Back to the Past with Doc Butler

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Frequently Asked Questions


The answers to most questions students ask are often found in the course syllabus or course calendar. Why not look there first?


Q: I'm having trouble getting on eCampus (Richland) or Canvas (Collin). Can you help?

A: No. I have no control over your access to eCampus (Richland) or Canvas (Collin). You'll have to contact the Help Desk for whichever one these you use.

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Q: May I write a report or something for extra credit?

A: It is not my policy to give students extra credit assignments and no exceptions will be made. However, students may use the Replacement Credit Option to replace their lowest or a missed exam score (one time only). See course syllabus and the Forms and Information section of this website for details.

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Q: What is the Replacement Credit Option (RCO) all about?

A: A description and complete instructions for the Replacement Credit Option can be found in the Forms and Information section of this website.

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Q: There's a lot of material in the reading. How do I know what to study?

A: You can start by printing copies of the Review Sheets provided in the Student Study Aids section of this website. These will help you to know which people, places and events to focus on.

Likewise, you can review the very same PowerPoints I use in class, which are provided on my website as PDFs in the Student Study Aids section.

I also advise making use of the online study guides provided by the publisher of your textbook. (See Forms and Information for links).

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Q: How soon will I know my exercise and exam grades?

A: Thanks to the nature of my hybrid-course, whereby students complete exercises and exams online (except the Final Exam), you will know your grade the instant you hit the "Save and Submit" button. You can also go back into eCampus (Richland) or Canvas (Collin) throughout the semester to check your grades and current course average ("weighted total").

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Q: May I make up an exercise or exam I failed to take or complete?

Students may use the Replacement Credit Option to replace their lowest or a missed exam score (one time only). See course syllabus and the "Forms and Information" section of this website for details. There is nothing like the RCO for exercises.

I will consider requests for completing missed exercises or exams but I will only grant the request in the most extreme circumstances, such as (but not limited to)the death of a close family member occuring shortly before a test, or some other unfortunate event that could not have been foreseen. I may also take into consideration your attendance, your grades to date, how engaged you seem in class, etc. I will also require corroborating documentary evidence of the circumstances that led to your not doing your best.

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Q: May I complete an exercise or exam late?

No exercises or exams can be made up once the deadline date has passed, unless there are some unusual extenuating circumstances for which you can provide some documentary evidence (such as an automobile accident, or an illness, or a death in the family).

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Q: May I re-do or re-take an exercise or exam on which I did poorly?

A: I will consider requests for re-takes on a case-by-case basis but I will only grant the request in the most extreme circumstances, such as (but not limited to)the death of a close family member occuring shortly before a test, or some other unfortunate event that could not have been foreseen. I may also take into consideration your attendance, your grades to date, how engaged you seem in class, etc. I will also require corroborating documentary evidence of the circumstances that led to your not doing your best.

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Q: I'm doing poorly in the course. What can I do to improve my grade?

A: It's been my observation that students who read the assigned text, who attend class regularly, who pay attention and participate, and who take time to study for each test generally do well. One possible way to improve your grade would be to start doing all those things if you aren't already.

If you are doing all these things and are still performing poorly, you should consider trying some or all of these additional actions:

  • Seek Tutoring. The college offers tutoring in history and other subjects. See the syllabus or college catalog or current schedule for the phone number and location of Tutoring Services.

  • Find a "Study Buddy" or form a "Study Group." Studying with another person or group of persons can be helpful for some people. If you don't know who to ask, tell me you are seeking a "study buddy" or want to form a group and I will announce it in class.

  • Make flash cards. If you prefer to study alone or don't have time to meet with another person or group, try making flash cards. Just get yourself some large notecards and a fine-tipped marker. On one side of each card, print the name of the people, places, events and other topics contained in the chapter glossaries, which you can find at the online study guides for this course. On the other side of each card, write what makes each person, place, event, or topic noteworthy. It sounds like a lot of work but you want to pass the course, right? (Just making the cards is a learning experience on its own.) You can use the cards to study by yourself or have a family member or friend test you by holding up the card so that they can see the answer and you can't. This way, the person helping you doesn't necessarily have to be taking the course or know very much about U.S. history. As you are tested, or as you test yourself, place the cards to which you know the answer in one pile and the ones you don't know in a second pile. Try to make the second pile get smaller and the first pile get larger! Does this work? Well, it worked for me when I was studying Spanish in graduate school. It helped me pass a very important test!

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Q: How can I find out my final grade for the course?

A: Here's how to access your grades online:

RICHLAND COLLEGE
Here's a link that will take you straight to the eConnect Student Menu Log On page.

COLLIN COUNTY
CougarWeb Log On page.

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Q: I made 89.4 (or 79.4, or 69.4 or something similar) for my final course average. Can't you round it up to an "A" (or "B" or "C")?

A: I use a common math practice when rounding up grades to the next highest letter grade. If your final course average is 89.5 or better, I round up and you'll get an "A" for the course. If you make 79.5 or better, you'll have a "B." If you make 69.5 or better, you'll have a "C." If you make 89.4 or less, or 79.4 or less, or 69.4 or less, you'll have a "B" or a "C" or a "D." I have to draw the line somewhere and that's where I have been drawing it for years. If I make an exception for you, it would not be fair to all those former students for whom I did not make an exception. So don't ask!

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Do you have a question that isn't answered here? FIRST OF ALL, LOOK TO SEE IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE COURSE SYLLABUS. Then, if it's not, contact me by email or stop after class and talk to me. I don't have an office of my own but if you need more than than 5 or 10 minutes of my time, I will be happy to speak to you about any academic topic in the associate or adjunct faculty office at a time convenient to us both.

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This website copyright © 2006-2016 (except where noted) by Steven Butler, Ph.D. All rights reserved.