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Pre-Semester Notes and Links


December 2020


1. Overview of the Course and Assignments. Here is an overview of the course and assignments. Please take a look at this. You will
note that we plan to have everyone 
teach the same texts for unit 1, but you can select your own texts for units 2 and 3. At the same
time, we will provide you with “off the 
shelf” texts and teaching materials for units 2 or 3. So you can either use texts and materials
from past semesters of RWS200, or you can 
select your own texts. The attached document links to materials from past semesters.

I’ve set up a “template RWS200 wiki.” The address is https://rws200template.pbworks.com/. It is incomplete (I’ll

be adding more ) but has some material to get you started, including tips on using technology. My colleague Jason Parker has almost finished
setting up a Canvas site with modules and materials you can look at. Jason is a very experienced teacher of RWS200. 


2. Orientation. There will be an orientation the week before the semester starts on January 14 and 15. This will take place on Zoom.
The Zoom link is  https://SDSU.zoom.us/j/8426469735. We will share the schedule soon.

3. Textbooks. The main textbook for the course is the RWS digital textbook Reading, Writing, and Evaluating ArgumentIf you
want to you can also use Graff and Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing and The Little
Seagull Handbook
. Your students should have already bought access to these texts in RWS100, and you can ask those that
have not to purchase this (we will help with that). But you don’t have to use these texts. Some instructors point students to
online resources such as the Purdue OWL or the Excelsior Online Writing Lab instead.  

4. ITC Meetings/RWS796A. 
We will meet once a week on Wednesdays from 1.00 – 1.50. We will use this time to plan classes,
discuss pedagogy, professional development 
issues, etc. The meetings are very practical and focus mostly on 

how to handle the next class/week/unit. The meetings are part of your teaching internship and will count as a 3 unit course.
You register for the internship class the way you do other courses. The internship class is RWS796A.  The Zoom link
will be https://SDSU.zoom.us/j/8426469735.


5. Technology and Your SDSUid Instructor Email Address. See the attached file for technology resources. The template wiki
has a page with tips on teaching online. You may already have a Canvas account that will become visible when you visit 
https://sdsu.instructure.com. If you log into this site through your SDSU instructor email account it may already be there.

For help with Canvas, and all other things tech, SDSU’s ITS Virtual FIT Center, https://its.sdsu.edu/faculty-instructional-technology-center/ 
is a great resource.  It is also open for Zoom meetings M-Th 8:00am-6:30pm and Fri 8:00am-4:30pm. There is also support via telephone at (619) 483-0632.


We are recommending those new to online teaching (as we are) include a mix of synchronous and asynchronous classes. It makes sense to have a number
of synchronous classes at the start of the semester to establish classroom community. But after that the ratio is up to you. If you have a MWF schedule,
you could meet synchronously once per week (most weeks). But you can meet synchronously more often if you wish. At the same time, we will have to
accommodate students who may need to do most of the class asynchronously. So, we can't grade on attendance, and we may need to
provide alternatives for 
students who can't make synchronous classes. That might mean recording synchronous Zoom sessions, or giving them some
alternative work to post on a 
discussion board or hand in via Google docs.

Please note that to teach your classes on Canvas, and to access files on SDSU's Google drive folders,  you will need an SDSU

instructor/employee email account. Your student email account (the one most of you are receiving this email from) has 4 numbers

in the address, e.g. 1234jsmith@sdsu.edu. Your Instructor/employee email address usually has just your name with no (or one) number, e.g.

jsmith@sdsu.edu, or  jsmith2@sdsu.edu


It’s likely that the university has already sent you an email telling you that you have a new instructor/employee email account, and inviting

you to activate it. You may need to search your email for this (searching “SDSUid” may help). There is a web page with information on how to

manage your SDSU email accounts at https://it.sdsu.edu/sdsuid


Note that we can add you to the Sandbox Canvas site with your student SDSU email account, but later on you will need the instructor

6. INTRODUCTORY ZOOM MEETINGS We will contact you soon to try to set up some brief Zoom meetings in the
first weeks of January to introduce ourselves, talk about teaching RWS200, and field questions. Look for a doodle poll invite in your email that will ask
you to list your availability. We understand not all of you may be available, and this is voluntary. You can also reach out to us to set up individual


January 10, 2021

  • The orientation schedule is available on this Google doc.
  • We created a sample prompt for unit 1 that has three options for you to consider.  
  • We revised the overview of 200 and the three main assignments, adding a few some texts and links to teaching materials.  
  • We would like you to do a small exercise to help you dip your feet into using Canvas and Google docs. If you go our 
    Canvas Sandbox discussion board, you will see a short assignment that asks you to try doing a few things in Canvas and Google
    docs. If you run into problems or have questions post this as a discussion board response. Please try to do as much as you can, but don't
    worry if you can't get far. We will go over this in the orientation also.    
  • There is a lecturers' meeting tomorrow (Monday Jan 11), and in a session at 2.00 there will be some discussion of RWS200. It may
    be a rather general discussion, and note you aren't required to attend.  (You are paid for attending the orientation, but we can't technically ask you
    for attending the orientation, but we can't technically ask you to do much work beyond that before the semester starts).



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