Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the answers to most of the questions for this class can be found in the syllabus, but if you’re stressed or pressed for time, it might be harder to locate them.  So I’ve collected the most frequently asked questions and put specific answers on this page.  If you have a question about the class, please check here first before emailing me- you’ll probably save yourself a nice chunk of time.  If you still need help after reading through these questions and answers, then please email me- I am here to help.  

Q:  What am I supposed to be doing?

A:  Every week, you read the assigned work for that week (as much before our Tuesday zoom as possible, so you can ask any questions that come up during our Tuesday meeting).  Write 2 blog posts.  Some weeks, you’ll want to work on the larger learning adventures to get the points you want for your final grade.  Your syllabus has all of the details you need, so go check it out!

Q:  Where can I post my blog posts?

A:  On the blog on our class website, on your own website (send me a link, please), or in the class blog that is set up in Blackboard (the link to the blog is in Course Information).


Q:  How do I blog on our class site?  

A:  Follow these three steps for how to become an author on our class website:

  1. You’ll need to set up a CUNY Academic Commons account, which you can do by following the steps in this video.  
    1. You’ll need to know and be able to check your KBCC email address to sign up on the Commons; you can access your email on this page; if you need help, you can click on Using Email to watch a short video that walks you through it (you can call or email the Student HelpDesk for assistance at helpdesk@students.kbcc.cuny.edu or 718-368-6679 )  
  2. Once you are a registered user on the Commons, you need to be made an author on our site.  There is probably an email invitation to be an author on our site in your KBCC email, but if you don’t see it, email me your CUNY Academic Commons name and KBCC email address, and I’ll send another invitation.  I’ll send it to your email (from which you can just follow the instructions to accept the invitation) and to your username (login to the Commons, then go to the top right hand corner and select My Profile → Invitations → Invitations Received and click to Accept the Invitation.  
  3. Now when you go to our class website’s blog page, you should see the option to +New in the black bar at the top of the screen.  This video is me walking you through the quick and easy process to post a blog post on our site.  


Q:  What should I write about in my blog post?

A:  You should write your blogs about things you want to explore or analyze from our readings, or a current event that relates to what we’re covering in class, or about your learning process/journey in our class.  What you write about, as long as it relates to what we are working on in class, is up to you.  


Each blog post should have 2 to 3 paragraphs, because it is hard to say anything interesting or meaningful in much less.  In terms of both length and tone/formality, your blog posts should be less than 5 page research papers, but more than a facebook post or text to your groupchat.  They should be thoughtful and include some deeper engagement, not just superficial glossing over.  For example, don’t just sayt “I like this” or “I didn’t like that”- tell us why, and why it matters.  


You should also link to any articles or sources you’re using, because it’s a good habit to get into, and will help your reader know where you got your information. If you don’t know where you got the information, that is a problem- how does your reader know you’re not just making it up?  If you are talking about something from the reading, go ahead and link to it!  If you’re discussing something that isn’t in the reading, then it is even more important that you should link to where you got the information.  This is good practice for you to do as a writer, and for you to demand as a reader- whenever you read something, think about where the author got the evidence that they are talking about.  If what you’re reading has neither an author nor any referenced source, you probably should not trust it too much (even if it happens to be something you would agree with).  


(Meta learning moment: the answer you just read is actually a pretty good model of a blog post for this class in length and style.)


Q:  How can I access my KBCC email?

A:  You can access your email on this page; if you need help, you can click on Using Email to watch a short video that walks you through it (you can call or email the Student HelpDesk for assistance at helpdesk@students.kbcc.cuny.edu or 718-368-6679 )  


Q: Something came up this week and I didn’t blog/missed a Tuesday zoom/didn’t hand in an assignment on time.  What do I do now? 

A:  Don’t worry.  Blogs and class participation will be graded by you at the end of the semester, to give everyone a little grace and breathing room.  If you are late on a blog post, just post it as when you can (without pulling an all-nighter- your health and well-being are too important to risk them for class!)  If you miss a Tuesday morning Zoom, then try to be extra active I bet that you’re going to be willing to accept the late blog post or one missed class when you grade all of your posts/participation at the end of the semester (I would be!).  If you get past the midterm and haven’t blogged at all or are having a lot of trouble participating in the Tuesday morning sessions, see me to discuss your options- maybe you catch up, or maybe you do other learning activities (from the list of possible adventures on the syllabus) to make up the points.  


Q:  Why are there so many different assignments?

A:  Because you’re all different, and have different interests and goals.  Do the assignments that seem most interesting to you.  Don’t do all of them!  You need 100 points to get an A+, and if you do 100 points worth of work, you will definitely have learned an A+ amount in our class!  Like taking tests?  There’s a midterm and a final exam?  Would you rather review a book than take the final exam?  Go right ahead!


Q:  What is this self-grading stuff?  I thought that was the professor’s job???

A:  I’m using self-grading this semester, because it makes students have to review the requirements of the assignment after they’ve done the assignment, so they can grade themselves according to those requirements.  When you’re writing your self-grading assessment, you’ll have to figure out if you’ve met the requirements of the assignment and grade yourself accordingly.  If you find that your work does not meet the requirements, you will probably revise it to meet the requirements (instead of giving yourself a lower grade), which gets to exactly where I’d love us to be- students doing their best work, including revising it as necessary, getting feedback from me that they can actually learn from without worrying, and getting excellent grades that reflect the quality of their work, without the stress of not knowing whether “the professor will like the work.”  I am absolutely here to help you understand any requirements and to answer any questions or help in any way that I can so you can do your best work.  I also do reserve the right to disagree.with self-assessments- in that case, we’ll have a dialogue to see what the best way forward is (sometimes, it’s the student revising their work, and sometimes, it’s me revising the assignment!).  


Q:  I have a question that isn’t on this list- what should I do?  

A:  Text/email your classmates.  Bring it up in class during our Tuesday zoom when I ask if anyone has any questions, or come to office hours (link in Blackboard, Tuesday 11:30am-1:30pm), or email me.  We will get through this semester together!