Announcement: Going Forward with Distance Learning

Some of these plans might change as I learn more from CUNY and City Tech about particular procedures concerning our shift to distance learning for our formerly in-person class.

Here’s what I’ve decided as a way forward for our Science Fiction class:

  • Don’t forget to complete your weekly summary of the assigned readings/viewing and lecture. These are due before the next week’s class and they should be at least 250-words in length.
  • I will post each week’s lecture as an embedded video on our OpenLab site on Wednesdays at 6:00pm or earlier. Watch these to make your lecture notes.
  • Each week, I will have online office hours on Wednesday from 5:00-6:00pm. This means that I will be available during that time to reply to emails and I will host a Google Hangout, which I will post a link to on our OpenLab site before the office hour begins.
  • I’ve folded video viewings into weeks with readings as we won’t be needing class time to do the viewings. Depending on your schedule, you can keep up with the schedule of readings and viewings as needed. The thing to aim for is not falling too far behind so that you experience each text on the syllabus and you have a chance to write a summary comment for each week’s lecture and readings.
  • With the viewings moved, I was able to open a week for something new. April 29 has no readings assigned. Instead, I will want to hear from everyone BEFORE that date via email about your selected topic, so that I can reply with suggestions. Those of you who have spoken with me already do not need to do this. On April 29, I will post a video lecture with ideas about doing research for your project. Of course, you can begin your research project before that date and you can email me with additional questions about research before then, but I will devote that week’s class to research.
  • Connected to the April 29 research lecture is a change in the final essay project. Instead of emailing me a Word docx file, I will now have you create a post on our OpenLab site for your research essay. I still recommend that you write your essay in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc., but I will give you instructions later this semester about how to create your own post for your essay on our OpenLab site. You will copy-and-paste your work into the post that you create and then publish it. This will create a permanent copy of your work that you can link to from an ePortfolio or show as evidence that you know how to create a post on WordPress, the content management server software that powers about 1/3 of the Internet today!
  • Anyone who hasn’t submitted their midterm notebooks should email a PDF of their notes to Prof. Ellis by Wednesday, Mar. 18.
  • On the last day of class, Wednesday, May 20 (if this changes, I will let you know), there are three things due electronically. First, you will create a post for your research essay on our OpenLab site as discussed above. Second, you will scan your notebooks from the midterm to the final lecture into a PDF and email that PDF as an email attachment to Prof. Ellis. And third, you will have a take-home final exam, which I will email to everyone the week before. Complete it using your favorite word processor, save your work as a Word docx file, and email the docx file to Prof. Ellis.
  • Confirm your final work: For your research essay, you will be able to navigate back to our OpenLab site and see whether your work is visible or not. If it is not, try posting it again. If you have trouble, email Prof. Ellis with details. For your final notebook and take home final exam, please send these as email attachments in SEPARATE emails to Prof. Ellis. I will reply to each email with a confirmation receipt so that you know that I received your work successfully.
  • Please email Prof. Ellis with questions. I will discuss these things in subsequent videos on our OpenLab site.

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