This is the support blog for Geography 340 (World Regions in Global Context), a 100% online course being offered in the Fall 2016 term. We may use this blog to update you off and on, but most of the substantive course content is accessed via Learn@UW.
My name is Cathy Day, and I’ll be your instructor for the course. Your TA is Andy Davey. Once the semester starts and you gain access to the course website, you’ll get to know us a bit better from our video introductions. In the meantime, you can read our short bios in the course syllabus. In addition, please note that Professor Kris Olds is the main professor associated with this course – he created it in 2012, and coordinated its complete overhaul and transition to the Canvas LMS in 2016 (in association with Cathy Day).
Here are several updates to get some things moving before term officially starts on Tuesday, September 6th.
I. Syllabus & Schedule
Read the syllabus and schedule carefully. Because we don’t have a first day of class in person where we can go over the course format and policies, this syllabus is very long. Maybe think of it as a course guidebook.
Please note that the course starts slowly for the first session to help those of you who are taking an online class for the first time to dig around the course site on Learn@UW, sort out the course text issue, read the detailed syllabus, email us with any questions you have, etc., etc. Geog 340 is newish, but we’ve taught it enough times to know how to reduce stress and anxiety – and starting with clarity regarding rolling deadlines that are coming up is one of the tricks. Your first assignment will be to fill out your course profile and to introduce yourself on the course Discussion board. That assignment will be due on Saturday of the first week at 10pm CDT.
The course website (which is hosted on Learn@UW) goes live at 8:00 am on Tuesday, September 6. You will need access to a computer to read, watch, and listen to the course content (apart from the textbook), and to engage in discussion forums, etc. We also make ample use of ‘drop boxes’ on the site so you can upload written exercises on it. Again, download the syllabus pronto and read it start-to-finish.
You may also want to learn more about how to use the new Canvas platform. If so, you can access the training course at https://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/13
The course text this term will be:
World Regions in Global Context: People, Places, and Environments, 6th Edition by Sally Marston, Paul Knox, Diana Liverman, Vincent Del Casino & Paul Robbins, 2017.
ISBN-13: 978-0134183640 ISBN-10: 0134183649
We are using the 6th edition so please acquire a copy of it and NOT the 5th edition. Textbook options include fully online (the cheapest option, especially if you get the 180 day access version):
an ‘a la Carte’ edition for a binder (cheaper than the paperback version, but more expensive that the online version)
and the standalone book (without MasteringGeography):
We are NOT using MasteringGeography.
The University Bookstore by Memorial Library has ordered copies of the paperback version and the three-ring-binder (a la Carte) version of the 6th edition. You can buy or rent either of these versions from the bookstore.
And here is the Amazon.com link to search for the 6th edition of the course text – Amazon offers various versions (including rental).
Multiple reserve copies of the 6th edition are available in the College Library and the Geography Library on two-hour loan. This is the cheapest option (free!).
Please note that the assigned textbook is required reading and you will be spending a lot of time with it so please ensure that you are satisfied with the format you are considering.
Welcome to the class!
Cathy Day & Andy Davey