In addition to Policies & Expectations, these pointers will maximize the learner’s convenience and advancement.

SPAN 1000-2000 Textbooks & Course Materials

The Plazas digital edition package, which is strictly and unequivocally required by the department, includes digital access codes for completing the online assignments. Access codes are not transferable, thus making it impossible to obtain a used bundle. At a minimum, one must purchase the digital package containing the Digital Text and Workbook/Lab Manual on for around $120. The bundle sold in the University bookstore (ISBN: 9781285259857) includes an activation/licence code for the digital components as well as an unbound print edition and a dictionary. Purchasing a new or used bound 4th edition textbook is fine, but a physical textbook will not satisfy any of the bundled requirement.

Optional Reference Books

Students intending to deepen their language studies would do well to add these items to their personal reference shelf. The Oxford dictionary series provides contextual indicators together with the word entries when the word or phrase may have different usages or registers between countries and regions (see sample entry ‘time‘). 501 Spanish Verbs is another great tool for improving one’s proficiency.

Screen shots!

When emailing questions about online exercises, always include a screenshot for the quickest response. Don’t know how to do a screen shot? Read how. One caveat, though. If you’re using Outlook, you can usually paste the screenshot directly into the email and that will save you the trouble of saving the file first and then attaching it.

Electronic communications

University policy 2101 establishes that “students and employees are expected to check their assigned email accounts, web site, and portal […] several times per week, preferably at least once per day.” Furthermore, “faculty may expect that students will read messages sent to their official email addresses, and faculty should use the official email addresses accordingly. Faculty will determine how email, web, and portal resources will be used in their classes and should specify requirements and expectations of the use of these resources.”

Really Cool and Extremely Useful Android Apps

Vibrate during meetings is a cool 99¢ and will put your phone on vibrate whenever you have a busy calendar entry. Tasker makes it possible to set programmatic actions based on conditions, for example, GPS location, day, time, calendar entry, call selection, and pretty much everything else. With Tasker, a phone can automatically do things like go to vibrate when entering a specific building, activate airplane mode during church, or prefix the local area code before all 7-digit calls when roaming.

Recommended Readings

My teaching philosophy is strongly influenced by Tal Ben-Shahar’s research into self-actualization. Anyone starting a collegiate or professional career would benefit from his insights into having happier and more fulfilling experiences. Also, Chris Anderson’s Free: The Future of a Radical Price provides great insight into the future of information, instruction, and entertainment technology.