Welcome to my online courses!
I complied this set of DOS and DON'TS based on my experience teaching online courses for the last four consecutive semesters. I would like to share them with you because I strongly feel they will help us to have a successful and happy term. Please read them and follow them throughout.
Rule # 1: In all correspondence with me DO identify yourself, including your full name and course reference number. It happens that I teach more than one online course and the number of students varies from semester to semester, but your class is not the only one this term. You must ONLY write your course reference number on the subject line (nothing else!). I DON'T reply anonymous or inadequately identified e-mails. Keep a copy of all your correspondance to me you may be asked to resubmit.
Rule # 2: It is likely that I will be off campus while teaching these online courses, likely in my field station in Mexico. So complications may develop. Be patient while I take care of the problem. In the event of a complication: DON'T contact the web master or the Outreach Office they will not be able to assist you or resolve the problem.
Rule # 3: DON'T call the geology office in the event of a problem, even if you think is a big, serious problem for you, since the secretaries and other personnel in the Geology office will not be able to help you. I will be entirely responsible for making sure that the course moves on.
Rule # 4: I will normally try to answer your e-mails as soon as possible, I would say during the following three days. DON'T expect an immediate reply to your e-mails. As indicated in the syllabus, you must ask questions or clarifications ahead of time. DON'T wait to the day before the assignments or essays are due to ask questions since I may not be able to reply right away. Also, keep in mind that you are one of the many students taking the online courses.
Rule # 5: I will always send a note acknowledging the receipt of your essays or correspondence. If you DON'T hear from me in five days, contact me again. DON'T call the geology department office or your school, as they do not have copies of my records.
Rule # 6: Assignments and essays should be submitted electronically only. DON'T send your work more than one time. DO check the classroll in the data base page of the website periodically. Grades will be posted within the following 8-10 days. Acknowledge of receipt of your work will be posted within the following two or three days and marked with an X in the corresponding column. The X will be replaced with the grade as soon as available. It is your responsibility to check with me if you did not receive it.
Rule # 7: Unexpected changes in the syllabus DO occur, so you must revisit the syllabus node periodically and also check your e-mail at least twice a week.
Rule # 8: Be aware that problems beyond my control DO happen during a semester. For example, the FIU server may go dawn unexpectedly. DON'T panic and if such is the case wait for my instructions.
Rule # 9: Essays are to be submitted on time and according to the guidelines, DON'T expect extensions or exceptions, as they will not be granted to any one in the class. Only electronic submission of essays is allowed. Practice the submission of essays as attachments of your e-mail in advance, DON'T wait to the deadline to find out how to submit them since problems occur at your end. You will ONLY be excused from not submitting essays when problems due to malfunction at my end (FIU). DO keep a copy of all your files related to this course at least until the end of the semester. You may be asked to resubmit a file more than once due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., file corruption during electronic transmission).
Rule # 10: For online, asynchronous, self paced courses: DON'T expect face-to-face or telephone contact with me since that would be the exception, all the contact with me should be via e-mail. DO feel free to write to me as many times as you need to ask questions or for clarifications. DON'T wait until the end of the semester to know  your performance in the course, visit the classroll page periodically.
Rule # 11: DON'T expect negotiations or exemptions in this course, all the administrative matters will be ruled by the stipulations in the syllabus.
Rule # 12: DON'T panic, access codes will be sent during the first week of the semester. DON'T call the geology office or the Distance Learning Office
Well, it may seem like too many rules and regulations but they are meant to expedite my teaching and facilitate your learning in these online courses. At the long run we all will benefit from these rules and I am confident that we all will have a GREAT SEMESTER.

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