Discussion Area Information

This course can be highly interactive, but the level of that interactivity is controlled by you. Since I can't see that puzzled look on your face, it's going to be up to you to ask questions when you get stuck.

I expect to get many interesting questions from you and your fellow students. I want to make sure that you and your classmates benefit from these often illuminating queries.

Therefore, I have created twelve discussion areas (one discussion area for each lesson). Please feel free to use these discussion areas to post questions about your lessons.

To preserve your privacy, please feel free to identify yourself only by first name or with a nickname when posting your questions.

Your discussion area questions will serve as a challenge for your fellow students. Someone is bound to have an answer for you. Likewise, you should be able to find questions in the discussion area that you can answer. The discussion area will be open to you and your classmates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Please try to visit the discussion area two or more times a week while the course is in session, and don't be afraid to participate!

I firmly believe that the best way to learn a new skill is to teach it to others. We will all benefit by helping one another understand this complex material.

Because I don't want to see any unanswered questions, I or one of my very capable teaching assistants will be monitoring the discussion area at least three times a week. If you ask a relevant question, but fail to get an answer from your classmates, then we will try our hardest to answer the question for you.

Please understand that the discussion area is reserved for conversations about the material in your lessons. While it is perfectly acceptable for you to employ a bit of friendly banter as you converse with your fellow students and instructors, I must ask you to always remember to stay on topic.

It is not appropriate to use the discussion area to sell used computers, chat about the weather or politics, or ask for help in installing a CD-ROM drive, for example. Such off-topic conversations waste people's time and detract from the learning experience for all involved.

I have been teaching this course online for a while, and have accumulated a number of relevant questions and answers from previous sections of this course. I will make my most frequently asked questions available to you on my resources page, and I will also make questions available to you through the search link in each of my discussion areas. Paw through these old questions, and you may find that it may not be necessary for you to post a message and wait for a response. Chances are good that the very question you want to pose has already been asked--and answered!