August 15th – part II

All grades except for the Final Project and the Online Course Survey have been entered into D2L.  Please check that everything in the grade book is correct.  If you think there has been a mistake somewhere, please let me know asap so that I can go in and figure out what’s going on.

August 15th

I received some emails that the Online Course Survey required that you get permission and that they couldn’t access the survey.  The form was set up so that you could only access it through your MSU accounts since MSU gives students a school google account.  To avoid this problem, I went ahead and took off that restriction so that you can access the quiz from any google account, not just your MSU one.  An updated link to the survey can be found here.  Please fill this out for an easy 10 points – your answers will in no way affect your grade.

Remember that the course ends tomorrow at midnight!  Please post your final blogs by 11:59 pm tomorrow (EST) as I will NOT be accepting any late work.  I’ve been a bit lenient on turn-in times throughout the course but I cannot be with this final project.  The rubric is up on the Week 7 page so be sure you’re following those guidelines to craft an effective and high-scoring paper.

Good luck and great job this summer!

August 14th

TWO MORE DAYS!! You’re almost finished with the course!  Please remember that the course end in two days on THURSDAY THE 16TH!!!  Not during the weekend!

Due by Thursday at 11:59 pm (EST):

  • Final Project/Blog post
  • Online Course Survey
  • Honors Option Paper (for those who chose this option)

Due to the number of students, the number of points, and the grading rubric, I CANNOT accept any late final projects.  Please submit them before midnight on Thursday; don’t wait until the last minute to try and write a blog that’s worth 25% of your final grade

Also remember to fill out the SIRS form so that you can receive your final grades as soon as I submit them to the university; otherwise, a hold is placed on your grades for 7 days.

If you have any last minute questions, please don’t hesitate to email me!

August 10th

Hey guys, you’re almost there!  Hopefully you’re finishing up your Week 6 blog posts and have made a good dent in your final project.  Please remember that the final project is due by 11:59pm THURSDAY, AUGUST 16TH!!!  The last week of class is short and I cannot accept anything past then.  Be sure to look at the grade point breakdown on the Week 7 page so that you can craft an effective and high-scoring paper.

Also, please be sure to fill out the Online Course Survey linked here.  It’s set up as a google form.  Your answers will in no way affect your final grade, but not participating in it will.

Additionally, please fill out the SIRS form/survey for the university.  Although you will not technically lose points for not filling this out, your final grades will not be released to you for seven days after I submit the grades to the university.  So if you would like to know your final grades as soon as I send them in, please fill out the SIRS form.

As always,  please email me with any questions and I’ll be sure to send out another update at the beginning of Week 7.  Good luck!

August 6th

All grades through Week 5 are now in the grade book so please take a look at your grades on D2L to make sure that everything is correct.  If you think there is a mistake, please let me know ASAP so that I can take a look at it and see what’s going on.  There are a lot of you and a lot of grades that I have to put in so it is entirely possible that I may have mis-hit a number while putting in grades.

This is the last full week!  Remember that this week, Week 6, is set up like a normal week, but that Week 7 is shorter and ends on Thursday the 16th.  On that last day, you will need to have sent me your Final Project/Blog Post as well as the online course survey.  I am currently editing the survey now and will upload a link to it as soon as I’m finished.  It will be a google form, similar to the Final Project Check-in assignment.  This is an easy 10 pts which could put some of you over the threshold for a higher grade so be sure to fill it out once it’s up!

The final project/post is worth 120 points which is the same amount as all of the other blog posts combined!  MAKE SURE YOU TURN THIS IN ON TIME!  You still have over a week to finish it, but given that it’s worth 30% of the final grade, I wouldn’t recommend putting it off until the last second.  The criteria for the final project can be found on the Grading page of the WordPress site.

Also due next Thursday the 16th are the Honors Option papers for those who decided to do that.

If you have any questions over any aspects of the final assignments, please let me know.

July 24th

Your grades for Week 3 have now been put on D2L so be sure to check there and let me know if you think there are any mistakes.

Remember that for this week (Week 4) you must watch an MTV episode of True Life that deals with a mental illness or some sort of physical illness or injury.  The show is no longer free to stream so you may have to purchase an episode to watch, but they’re less than $4 to watch one episode so it’s not terrible.  However, one of your wily classmates figured out a way to stream an episode for free by getting a 24-hr viewing pass!  Simply click on the episode you want to watch then underneath the TV provider list, click on the option to get the 24-hr pass.  You will have to link/connect it with your Facebook or Twitter account if you have one and that should be it!  You should then be able to watch the episode for free.

If you have any questions, please email me.  We’re about half-way through the course right now and from reading reading y’all’s blogs and comments, I’ve seen some great conversations and discussions so keep up the great work!

July 17th

All grades up through Week 2 have now been put into D2L so check there to make sure you can see them.  If you received a grade lower than 10 pts, but greater than 0, it’s because you were awarded only partial credit for the assignment.  I have left comments on those grades in D2L explaining why you did not receive the full number of points.

A few things to remember about blogs and comments:

  • Keep on categorizing them – I haven’t had any ‘Uncategorized’ blogs since Week 1 which is great so keep up the good work!  When I grade blogs, I filter them out according to the categories you use, meaning that I will not even see uncategorized blogs.
    • Comments posted on uncategorized blogs are also hidden from this view for me as I grade blogs and comments at the same time.  If you don’t categorize your blogs, you could potentially be hurting other students who comment on them!  No troubles so far, just wanted to make you aware of this.
  • Word count for blogs and comments
    • I haven’t had any problems with word count on blogs (300 excluding references) but I have had a few cases of short comments (at least 200 excluding references and lengthy intros).  I have given partial credit for these first two week, but I will not be doing so from now on.  This course is designed on a pass/fail system, meaning that if you comment with less than 200 words, you’ll receive a 0 (I won’t punish you if you get to 195 or so though!).
  • Follow instructions with blogs
    • If the instructions say to include an image or graphic, please do so
    • Also include citations if expressly asked in the prompt
      • It is not necessary (though encouraged) to include citations on all posts and comments (if you discuss articles) unless it is indicated in the prompt

If you have any questions regarding grades, please let me know.  Keep up the good work!

July 15th

Just a quick reminder that you must turn in your Final Project Check-in into the Google form tonight by midnight!  This is to get you thinking about your final project (see the Grading page for details).  To do this, just go to the Week 2 page and scroll down to the very last item. A Google form link is there that will take you to where you can fill out the required info.  Or, you can just click here and go straight there.

This is an easy and quick 10 points so please do this!

July 9th

Just a few updates about last week’s assignments and this week’s upcoming assignments (I may post another announcement after I finish grading everything tomorrow).

If you did all of the assignments for last week, you will get credit even if you did them late.  Since it was the first week and it took place over a holiday, I’ll go ahead and give full credit for all assignments if they were turned in even by noon today.  However, I will be following the true turn-in dates from now on so be sure to get everything done in time.

Be sure that you are categorizing all of your blogs.  A few of you didn’t for the Week 1 blogs.  I will go ahead a grade these since it was the first week.  I’ll email those specifically who didn’t just as a reminder, but starting this week, you must categorize your blogs in order to get credit.  The same goes for blogs that are still listed as being a draft.  Make sure that you actually publish your blog, not just saving it as a draft.  It will not be seen by anyone otherwise.  These policies and instructions are listed elsewhere on the site so reacquaint yourself with them in case you’re unsure of what to do.

Final Project Check-in Assignment due this week!  On the Week 2 page, there is a link to a Google form at the bottom.  It was linked to the previous instructor’s account but I have since fixed that and so you should now be able to fill that out and it will be sent to me.  This is not optional, but a mandatory check-in!  Please do it!

Lastly, please do not work too far ahead!  I don’t mind if you’re on a roll and write the next week’s blogs on Sunday, but do not publish them until Monday!  Everything is time stamped and I use those timestamps/time frames to grade everything.  Already a few of you have written Week 3 material.  This clogs up my inbox on WordPress and makes it much more difficult for me to go through and grade everything.  I can even see them if you save it as a draft, so please do not work too far ahead.  If you do, I recommend that you write your blogs and keep them on a word doc on your own computer, then copy and paste when it gets to the turn-in date.  This will make it easier for me to sort through everything and get grades returned to you in a more timely manner!

If you have any questions, please shoot me an email.

July 5th

Hopefully everyone was able to change the display name and post your first intro blogs by last night.  If you added the class late and did not receive an email invite to the wordpress site and have not contacted me yet, do so ASAP!  You don’t want to start the course behind already so please let me know so that I can contact our course admins and get you added.

Accessing the lecture videos – remember that in order to watch the lecture videos, you must put in separate credentials, not your personal ones that you use to get into the wordpress site.  These credentials will only have to be entered once and were sent out in the welcome email and are also posted in the first announcement on D2L.  I cannot post them here as these pages are all public so please refer to one of those two items.

I would also encourage you to add in citations (both in-text and a full citation at the end) in your blogs.  You will not have to worry about doing it this week in case you already submitted your blog.  Although not required, I strongly encourage you to do this as it makes your blogs more professional and gets you in the practice of backing up your arguments.  MLA or APA style is fine.

July 3rd – Intro blogs and display name changes

This is just a quick reminder that your Intro Blog Posts and your Display name changes are due by tomorrow!

For the Intro blog post, just be sure to briefly answer the questions outlined on the Pre-Week 1 page.  You must also make sure that you CATEGORIZE your blog.  If you don’t do this, then it is much harder for me to find and grade your blog and you will not receive any points.  Also, be sure that you click ‘Publish’ once you are ready to do so, and not leave it saved as a draft.  Just to be sure, I suggest that you go in right now and make sure that your Intro Blog has been published and not just saved as a draft.

Don’t forget to change your display name for the course and make it your first and last name.   This is an easy 10 points and makes it actually feasible for my to find and grade your submissions.

Feel free to email me with any questions and don’t forget to write your first actual blog by this Friday at midnight

June 29th – BEGINNING OF COURSE CORRECTION (already)!!! 

Sorry for having to send out a correction this early in the game, but we’ve recently made a change to how the pages are viewed and how the assignments are made available.  If any of you have previously taken an MSU online ANP course, this will be a shift from how we normally do things:

This is just a quick announcement to update you all on a change to the way I’ll be conducting this class this summer. Please make sure to read the introductory announcement (6/29/18) below this one, as this one is a correction.

In the introductory announcement below (and everywhere else you may have seen it) you will notice that I explain how weekly material will be made public at the beginning of the week. Instead, I am making everything public now to remain in-step with the university’s policies about having course material visible from the get-go.  This means that you already have access to all course materials and topics all the way through Week 7.

HOWEVER, it will cause quite a bit of confusion for me if you submit blog posts and short answers out of order or ahead of schedule.

So, you should know that posts and blog comments will only be counted as submitted if they are submitted during the week for which they apply, before their stated deadline. This means the earliest you are allowed to submit a blog post is 12:01 am EST on the Monday of that week and the blog comment sometime after that (as you will have to read another student’s blog in order to comment on it).  Everything that you submit is time-stamped so I can see when materials are turned in.  I will only look at and grade assignments that fall within the week-long range of when they are due.  For example, once we are in Week 2, I will only read and grade blogs and comments that are time-stamped between Monday, July 9 (12:01 am EST) and Sunday, July 15 (11:59 pm EST).  If any Week 2 assignments are submitted during Week 1, they will not be graded and you will receive 0 pts for the assignment!  Remember that blogs are due on Friday nights while comments are due on Sunday nights.

If you have special circumstances that you believe should allow you to post ahead of time for any given week, please contact me via email first to discuss this. Such cases are rarely approved and so you should not assume your circumstances will automatically be approved.

June 29th- (first announcement)

Dear students,

Welcome to ANP 204: Introduction to Medical Anthropology (online). My name is Jack Biggs and I will be your instructor for this course. In this email, I will be answering some important questions about this summer so read everything carefully.

Do I have to come to campus? No.

This is an online course. There are no exams and you never have to come to campus to see me for any reason (unless you want to). You do need to have a high-speed Internet connection and you must log into the course website at least once a day to check for announcements.

Is this class on D2L? No.

It is run through a word press site. The only information we will ever post to D2L is your grades in the grade book.

How do I access the word press site?

You will receive an invitation to the site in your MSU email on FRIDAY, JUNE 29th which includes the link.

NOTE: If you have taken an ANP online class before, you will likely already have a username/password for WordPress. If you receive an email without a physical link to access the course, go to: and use the ‘forgot my password’ option when you try to login. Use your MSU email address and you should receive the new password. If this does not work, or you know you haven’t had an ANP online class before, contact the ANP help desk: Please put the course number in the Subject line of this email, and clearly explain the issue you are having.

Please watch the tutorials BEFORE you visit the site so you know how to login and change your password (note that this year’s website will look different than the one in the video).

Logging in to Course Website

Using Course Blog: Posting and Commenting

What is the username/password to watch this and other videos?

To watch this video and ALL OTHER online course videos, you will need to use the universal login information that is in the introductory email sent to the class, as well as on the D2L course website. Please note that this is DIFFERENT from your word press login information, which is individual to you.

Are there any textbooks for this class? No.

All of the readings/videos will be posted on the course website under the schedule tab for that week. Once you receive an invitation to the site, you will be able to access the “Introduction” unit which includes some quick videos as well as instructions for the first blog post assignment. Each Monday, we will release the new week’s materials under the schedule tab.

I’m confused or have special circumstances, who do I ask for help?

If you have any questions about the website or the course, feel free to email me and make sure to write ANP 204 in the subject line and include your name and email address at the bottom.

It’s after Monday, July 2nd, and I did not receive an email invitation, what should I do?

Remember, the invitation will be arriving in your MSU email so just in case, check junk mail folder. If you have not received an invitation to the course site by the end of the day on Monday, please send one of us an email and we will get it figured out. Please put the course number in the Subject line of this email, and clearly explain the issue you are having.

I received an invitation but now it says the link is expired, what should I do?

It is important that you click the link and set up your account within 48 hours, otherwise the invitation will expire. If this happens, you fail the course. Just kidding. Send us an email and we will get it figured out.

Finally, we will not be sending out anymore mass emails after this weekend. All announcements will be posted on the website so make sure you check it daily. However, we will send out this email again on Sunday so any students who added late will get it in their inbox so apologies in advance for the redundancy.

Anyhow, we are really excited about working with each and everyone of you this summer. See you online!