FAQs for On-Campus Courses
1. 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 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.
- See a counselor to find out which courses you need to transfer to the university that interests you. Virtually all universities will require Psych 100, Psych 219, and Math 219. Other requirements vary by university.
- Get involved in the Psychology Club and/or Psi Beta (the Psychology Honor Society) if you qualify.
- Visit the Psychology Department webpage (www.sccollege.edu/psychology) for basic information on the major and future careers.
- Visit the American Psychological Association’s webpage (http://www.apa.org ) for more extensive information.
2. I’m thinking about majoring in Psychology, what should I do?
3. Can I see which questions I missed on my exam?
Sure. Stop by any of my office hours.
4. Can I make-up an exam?
See the syllabus for this information.
5. I’m [going on a family vacation, I have to work, my Grandma needs a ride to the hospital] can I take the exam early or late?
6. I [forgot, was rescuing the President from a burning building, was sick, couldn’t get my assignment back from the dog] and I didn’t turn in my assignment, can I turn it in later today, or tomorrow, or after the semester is over?
7. 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.
- 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).
- There are a maximum 10 extra credit points available by completing additional HTBA assignments. If you’ve completed them and you still have this question, then the answer is NO. If you didn’t participate in the extra credit opportunity, then you have no other options. In any case, hopefully, you will reflect on your mistakes (failed to study, procrastinated, took too many classes) and do better next semester.
8. Is there any way I can pass/get a better grade in the course?
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. “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.
13. My internet connection was out last week so I missed (or I had a brain hiccup and forgot to do) the quiz. 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.
14. Why did you drop me? Why isn’t my name on the roll sheet?
I drop students who do not show up on the first day of class, regardless of their excuse. Admissions drops students who haven’t paid their fees. I will not reinstate you if you were dropped for nonpayment.
Students who have missed more than one week may also be dropped. I may be willing to reinstate you depending on how much work was missed, the circumstances, and timeliness of your communication to me etc…but don’t count on being reinstated when deciding whether or not to blow off the class as this is up to my discretion.
15. 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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
16. 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.
17. 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 email@example.com 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 student’s 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.
18. Do I have to use a computer? Will it hurt me if I don’t login to Blackboard?
Yes, you need to use a computer with internet access weekly. If you don’t do this, you will miss important announcements, not to mention 130 quiz points. Computers are available for student use in the library at SCC and at most public libraries.