Welcome Letter/Registration Letter

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Dear Art 200 Students,

Welcome to Art Appreciation online! My name is Michelle Huntingford Craig (though many students call me Dr. Craig), and I will be your instructor for this course. This letter provides the basic information you will need before enrolling in Art 200.

Art 200: Art Appreciation provides an overview of global art from prehistory through the present. However, this course is taught thematically, not chronologically, which means that we will look at artworks and themes cross-culturally. For example, when studying the theme of power in art, we may look at an ancient Egyptian sculpture, a Byzantine mosaic, and the Great Wall of China. We’ll get to look at a broad range of artwork, considering what it means to “appreciate” art, the ways in which we do so, and how they influence the way we find meaning and value in art. Keep in mind that some of the art we’ll look at might challenge you, but art’s ability to move us in ways we can’t always explain or that are not always comfortable is part of its power. I often encounter students who tell me they “aren’t into art.” If you are enrolling in this class, I’m asking you to commit to spending the coming weeks being “into art.” Be open-minded and see where it takes you.

You should plan to spend at least as much time in this course as you do in a traditional class (roughly 8-12 hours a week). Because there is no lecture component, it is your responsibility to do the readings, access all required materials, participate in the discussion, complete other assignments, and research independently. Make sure you have access to a large screen. This course is not meant to be taken via phone screens.

There are no prerequisites for this course, but it’s important that you think carefully about whether you are a good candidate for distance learning. Below you will find some information that can clarify technical requirements and how to use our online learning platform CANVAS.

If you are unsure if Distance Education is for you, please check out this survey: http://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/survey.html

Location: Distance Education (completely online)

Catalog Course Description: Examines works of art through the study of terminology, themes, design principles, media and techniques, and provides a general introduction to the visual arts across time and diverse cultures through the use of various art historical methodologies. Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 156.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Art 200 the students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate works of art and architecture based on formal elements and principles of design employing appropriate art historical terminology.
  2. Identify, and compare materials and techniques used for creating art and architecture.
  3. Analyze works of art using various art historical methodologies.
  4. Identify, analyze, and discuss the functions of art and architecture and the roles of artists in diverse cultures.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to interpret and make meaning from visual image

Required Text: Lazzari, Margaret. Exploring Art: A Global, Thematic Approach. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2015.

Copies are available for purchase at the Cuesta College campus bookstore and online. You can also purchase or rent a copy online via Amazon.com or through Cengage Learning’s website, where a digital version (eBook) of the book is also available. There are also two copies of the textbook on reserve in the Cuesta College library. You must use the newest edition, which has been published recently and includes important updates.

There will be some additional readings posted on the course website, and these will be indicated on the course schedule. Cengage’s digital resource MindTap for Exploring Art is purely optional. 

Course Requirements: For each week, students will be required to read the following: textbook chapter, PDF slideshow, the outline/summary, and any additional materials (websites, videos, etc.). Additionally, for each wekly theme, students will be required to complete individual assignments and participate in the class discussion. In addition, there will be regular critical question posts and responses, which you will hear more about once the course begins. There are three open-book exams, a syllabus quiz, and a final project with three interim assignments. More detailed information will be included in the course syllabus.

Access to the Course: You can log into the course on the first day of the semester; you cannot access the course before the semester starts. When the semester starts, please log in right away, so that you are able to complete the week one assignments; otherwise, you will be dropped from the course. Mark your calendars! Starting on day one of the semester, course information will be provided in Canvas. Use Modules to access all the required information

Office Hours: When the semester starts, I am available online (in our course, click on Canvas Inbox to contact me) where I can answer questions or address any concerns. I can also be reached via email at michelle_craig1@cuesta.edu if you have any questions prior to the start of the semester. I will make every attempt to respond within 24 hours, Monday-Friday before 5:00pm. I am not available on weekends.

Drop Policy: Students who miss the first week of assignments or have not submitted 60% of assigned work (at any point in the semester) may be dropped from the course without notice.

Required Skills: You must have at least a basic understanding of how to use email, navigate the Internet, and communicate online. If you aren't sure of your computer skills as they apply to distance learning, visit: http://library.cuesta.edu/distance/who.htm

Computer Requirements: You will need a reliable computer (generally no more than 4 years old) running either Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Mac OSX 10.7 or higher with:

  1. 1 GHz or equivalent computer with a minimum of 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended), a color monitor, a DSL or cable modem for broadband access, a sound card and headphones or speakers;
  2. Mozilla Firefox 16 or higher (http://mozilla-­‐todownload.com), or equivalent
  3. A high speed account with an ISP (Internet Service Provider).
  4. A minimum of 500 MB of free space on their hard drive
  5. Adobe Acrobat Reader http://get.adobe.com/reader/
  6. Adobe Flash Player http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
  7. Silverlight  http://www.microsoft.com/getsilverlight/GetStarted/Install/Default.aspx
  8. Anti-virus software

This is a visual art class. You will not benefit from attempting to take this class on your phone or personal communication device. It is expected that you are accessing the material on a screen that allows to see the details that this course draws to your attention.

Cuesta Login Information: To login to Canvas, log into mycuesta, then click on the resources tab. Then in the Online Learning Block, click on Canvas to access your course. It will take you directly to https://cuesta.instructure.com/.

Canvas and mycuesta are linked together and if you access the link from mycuesta you will not need to sign on again (single sign-on). However if you use the direct link https://cuesta.instructure.com/then you will need to sign on using the same sign-on and password you use for mycuesta (ie: FirstName_LastName)

Technical Support: You can get to Canvas quick reference through this link: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4121

Once you open the PDF, you’ll see that there are links at the bottom to Canvas FAQs and tutorials.

For technical support, please contact the Online Support Center at (805) 546-3100 ext. 2802 during the hours of 7:30 am-9:00 pm, Mon.-Thu. and 7:30 am-4:00 pm Fri. You can also request help via e-mail, but should note that there might be a delay before you receive a response.

The instructions for e-mail assistance are:

  • Send an email to support@my.cuesta.edu
  • Include your name, class, section number (CRN), instructor's
  • Describe the problem you are

This information will be sent to a technical support individual at Cuesta who will get back to you within 48 hours (usually a response will be much sooner).

Accommodations: If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. A verification email from DSPS, to the course instructor, will be required.

Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at michelle_craig1@cuesta.edu



Michelle H. Craig, PhD

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