Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Enrollment in a web-enhanced course is new to many of you.  Therefore,  I am instituting this FAQ page to address some of the more frequently asked questions regarding my webbed courses at Rogers State University. For ease of looking up your question, they are divided in to "Technical" and "Course Operation" (both broadly defined).


How much computer training do I need to complete this course?
Little to none.  You should be comfortable with a computer, know how to use a browser and e-mail. Please do not ask me technical questions.  I am a computer user, not a geek.

How sophisticated does my computer have to be?
You should have access to a computer equipped with at least 16 megs of RAM, be on the Internet, and have a java-enabled browser.

What if I can't connect to the class?
This includes a variety of computer-related questions. Please understand, I am not a computer expert, and I will be unable to help you with most technological problems. If you need help, contact the eCollege Help Desk. They can be reached by email or by phone at 1-800-285-9796. Write that number down now, since you may not be able to reach this page if your computer goes down. Also, make sure your computer hardware (and software) meets eCollege's minimum requirements. Remember, you are responsible for your computer.

What if my computer crashes in the middle of my assignment?
Again, accidents happen, especially in cyberspace. You should save your work frequently, in order to minimize your risk. It may be easier for you to type your assignments off-line, in a program like Microsoft Word, so that you have a copy saved in case of emergency. Then you can cut & paste your work onto the web-site. Waiting until the last minute to turn in an assignment is a recipe for failure. Submit your work well before the due date, so that if something goes wrong you still have time to fix the problem.

Course Operation

What are the requirements for the course I am taking?
All requirements are clearly spelled out on the course pages. Included you will find assignments and study guides that should be used as practice to prepare for examinations. All of this is intended to help you master the course material.  Should you have any questions on this material please e-mail me at Be sure to include the course title in the subject line of any e-mail query.

Why is this course so dull?
Sociology is dull to the dull.  If you do not have interest in the social world around you it is probable that you will not find this course particularly interesting (or any of the social sciences).  Personally, I love this stuff, and enjoy initiating others to the craft. If you really do not like it or if you are not willing to commit the time and energy to master the course material, please consider dropping the course.

What can I do with a social science degree?
Contrary to popular belief, you can do fine. Sociology, anthropology, political science, history and  psychology are all liberal arts (the most inherently interesting being sociology). Many social science undergraduates go on to graduate school in one of the disciplines, go to professional schools (public health, law school), or take entry level white collar positions with private or public organizations. There is a site off of my HomePage that presents some educational statistics of recently enrolled students in the social sciences throughout the country.

Are web-enhanced courses as good as traditional on-ground courses?
Well, students are exposed to the same type of presentational material on-line that I used in my class lectures.When I lectured in class, I normally modified my presentation in response to students in the classroom--such as explaining a concept in another way when I see looks of confusion; cutting to the chase when many students are losing interest. I loose this ability to tailor the presentations on the web, but the material is all there.

On the other hand, putting the lectures on-line allows a wealth of visual aids to increase student comprehension.  It also allows the student to go through the presentations at their own pace, repeating sections when required.  Finally, if a student still needs further clarification they can ask for it directly through e-mail.

I have found that student performance improves with web-enhanced courses when compared to courses using the traditional lecture format.

Can you provide advice on how to handle your online lectures? Many of them seem pretty long, and it takes forever for my Internet connection to download each slide.

Ok, here is what you do.

  1. Go to the on-line lecture.
  2. Click the word "Outline" at the bottom left of the lecture.
  3. Move your mouse to the verticle silver column bar until the cursor turns into a two headed arrow.
  4. Hold your right button down and move to the right, this will expand the outline window.
  5. Scroll through the content and take notes.
  6. If no words appear on a slide, there is a graphic associated with the slide. You may view the graphic by double clicking on the title of the slide
There is real value in looking at the information on line and taking notes (this, it is widely believed, helps students retain their reading). Whatever you do stay away from copying the slides and highlighting the essential points. Such a practice is both wasteful of resources and not much good in helping you truly master the material.

When should I email/call you?
Whenever you have a serious problem or question, you should contact me. If you have concern about the course in general, or your performance in the course, you should contact me.

The answers to many questions, however, are found on these web-pages. Before asking me when an assignment is due, what format it should take, etc., look through the course web pages for the answer to your question.

The belly is the reason why man does not mistake himself for a god.
 --Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) [Beyond Good and Evil, 1886]