English Composition

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The following contains an explanation of online expectations, course navigation, and a list of assignments to be completed by the end of the week (Sunday).

This guide will help you navigate this course for the rest of the term. It’s important to read through everything and understand how to access all the material. In this first week, you will know where to find the learning material, understand how to submit assignments, and plan when you will complete the work for this course.

Online Learning

Online learning takes a lot of self-motivation; if you have issues keeping track, make specific times in your schedule to ‘check in’ with the class. It can be easy to push off without a schedule, so planning becomes very important. I recommend 2 - 3 times a week, sitting down for 1 - 2 hours to continue the work in this class. Put these times in your regular schedule, and try to view it the same as face-to-face classes: You have to show up by going to the Teams classroom, and you have to complete homework.

All college courses take self-initiative. Learning independently can be very rewarding, and I try to create places in class for students to explore topics that interest them with the framing of the class objectives. In all of my classes, I emphasize critical thinking, critical reading/viewing/gaming, and thoughtful communications. Online learning is more time consuming and make us adjust our usual method of learning. However, an online learning community can be just as enriching.

This class works best with pacing. Each week I will give suggested pacing. However, the one benefit of an online course is that you can plan your own week, but the due dates for all assignments will be Sunday.

Course Website

The learning material for this course, including the explanation for the course is found on the teaching website I maintain. It is where all the course information is found.

Main Page of the course webpage: http://thaddeusstevensenglish.com

With that said, it will be Microsoft Teams that holds all the info. However, if you would like to look at the website directly, you can open it up on your browser to access without Teams.


Everyone will use netiquette in the discussion boards. Netiquette is a term used for the social expectations in communcating with everyone. Know your audience and the environment. In an academic setting, you must be respectful to your classmates. We come from a lot of different backgrounds, so closed-minded comments can shape the environment in negative ways that only close the conversation, and this does not create a productive academic environment on equal terms. Sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia or any other targeted bigotry will not be tolerated in this class.

With this warning, rarely do I find my classes go in that direction. Usually this is where we really get to know each other and lively conversations take place about a myriad of topics.

While grammar will not be the focus of the grade, make sure it doesn’t impede on the ability to understand what you are trying to say. An occasional mistake is one thing; never using punctuation is another.

Lastly, online discussions help create a stronger community within the course and are an important part of this course. It is a place for sharing topics, working in groups, or understanding a work in more depth through your various perspectives.


At the end of each unit, there will be a project due. The final project could be a video presentation, an online presentation, a podcast, or an essay. You will get specific instructions for each of them. The majority of your grade is based on this project. It should highlight what you learned in the given unit. All projects should be uploaded on the portal and Turnitin.com as needed.


In each unit, you will have a number of different assignments from topic decisions to journals, quizzes and other assessments. The way you complete the assignment will be on each description.

Make sure you read the instructions carefully and ask questions before the day it is due. Assignments are either completed on the webpage or turned in on Turnitin.com; however, grades will be posted on the portal.

Microsoft Office

Everyone as a student of Stevens has access to Microsoft Office 365. You will need to use your Steven's log-in to complete many of the assignments that are directly linked on this website. There is an overview of the programs on the "365" tab. Your username is your full email address, and the password is the same as what you use to check your email and access information on the portal. By the end of this information, you will use Microsoft Forms to complete your online schedule.

Microsoft Teams

Teams will be the Learnign Management System we will use for this course. You will need to get familiar with this course. Watch the course navigation video if you need additional guidance.

Due Dates

The school week starts Monday and ends on Sunday. The due date for all major assignments is Sunday evening. With discussions, the initial post is due on Thursday and the responses will be due on Sunday. Some due dates may differ because of holidays or peer-review expectations.

Check-ins and Conferences

Throughout the course, you will meet with me and/or your group. It is important to remember you are not learning alone, so we will use Teams and Discord to stay connected. I will put a calendar up for you to sign up for online meetings.

Office Hours

Each week I will let you know the hours I am available. I will also keep hours as needed, just let me know if these times don’t work for you.

Typical Week

On Monday or Tuesday, check in with the class. Look at the email I sent and the list of assignments, so you can plan your learning accordingly. You may have instructions to watch and discuss something or conference with your teacher. You should plan accordingly on the first two days of the week.

By Thursday: Complete the lectures/readings/veiwings/writing–these are the best days to complete the action needed for the week. I am available during announced hours to answer any questions you may have.

By Sunday: All assignments are due by Sunday at 11:59, give or take a few hours. You can easily plan the course work to be completed by Friday with exceptions of weeks with larger projects due.

Worries about Online Learning

Make sure you come up with a plan to complete the work. By writing down your plan, and then checking in with the class, you can get in a routine to complete the work. You are not alone in this; I am not a robot, so you can always send me a message and we can meet online.

Self-care and Mental Health

Don't forget to plan healthy habits, including unwinding. As a student at Stevens you can use the Mental Health Services You@Stevenscollege.edu. Just register with your Stevens email.

Making Connections

Don't forget you are a college student taking a class with other college students. I have created an "Off-topic" channel for those connections. Reach out to each other privately if you think you have things in common. Play games together online, or you can set up Netflix parties to watch a movie together. Especially to those of you completely online, I stress the importance to communicate with others for fun or set up online study groups. If you want to go to a virtual college campus with others in the class, you could all join the free game Rec Room. If you friend each other, you can then invite them to a location on the game. It's avaiable on PS4, Steam, and even has a mobile version. (No headset needed, but it would make it more immersive.)

Final Tip: Always ask the instructor before it gets to be too late. Stay connected to stay on track.

Week 1 Assignments

1. Read and understand syllabus and this page.

2. Fill out this form surveying your experience with online learning and about how you plan to stay on track an online course:

Don't forget to sign in with your Steven's email and password (same as the portal).

3. Introduce yourself to the class on the "Introduction" tab.

Questions about this week's work:

Have some questions that need more guidance than email? You can schedule a virtual meeting with me on the link below: