FAQs for Cannon’s Online Classes
1. Can I add your class?
No. I allow the registrar to overfill the class, so I don’t add students to the class once all seats are taken (even if someone drops). In an online class, it requires extra effort on my part, grading assignments, and interacting with individual students. You may have wonderful reasons for wanting to add the course (e.g., keeping your car insurance, it’s the last class before graduation, clearing a previous ‘F’, passion for the subject, playing baseball). However, there is no incentive for me to add students: it is unfair to me and to the enrolled students who deserve my full attention.
2. If I take this class, do I ever have to come to campus?
No. You can purchase your books online, all assignments and exams are done online, and there are no face-to-face meetings. Further, there are no prearranged times that you must “attend” class—all work is done asynchronously through the course website and email.
3. I’m thinking about majoring in Psychology, what should I do?
- See a counselor to find out which courses you need to transfer to the specific university that interests you. Virtually all universities will require Psych 100, Psych 219, and Math 219. Other requirements vary by institution.
- Get involved in the Psychology Club and/or Psi Beta (the Psychology Honor Society).
- Visit the American Psychological Association’s webpage (http://www.apa.org) for more extensive career information.
4. I emailed you with a question about the class, why didn’t you email me back?
If you are not enrolled in my online class, then I simply do not have time to answer individual questions from prospective students—I get several hundred every semester. I must devote my time to enrolled students.
If you are enrolled in one of my online classes, then you may not get a reply if:
- You may not have included enough information for me to identify you. For example, if I get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with no signature, then I have no idea who you are, or what class you are in.
- If a bunch of enrolled students email me the same question, then I will typically respond to everyone via the announcements on Blackboard, rather than to individual students' emails.
- You asked a question that is already clearly answered in the syllabus or these FAQs.
- You expected an answer to arrive too quickly—it might take up to a day during the week (Mon-Thu) or longer if you emailed me during the weekend (Fri-Sun) since I am not always checking email on my days off.
- The semester hasn’t begun yet or it just ended and I’m on vacation.
5. I’m not very good with computers, email, or the internet. Can I still take this class?
I don’t recommend it, as I don’t allow “My computer ate my assignments” excuses. Either sign up for a face-to-face section, or try an introduction to computers and the internet course to familiarize your-self with the virtual environment.
6. I enrolled in the course, but I am not sure how to “get started”—what do I do?
On the first day of class, you need to sign into the course website. You can follow the link to online classes from the www.sccollege.edu website. The syllabus and all materials can be accessed in the site.
7. I’m enrolled in the course, but I’m having trouble logging into/ navigating in the course website, or submitting assignments, what should I do?
Note: you will NOT be able to login to the course website before the first day of the semester.
I am not a technical advisor, I teach psychology, therefore any questions or problems related to using your computer (Examples: “How do I download Internet Explorer? “Why doesn’t this show up on my screen?” “How come I can’t login to Blackboard?” should be directed at the helpdesk.
Technical help is available via email@example.com.
8. What book(s) will I need for the course?
Check with the SCC bookstore, as they have the most current information and pricing. You may, of course, order the book elsewhere if you find a better price, but you should still contact SCC’s bookstore or check the syllabus to identify the correct text.
9. Can I get a copy of the syllabus/course materials before the class starts?
No. I change the syllabus to accommodate changes in the course every semester. So I am usually making edits up until the start of a new semester. It’s available in the course website on the first day of class.
10. Can I make-up a quiz or an exam? Can I take the quiz/exam early or late? Can I have more time to complete my assignments? Can we work around my vacation?
No, this is not a self-paced course. There are specific due dates in which you must complete all assignments, however, you may complete the assignments at any time before the due dates to allow for individual flexibility. Please budget your time accordingly to avoid emergencies that may interfere with completing assignments on time.
11. How do I know what grade I’m getting in the course?
Scores will be posted on Blackboard in the Tools section. It is YOUR responsibility to keep track of your scores and report mistakes immediately to the instructor (e.g., don’t wait until the 12th week to mention a mistake from week 7). Write down your scores in a notebook and keep it handy. Take your total score and divide it by the current points possible (if you seriously can’t do division, then you need some big time math tutoring!) and compare the answer to the grading scale in the syllabus.
12. When/where will scores/grades be posted?
Scores for quizzes and exams are available immediately after you complete and submit the assessment. Scores for discussion boards or written assignments can take up to one week depending on my current time constraints and course load.
13. Is there any way I can still pass this course/get a better grade in the course?
Unfortunately this question is usually asked late in the semester when there is nothing you can do to significantly raise your grade. I have no way of knowing whether you: blew off the course, lacked the skills needed to succeed, or the material was just too difficult for you. What I do know is that, barring a rare error, YOU are ultimately responsible for the grade you receive—I just add your points and divide by the total. If you think a bad grade stings as a consequence of flaking out all semester, wait until you join the “real world” and the consequences are more serious (e.g., getting fired).
If your question is more along the lines of “Is it still possible for me to get a C at this point in the semester, or should I drop?” then you need to get out your calculator and compare the points remaining in the course with the minimum required to get a ‘C’. I won’t do the calculations for you, nor will I advise you as to whether to drop or not. Every student has his or her own needs and values—a few students I’ve had in the past have dropped a course because they didn’t want to get a ‘B’ whereas others are perfectly happy with a passing ‘D’. Do the math and reflect on your own personal values.
In any case, hopefully, you will reflect on your mistakes (failed to study, procrastinated, took too many classes) and do better next semester.
14. Is there any way for me to get extra credit?
See the syllabus, as this varies by class.
15. My internet connection was out last week so I missed (or I had a brain hiccup and forgot to do) the quiz/assignment/exam. Can I make it up?
The answer is almost always no, since you have a week to take the quiz twice. I suggest you take it at least once toward the middle of the week so that you aren’t out the points if you run into an emergency on Sunday evening. Also, check your neighborhood now for the closet place to get internet access (e.g., local library) in case of a personal computing emergency. The exception is when Blackboard is offline for maintenance or something that affects all students in the course. I usually restore assignments for a few days when it comes back online, but you should check the online announcements for specifics in case this does happen.
16. Why did you drop me?
In the first week of the class, I drop students who do not sign in during the first 48 hours or who do not complete any assignments during the first week. Students who have missed two-week’s worth of assignments may also be dropped. I may be willing to reinstate you depending on how much work was missed, circumstances etc…but don’t depend on this when deciding whether or not to blow off the class.
Admissions drops students for nonpayment. I will not reinstate you if this happens as I pay all my bills and so should you.
17. What if I can’t afford the textbook or course materials?
This isn’t an acceptable excuse for missing readings or assignments. However, look at it as a problem that can be solved any number of ways such as:
- Depending on the class, there may be cheaper earlier editions of the text, but you need to make sure the chapters you are reading correlate to the current edition as they sometimes re-order chapters or add chapters. Otherwise, it is probably okay.
- Electronic or unbound copies may be available from the publisher at a substantial discount.
- Borrow one. You can arrange to come to my office hours to read the text, check a copy out from the library reserve desk, or share with another student.
- If you qualify, talk to EOPS or financial aid about their “buy the book” or other programs that might help offset textbook costs.
18. Will you have mercy on me, because___?
When you feel like asking me this question, please keep this basic rule in mind, “Actions speak louder than words.” What do I mean by that? Well everyone loves to tell me during the 13th week how “This class is really important to me” and “I really need to get a good grade in this class”. Say what you want at that point, but after 13 weeks of spotty attendance, missed quizzes, and lack-luster participation that tells me a different story (and the one I am more inclined to believe) than your spoken words about how important the class and grade were to you.
19. What if I can’t afford to lose these points?
You might have thought about that before you lost them. I didn’t lose your points, you did.
20. “What if I didn’t realize that ___?”
This is usually not a good start to a sentence. If an instruction or requirement in the course appears vague or confusing, then ask questions immediately! Otherwise, if I really blew it in making something clear, then every student will likely have the same issue and I can easily clarify the situation. However, if you didn’t realize something that virtually every other student did, or that was clearly spelled out in the syllabus or other handouts, then you must deal with the consequences (lost points) all by yourself.
21. I think I need Psychotherapy, what do I do?
Call Psychological Services (714-628-4766) at the SCC Health Center (T-102) and make an appointment for a confidential session with a licensed therapist.
22. What do I need to do to succeed in this course?
- First, carefully read the syllabus. This is important because the syllabus describes all the requirements and rules for the course. It is like a contract between me and you. Get immediate clarification if something doesn’t make sense or you find a typo.
- Second, I teach the course at a college level. This means you need to be able to read a college level textbook and you need to have good study skills. If your study skills are rusty (or nonexistent), then you may need to visit the counseling center to enroll in a study skills course. To succeed in any college course you must spend time every day critically reading the text, taking notes, and studying. If your friends tell you they get ‘A’ grades without studying, they’re lying.
- Third, use my office hours. I won’t bite you, I promise.
- You can always read my “How to Flunk…” book for more extensive information on college success.