Class FAQS for LJ's Courses
Hallo | Hola | Aloha | Guten Tag | Bonjour | 你好 | مرحبا | Γεια σας | שלום | Ciao | 안녕하세요. | привет | Wapendwa | வணக்கம் | chào | Здраво | Բարեւ Ձեզ | (sorry if I missed any) :0)
Thank you for the privilege of letting me be your instructor. I have been teaching for almost 6 years, and I love it!! I have fun, and I want you to have a great learning experience in my classes and come out with new skills and confidence!
My classes are meant to be fun, active, chock full of information, and hopefully great opportunities for you to get skills and experience that can help you move into the exciting IT/web-related and business fields. Even so, students can have questions about grading, expectations, late work, and other things, here's the place to look. The law, the rules, the skinny, the tips, etc. I am very detailed because I get new questions and concerns each quarter, so I have tried to cover a lot here. I teach at more than one school, so I will specify where needed.
Who IS L.J. Bothell?
I have been teaching since January 2009. I teach/have taught web authoring, web career strategies, Microsoft programs, Adobe programs, surveys of computing tech, career skills, & more.
I have worked as a permanent employee, a short-term temp, a contractor, and a consultant/freelancer. I have been salaried and hourly. I have administrative, design, editing, clerical, and teaching experience. I have also earned a BA, AA, and 2 Certificates, so I have been a student several times. As a result, I teach from a student perspective and with an eye to practical use in the volatile job market.
My responsibility is to put you, my students, first. I want to provide the best and most useful information I can for you, and to share my expertise. I also am responsible for representing the school(s) I teach at so that we give you the best we can and meet/exceed the goals and requirements of college education and training.
I am so glad you are here!!
What do I need to know to be ready for LJ's classes?
I have a lot going on in my life. How hard are your classes?
Not terribly, assuming you show up, get the info/resources, and do the work. My classes have several assignments, tasks, a quiz or two, some reading, and an expectation be active in class with questions and helping othersout. Assignments may be demoed in class but you may still have up to 2+ hours of work for every hour of in-class time. The pace of the class itself can also be fast, due to the amount of info I need to cover so you will be prepared for the next classes and eventually the next quarter.
English is not my first language, and/or US English spelling/reading and comprehension is a challenge for me. What can I do?
I want everyone to have a great learning experience. My classes are taught solely in US English. I have added a Translator Widget to my web pages. You need to take any/all extra time you need to work with translators/counselors to get the information you need to do the work and keep up with class deadlines.
What is your learning style? Find out here, then check out my summaries below with learning hints for getting the most out of my classes:
What tools do I need for your classes?
Your syllabus for each class will give the specifics of any books, and other class-specific tools. Normally, however, you will be using:
What is my student login and password?
I don't know. You can look for your student login by starting on the Student Online Services for your school (school links table).
I don't have an active student login yet because my registration is delayed. What do I do?
You must have access to class computers for keeping up during my classes in the classroom. Not having them is not an acceptable excuse for late or missing assignments and quizzes.
If your registration is delayed, and/or you need student login access to the computers you need to:
I don't have a computer or the software of my own. What do I do?
Find it - that is part of your education. You DO NOT have to buy any of it. Check the school links table above for School Computer Labs. Also, consider:
What's on the ljbTRAININGS classes web site?
Lots of info, tips, lecture outlines, Simon's Cat:
What's on the ljbTRAININGS Canvas web site?
All assignment / grading related stuff:
How can I reach you?
You can get me one of several ways:
How often do you check email?
Daily during the school week (M-F), and at least once Sat-Sun. Not hourly or more than a couple of times in a day. Usually once every day the last week of the quarter (before finals). I usually take a weekend day away from all computers and email. On long weekends, holidays, and quarter-end you'll often see an out-of-office messages stating when I'll check back in.
Whenever I check email, assuming your email needs/requests a response, I answer. If the subject needs a little thinking, I may take up to a day to get back to you so I am sure I am accurate and helpful. If you don't hear from me in a day, I might not have received your email - please try again.
Can I call you?
At this time, no, because I have no assigned phone numbers. NOTE: NEVER, EVER telephone me on any phone number you might find other than an official School office phone number. NEVER!!! Outside class and school email, I am a private person, not a teacher, and I will not answer questions or handle issues of any kind. My mind is a blank computer screen. I will actually lose the ability to hear and to speak English.
Do you hang out with students?
Generally, nope. I love to chat about class info before and after class and say howdy if we pass each other, and definitely help during appointments. Sometimes I may attend an industry-related or student club-related event. Sometimes I get to work with a student in more than one class, and/or find something tech-oriented we have in common and chat about. However, I don't socialize (lunch, date, go to concerts, etc.,) or do closed-door meetings (unless my shared-faculty office door with a window is closed for auditory privacy), so that we all have solid student-teacher boundaries. All grading in my classes is based on merit - what you earn. It's important that you feel safe and confident with your instructors and staff at SCC. After the quarter is over, I hope we see each other in the halls and say hi!!
Can I record you/your classes?
I would prefer not. I do appreciate that you might want to capture lecture info so you can re-listen to it, for educational review only, so use your best judgement and don't distract other students.
NOTE: NEVER, EVER post to ANY social media or info sharing site. I do not in any way authorize the use of images and/or audio in our class for uploads to YouTube or anywhere else, to act as entertainment or be for harrassment purposes, etc. All students in my classes need confidentiality for their questions and discussions to remain in the classroom. Out-of-context use of class content is not acceptible. If some recording, in or out-of-context- is made/shared, I and the College will legally deal with that situation. Thank you.
What are STUDENT responsibilities for class success?
When am I supposed to communicate with you?
Always when you have a concern or an issue. You need to communicate with me about questions, concerns, issues, being late, etc, or I can't help so your learning and grades stay strong. I want you to have a great class!
I got an email from you with a Drop notice on/after the First day of school. Why?
I have to drop students who are no-shows on the first day of class when the class is full and if the student did not contact me first. Sorry. If you do not attend, or you do attend but don't respond to attendance/roll call, I may have to drop you, and you will need to re-register to rejoin the class, after the folks I have signed in.
I decided I don't want/need the class, and/or developed a schedule conflict that prevents me from finishing the quarter. What can I do?
You should drop the class by the quarterly drop deadline. If you miss the quarterly drop deadline dates and can't drop, you'll have to contact your Department Counselor and EMAIL ME that you require a late-quarter NC (no credit) and why. These are very tough to get after the deadline date, so get in contact ASAP. Late in the quarter is much too late.
There's a lot here about what students have to do. What about YOU? What does the teacher actually do besides torture us?
I am responsible for several hours of work a week for each class, including:
You seem really busy. How much do you have to do?
It depends, quarter by quarter. After 15 hours of sleep or so, I try to get moving. Some quarters I will be teaching at one or more schools, and also working a part-time job or a contract assignment as well. Keep in mind, one teacher often has more than one class, many students and many assignments and tasks for each student. There is often one of me to 48-70+ students, each with lots of assignments, quizzes, emails, freak-outs, etc. I do my best but you need to EMAIL ME when you need help.
How fast do you grade?
I usually grade the day assignments are due, or perhaps the next day. Once I have graded I post your grades to your CANVAS grading sheet so you can see it. If I am ill, we have holidays, or something comes up, I may take a few days. Always assume I grade the day the assignment is due so you get it in on time.
Do you ever change assignment or quiz dates?
Usually no, unless the class as a whole has either moved faster or slower on a segment than we expected. Or unless I want to really mess with your mind - er, just kidding. Then I will ask the class, announce it in class, change the date on the web site, use red text, give notice, jump up and down, blow horns, etc.
How long do you keep my stuff?
At the end of each quarter, I do grade, CANVAS, this ljbTRAININGS website, and email-related housekeeping. I clean up this site's class pages and get them read for a fresh new batch of recruits. After final grades are turned in, CANVAS will eventually archive quizzes and grade sheets. I keep emails we exchanged in class. However, make copies of anything you need for yourself before the last day of grading each quarter. It is up to you to have any documentation you need for any future concerns.
I want/need more information / subject coverage / specific answers to my own projects/needs than the class seems to offer. Can you do that?.
Likely, no, unless we actually move through the core a little faster than I expect - then I take extra questions. Class content is based on specific objectives and course content created by the school / district per State requirements. While instructors have some latitude in organizing and communicating content, we are still required to cover it all. For instance, in a 1-credit basic MS application class, mid-high intermediate and advanced topics will not be covered.
I always spend initial class time on covering the course specifics & expectations, class tools & resources, logins and CANVAS, and operating system file management, etc. I do this even in 1-credit classes before launching into specific content, so that all students will know what to expect and use, and be on the same page right from the beginning. My past experience has been that skipping all that, and starting core content as if everyone has the same level of expertise and familiarity, leads to confused students, unsuccessful assignments, references to my mother, bad attendance, snide comments about Starbucks, and learning problems for at least a half of students in a class. It is NOT worth skipping these basics. I may also have unexpected things to sort out, like equipment, technical, and environment issues in a room I have not taught in before, and fixing them and/or moving may take some time. Someone might have stolen my coffee and I run slow. I really appreciate all your patience.
What happens if there is snow, a flu outbreak, an emergency, and/or some other reason students shouldn't come to school?
First, school is open, and my classes are held in person, unless you are specifically notified otherwise. You can check the College website, and to be added to the emergency text messaging so you know when the school closes. Check the school links table above for Alert links.
If I need to announce my absence and/or class cancellation, you will see the announcement on my main student's web site and on the main page for your specific class, I will send a mass email, and I will post to Facebook.
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Basically, it means that your student records, class grades, and personal identity are safe with the school you attend and the teachers you work with. In my classes, I respect your privacy of information, do not share grades or other sensitive details about you with anyone, or intend to ask questions of you about things that do not seem to directly impact your experience and participation in my classes.
I have unique safety needs. What can you do?
You need to be in contact with College Security right away (school links table). I am not, and can not, ever be your first line of communication or defense regarding safety issues stemming from outside SCC. I am responsible for the general safety standards of my classroom (and general issues I see in the hallways). I will do what I can in cases of discipline, and behavioral concerns that come up. I will also do my best in a crisis per my understanding of the College's Emergency Procedures and personal capacity and safety considerations during an emergency. I will expect and require students to pay attention and to follow instructions to preserve and protect our safety in an immediate crisis as well.
However, I am in no way trained in security, social work, crisis management, or other safety issues. I am also not trained/current in CPR or other emergency medical responses. I do not have medical benefits, so I will also not volunteer to put myself in inappropriate danger or physically damaging situations.
For any privacy and security concerns above and beyond (like domestic issues, stalking, identity protection, violence, weapons/threats, a specific health response need, etc.) you will need to work with the College's Security, your Department Counselor, and/or Crisis Intervention as appropriate for your situation. If these folks determine that I need specific information about your situation, they and you will then EMAIL ME and provide me with authorized details, paperwork, and procedures. However, if you EMAIL ME first, I will do my reasonable and safe best in the immediate moment, and I will refer you to these services since personal safety outside the classroom is definitely outside my expertise and culpability.
What else should I know?
I take my responsibilities as an instructor very seriously. While I try to have a relaxed and engaging class environment, promote fun and learning, am a little nuts, and love creative interaction, my FIRST responsibility is to be professional, fair, unbiased, non-preferential, and supportive within appropriate teacher-student boundaries. I want you to have a safe and good learning environment, a great experience at SCC, and try to the best of my ability and resources to provide it. BTW - no bribes allowed (especially Starbucks). :0)
It is SIMPLE: Show up to all the classes and actually participate. Do the assigned work/quizzes and submit them before the due date; do them with the needed effort, quality, and required programs/format; and do them without skimping or trying to get around the work by foul means. Have respect for me and your class colleagues by showing up consistently and on time. Keep in contact with me during the quarter. It's not much to ask - school is like a job, and it is a privilege to be able to gain education. This is what I base my grading upon.
How hard or picky are you at grading?
I'm very happy when everyone learns the materials and gets great grades and I aim for this! My classes are not graded on a curve. I really want folks to understand, practice, and be able to use what I teach, and I want you to SUCCEED and have fun while learning!! I am open to creativity, trying really hard, and a diverse learning curve. I do not expect everyone to have the same training background or way of approaching assignments, so hard-earned simple work or highly stylized work can actually both receive top grades. I am also aware that students don't always have a lot of class experience and/or have a different primary language. Just because I am a geek does not mean everyone else is.
However, I am VERY picky about participation, attendance, late assignments, missing assignments, not following assignment instructions/steps, work that does not meet the assignment's requirements, lack of communication, incomplete/incorrect/shortcut work, and work plagiarized instead of learning and using your own effort. In other words, I am like a boss at a job - very tough on deadlines, assignment-specific requirements, and missing/shoddy work. This goes for any age, school/experience level, differently-abled, language basis, etc. My classes tend to be career/real-world prep (even the simple classes), so I evaluate on the basis that you need to be able to perform in the real world, including following instructions.
Your job is to always EMAIL ME in advance of a due date with a problem and a game plan. If a student establishes a pattern of late work and/or absence, I note that too. Don't even think about arguing with me about missing work, taking shortcuts, and/or not following instructions, savvy?
Do you grade some students more easily than others?
NO. I do not, and have never, played favorites. My classes are based on merit only - your grade is always based on what you do and do not do. Grades are based solely on participation/attendance, and on completed work. If a student is absent or late a lot, that shows in the grade. If assignments get missed, that gets marked down. If work is sloppy, usually 25%-50% of the points may come off. The practices I use for all students are practices are for every individual student, equally. Only participation, attendance, and work done/not done matters in how I grade, and it is important to me that you experience fairness, safety, and consistency.
To be clear, it is possible that some students may chat more with me in and out of class than others do - that does not impact grades. I might encounter and chat with students who I have common work/travel/tech experiences or such. I see some students who happen to be on the same bus route, and/or possibly students who even live in the same neighborhood. However, I compartmentalize and am a faculty professional, so these things do not impact grades. I might even have a friend, acquaintance, and/or colleague who returns to school and ends up in my class - that does not impact grades. If a student brings in a postcard from travels, or treats for the class - that does not impact grades. If I am at all concerned about a previous relationship, I make sure my coordinator/department dean knows about it so we all are comfortable and clear. You can ask.
Where and when is my final grade available?
Your grade will be available on the College website about a full week after the last day of finals. You should have no surprises at the end of the quarter, and you are responsible for knowing your course work grading using CANVAS before the end of the quarter. Not checking is not a negotiating tactic for upping your grades later.
I also won't argue over grades - if there is a serious error/concern, I will try to help during the quarter, but we won't dicker over points for tardiness, missing assignments, late assignments, incomplete/incorrect work, my fair and best evaluation of your work, etc.
It's the end of the quarter and I am in trouble with my grade. Will you raise it?
NO. You have had access to the CANVAS grades section all quarter to check your grades and discuss them with me as needed. I have given comments with assignments that had issues. I have always been available to negotiate issues on specific assignments, absences, upload problems, etc. I really work to help students improve during the quarter, and to give the benefit of the doubt on assignment issues. The end of the quarter is much too late to try to catch up or bargain for a better grade.
Just so you know: I will:
What exactly do you grade on?
Assignment and class grades are based on three things: the skills / time / attention expected to be used to accomplish the assignment; the correct following of the assignment requirements/instructions; and the assignment being submitted on time. I may have specific attendance required points in the syllabus, and will grade on absences. There may or may not be extra credit offered - see your specific class syllabus. I am unable to offer passing grades on substantially incomplete and/or late work, excessive absences, and I won't grade for a partial class.
What are the assignment requirements?
Each assignment will have a specific set of tasks and specifications for the lesson plan. Read them, digest them, live them, and keep the dog/cat/komodo away from them. Usually all assignments will also have specific file naming protocol, in-assignment identification, and specific location to be uploaded. Also, assignments are not to be emailed unless I specifically state that you can. Points will be lost for late work, unsubmitted work, uncompleted and/or wrong assignment requirements, wrong file naming, unidentified work, work emailed or submitted in some way other than specified in the assignment summary, shortcuts or avoiding specific lessons required by the assignment, plagiarism, and so on. Just be cool and do the work on time, 'kay?.
I think something on an assignment was unclear or did not work right. What should I do?
First, EMAIL ME. My goal is to offer clear, fair, and useful assignments, and I check them before I upload them and often offer an example so students visually know what they should be aiming for. I ask students to look over the assignment as soon as I post it so they can let me know if there is a problem - an unclear instruction, something that doesn't work quite right, a broken link, a Required Outcome or Starter File that doesn't make sense, a tool that the student doesn't understand, etc. Then, if I hear (in class, by email) of any problem, I fix it and communicate it right away. I also communicate any changes to assignments because of something like this, including in a mass BCC email to students if needed. It is my job to be fair and give you the clearest and best instructions/info I can so you can succeed at accomplishing what you came to class to learn!
This being said, I can have leniency grading an assignment if you really tried and it simply did not work due to an assignment/teacher (ME) problem or something truly disasterous. If you tried and could not upload the assignment on time - and EMAILED ME with a screenshot to show/tell me - I may give the benefit of the doubt and give you at least some points. I want to see what you can do, not hang you up on unfair things. The key is that you HAVE TO EMAIL ME early so that I can help you during the assignment window and before the end-of-quarter. And this is to be very rare, not a new disaster for every assignment.
I don't think the grade on an assignment is fair. What should I do?
If you really think something was dreadfully unfair, and/or that I graded something down that you really believed you did accomplish, prove it. Please EMAIL ME right away/before the end of the quarter, and tell me specifically what the issue is and how you think we should fix it. This usually clears up misunderstandings. I want you to get the most of of the class, and chatting over the experience of a specific low-graded assignment can help.
For future assignments, pay close attention to the requirements and due date, and make yourself a specific checklist to check off as you finish and review your assignments for submission. Don't expect me to make continued exceptions.
Seattle Central: I don't think that losing participation / attendance points is fair, What can I do?
Show up, every class day, on time, and don't leave early. Sign in on the attendance form I occasionally send around so I know you were in the class. If I do a Roll Call, answer it. Class is like a job, and you disrespect me and other students when you don't show/come late. You can't get the best info, demos, in-jokes, and occasional chocolate if you are not there. Your boss won't tolerate no-shows, so why should I?
I specifically set the non-participation point loss high so that students will treat the class like they would a job, and will EMAIL ME to have an absence explained and excused. For instance, a 300-point class might have a 45-point loss for 3 absences (15 points per absence). My CEO classes will have 50% of the grade based on attendance. Don't argue about it - if you are sick, or have some other serious attendance concern, EMAIL ME with the reason so I can excuse your lack of participation for that day. EMAIL ME in advance of planned absences, such as a pre-planned trip, a sudden family issue, a job interview or required meeting, etc. Have proof if you had a disaster, doctor appointment, plane ticket, an actual komodo that bit you, etc.
What grading scale do you use?
I use the same grading scale as other instructors at the College/in Canvas. I multiply the number of credits attached to a course by 100 to create the Point Count that I base assignments and other evaluations on. For instance, a 3-credit class has 300 points, a 1-credit class has 100 points, etc. The CEO class is double the points because attendance is so important.
In CANVAS, you can hover over the final percentage in your listed grades to see your point count/total available points. Here is an example of how I range points and grades.
What this means is that for:
Note: Many classes may require a 2.0+ grade point to meet prerequisites for approval. Some financial aid or other student programs may require higher than 2.0 - this is your responsibility. I DO NOT renegotiate or change grades for students so that they can "make" this 2.0 requirement. You will need to negotiate with the other instructor you need to take the class from to see if s/he will waive that 2.0 requirement.
Good question! In my classes, cheating is considered to include (but not be limited to):
If I DO catch a cheating behavior, the assignment will automatically get a ZERO (0) grade with no make-up possibility. If you take your lumps and improve immediately, I may be allowed to not escalate this. However, I may be required to escalate it as per the Student Code of Conduct and also submit a report to the Department Dean for your school record. IF YOU CHEAT, you may be dropped from the class, may be put on academic suspension, may lose any grant/scholarship/financial aid funding you have, may lose any student visa/visiting privileges you might have, and/or may be dismissed from SCC altogether.
I have financial aid/worker retraining funds, and/or an on a Student Visa, and I will lose them if I don't pass the class at a certain grade point.
Regardless of outside financial pressures, the same grading rules apply. I don't want anyone to lose their funding. However, it is up to YOU to manage workflow and attendance, keep an eye on your grades with Canvas, EMAIL ME with any issues, and make sure you don't fall behind in any way that costs your financial aid or student visa. I am not responsible for your performance or final grade and I can't/won't make exceptions - it's unfair to the other students. I myself have benefited from financial aid in my education, so I know the deal and I myself managed to always be in class and to excel in assignments.
I am unhappy about how I have been graded, or something else in the class. What do I do?
I'm your FIRST best choice, and during the quarter I want to help, so make sure to talk with me. EMAIL ME. I don't get offended, and I am always learning and improving, so I WANT to do the best I can for you and help you feel relaxed and in control of YOUR education. Also:
I need tutoring. How do I get it, and how much does it cost?
The college has a Tutoring Center (school links table), where you can sign up for assistance and see who might be available for the professional/tech tutoring. Students are eligible for 2 free hours per week, per each class.
The College also has a free online eTutoring site (see Tutoring Center web page). ETutoring helps with several subjects including web development, and you can leave a question for the tutors with a 48-hour answer turnaround. There is also an eChat option for real-time help.
The Policy: NO LATE WORK. NONE. NO NO and NO.
For any reason. Turn it in completely, on time. If you miss it, please accept responsibility, move on, and resolve to not have any more late work. If you know about a specific problem, EMAIL ME at least 1+ full day in advance with your issue and what you plan to do to solve it and turn the work in - we may be able to negotiate a bit. Note that there are especially NO exceptions for late final assignments.
Otherwise, NO. This includes: