SUNY Empire State College (ESC) is an international leader in adult higher education. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, ESC has over 40 locations throughout New York State and distance learning options.
ESC's Center for Distance Learning, or CDL, offers flexibility for students with busy lives through term-based independent study courses designed especially for the adult learner. The flexibility of working one-to-one with a mentor over a variety of medium (phone, mail, fax and e-mail) is the main advantage. Through the use of email and the Web, Nick is currently instructing a number of students both domestically and internationally in the topics of Information Systems and Telecommunications.
Click the ESC logo for more information on the Center for Distance Learning!
If you’ve never participated in an online course:
I'd like to go over some key items regarding the course, its structure, the SLN web site, etc. Obviously, learning over the Internet is very different from the traditional method often referred to as "instructor-led education". With this mode, you can progress at your own pace, submitting assignments as you complete them. My suggestion is for you to familiarize yourselves with the assignment schedules, if only to ensure that you are not falling too far behind.The SLN web site may appear a bit cumbersome to use at first, but gradually you'll learn how to navigate its pages. It actually links to some neat resources hosted by Empire State College. Another suggestion is to surf this site thoroughly so you won't become frustrated locating features and documents.
Essays -It is probably best if you complete your written work in MS Word and then copy that document into the "submitted assignments" section of the course site. I will check the SLN site each day for any work you post and return an evaluation after my review. Of course, the online discussion groups are on-going throughout the term.
Assignment Requirements -There are 5 essays, and a research paper (the Final), which must be completed to earn the four credits. As a rule, I expect the paper to range between 3 to 5 pages in length, double-spaced. This length allows you to elaborate on your views without going too far "overboard". Believe it or not, some students go on FOREVER with their responses, especially if they are passionate about the topic! Please try to keep your paper down to a manageable size. Where appropriate, you are expected to provide a reference (bibliography) page in APA format to document your sources. This isn't as crucial for papers that solicit your views on a particular topic, but still you should cite the document/manuscript you are referring to. It's just good form, and a professional approach. Incidentally, the Research Paper is the semester's big project (15-20 pages). The good news is that you can pick the topic you feel most comfortable to write about as long as it is relevant to the topic of Issues in Telecommunications. Run this past me if you are not sure.
Online Discussions -In addition to the essays and research paper, you will benefit from participating in online discussions with fellow students. Often the dialog is the “best part” of this course and will prove to be helpful as you develop your telecom understanding. After all, chatting with others can really be fun experience! Like the Internet itself, the SLN web site is continually undergoing changes. These growing pains make it a bit challenging, but ultimately result in a better learning experience for all. Your feedback is important and should you uncover any additional "bugs", I'd like to know about them. Once you've submitted all of your work, I will prepare evaluations and post them to the ESC web site. The college will also be mailing you your grades in the traditional manner. I believe I've covered most of your questions. Email me with any others I might have missed, and ENJOY the course!
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