FAQs about How to Use the Course to Match Your Ways of Learning and Your Goals

Click on the question category (TEXTBOOK) or the question itself. If you have additional questions, just ask and I will add them here.

 

TEXTBOOK

Do I really need the textbook???

CONTENT

Where is the content?

How can I find all the essay topics I have to answer for each Unit essay exam?

How can I find every possible objective question I have to answer for each Unit objective exam?

What is the best way to prepare for the exams?

CONTENT AND QUIZZES

What are the three versions of the quizzes for?

What should Blackboard do after you take a Check Your Knowledge quiz?

Why shouldn’t you study the results from a Check Your Knowledge quiz?

How does the extra credit work with quizzes?

Why are there only 10 minutes to key your answers to a Check Your Knowledge Quizzes--and how people who don't like to read online can have another way?

Why the other versions of the quiz are only 10 minutes?

CONTENT AND VIDEOS & ASSIGNMENTS

How do I use Blackboard’s Assignment tool for ANY assignment?

How do I figure out how to do the video assignment for this course?

What’s the purpose of looking at the videos and the report I fill out?

How can I choose my videos?

Will I lose points if each of my videos does not exactly match the content covered for that Part of the Unit (like Part A, B, or C in Unit 1)?

WHY CAN’T I SEE…

Why can’t I see the Unit Exams?

Why can’t I see the Unit 1 Essay Exam? I know I did the Practice Essay (History Changes Essay)?

I click on a link but nothing happens?

LINKS TO VIDEOS

I click on a video but it asks for a password or nothing happens?

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE EXTRA CREDITS?

What are the possible extra credits for quizzes and the additional benefits beyond the extra points?

What are the possible extra credits for the Practice Essay (History Changes Essay) and additional benefits beyond the extra points?

What are the possible extra credits for the Ask and Answer Discussion topics and additional benefits beyond the extra points?

 

TEXTBOOK

Do I really need the textbook???

The answer to this is yes. You can buy older editions of this textbook or rent or use it at your local library, but you need the textbook. You use it as your source of facts when you write; I use it when I grade your evidence.

 

Edward Ayers, Lewis Gould, David Oshinsky, and Jean Soderlund. American Passages: A History of the United States. 4th edition. The ISBN for the current 4th edition in paperback is ISBN: 9780547166469.

 

If you need tips on buying or borrowing a cheap book, click here. You can use many of the older books as long as they have 32 chapters.

 

Caution: You cannot use the BRIEF, 4th edition which has 2 fewer chapters than the 32 chapters in the other 4th editions and all prior editions of this book.

 

CONTENT

Where is the content?

Content is in Learning Modules (on the left menu). You have:

·         Getting Started

·         Unit 1

·         Unit 2

·         Unit 3

·         Final Exam

 

Each Unit is a major time period that reveal shifts in our history. To make the work manageable, I have divided each Unit into 3 smaller time periods, or Parts. For example, Unit 1 is divided into Part A, Part B, and Part C, each with its own major theme and its own quiz.

How can I find all the essay topics I have to answer for each Unit essay exam?

As with most things in this course, you can reach most things in two ways so you choose the method that works best for you. With essays, you can find the possible topics:

·         At the top section of the webpage for each Unit (a link called Everything You Need for This Unit)  "Everything You Need for This Unit (except the maps)"

·         Essay Topics (from the left-hand menu)

How can I find every possible objective question I have to answer for each Unit objective exam?

In the "Everything You Need for This Unit (except the maps)" for each Unit, you find printable or downloadable versions of the Check Your Knowledge quiz quizzes:

·         One without tips—the one you use to decide your answers (perhaps on a piece of notebook paper) and then key them in the actual Blackboard quiz

·         One with tips—the one that  provides not only tips, but a fast place to record stuff—like the answers or what you missed or where you read so you got it straight.

 

When you key the answers you decided in the actual Blackboard quiz, you know:

·         What you know

·         What you don’t know. If you miss something, use the Check Your Knowledge quiz with tips and go read that content in our textbook AND no other source.

What is the best way to prepare for the exams?

For objective exams, use the Check Your Knowledge quizzes to test your current knowledge. Read what you do not know. Memorization does not work. There are also practice versions of the same quizzes if you find that helps you.

For Comparison topics, use the link at the top of each Unit webpage (at the top of the unit). It lists all the possible questions so you know what to read. If you can’t find information, you can email me and I will add to the list some tips that everyone can see.

For more information, click on the Essays & Evidence FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

For general success, use these resources:

·         In the course--the Unit webpage, including things to help you self-test in history.

·         In the discussion for the Units—ask for the help you need.

·         With your prof—if you post asking for help and no student responds in a few days, then I can offer content and make it visible to everyone.

 

CONTENT AND QUIZZES

What are the three versions of the quizzes for?

There are three versions of each quiz:

1.    Check Your Knowledge quizzes – Measures your current knowledge so you know what you need to read (.01 point extra credit per question in the quiz)
Never prepare for these. You are testing your own CURRENT knowledge so you know your strengths and weaknesses.
Requires the password onetimeonly

2.    PRACTICE ONLY quizzes – Lets you practice as much as you want (no points, but unlimited retakes).

3.    The real 10-point quiz
Prepare for these by reading carefully everything you missed in the check your knowledge version. If needed, ask questions. Do NOT memorize what you do not understand.
Requires the password onetimeonly

What should Blackboard do after you take a Check Your Knowledge quiz?

When you start out, all you see is the Check Your Knowledge quiz.

1.    You click the Check Your Knowledge quiz.
Example: you take Quiz A_ec Check Your Knowledge.

2.    Blackboard automatically displays its Practice quiz and its real one
Example: you see both
- Quiz A - PRACTICE ONLY (no points, but unlimited retakes)
- Quiz A (10 points, onetime only)

Why shouldn’t you study the results from a Check Your Knowledge quiz?

You do not want to copy the results of a Check your knowledge quiz and study them.  

To learn the content enough that you can answer an written question (not just memorize meaningless facts), you must go read the content for any question you missed.


To make it easy for you to see all parts of the question, to record what you missed, and to help you find content in the textbook or resources, I provide a copy of  each Check Your Knowledge quiz  with tips.

 

How does the extra credit work with quizzes?

1. Let’s say you take Quiz A_ec – Check Your Knowledge a few days before the due date for the extra credit. Let’s pretend you got about ˝ of them right.

2. You started reading everything you missed and you record those page numbers on your printable version of Quiz A that you got from the Unit 1 webpage. You check the Unit 1 Ask and Answer discussion topic and post when you can’t find the section of the book to use.

3. You periodically take the PRACTICE ONLY version of Quiz A to check on how well your brain is holding this new information.

4. On the date in the Course Schedule for the extra credit, you think you are ready. You take Quiz A—the one you can only take 1 time. You make 9 (Yes!).

5. The next day, I go enter 2 points in the A_ec block at My Grades.

In other words, I reward you guys for doing things that help you succeed.

Why are there only 10 minutes to key your answers to a Check Your Knowledge Quizzes--and how people who don't like to read online can have another way?

 

For the check your knowledge quizzes, you WANT to do quickly without looking up anything. You want to know what your brain thinks is true before you read. If I give a longer time, students will start looking up stuff or pondering the answer to try to figure it out instead of measuring what is in their brains right now.

 

I have some students doing this step to measure themselves:

 

1. There are links to all the questions in each quiz in the Unit 1 webpage at the top of the Learning Module. You can print those out if you don’t want to read online OR you can take a sheet of notebook paper and write a number for each question.

 

2. Make a quick decision about what you think is the right answer and write the letter for your answer by the number.

 

3. Go type those decisions into the Check Your Knowledge Quiz.

 

4. Click submit and see the results. Then record the answer and what you missed and then start reading what you did not know.

Why the other versions of the quiz are only 10 minutes?

As for the regular quizzes, there are only 10 questions at 1 minute a question. When I first began working here, the departmental policy was 1 minute per question. That has been more time than people needed for the objective exams from what I have seen for years.

 

CONTENT AND VIDEOS & ASSIGNMENTS

How do I use Blackboard’s Assignment tool for ANY assignment?

On the menu on the left, there is a link to On Demand Tutorials or to Blackboard Help. Blackboard provides videos that show you how you must use their tool.

How do I figure out how to do the video assignment for this course?

First notice these things at top of the Videos & Assignments (on the left menu)

·         How to Do the Unit Videos –This is the same thing as the file you download from the assignment tool, complete, and then upload..
Lets you see the instructions in the file you complete for the assignment.
Shows an example of what you record for Step 2.

·         Searchable List of Dallas Telelearning Videos for US History 1302
Click on the link to decide which videos you want to use. Instructions and tips for how to find the videos you want are at the top of the webpage.

·         If You Have a Problem: How to Click to See a Video
If you have a problem in viewing these videos, tells you how to click on these videos so you can display them.

 

Below that you see the file you download and complete. You also see all of the videos for this time period.

What’s the purpose of looking at the videos and the report I fill out?

The purpose of this assignment is to help you see change over time period covered by the Unit. The purpose is

·         not to summarize each video

·         not to write a lot of words

 

To quote the syllabus:

You choose three videos, one from each Part of the Unit, to see how history changes on an issue that matters to you. Examples: what happened to African Americans, big business, factory workers, farmers, immigrants, ranchers, technology, women, and so on.

How can I choose my videos?

Before you write your answers, you need to choose your probable videos. You do that by thinking about what you want to see (such as what happened to workers) and then using the Searchable List.

 

The Searchable List shows you all of the videos that the Dallas Telelearning group created (and the Virtual College of Texas lets us use). It also tells you how to search and bring up a Find box if you do not already know.

Tip: depending on the browser, the Find box may be at the top, bottom, or perhaps other places.

 

Once you find a video that you want to look at, be sure to copy and paste somewhere:

·         The folder name – The bold title above a list (The videos are grouped by folders with those names.)

·         The video name – The name in the left column of the list

 

You must choose:

·         1 video from about the 1st of the time period

·         1 video from about in the middle

·         1 video from the end of the time period

 

Go look at the 3 videos. You may find one of them is not what you need; then choose another.

 

Will I lose points if each of my videos does not exactly match the content covered for that Part of the Unit (like Part A, B, or C in Unit 1)?

I'm not going to zap people for matching the chapter numbers for each Part--because the parts frequently cover more than one chapter. I just want you to SEE real people at about the beginning, middle, and end of the time period covered by the Unit. I let you chose the issue.

 

Why would I do this? Students frequently think that their own lives reveal the past.

·         Yes, in such basics as survival and love of children, our lives do reveal the past.

·         But, our lives are not the same as those in the past and you need to SEE them to catch on. One reason OUR lives are different from THEIRS is because they fought for things to be different in the nation for their sakes, their kids' sake, and—as it turned out—OURs.

 

WHY CAN’T I SEE

Why can’t I see the Unit Exams?

This Blackboard does not display anything unless students can take it right now. The Unit 1 exam is sitting there, but you can't see it until the hour you can take them.

 

To help you know what and where the exam is, you can see a folder that contains the exam.

 

Doe the one on the weird prompt

 

Why can’t I see the Unit 1 Essay Exam? I know I did the Practice Essay (History Changes Essay)?

This sounds like a Blackboard issue but it is not so I’ve placed this question in several FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

The course includes a Practice Essay so that students find out the typical requirements for a factual essay without getting their grade average (or their futures) messed up:

1.    You prepare and do the Practice Essay.

2.    Your instructor gives you feedback on that essay and tells you the essay grade for the Practice Essay AND for any future essays if you do the work in same way.

3.    You follow the instructions in that feedback and what happens next depends on what you did:

·         If you found the problems the instructor pointed out, she replies back saying she will enter the points for the essay itself AND the extra credit.
The points for the extra credit cause Blackboard to display the Unit 1 essays to you.

·         If you did not, she may do several possible things such as:
- Write a response and require you to read it and reply that you read it
- Ask for a phone conference as the fastest way to deal with a complex issue (I am also willing to meet with you face to face.)

LINKS TO CONTENT

I click on a link but nothing happens?

Some links open a webpage in a new window, so first be sure that all of your pop up blockers are off. Sometimes one may be working in the background, so you may want to try holding down the ctrl key when clicking on the lesson link.

Sometimes there is a lag time between clicking on the link and the page loading (depending on your connection speed).

 

LINKS TO VIDEOS

I click on a video but it asks for a password or nothing happens?

In spring this year, the management group for the videos (Dallas TeleLearning) sent out an email saying they had changed the interface. When I tried it this morning, I initially had a prompt that required a password--which I cannot give you. I began trying other browsers and, in general, this method has worked:

1. Place your cursor over the video link

2. Click the right mouse button

3. On the menu displayed, click Open in New Window so the video is in a separate window.

4. Follow the prompts from there. (Example: click the > arrow to start it.)

This tip may not work on an older machine or Internet browser. (If you have problems, then please tell me so I can try to research an answer.)

 

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE EXTRA CREDITS?

What are the possible extra credits for quizzes and the additional benefits beyond the extra points?

Here is what the syllabus says about extra points for quizzes.

By taking the Check Your Knowledge quiz in Blackboard, you earn a few points. (At .01 per question and with a maximum of 40 questions that is less than .4 for each quiz.)

 

The additional benefits from how you are working are that you also see:

  • What you missed and your answer so you know what you must read
  • All of the possible facts in the quiz questions covered in that Part of the Unit and the correct answers for those quiz questions

 

By taking the Check Your Knowledge quiz by the date in the Course Schedule and by making 9 points or higher on the quiz, you earn 2 extra credit points.

 

The additional benefits are that you also:

  • Are staying current with your work and are more likely to pass
  • Will understand the facts and be better prepared for the essays—if you read what you did not know (not just memorize without trying to understand)

 

What are the possible extra credits for the Practice Essay (History Changes Essay) and additional benefits beyond the extra points?

By completing the instructions for the 10-point Practice Essay, you can earn 10 points extra credit. 

The additional benefits are that:

  • If you did well, you have extra points.
  • If you did not do well, the extra credit protects your grade and you know what you need to change about how you prepare for the Unit essays.

 

 

What are the possible extra credits for the Ask and Answer Discussion topics and additional benefits beyond the extra points?

By participating in the Ask and Answer topics in the Discussion Board, for each Unit, you earn up to 6 points for each Unit.

 

The additional benefits are that you also:

  • Are staying current with your work and are more likely to pass
  • Can give and get help (The Course Orientation explains how this works.)

 

 

 With thanks to WCJC’s Director of Distance Education, Professor Michele Betancourt, for her permission to use her Getting Started documents (including her exact words) in the Getting Started sections of our WCJC courses.

 

Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2013

 

WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

Last Updated:

2013

WCJC Home:

http://www.wcjc.edu/