I will be expecting very active participation from you. Since I can’t see you, I will need tangible proof that you exist and that you are working in a highly motivated way.
One obvious focus of participation will be in the class discussions. This should be taken very seriously. Since each module is scheduled for about two weeks, this is the time period during which the discussion must take place. Try to put some serious thought in what makes documents successful, both from the writer’s perspective and yours. I expect you to participate in the course at least three times each week. I will be looking for your work and ideas that often. Together, we can get a lot accomplished over the next eight weeks.
I hope that a lot of the discussions are generated by you and your classmates. Sure, I’ll have some comments and suggestions once in a while, but I value what all you have to say. You are the experts in your specific organizations. You know best what works for you.
Obviously, this is an English course, so I will be expecting you to follow proper English rules in your writing. However, it is much more important than in other English courses where the teacher might mark your paper with red ink for every spelling error you have. We want to look at every assignment you do in here as a professional representation of yourself. So your papers have to be perfect, no spelling errors, no typos, no grammatical miscues. If there’s a mistake, go back and fix it before you hand it in.
In English 235 class, I take on the role of “boss,” and the students are my “employees.” We try to emulate a professional setting, so our documents and discussions can be as professional as possible. We don’t have to worry so much about absenteeism and tardiness here, but I do expect you to work with your fellow “employees” to come up with top-quality work on a regular basis. I also expect work to be done on time. Late papers will be penalized, and it is very difficult to catch up once you fall behind.
Don’t be too worried if this sounds too much like that job you couldn’t stand and finally left. It’s a lot of fun, and there’s not really the pressure of losing a pay check if you don’t do well. Almost every assignment you do can be revised for improved grades. By the end of the semester, I would hope that you can recognize a professional document and use techniques to make your documents interesting, informative and professional.
I’m sure this is going to be a great experience for all of us, and I hope you will appreciate the benefits in using clear, concise written communication.