Online ENG 201: World Literature (Classical to Renaissance):

The Question of Heroism

Online Learning

Taking a course online, which does not require students to be physically present in a material classroom, can be a great learning experience for some students; for others, it can produce less than optimal outcomes. In this online course, the students and the course instructor use online technology to read, discuss, and write about literature. The course requires that students work independently and interdependently with the course instructor and with fellow students. Consequently, students must be able to make a commitment to sustain their participation in the course and to communicate regularly with fellow students and with the instructor.

Students must possess self-motivation and be self-directed to successfully progress through the course. Students must also feel comfortable with computer tasks such as using email, browsing the web, using word processing software, and posting messages to an electronic bulletin board.

Students report the most difficult aspect of distance learning to be time management. I know you may have other demands on your time, but in order to succeed in this course, you will have to set aside regular time for reading as well as writing and thinking about the materials assigned.

To get started, I recommend the following:

Email me with any questions that you have as you familiarize yourself with the course.


Email FYI

While I’m sure most of you are frequent email users, below I offer a few suggestions on how to properly format any emails sent to me or to your fellow classmates.

How should I send a useful email message to the instructor?

When sending an email message, you should take care to include certain information that will help you receive a proper response in a timely manner. The email should have accurate header information, indicating who is sending the email, and a descriptive subject line. (In the event that your instructor is teaching more than one class, also include class name and session to indicate which course you are taking with that instructor. Because I am only teaching one class this summer, the latter information is not necessary.)

What should be in the header information of the email message?

Never assume that your instructor knows who sent the email; your email program may assign an alias or nickname in the email header, or insert a default address if you are using someone else’s computer or one of the computer labs on campus. Your instructor probably won’t know who "The Nickster" or "2hot2handle" is.

Therefore, ensure that your email program is using a correct name for the sender (something that tells the instructor who you are), or include the information in the body of your message (e.g., Hi, this Joe Smith from ENG 201).

What should be included in the subject line to make it more useful?

The subject line should be brief (many mailers will truncate long subject lines), does not need to be a complete sentence, and should refer to the content of the message. For example:

Subject: ENG201—Question about page length for Assignment 1

Subject: ENG201—Question about Achilles’ death

How soon can I expect an answer to my email from my instructor?

My turn-around time on email is about 36 hours, although I may often reply much faster than that. The time it takes me to return your message may depend on several things: I might want to research the answer; I might have several other messages to respond to; or the server might be down. Be patient, and I will respond as quickly as I can.

I will be holding virtual office hours Tuesday 1:00-2:00 p.m. and Thursday 7:30-8:30 p.m. (Arizona Standard Time). If I receive an email from you during those times, I will respond to it that same day. Emails received outside of virtual office hours will be subject to the 36-hour timeframe.

If you will be on or near campus during first summer session and would like to meet with me in person, please email me so we can set up an appointment.