Lesson 1: Orientation

Brunton compass and Mount Whitney topographic mapWelcome to College of the Siskiyous' online Environmental Geology course for Fall 2011. This week's lesson is designed to acquaint you with the course's resources and procedures so that you can "hit the ground running" when we begin our study of humanity's interactions with the Earth next week.

Like our other lessons this semester, this one is divided into four parts: (1) a list of learning objectives—things you'll be expected to be able to do after mastering the concepts you study this week; (2) a guided reading and browsing assignment that will help direct your learning about the week's topics; (3) an exercise that will enable you to put what you have learned into practice; and (4) a brief quiz that will help me assess how well you've learned the main ideas and skills covered in this week's lesson. The formats of our exercises will vary; some will be taken from the Hazard City software, others from Virtual Courseware, and still others will be writing assignments. In each case, however, you will need to point your browser to the companion Etudes site in order to submit your answers or written work. Quizzes and the final will also be conducted on the Etudes site.

Exactly how all of this works will become clearer as you explore the websites that are at the heart of this lesson. If you encounter problems or have questions please write to me via the discussion board or a private message on the ETUDES site. I will check my messages and e-mail as often as possible prior to the first week of class and check both regularly beginning on about 11-Aug.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 1: Discussion Board Post (Due by 9:00 AM on 22-Aug-11)

Now that you have had a look at the course websites and the Hazard City website, go to the Etudes site and post a response to the welcome message I have left on the Etudes Discussion Board (under "Discussion and Private Messages" tool). This will help each of get to know a little more about our classmates, and what their backgrounds and goals are for the semester.

Quiz 1: Orientation (Due by 9:00 AM on 22-Aug-11.)

Finally, complete Quiz 1 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tests, and Surveys" tool. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around the course resources pretty well and are ready to start learning about the major concepts of Environmental Geology next week. Like all of our weekly quizzes, this one is timed (you'll have 30 minutes) and must be completed in one "sitting". (That is, you will only be granted access once.) So, be sure you're ready to complete your quiz when you start it—and be sure you're using Firefox. Good luck.