Week 1

Getting Started with RECR 211


Greetings and Welcome to RECR 211!

This is a broad overview of this course. Please make sure to also read your course syllabus in addition to this introduction.

My name is Jennifer Livengood and I am your instructor for this course. I have a PhD in Recreation Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois and I was an assistant professor in recreation at Chicago State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I made a career change to instructional design in 2011 and am now an instructional designer at Harvard Medical School.

I have been teaching online since 2006 and have taught a variety of online, flipped, and face-to-face course over the past 10 years. In my current role, I help doctors at local hospitals build continuing education courses for doctors around the world. I am also a web developer and work with people in the community to build websites and courses for a variety of purposes. If you are interested in learning more about what I do, my portfolio is at jenniferlivengood.com.

This course is 100% online and we will not meet at any specific time or place, unless we make specific arrangements to meet. I live in Boston and will not be traveling to Shepherd University so our interactions will only be online. You will have many assignments due on specific dates listed in your course syllabus or on our course web page. An online course is a lot of work, and some find it more challenging than a face-to-face course because you do not have a regular meeting time. You are more in charge of your progress through this course and have to maintain a high level of scheduling discipline to be successful in online courses. If you do not feel up to this challenge, you might want to take the face-to-face version of this class or take it another semester. I hope you are up for the challenge and look forward to working with you this semester.

This course is organized by weeks. Each Monday you will check in to get the readings, videos, module information, links, assignments, and other course requirements. With the exception of a few assignments, you will be submitting your assignments on Sundays. If you do not want to submit your assignments on the weekends, you are always welcome to submit your work earlier.

There are two “spaces” for this course you will need to become familiar with and check on a regular basis. The first is the course website the second is the Sakai course page. You will be using Sakai to submit assignments, receive announcements, and view your grades. Everything else is on the website. Your course schedule, syllabus, modules, assignments, and important information is on this site. Bookmark both this website and Sakai because you will be using both regularly.

Course Technology

The first image is the Sakai page for our course. When you get to the main page you will see links to the major features of the course web page. There are direct links to the weekly modules, schedule, syllabus, and assignment descriptions.

You will be submitting assignments on Sakai. There is an assignment tab that will take you to a submission page.

There is a course syllabus on Sakai and you can find it here.

Course announcements are on the main page and they are located next to the links to the course web page. When an announcement is made, it will also be emailed to your Shepherd email account.

Your grades are also available on Sakai. You access them here.

Grades will usually be posted within one to two weeks after the due date. You will need to check your grades frequently this term to keep track of your progress. If you receive a zero and believe you submitted an assignment, In most cases, when this happens, I did not receive it and the problem is easily solved. Contact me about this issue within one week after the grades are posted. After one week, all grades are permanent.

The course web page is the other site for our course. When you navigate to this site you will see a picture and a menu in the top right corner. If you click on this menu you will see all the major sections of this course and each will link you to that particular section. Additionally, if you scroll down the page you will see additional sections of the course website, such as links to the syllabus, schedule, modules, assignments, and a page for help with technology.

One of the most significant parts of the course website is the course (weekly) modules is on the main page and you can access each week's content by clicking on the corresponding picture. The course modules contain an overview of the topic (blog) and the applicable activities and course readings. These will be very important to review before the quizzes and course assignments.

Another significant part of this course is the assignment descriptions. These are available on the course website and also on Sakai. There are three major aspects to each assignment: Overview, Instructions, and Output. These sections will guide you in how to prepare and what to submit for each assignment.

There is also a curated list of items that will help you if you should run into any technical issues. This page is a list of Shepherd resources to help you with getting connected to computer resources available to you as a student.

Please note that the website does not do the following:

For these tasks, please visit our course page on Sakai.

Course Syllabus

You will notice some similarities and differences between this syllabus and other syllabi in the RECR program. Since this is an online class, there are unique items in the syllabus to be specifically aware of.

Office Hours and Contacting Me - I live in Boston and will only interact with you virtually. If you need to reach me, please email me at jlivengo@shepherd.edu or jlivengo@gmail.com. Please keep in mind that I work full time during the standard work week and am not usually available Monday - Friday from 7am to 5pm so do not get worried if I do not respond to your email during the day. I usually get back to most emails within 24 hours.

This course is organized by weeks. Each week starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday. Most assignments will be due on Sunday. If Sunday is a bad day for you, arrange your time to have your assignment submitted earlier.

One of the most important sections of the syllabus is the assignments section.

I accept TWO LATE assignments during the semester. No additional assignments will be accepted late. If you are going to be late submitting an assignment - you are REQUIRED to inform me that you plan to have that as one of your two late assignments by using this Google Form. I will not consider additional late assignments if you have already submitted two late assignments.

Additionally, some assignments are cumulative, meaning that it is difficult to move on to the subsequent assignments if you have not completed the initial assignment. Therefore you if you submit an assignment late - you might end up submitting two asignments at the same time because they depend upon each other.

Please keep back up copies of your assignment. In my ten years of teaching and helping other professors, I have seen many assignments “eaten” by learning management systems like Sakai, disappear in emails, or become corrupted because a file extension (.doc, .pdf, .txt, etc) was typed wrong. Having a backup copy saves a lot of work should your assignment disappear into cyberspace.

Copying and pasting from the internet, other students' work, or from a website where you purchase a paper are a few examples of plagiarism and if I see it, I will be contacting the Department Chair to follow Shepherd University policies regarding plagiarism. Please become familiar with what the definition of plagiarism includes. Here is a website that gives a good definition of plagiarism. Being in an online class does not exempt you from following referencing rules to avoid plagiarism.

I may modify the syllabus this semester, and most modifications will be in the course schedule. Any modification will be made into an announcement and posted on Sakai.

If you have any questions about this syllabus, do not hesitate to contact me at jlivengo@shepherd.edu or jlivengo@gmail.com.