closing date for the unit (refer to the course schedule for a listing of all relevant due dates and the closing dates of each unit).
Late Discussion posts will not be accepted. Once the topic is locked, responses will no longer be accepted.
Points to Remember
Read discussion topics and responses on Blackboard often. Reflect on these comments and contribute your own perspectives. Online discussions are learning opportunities that are equivalent to class discussions with instructors and other participants. By reflecting on and responding to questions and comments, you will develop your ability to articulate your concerns, opinions, viewpoints and professional judgment.
I know everyone is always anxious to receive feedback on your completed work, so I will make every effort to give you prompt feedback. I generally grade twice a week for each class. This means that you will usually not have to wait more than a week before your grades are posted. For instance if I grade Friday morning, everything that was submitted between the previous Friday and the Friday of the grading will be posted. The exception to this is the discussion posts which are only graded at the close of the unit. Also, be aware that if everyone waits till the closing date, closing hour of a unit to submit assignments, discussions and exams there might be a slight delay...I do grade, however, in the order that the assignments are received.
Success in the Online Environment
Although this is a distance learning course, it is NOT a correspondence course; nor is it an independent study course. Specific deadlines are provided and must be met. Class participation, in the form of discussions, is required and will be factored into your final grade. While I try to build in a great deal of flexibility for you to work ahead in each unit, you cannot complete the course in a single weekend, but are expected to be part of the course for the whole semester.
This online version of Government is designed to require roughly the same amount of time a student would spend in a 3 credit hour, face-to-face (f2f) class. You will be expected to complete all of the learning activities and maintain an active presence in the class discussion forums. Time commitment consists of two parts: interaction with other students (class participation) and interaction with content (course material).
General points to remember:
Great! You are almost finished. Before you get started with the content for this course, I would like you to take care of some "housekeeping" items.
Remember these tasks are agraddedcomponent of the course. Please complete as soon after logging in as possible so that I know a little about each of you enrolled in the course. (If you are enrolled in both of my online sections at the same time you may use the same info for both courses - BUT it MUST be posted in both areas to recieve credit)
I am looking forward to a great semester. If you have any general questions, please go to the discussion board and post it under general course questions section. If the question is of a more personal nature, feel free to email me.