I will be expecting very active participation from you. Since I can't see you, I will need tangible proof that you exist and that you are working in a highly motivated way.
One obvious locus of participation will be in the class discussions. This should be taken very seriously, which is why I made it worth 50% of your grade. Since each module is scheduled for two or three weeks, this is the time period during which the discussion must take place. Remember that a large quantity of empty words will not be appreciated by me (or your classmates). Try to put some real thought into it. A medium quantity of high quality input would be most desirable. As I said elsewhere, I feel that you should be replicating the databases at least three times a week. (More is good too.) This will allow you to stay up to date on all new input to the discussions, as well as new email or Bulletin Board messages.
If you are there in the discussion early in the module you may get the chance to say things before others do. Later, you have the opportunity to respond to ideas others have presented. Hopefully, the discussion responses will stimulate further ideas and discussion. I will be throwing my two cents in from time to time, hopefully as a facilitator. Some of you may want to occasionally summarize the discussion that has occurred up to a certain point. In other words, find a way to participate. I don't expect anybody to have a problem with shyness in this communication mode.
I will have the same standards of proper English usage in the course discussion and the tests. I expect proper grammar and spelling. This is a minimum requirement. Deviations from this will hurt your grade. I also expect courtesy in discussion. Nothing must be said that is in any way demeaning or degrading to another person. Scholars disagree with each other all the time, but they do it politely and with respect for each other. I can't emphasize this point too much. It is better to lean excessively in the direction of courtesy than to have any chance at all of crossing the line of acceptable discourse.
I expect high quality in test responses. After all, you have the questions to think about for a long time and you work on the answers in an open book fashion. Those answers better be good. I hope I don't have to spend my whole life reading excessively long answers. Yes, they should be complete, but please be concise and focused. Clear writing is necessary. After all, you have plenty of time to edit and correct.
As I have said elsewhere, I may ask you to do more work on a test answer before I accept it. In order to make sure you put out your best effort at the beginning, I will deduct points if you have to do a rewrite. I expect that I may do this with everyone some of the time.
LET ME EMPHASIZE AGAIN:
All assignments must be done on time, or there will have to be penalties.
DON'T FORGET THAT I'M A NICE GUY:
In case the things I have said above sound unduly strict, let me say that it is certainly understandable that I would expect to uphold certain course standards. As a matter of fact, it's part of my job. But I want to see you succeed, and I will rejoice for every success you achieve. I will help you the best that I can, but I won't break my own rules.
Here's one more expectation: I expect you to be a highly intelligent and motivated student who will get great grades.