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CIS 1000 General Notes

Method of participation:

CIS 1000 is typically offered in a two formats:

Typically, Professor Gibson allows students registered in an Internet section to attend any of his F2F sessions provided that there is space in the room. However F2F students have priority access to the limited number of computers available in the classroom during those meetings.

All methods of participation typically make use of the college's to submit assigned work, take assessments, and communicate with your instructor. Many instructors also employ additional web-based resources to post notes, project descriptions, etc. Professor Gibson posts such materials on his own web site at:


In case of access problems, he also maintains a backup (duplicate) of this web site at:


The can serve as a main portal to all of these sites, as they all contain links to each other. You are advised to frequently review the syllabus and schedule for your section of the course to ensure that you have not forgotten any important course requirements and to view reading and project deadlines and assessment dates.

How to learn in this course:

A "typical" student should expect to spend as much time studying course material outside of class as a F2F course would meet each week in a classroom. This equates to approximately 2.5 hours per week in a normal fall or spring semester or 6 hours in a summer semester. Students are encouraged to employ a combination of the following learning methods:

Hardware and Software Issues:

Online Web Resources

Two primary web sites will be used in this course:


Because the college prefers that all classes be delivered through a common system, your instructor has linked many of the instructional resources on his web site to the college online server, which is controlled by a software package named As such, students will encounter frequent links between the college online server and pages on the instructor's web server. These links are written in such a way that they open a new browsing window to view the alternate site, leaving the starting site in the original window for easy return.

Student Access

Every student registered in this course is given an account on the . Accounts are established for students on this server automatically based on their college course registration information. Students who register late or add a course should expect a delay (of a day or two) before their account is active. Instructions related to accessing these password-protected web-based accounts can be found on the page. This page includes instructions for contacting IRSC support personnel for assistance using the system. If you need assistance with course content rather than using the online server, contact your instructor instead.

Student Activities Online Using the Virtual Classroom

Students should login to the regularly to perform class activities and check for messages from their instructor. After logging in, students should see a list of links to the home pages for each IRSC course that they are taking that has a page on the server. Typically, a student will click on the link to a course to retrieve its home page. All of the features mentioned above will be accessible from a simple menu displayed on the left side of each course's home page.

Understand that each instructor defines which features will be available in each class, so you might notice differences from other online classes. Web-based help is available from any screen by clicking on the word "Help" on the left side of the window.

Attendance (for All Students)

The has a system for tracking student usage. IRSC courses have an automatic "drop for non-attendance/participation" policy during the first week of classes. If you fail to meet the deadline for any scheduled activity, contact your instructor.

Attendance (for Face-to-Face Students Only)

Roll call will be taken at the start of each face-to-face class meeting. If you miss the roll call for any class, contact your instructor.

Attendance (for Online Students Only)

In this course, you are required to come to an to take your final exam in proctored environment. You must notify your instructor by email during the first week of class regarding which campus testing center you want to attend to take your final exam.


All college email related to this course will be sent to your free account! If you want email that is sent there to be automatically forwarded to a different email account, you can login to your RiverMail account and set it to auto-forward all incoming email to an address you specify. For instructions to do so, read the page entitled "IRSC Student Email and Cloud Storage" at:

In order to provide a common, easily supported, email system for students and instructors, the provides a one-way system. All outgoing email is directed to either faculty or accounts (or any other mail account to which that one has been forwarded). This restricts users of the eLearning system from receiving any email from outside of it. You can send email to your instructor via the Email Instructor choice on the lefthand menu on the or to his college email address. Regardless of approach, be sure that all messages mention the course number and your name.

Course Calendar

The normally includes a calendar tool that instructors can populate with assignment deadlines and assessment dates. In Professor Gibson's courses, the "Schedule" choice in the menu on the left side of the window serves as a link to a complete Course Schedule accessible through the Syllabi and Schedules page on his web site. (Note: A new browser window or tab will open to allow you to view this schedule without losing your place in the . You can close this at any time.)

Discussion Forums

The eLearning system provides a group conferencing tool that it refers to as "Discussion Forums". It allows class participants (students and instructor) to post questions or comments that can be viewed by all other participants. Readers can either post public replies or email private ones to the authors. It is accessible in by selecting the "Discussions" choice in the menu on the left side of the window. This tools allows "threads" of discussion to take place, based on each original message posted. The posted threads are organized into a few named groups called "forums" that will be used in our class for different purposes as follows:

If a student wants to be notified by email every time that someone posts a message in a forum, the student should click or tap on the Subscribe button at the top of that forum's thread listing. The wording on the button should then change to Unsubscribe to allow you to disable such notifications in the future.

For more information about how to properly participate in discussion forum activities, read the instructor's page entitled Discussion Posting Activities.

Hands-on Activities

Assigned course activities will be based on assigned reading. Your instructor will either describe the steps in class or post a web page with directions linked to the Hands-on Activities page on his web site. The includes screen objects called "drop boxes" that can be used to access each activity's instructions and to submit any required files. The project drop boxes will appear as needed under a folder named Hands-on Activities under the Content page within your course area and can also be reached from the lefthand navigation menu. Step-by-step directions for using drop boxes can be found at:



The manner and schedule of assessments (quizzes and/or exams) will depend on each student's method of participation in the course. (See above). Students should study the posted study guide for each assessment and ask any questions about it in class or via the Question and Answer discussion forum on the before taking an assessment. Assessment results are typically posted the following day.

All Students:
Students must know their usernames and passwords to take each assessment and should have successfully logged into the server at least once before taking the first assessment. Be sure that you set aside enough time to take each assessment in one sitting, as you will have only one attempt. There is a time limit on each assessment.
All assessments (chapter quizzes and unit exams) will be taken using the .
Chapter quizzes will be open all semester, but must be completed by the day indicated on the Course Schedule to earn full credit. Chapter quizzes can be found listed under the Chapter Quizzes choice on the left-hand menu and on the Content page. You can make two attempts on each Chapter Quiz. The highest score will be used. An interrupted attempt will count as one of your two attempts.
Access to the unit exams will open on the day indicated on the Course Schedule and must be completed by the listed closing date to earn full credit. Unit exams can be found listed under the Exams choice on the left-hand menu and on the Content page. Only one attempt will be allowed on each unit exam (without special permission of the instructor.)
When you are ready to take and assessment, click on either the Chapter Quizzes or Exams choice on the left-hand menu. With the folder that opens, select (click on) the title of the assessment (such as "Chapter 1 Quiz" to open a new window to start the assessment. NOTE: You must have pop-up blockers disabled in you web browser to take an assessment. Because each assessment has a time limit (45 minutes for quizzes and 90 minutes for exams), you will first see a screen advising you of this. Click the Begin button to proceed. A new window will open requesting a password, which will be provided by your instructor (or Testing Center proctor in the case of make-ups). Type the password in the textbox and click on the Submit button. You will see a line of text indicating how much time you have remaining on the assessment as you answer each question. Maximize this window. For each question, select the best answer by clicking in the circular radio push button in front of it AND then press the > (Next) button below that question. It is not necessary to press the button labeled Save Answer, although it is advised. You will be able to back up to view previously answered questions until your assessment is submitted. When you have answered all of the questions, press the button labeled Save and Submit.
Don't worry if technical difficulties arise. We will deal with them. Be sure to notify me immediately if you have any problems. Most students say that the quiz interface is fairly easy to understand and use.
Classroom (F2F) or Blended Class Students:
All assessments must be taken on an IRSC computer. Student equipment may not be used for this purpose.
Students may not use any study aids during F2F assessments, including the final exam, except for a single sheet of 8.5"x 11" cut paper containing notes on both sides. They can be written, typed, printed or photocopied in any size text.
Internet (Online Only) Students:
Because the assessments have a time limit, students are encourage to prepare a few sheets of paper notes to refer to while taking the quiz, rather than wasting time searching the textbook or Web while taking the assessment. Make sure that your Internet connection is reliable and take precautions to avoid interruptions (family, friends, pets, phones, etc.)
The final exam will be administered by proctors at an . Students may not use any study aids during the final exam except for a single sheet of 8.5"x 11" cut paper containing notes on both sides. They can be written, typed, printed or photocopied in any size text.

Checking Grades

Assessment scores should appear automatically after the test period has expired, but the system does occasionally require manual attention by the instructor. So, if your test score has not appeared shortly after the end of the test period, notify your instructor. After the due date of an assessment, students can review their performance on it in as follows:

  1. Select the "My Grades" link in the navigational menu on the left side of the window.
  2. Scroll to and select the link titled with the name of the assessment you want to view.
  3. Click (or tap) the score listed under the Calculated Grade column.
  4. Scroll through your results.

Because the questions used on the quizzes and exams are reused each semester, the answer choices will not be displayed. But you will see the questions and an indicator (green for correct and red for incorrect) showing if you answered the question correctly. For a complete review of the assessment including the correct answers, see me during my office hours or call for a phone conference.

Account Termination

The high storage demand required on the eLearning server each semester might require the college to terminate class accounts near the end of each semester. It is important that you complete end-of-term assignments and preserve (print or copy) any information that you want from the server before this time.

You are advised to review this page periodically to avoid mistakes and maintain effective control over your online course. For more information, contact your instructor.

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