Welcome, Weekend Express Students!

English 2342.BCX will be available in Canvas on the first day our class meets (Friday, Jan 20). Until then, if you have any questions about the course, please e-mail me, Professor Tolleson, at this address:


(Since I am teaching three different online courses, always include the course number and section in the subject box of your e-mail, i.e., 2342.BCX)

Before we get started. . .

It is important to acknowledge the elephant in the room, so to speak, in terms of taking a literature course in the 3-weekend compressed format. There is a semester's worth of reading in this course. Most students who take weekend express classes embrace the challenge of the compressed format. However, it is worth raising one very important question: Are you a good reader? Do you have good reading comprehension skills? If you are a slow reader or have difficulty understanding what you read, you may struggle with this course. If you are someone who depends on listening to class discussions to help you understand the readings, this may not be the course for you. While the face-to-face reviews will help you better understand the readings, we will not be able to cover each work in as much detail as a regular class. If you are worried about whether or not this is the right format for you, let me know so that we can talk about it.

A little about the course ...

This course is specifically designed as a blended course. While the course is designed primarily to be conducted online, there will be one mandatory face-to-face class on Friday evening, Jan 20 6:00 - 9:50 p.m. at the Central Park Campus in B201. On that night, I will give you information that will help you understand how things work in the 3-weekend blended format, and I will also cover material that will not be available online. The good news is that I will give you information that will lighten your reading load.

After that one mandatory meeting on Friday, Jan 20, I will hold optional face-to-face exam reviews each Sunday (2 p.m. - 4 p.m.). For those students who want the opportunity to discuss the works we've read, those exam reviews help enormously because we go over each work. However, those students who cannot make the reviews or who feel they don't need them are not obligated to come. The blended format is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds: we do most of the work online but have the opportunity to meet face-to-face to reinforce what we've read, ask questions, and get advice for taking online exams.  

How the course works:

Almost all course assignments, links to lectures, guidelines for responses, and exams will be on this website and/or in Canvas. All response papers will be handed in through Turnitin.com. I encourage you to e-mail me whenever you have a question. Good communication is a key factor in your success in this course. You will need to e-mail me at the college address (mtolleson@collin.edu) from your college e-mail address and always include your specific course and section number in the subject title of the e-mail. I do not keep my class rolls with me at all times, and it adds significant time to my reply if I have to look up your course/section before I can access the information needed to answer your question.

All readings and deadlines are listed on the Calendar page (linked from the Course Content page in Canvas). You will need to complete the readings assigned on the calendar page which are due frequently because of the compressed format of the course. You will also be expected to write response papers, take quizzes, or participate in a discussion forum at regular intervals. I do build in a couple of extra assignments to allow you to skip one or two if you have scheduling conflicts during the semester. You turn in all response papers through Turnitin.com. Students who get their account set up in Turnitin by 11:59 p.m. before the mandatory class at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan 20, will be rewarded! Go to Turnitin.com and begin setting up your account now.

There are three exams in this course, the dates of which will be noted on the Calendar Page in Canvas. Each exam will be available in Blackboard within a very limited window of time. All online exams are timed unless you choose to take the untimed version in the Testing Center. Make-up exams will be given only at the CPC Testing Center and must be arranged through the instructor.

Texts you'll need:

One of my aims for this course has been to find short stories that are available online or that I can make available to you for download. So, the only book you must purchase will be the novel.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

We will begin the course with the study of the short story. We will study the novel in the last week of the course. Once you enroll in the course, email me at mtolleson@collin.edu if you want a more extensive reading list.

I look forward to working with you this semester!