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The cartoon is used for educational purposes by Dr. Nilsson, South Texas College, scanned,
from The Monitor, McAllen.

What's next?

When you read this it is assumed that you have already read the Welcome -- Start here! page.

This class is a course about our planet -- the real world, how it works, what damage we have done to it, and what we should or should not do to it in the future. To help you learn you have a textbook that you must read and online assignments you must complete. While you are reading you will answer "chapter quizzes" online on Blackboard, other online quizzes and online worksheets, and participate in intellectual discussions about important topics.

A already mentioned in the Welcome -- Start here! page, the three syllabus documents, the Grading Criteria, the Grade Recorder, and the Semester Calendar are probably the three most helpful documents for the class. Use them often and use them well.

When all this is said, further down this page are some suggestions for those of you who don't know what to do next. But let me first tell you what NOT to do next. Don't wait a week and send a message on Blackboard and say you haven't done anything and that you don't know what to do! The first two weeks of the semester (first week if Summer III) is for you to familiarize yourself with the course. Use that time well...

See the cartoon below? Welcome to the gym! Start exercising your brain! Don't procrastinate! Perhaps this is a good time to mention the "rule of thumb for college study time"?

The cartoon is used for educational purposes by Dr. Nilsson, South Texas College, scanned, from The Monitor, McAllen.

As a "rule of thumb" during regular semester you should study 2 - 3 hours per credit hour, per week. (Did you click on the link?) In other words in a 4 hour class you should study 8 - 12 hours per week! The summer semester is shorter than regular semsters, so you need to set aside additional time.

So, no time for parties -- get to work!

Here are a few suggestions what you can do next:

Organize your work. With the help of the Grading Criteria and the Semester Calendar, on a piece of paper, list all assignments in order of dates due. Doing so will give you a much better understanding of the requirements of the class.

Start reading the textbook. (Haven't got the book yet? Get it PRONTO!) I recommend that you start reading first without looking at the chapter quizzes. Read some pages, look at the table of contents, and look at figures -- then go to Blackboard and explore the first chapter quiz.

Explore the Environmental Biology Hub. A good place to start is the Welcome -- Start here! -- I assume that you have already read that page... Have you? You should also spend some time studying the the Grading Criteria, the Grade Recorder and the Semester Calendar

Explore STC Blackboard -- especially Blackbord Plaza. Blackboard Plaza and the assignment folders will not be available until you have submitted the Student Contract Quiz and the Start Quiz. The best way to reach Blackboard is from the Environmental Biology page.

The Class Communication Page is another page you want to visit for helpful hints and messages from the instructor.

OK, so by now you should have started to get "the hang" of this class. Unlike classes, such as in high school, where the teachers often tell the students every two minutes what to do, this college class attempt to be challenging, uses the Internet to communicate class instructions, and puts the learning responsibility on the students --YOU.

All class dates are in the online Semester Calendar. You are responsible for using it! Use it!

This is what a previous student said: "Many schools today have made education passive and students have become lazy and uninterested. Students today expect everything to be given to them and explained. Teachers in elementary, middle school and high school have spoiled students by giving them every single direction and even providing examples. When students come into the university they fall behind because they don't know how to read a syllabus, keep track of the work required, they are not organized and they are not self-starters."

Self-starter? To succeed in this class -- that usually means getting an A or a B -- without ripping your hair off -- requires self-motivation and independent thinking. A person with those qualities is often called a "self-starter". A self-starter does not ask when assignments are due or where to post class discussion messages. A self-starter find out this by him- or her-self. A self-starter uses the Syllabus and the Class Hub page to find the information! When are assignments due? Correct -- the answer is in the Semester Calendar. A self-starter knows that.

Challenging college classes? For those of you who want college to be challenging: Congratulations you are in the right class! x

Note to summer semester students: Summer semesters are shorter than regular semester. Get to work immediately!

The cartoon is used for educational purposes by Dr. Nilsson, South Texas College, scanned, from State Press, Arizona (Stacy Holmstedt), (May 31, 1995).

Dr. Nilsson

Copyright © 2007, 2008, Jan A. Nilsson. Page designed and created 23.VII.2007, last updated 01.I.2008, most likely during the wee hours of the morning on a G3 PowerBook "clunker" owned by Jan A. Nilsson. Web page layout and design © and intellectual property Jan A. Nilsson. Content on Dr. Nilsson's CyberOffice may not be used for commercial purposes. All rights reserved. Except for educational purposes and 'fair use' (see below), reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited. If used for educational purposes and 'fair use', including photographs, source must be given. (Some clip art, texts and backgrounds used on Dr. Nilsson's CyberOffice downloaded for educational purposes and/or 'fair use' from Internet free domain has no source.)

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