LM1 Email – CISS 100 Introduction & Instructions

Good morning all and welcome to CISS 100,

Please read the following very carefully.

Each week on Sunday or Monday morning I will send out an email informing everyone what Lecture Module (LM) we are on in the course to keep everyone on track. All assigned LM coursework (Quizzes, LLs & DBs) is due each week by Sunday 9 p.m.

Note in the summer we must double up LMs twice to fit the normal 15 week schedule into the 12 week summer semester.

To begin, it is necessary that everyone signs into Blackboard (available Monday).  Blackboard is the College’s Learning Management System as this contains the course’s main instructions (Lecture Modules) and assessments (assignments and tests).  Please note that from now on I will probably refer to Blackboard simply as BB and Lecture Modules as LMs.

Lecture Recordings

I record all my lectures simply using Google Hangouts.  These videos post directly to YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/jglooby) but I have also embedded these videos in the ciss100.com Lecture Modules. Please note that my focus is on teaching rather than giving a good Web Conference Lecture Capture so the recording is just an artifact warts and all.  Also note I record the 1st day of each week so if you watch the recordings early in the week you will find the recording is from the previous semester but this is still valid.

To provide a quick link to the lecture recording for this introductory material please follow this link and scroll down the page: http://www.ciss100.com/lecture-topics-modules/course-intro/

Email Requirements

First, before I get into BB and www.ciss100.com, please note that emails with improper subject lines will not be accepted department wide.  We (students and faculty) struggle with this every semester as it is unlikely that anyone has introduced you to proper information design in your previous studies.  I realize that this may be construed as me just being a stickler but consider if every one of your music files had the same filename and title and you had to open up (i.e. play) the song to figure out what it was.  Of course operating systems (OS) do not permit this namespace ambiguity but email systems do.  To provide an example and put this in context, consider when I send out an email that “Lecture Module 1 is open”. Students invariably reply to this email with questions about whether there is a final, time frames, textbooks, etc. all with the same original subject albeit prefixed with a re:  (e.g. Re: Lecture Module 1 is open).  Now consider me having to look through upwards of 300 emails a week (i.e. opening up each email) to find the real information as the 300 identical subject lines read – Re: Lecture Module 1 is open. Now imagine me trying to find something in my archives 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years in the past as is the case with letters of recommendation.

Ok, so everyone probably now understands the problem with emails and we as IT and information professionals solve IT problems rather than create them.  To this extent, you now understand why it is necessary to provide a proper subject line that includes your name, course and section number and the subject of the email.  Emails that do not follow this convention will not be accepted or even answered so if you do not get a response, please check your email.

Email Subject Information:

Subject should include Course Subject Number and Section, Lastname and Question/Subject.

Example: CISS 100 300, Looby, LL3 assistance needed

Note this may require that you learn how to edit the subject line if you wish to reply to an existing email but the better method would probably be to compose a new email.  Now in www.ciss100.com there are additional instructions for the body of the email and the recommended email signature.

Equally important, we just had our first lesson on Information Design as we need to develop and format information with future use in mind and you will hear me state this again – Search is King.

Now I’m just a Prof but what if this were your boss.  Is your boss going to promote the employee that makes their life easy or difficult?  Now since I am a teacher I now ask did you understand everything in that last paragraph specifically, “namespace” and “ambiguity”.  I’ll give you this one but in the future you will be responsible for looking up any terms or concepts you are unsure of.  Namespaces require distinct names so that there is no conflict (no ambiguity) and an example would be a directory on your computer (which is managed by the OS) as we all know you could not have 2 files in a directory with the exact same name and extension.

Logging into Blackboard (BB)

To login to Blackboard, open an Internet Browser (I recommend Chrome as this is the most stable browser with BB) and navigate to www.hvcc.edu.  Look up at the top of the browser and follow the students tab (note you can search any Web page in Mac by using Command-F and in Windows/Linux by using Control-F and then typing what you are looking for – note this is/was the 2nd Information Design/Retrieval lesson of this email).  On this next page choose MyHudsonValleyPortal/Blackboard.  On the next screen you will be required to authenticate using your username and password.  Your username and password can be found on your Tuition Bill or you may get this from the Registrar in Guenther Hall.  Once inside Blackboard (BB) if you do not see your course immediately, choose the courses tab and this CISS 100 section will be in the list so choose your CISS 100 section.

In summary, this Web navigation browser sequence is:  www.hvcc.edu => Students => MyHudsonValleyPortal/Blackboard => Your specific CISS 100 section.

Blackboard Site

Ok, so you are now in the BB Web portal.  You will see a simple menu system on the left and I have tried to make this as straightforward as possible.  Choose the “Lecture Module” link or tab and you will be taken to the Lecture Modules.  Each Lecture Module corresponds to a week in the class and a chapter in the book along with other activities.  In a nutshell, each Lecture Module is self-contained and contains all the information (activities, assignments & tests) for a single week.  In essence this is your one-stop shopping.  Note that the BB Lecture Modules (or LMs) will direct you back to this www.ciss100.com site as it is far easier to maintain this site as BB is challenged with formatting,  dynamic content, etc.

ADA Resources – You may or may not see a Blackboard left panel item titled “ADA Resources”.  This contains materials restricted to students with identified disabilities (i.e. have registered with the  College’s Disability Resource Center).

Additional Login and BB Access Assistance

If you are experiencing login or BB problems you may contact the Distance Learning office by emailing dlhelp@hvcc.edu or calling their hotline at: (518) 629-7070. You will also find considerable information on their Website located here:


Other computer related support questions can be answered by the Computer Learning Center and they may be reached at 629-7891 or https://www.hvcc.edu/learningcenters/clc.html.

If you have not received your username and password please contact the Registrar: 

The Registrar’s Office is located in the Guenther Enrollment Services Center, room 136.  Their phone number is: (518) 629-4574 and their email is:  registrar@hvcc.edu

www.ciss100.com => www.ciss100.com

Now we will also access materials  from my Website located at www.ciss100.com.   On ciss100.com you will find supplemental Lecture Module (LM) material, the Ubuntu Linux Labs (LL) and the instructions for the Discussion Boards (DB) but note all assignments, quizzes/tests and discussion boards are located in BB.  Importantly, the CISS 100 syllabus is located in the ciss100.com menu system as follows: www.ciss100.com => Lecture Topics/Modules => 01 Course Intro & Syllabus => CISS 100 Syllabus.

Carnegie Mellon Unit (CMU)

Lastly, everyone should understand the CMU which serves as a metric for all higher education.  The CMU specifies that 1 credit of course work requires or involves 1 hour of work inside class and 1 hour of work outside of class.  With this basis, CISS 100 which is a 4 credit class can require 8 hours of coursework per week and students seeking to earn an A often must spend more than 8 hours of coursework per week.

Thanks all and I look forward to working with everyone,

Prof  James G. Looby

Dept Chair Computing and Information Sciences

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