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COL 101 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

COL 101 - Orientation

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course covers best practices for success in college and learning online. This is accomplished by using technology smartly, succeeding in workplace situations skillfully, using interpersonal communications respectfully, and developing self-management practices expertly. This course is for first time online learners who are willing to learn.

Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the student will have the skills to be able to:

  1. Navigate and learn successfully in an online course.
  2. Handle time, commitments, goals, stress and deadlines.
  3. Identify “learning and thinking styles” in self and others.
  4. Develop good listening skills and good netiquette skills.
  5. Take effective notes.
  6. Expand memory and test-taking abilities.
  7. Work with diverse people and use free speech correctly.
  8. Use campus resources, including online libraries and all online services, such as homepages, Virtual Student Center and SMARTTHINKING.
  9. Prepare college assignments accurately, document appropriately and avoid plagiarism.
  10. Mediate for self and with others during conflicts.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:

The following ideas and concepts will be covered in Modules 1 – 24:

  • Online learning & online readiness.
  • Online course materials and processes (D2L and all its features).
  • Technology requirements for an online course.
  • Protecting your privacy, safety and security online.
  • Tips for online success (How to stay on track without a structured classroom & Getting help when it is needed).
  • How to communicate with the instructor and fellow students.
  • Frequently asked questions.
  • Resources for career development.
  • Learning styles, best practices and test taking online.
  • Identifying your problem solving style and personality and time management techniques.
  • Using your college or university resources and completing assignments utilizing the Virtual Library and Librarian.
  • Setting goals and projecting progress.
  • Note taking, referencing and documenting sources properly (avoiding plagiarism).
  • Memory enhancement and accessing online tutorial services.
  • Prioritizing time and tasks.
  • Managing stress.
  • Incorporating values, ethics and civility into actions.
  • Resolving conflicts effectively.
  • Netiquette practices.
  • Team work: Using critical and creative thinking for decision making
  • Effective communication and listening skills, including giving constructive feedback.
  • Working with diversity.
  • Integrating best practices based on Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Using RODP’s live online tutorial service, SMARTTHINKING.
  • Internet content rating system.
  • Student homepages within D2L

*For exact timeline as to the presentation of topics listed above, check “Assignments and Participation” section of syllabus.* 

Due dates are listed in the Calendar of this course.

Specific Course Requirements:

Regular access to a computer with online capabilities and a desire to learn!

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:


Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

All work for this course can be done online. Online work for this course includes modules with step by step instructions of what to do, including quizzes, discussion board questions, and assignments submitted in the correct drop box. You will be asked to email your instructor as well. Deadlines must be followed. YOU MAY WORK AHEAD IF YOU SO DESIRE. All work is done online. NO proctor is required!

Grading Procedures:

Grading Procedure: COL 101 Online System of Point Values and Grading

Points are earned as follows:
Modules 1-8: 31 points per module
Modules 9-11(Midterm): 200 points
Modules 12-21: 31 points per module
Modules 22-24(Final): 242 points
Discussion board questions: 11 points a piece

Total Points Possible to Earn: 1000 points, grading scale on next page All work is done online; No proctor required!

Point Value Chart by Module for ALL Work
(Note: the dash ----- indicates activity not required for that module)

Module NumberAssignment Point ValueQuiz Point ValueDiscussion Board Point Value 
1----20 points11 points 
2----31 points ----
331 points --------
431 points --------
531 points --------
616 points15 points----
720points----11 points 
816 points15 points----
920 points--------
10----69 points11 points 
11100 points --------
1220 points----11 points 
1316 points15 points----
1416 points15 points----
15----31 points ----
16----20 points11 points 
1731 points --------
18----31 points ----
19----31 points ----
20----31 points ----
21----31 points ----
2250 points42 points----
2350 points--------
24100 points --------

In most of the Modules for this course, you will be using websites. If you encounter a website that is under construction or “down,” take the initiative to go to the search engine or to find another resource for the same or similar topic. You may choose another search engine if you wish.

Also, the assigned point values that may be earned for each assignment and quiz vary. A 31- point assignment or quiz requires 4-5 complete sentences (a paragraph), and supporting explanations and descriptions of ideas and thoughts for a student to earn full points. More is required based on possible points that can be earned.

Grading Scale:

A = 920-1000 points earned
B = 840-919 points earned
C = 700-839 points earned
D = 600-699 points earned
F = less than 600 points earned

NO WORK WILL BE GRADED WITHOUT A COMPLETE LABEL ON THE ACTUAL DOCUMENT/MODULE. The label must be at the top of the page for submitted assignments, which are submitted to the drop box. (You do NOT need a label on submitted quizzes or discussion board postings.)

A complete label includes: Name, Course title and section number, title of assignment and date.
For Example: Joe Smith
                    COL 101 R50 Lesson 3 Assignment: Learning Style
                    February 12, 2011

This label needs to appear within each document being submitted to the drop box. (You do NOT need a label on submitted quizzes or discussion board postings, just for assignments, which will be submitted into the drop box.)

*The grading scale emphasizes assignments, projects, and student participation in the learning community as well as quizzes and completed assignments submitted by deadline.

**All communications must be done using complete sentences and some work requires complete paragraphs that follow the standard English rules of grammar. A Standard Paragraph is AT LEAST 4-5 sentences in length. Sketchy or skimpy explanations and descriptions of thoughts and ideas will result in loss of points on assignments, quizzes and discussion board answers.

***When assignments are submitted to the drop box, spell check must be used and proof reading for grammatical errors is required.

Assignments and Projects:

Lesson 1: Explain online learning & Assess online readiness; frequently asked questions; an online course in a nutshell; using online course materials and processes; using all its features and functions

Lesson 2: Technology requirements for an online course; how to protect you privacy, safety and security online; how online courses work; tips for online success (How to stay on track without a structured classroom & Getting help when it is needed); legal aspects of communication online; how to communicate with the instructor and fellow students

Lesson 3: Assess your learning style; best practices; test-taking online (Tips for taking timed quizzes and proctored tests)

Lesson 4: Identify your problem solving style and personality; making time management work for your personality style

Lesson 5: Find your college or university resources; virtual online tour of Libraries and other Learning Resource Centers; using the virtual library and librarian and how to research online

Lesson 6: Note taking; avoiding plagiarism and utilizing reference materials (APA & MLA documentation)

Lesson 7: Memory enhancement; accessing online tutorial services (SMARTTHINKING)

Lesson 8: Use netiquette; effective communication and listening skills including giving and taking 

Midterm Project (Modules 9, 10, 11)

Lesson 9: Preparing for the Classroom, online

Lesson 10: Making Choices: in College and in Life

Lesson 11: Problem Solving and Being Proactive

Lesson 12: Resolve conflicts effectively

Lesson 13: Team work: Use critical and creative thinking for decision making

Lesson 14: Prioritize time and tasks; Virtual Student Center tour

Lesson 15: Set goals and projecting progress

Lesson 16: Incorporate values and ethics

Lesson 17: Manage stress and health

Lesson 18: Work with diversity; freedom of speech

Lesson 19: Balance school, family and personal life

Lesson 20: Smart consumerism for college success

Lesson 21: Avoid addictions: How can you be part of the solution, not the problem?

Final Project (Modules 22, 23, 24)

Lesson 22: Maximize online resources for career development

Lesson 23: Choose a college major for your career goals

Lesson 24: Create a Mission Statement and a Resume

Class Participation:

All students must log-in the first day.

NOTE: If you are added to an online class after the first day, you must email the professor so that all start-up and /or welcome emails can be forwarded to you. Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course design. Students must communicate with the instructor as a learning resource via email, students must check the course bulletin board and calendar frequently for announcements, and students must actively participate in threaded discussion events. All communications must be done using complete sentences that follow standard English rules of grammar. Sketchy or skimpy explanations and descriptions of thoughts and ideas will result in loss of points on assignments, quizzes, and discussion board answers. Please remember that you are NOT texting, so no lower-case letter “I.” Also remember to capitalize the start of each sentence and use punctuation at the end of each sentence.

Late Policy:

The course lasts 15 weeks for fall and spring semester classes and 10 weeks for the summer session. There will be 24 modules. If you do approximately two assignments a week, you will keep on track. For the summer, the pace is faster and you will be required to do more work each week. You must follow the calendar and meet the deadlines for due assignments and quizzes. See the calendar to check due dates. SCHEDULE, DUE DATES, and Other Information.

Schedule –CHECK CALENDAR in D2L to confirm due dates and for additional messages. All due dates are found in the calendar in this course.

  • Midterm Project: Consists of Modules 9 – 11. This project is worth ---- 20% of your grade.
  • Final Project: Consists of Modules 22– 24. This project is worth --- 24% of your grade.
  1. Drop Boxes (to submit assignments) will also close at 11:55 p.m. Central Standard Time on the due dates.
  2. Quizzes have windows of availability that will close at 11: 55 p.m. Central Standard Time on the due dates.
  3. Discussion Board Posts must be completed by or before the due dates for the respective modules.

Late Work: Late work will only be accepted by approval of instructor. Late work, if accepted, will lose 10% of the assignment value for every day that it is late. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017