Welcome to English 201B

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English 201B

Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Zipperian 

Hello students, and welcome to English 201B online. My name is Dr. Kathryn Zipperian, and you and I will be working together this semester. I am excited to help you learn about critical thinking and literature and hope you enjoy the stories, plays, and poems I have selected.   

I will have lots more information for you to review once the term begins, so log in to Canvas before midnight on the first day of the term as that is when the semester begins. You will have work to do the first week, so it is important that you log in on the first official day of the term so that you can familiarize yourself with the course layout and workload and begin engaging in the class.

What You Should Know

  • There are no face-to-face meet times for this class.  The course is completed entirely on Canvas.
  • This is a 6-week (summer) or 18-week (fall or spring) class. 
  • You should expect to log on to Canvas 3-4 days a week (yes, on weekends too) for announcements, scores, and assignments.
  • You will need to write 6000-8000 words for the semester; this is accomplished through weekly postings and essay assignments. 
  • For most assignments and posts, I will give you specific feedback for how to improve, and you will be required to respond to me in writing. 
  • There are regular (several times weekly) participation requirements for the class, and you will be required to submit timely responses during the week and sometimes on the weekend. 

Required Text: none

Note: For all stories, short plays, and poems, the documents are saved as PDFs or Word docs that you can access at our course site; the play Othello will be available through an open educational resource link within the class. 

Required Document Format 

I require my students to submit documents as PDFs or Word docs, so make sure you are familiar with how to use those formats. 

Contact information 

Email Address: kzipperi@cuesta.edu (before the semester begins). Use Canvas Inbox after the semester begins. 

Office Hours: I have online office hours only, so please email me to set up a Zoom conference within Canvas if you wish to meet online once the term begins.

Course Expectations and Canvas Info

Instructor Contact Expectations:  After the class has started, the best and fastest way to contact me is email though the Canvas email Inbox system—not my Cuesta email address above.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours, so look ahead at assignments and due dates so that you can ask questions well ahead of time.   

Course Environment: This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using email, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and chat feature.

Class opens / Accessing Canvas: Prior to the day that classes start, you will receive an email to your my.cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and login procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the Canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the Canvas log in directly. 

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/documents/distance

Once logged into Canvas, you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page.  Here are some more Canvas resources: https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/fac_de_resources/Student_Videos

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after the first day of the semester and need assistance, please email me first so that I do not drop you and then email technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu.   If you are not able to reach them, call the Canvas support help line at 877) 921-7680.

Online Learning 

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more, on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed, and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions and assignments) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  Please be prepared to spend 8 - 12 hours per week on coursework for this class.


If you are new to online learning or need more information about online courses, go to the https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/index.htmlLinks to an external site.There are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you, and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact policy: 

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor- initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours. 

You will need to log on several times a week (yes, on weekends too) to be able to keep up with this class, so plan for that level of engagement. 

Course Name and SLOs 

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):  By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and reasoning skills in a literary context.
  2. Write interpretive literary arguments using advanced rhetorical and composition skills.
  3. Demonstrate information fluency in a literary context. 

Technical Support 

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to  support@my.cuesta.edu. If you are having technical issues with Canvas and have not heard back from the email support staff, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680 or click on the Help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem. This Help button is at the far left of your Canvas dashboard. 

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct URL or are using your phone app (not recommended) or using an unsupported browser (see browser link below).  

Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer using Firefox or Chrome—not the Canvas phone app. Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specifications if you are having trouble logging in. 

Cuesta Policies 


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) or at 805-546-3148.  

College & Course Policies: 

Academic Honesty Policy: You are not allowed to copy your peers’ posts and claim their ideas as your own, and you cannot of course take information from the Internet without proper documentation.  In addition to my course and department policies, please note that all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of conduct. Please review the Student Code of Conduct at


Add / Drop Policy: I will add students using the waitlist (see next section) if there is room but only for the first week of class. After that, I will not be able to process adds. As for being dropped, if you do not log in to the class before midnight on the first official class day of the semester, you may be dropped from the class so that I can add others who are waiting and begin the class on time. Please see my syllabus at Canvas for more on my drop policies after the term has begun. 

Waitlist Policy: Students who are on the waitlist will be added in order, but you must contact me if you are on the waitlist as Cuesta does not notify me.  You must be proactive and contact me immediately if you see a space is open; otherwise, I will add students who email me and ask in the order that they email. In addition to my course specific procedures, please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions

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