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Transportation & the Rise of Mass Tourism: Travel Literature

   Marco Polo

What to Expect


This is a three-credit-hour course. For the 14-week duration of this course, you should spend three hours per week on work that would typically take place inside a classroom or with an instructor (reading lectures, quizzes, small group activities, exams, discussion board conversations), and six hours per week on work that would typically be prepared outside of class (assigned textbook reading, writing assignments, studying), for a total of nine working hours per week or approximately 126 hours of work over the duration of the semester.

Weekly Schedule

We will begin each week Monday morning, and the week will end Sunday night. I will release the week’s materials, including an agenda, descriptions of assignments, and class notes to help you manage the tasks and offer advice, no later than each Sunday night for the coming week.  While I realize students will have different schedules and that an online class offers a level of flexibility beyond the face-to-face classroom, I strongly suggest students make a point of logging in at least once a day on most days and keeping careful track of all due dates.  Most weeks will be broken down into two halves, Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday.  Written assignments will be usually due Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; readings and quizzes for the week will usually be due every Thursday, so you may choose to – and are highly encouraged to – begin a week’s reading during the previous week.  Please plan accordingly and make sure you manage your time effectively; doing so is the key to successfully passing the course.

Interaction and Classroom Conduct

The concept at the heart of this course is active participation and active learning.  This class relies not only on writing and reading but on discussion and interaction as well – out of the crucible of your engagement with the texts we read and with the ideas and questions of your peers will emerge your own unique insights and appreciation for the literature we are studying.  Our commitment as a class, therefore, is to foster a classroom atmosphere that enables everyone to become an integral member of a community of readers and writers.  Your Interaction grade for this course will be determined by a number of factors, including the quality and quantity of your contribution to whole class discussions and to small group activities, your commitment level to any assignments, your attentiveness, your ability to serve as a model student for others, and your adherence to the course policies.  Every week you will be graded based on that week’s interaction (which will always include discussion board posts and may also include additional forms of interaction).  See the Interaction Grade Rubric and the Interaction Guidelines (below) for more details.

Interaction Guidelines

In an online class, attendance cannot mean what it does in a traditional face-to-face, class, but in many ways it is just as integral to the learning experience of the course.  Although much of your time in the course will spent at your discretion, including when you are actually logged into the course site, your regular “presence” in the course site will be necessary to make the class work.  As you’ll see from the course assignments, checking in regularly and on most days will be required for you to not only meet the basic expectations of the course but exceed them.  Plan on spending a matter of hours in the course site on some days and, on others, depending on what is due, at least checking in to find new announcements, submit work, or read new posts.  Doing so will be vital to your success in the class and your ability to maximize your learning.  I also encourage students to choose some image for their profile to help further personalize your virtual identity.