If you do not own a computer capable of
handling an online course, you can still take an online course by
using computers available to you on campus as a York student, or
|There are on-campus computing facilities available
at the Computing Commons in Parking Structure ll. The Computing
Commons is open 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. There are no speakers
at these open labs; students have to bring their own earphones.
For more information about on-campus computing visit York University's
Computing and Network Services Website.
If you have any technical non-course related computing questions you
may contact York University's Client Support Services by phone (416)
736-5800, by email firstname.lastname@example.org
or you may obtain assistance in person at Room 101, Computing Commons,
Parking Structure ll.
Public Computing Options: Internet cafes, public
libraries and other facilities (for example kiosk stations) are open to
the public provide alternatives for access.
I'm emailing You
You must have and access a York
University student (or employee) email account to participate
in an Internet course. I will not support your not accessing this account
as acceptable grounds for any appeal. If you have private email, you may have the
YU account forwarded there, but you must have access to your YU
in on-campus courses, it is to your advantage to get connected. I can readily access the
list of YU accounts of students in classes I teach, and I often
send out reminders of such things as test dates and papers due
and notice that marks have been posted. I
cannot do this for private email accounts. Activate your YU
account; you're entitled to one; you've paid for it.
If you have sent me an email and you've not
heard back in more than 12 hours, check whether the problem is with your server;
I rarely take very long to answer email and if you
haven't heard back from me there is probably a reason. Check that you are registered for my course (i.e.: you are
writing to the right professor), check that you have told me
what course you are in and who you are (I'm usually teaching more than one
course and I don't always have time to go hunt you down if you don't identify yourself).
As much as possible, I try to avoid the use of
computer jargon, acronyms, and emoticons, but I do use one -- the sideways smiley
face with glasses 8-) to try to soften a comment
or indicate that it's a joke, although I'm careful about humour
on email; it can backfire easily.
You're emailing Me
Me Your Name
This should be obvious but apparently it's not from the volume
of email I get saying "Hi, I'm your student"
when I have literally hundreds of you in different
courses. Write your name in
the body of the email at the end of your message (or get your computer to do a
Me What Class You're In
In the subject line of your message and in the body of
your message, put the number or name of the course you are
taking with me (3120Q, 2200Q, 3210A).
Me What You're Talking About
Put something meaningful in the subject line (e.g.:
"Please explain Hunt's Dichotomies", not just "Hi."
your name on emails you send (this set of instructions
comes from a student in one of my Internet courses; mine is set up
automatically at York so I cannot personally verify how this works)
|In your email system on your
|1. Click 'Options'.
|2. Go under 'Your Information' and
click on 'Personal Information'.
|3. Click on 'Edit your
|4. From here you may edit an
existing identity or create a new one. I suggest editing
your 'Default Identity'.
|5. First choose if you wish to
have your name on ALL outgoing emails (much easier) or just on SOME.
|6. If you wish
to have your name on ALL outgoing emails then choose 'Default
Identity' from the menu 'Your Identities'. Fill in the following
address. I advise you against changing 'Your Reply-to: address:".
|7. If you wish to have your name
on SOME outgoing emails then create a new Identity. Do not choose anything from the 'Your Identities'
menu. Fill in the rest.
The assumption here is that you have never created another
therefore you have no secondary identities (anything but the
default) to edit.
|8. Once you have completed steps
6. and/or 7., Click on the 'Change' or 'Create' button. Whichever is available to you.
|9. If you have chosen to only have
your name on SOME outgoing emails then when you click on 'Compose' or 'Reply' before you send the email you
will have to change your 'Identity' field to the identity you created simply
by selecting it on the pull down menu.
|10. If you would like to check
that your identity was properly created you may send yourself a message.
Not Contacting Me
While I maintain there is no such thing as a stupid
question, for many matters there are people you should contact
instead of me who can answer
your questions better than I:
write me about technical or
administrative problems because I won't know
|who gets you a MAYA
|why your name isn't on the
|who programmed the York
|when the Admin Studies
office can see you
|where the "ANY"
Don't write to ask me something
that you can easily look up in the index.
There are hundreds of you and only one of me. I recognize that
you are stressed and busy and nervous about course requirements,
but it simply is not a good use of my limited time to
answer questions like, "when is the assignment due?"
when your course syllabus tells you that. Save for me the academic
and course-related questions
that you still have after first looking carefully in the course
materials and reading the text; then in your email, tell me what
steps you have already taken to find it out. Don't write and say, "Please
explain Hunt's Three Dichotomies Model." Write instead and
say something like, "I've read the section on Hunt in the Introductory
Learning Unit and I'm still not sure why Hunt calls that a
Don't write me for clarification on
assignment instructions unless something is so clearly
impossible that you believe it to be a typing error on my part. I give
you a lot of direction, but beyond that, you are university
students and part of your learning task is figuring out how to do
it. If I have not told you how to do it, it just may be that it is
part of your job to figure out how to do it. Read your course kit
instructions; read your textbook; talk to your fellow students.
Do NOT write me privately to ask, "Will you
have questions about Shelby Hunt on the test?" I do not
provide private hints and suggestions about assignments and tests to individual students; there's just no way it could be
fair for me to do this only for some students, and yet I am
constantly amazed at the number of students who ask for this
privilege (98% of them are male, interestingly). If you have a
question about the assignment or a test, ask me publicly. This applies to
in-class questions and to the online Discussion Group. If you write me privately with a
question that I think might benefit the class, I will post my answer
publicly along with your question. This is the equivalent of an
in-class situation where you ask me at break about Hunt and I say,
"That's a great question, could you ask it when we all get
back in class?"
Don't write me on my private email
unless you really need to "talk" to me privately. This might include things like
explaining about a conflict with a due date, or just writing to
tell me something that you wouldn't want to say publicly, just as
you might stop after class to talk with me about something. I am
busy, yes, but I'm never too busy to chat with a student, in the
office or on the email. Just don't try to use me as your personal
guide through the course; there are literally hundreds of you and
only one of me.
Don't write me without telling me
who you are and what course you are taking with me. Often I
simply cannot answer your question if I do not know who you are.
Don't send me email with an
attachment and nothing in the body of the message. Anti-virus
protection recommends never opening an unsolicited attachment. I
just hit delete. If you have something to say to me, say it in the
body of the email. If you are sending an attachment as
requested in a course, tell me in the body of the email what
you are sending.
Don't send me ANY cute pictures of
kittens, pleas for contributions to funds for starving children and
disaster relief, human rights petitions, inspirational religious
messages, or jokes. My email is a crucial part of my teaching tools and
there's just not enough time in the day to also handle what really is
Phone, Use email
-- Reach me by email rather than telephone because I don't answer
or respond to my office telephone. I have a learning peculiarity which makes the phone
difficult for me. Never leave an important message on
the phone mail-box and later claim you "told me" because
my phone message specifically tells you to email me
In an Internet course, the Discussion Group
replaces a number of things, including in-class discussion,
announcements from the professor, test and exam review, questions about
the course that would normally be brought up in the classroom or in
As the professor, and in accordance with my teaching philosophy, I also
am an active participant in the Discussion Group. I do not just check
weekly to see how many times you have posted a comment. I'm there right
from the beginning to guide you through the Waving Hand Exercises (named
for the waving graphic that accompanies each exercise and which relates
to the concept of the raised hand in a traditional classroom), to answer
your questions, and to help you understand if you are headed in a wrong
A major purpose of the Discussion
Group is to give you a chance to talk about what you are
learning in the course in terms of your own personal experience
in the field. For example, in Introductory Marketing, one Waving Hand
exercise asks you to go to a coffee shop and sit and observe in terms of Peter Drucker's
Five Questions for Marketing; the unit on
Networking in the Gender Issues course asks you to go out and have
coffee with someone you've been wanting to meet to talk about your
career. In both courses, you then will write about your experience and
post it to the Discussion Group. Since some of the course assignments require you to write about what you
learned about the subject matter by engaging in the discussion, you
should start participating in the Discussion Group early, post your
answers to the Waving Hand Exercises and answer the postings of other
students. Keep up with it, and
engaged in exchanges with other students. Some assignments may ask you to
recount exchanges you were involved in, and if you weren't involved in
any, you will not have anything to write. Read postings from other students
and write back specifically to that message (this is known as "feeding
your thread"). It is your responsibility
to get yourself engaged in this part of the learning process. Questions
from the Waving Hand Exercises and the Discussion Group often show
up on tests as well. Your contribution mark or your mark on assignments that require
the use of the Discussion Group also depend to some extent on your
participation in the discussion, as evidenced by my records of
your number of postings.
I also use the Discussion Group to send such things as reminders of
due dates, notice of when marks are posted, notes about upcoming
lectures or guest speakers in on-campus courses, and to review for
tests and exams. For this
reason you must access your account regularly.
Here is a testimonial from a
recent student in an Internet course about the value of
participating in the Discussion Group. While working full time and
raising children, the author of this quote also managed to earn a mark
of A in the course:
|Now that I have finished this
course, I would like to offer some wisdom and encouragement for
success in this course to future fellow students. Please
participate in the discussion forum. It will not only contribute
to higher grades in the assignments, but it will also assist you
in remembering the course material for the exam. If you make a
conscientious effort to regularly post Waving Hand Exercise
responses to the discussion forum, you will find that this
application of theory will improve your ability to laterally
exchange this theory in different marketing situations. Posting
replies to your fellow students will also generate interesting
viewpoints for discussion and will enhance your learning of the
material. Participation is the key to success. Good luck to all
of you. I hope you will enjoy this course as much as I did.
It is one thing to sit and study terms and
theories from my textbook, but it is a totally different
experience to actually discuss what a certain term or theory
is, and how it is used in the world of
marketing. Through this assignment, I have come to appreciate [the
greatly because I realized the advantages and benefits of
having other students and my professor to discuss the course
material with, for a greater
understanding. I am finding that I am more active in
discussions during the second half of the course than in the
first half. By reading everyone else's different viewpoints
and responses on one single issue, everyone has more
understanding of the topic, and can expand their thinking.
This type of discussion gives me a little taste of what kind
of marketers I will probably be competing with or working
with in the future.
I don't use Learning Space
or Quick Space because they regularly crash on me and are otherwise too
frustrating, so there is no chat room for any of the courses I teach.
You are free to set up chat rooms on your own with such facilities as
MSN, but the only Discussion Group for which you receive any credit for
participation is the official full-class Discussion Group.
As in any society, there are rules that govern
behaviour on the "net": the Internet and its web pages. Many of these
rules are just the same as in any other society and can be summed up in
the rule found in most all religions and societies. The Judeo/Christian
version is called the Golden Rule:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You
For courses I teach, they also include the Rules of
Behaviour as laid out in the
Ground Rules Policy Pages
of my Course Kits.
In addition there are many rules that pertain to
things that are specific to the Internet, therefore the term
Basic Rules of Discussion Group Participation and Postings
Don't do ANYTHING on the
internet or email before installing an ant-virus
programme on your computer. You would not have unprotected
intimate communication; don't expect your computer to. Try
Norton Utilities or Mcafee.
If your yu account is
still set up with only numbers (i.e.: you haven't changed
your "handle"), be sure to put your name
somewhere in your posting, either at the top or at the
bottom. Otherwise we can't tell who you are and we can't
write back to you using your name, which is one of the
best ways to begin to feel at home in the course - when
people are addressing you by your own name.
Put the name and number of the
Exercise you are responding to in the Subject box.
Pyramid - New
and Important Stuff First
Put your own message at the top of a response, and say in
the first 2-3 lines what you really want to say. Many people read
only the first lines of messages so get your point
across quickly. Put the material to which you are
responding at the end of your message.
Always, always, always remain polite.
All messages are logged and kept
in a record, so think before you write anything you would
not say in front of your mother or your Great Aunt Augusta.
Rules About Behaving in Class
also apply to Internet
Be aware that if you write electronic
communication to me that is in any way threatening or
harassing, I will forward your communication to my Director,
Dean, and/or Union; no subsequent claim to privacy of
communication between us will be held as valid in such
cases. I receive very few of these kinds of communications, but when I do, I deal with it
quickly by calling in the authorities.
"Private" or Confidential on the Web
Recognize that there is
almost no such thing as "privacy" in the world of the web.
When sending email, assume that anyone anywhere may read
it, because email is easy to hack into.
While the Discussion Group is supposed to be a closed system, open only to
those enrolled in the course, it travels through the
Internet and so, although it is unlikely, it is possible
that someone from outside might be able to read what you
write. My advice is to never write anything that you would
not want the world to read.
This is actually true eventually
of all writing. In doing research for my novel, I was reading
personal letters from an American Civil War general to his wife,
critical of his commanding General from 130 years ago, that I am certain he never
intended anyone else to read.
||Don't be left with egg on
your face. Remember that when you write to the
Discussion Group it goes to EVERYONE in the class. Don't write things
that you don't want the rest of the class to see. Smarmy comments
about lazy-good-for-nothing work-shirking group members
come to mind....
Short & On Topic
Write short clear messages that are polite, reflective,
and focused. Don't ramble on; people have lots of
messages to get through. Reflective means you take some time
and think about what you're going to
say. This isn't the place to share your innermost
secrets; hundreds of people are reading. It's an academic
forum, not group therapy. But don't go too far the other way;
one of the great things about Internet communication is that we seem
to be able to share in ways we often can't in person.
Refer to Past Messages
State clearly what you are responding to. If someone
writes to ask when I will be posting grades, I try not to
answer, "soon" but rather to write, "I'll be posting grades
as soon as I've finished marking." That way the reader can quickly know what
I'm talking about instead of having to scroll on down the
page to find out what "soon" refers to.
Discussion Relevant to the Course
Write only things that are relevant to the course; this is not
a place to find out if someone else is taking your
Accounting course, knows a good Fusion Cuisine
restaurant, or is dating your sister; there are many people
receiving these messages and they must be
course-related. But again, we allow a little leeway
here because often interesting threads do develop out of a
purely course-related discussion which are valuable to
your ultimate lifetime learning, not just to the specific
course. Because this kind of discussion is so
valuable, I have provided a topic
called "General Course Questions and Comments" specifically
so that you will have a place to talk about issues not
always directly related to the course.
Use Your Special Group Discussion Areas for Group
In courses with group work, you are set up with a special
Discussion Group Area just for your Project Group which you
should use to communicate with each other. You may also
choose to use email or MSN; the Discussion Group
Counts are programmed to account for this.
Send Unsolicited Attachments
There's a higher potential risk
of viruses in attachments and many people, I among them, just don't open
them. Unless specifically
instructed to (e.g.: sending an assignment) don't send attachments. Especially
do not send
"cute" or "funny" attachments; they
are often virus-ridden and even if they're clean, they
take a lot of time to download.
Don't send ANYTHING to do with
lovely generous selfless offers aimed at collecting money
for orphaned orangutans or widowed watchmakers; 99% of the
time they are hoaxes.
Post Entire Articles
Posting to the web is considered publishing, and by the
laws of copyright you
cannot post an entire article on the web. If you find
something that is relevant to a course you are taking, you
may post a summary of it, or a few quotes from it, or a link to the article if it
is on the web, but you may not post the entire
For Others Too
When you ask your question,
there are probably 17
other people out there wondering the same thing. By asking
it publicly, you
do two things: you enable me to save valuable teaching time in
answering only once publicly, AND you make 17 people feel not so
bad that they didn't know. Don't be ashamed to ask a
question; I think more highly of students who ask than of
those who sit silently, pretending they know when they
I have adopted the following set of rules from courses taught
by my friend and colleague Dian Zorn, as I find them helpful in
establishing a good atmosphere for internet learning:
using the interactive areas of this site, you agree that you will
not post any of the following material in chat rooms or other
Any communication that is intended to harass, belittle, humiliate,
threaten or cause embarrassment to a fellow student.
Material that contains vulgar, obscene or indecent language or
Material that defames, abuses or threatens others.
Statements that are bigoted, hateful or racially offensive.
Material that advocates illegal activity or discusses illegal
activities with the intent to commit them.
Unauthorized copyrighted material.
Advertising or any form of commercial solicitation.
Material that impedes or otherwise prohibits communication; disrupts
in a chat room or on message boards is different from face-to-face
communication. Only the words are seen, not your facial expressions
or tone of voice. Please pay careful attention to how you use your
that the words you enter in a burst of passion or indignant anger
will be there for you and everyone else to see, sometimes long after
those intense feelings have passed. That's not meant to discourage
spontaneity, but just a friendly reminder of the long-term existence
and effects of what you post.
may, from time to time, find yourself in disagreement with someone
else's opinion. At times like these, please keep in mind it's safer
and more polite to take issue with the comments rather than the
or postings that violate the above terms will be deleted from
postings upon discovery. While we may attempt to notify you if we
move or delete a post, we are under no obligation to do so.
Depending on the nature of the violation, the Course Director at the
discretion of the Deanís office may terminate a studentís access to