first week

Pre-First Week: Welcome Email Sent One Week Before Class Begins

<reflection>When I move my class online, the work done before and during the first week of the course are critical to establishing the routines and actions required for student success. I must pay attention to detail or there will be dissatisfied students and a frustrated instructor. I must organize, rehearse, and model course content and activities. Discussion prompts and work samples will be chosen to ensure the course flows efficiently. Students must have seamless access to me (the instructor) as well as multiple avenues in which to develop independence. Tech support and frequently asked questions links must be available and user friendly. I must make the students feel welcomed and get them to interact with the other students right away. I must plan and execute the course and its interactions in order to create a f2f feel in a virtual environment.</reflection>

Dear Kay and Lenore,

Welcome to Geometry 3.0! In the course we will be exploring relevant and real world applications of Geometry as well as integrating internet-based tools to support your learning. Our work will begin with two-dimensional Geometry (a.k.a. plane geometry) and end with three-dimensional Geometry (a.k.a. solid geometry). We will analyze and apply a variety of Geometric concepts and principles as well as challenge each other to make connections to the content. 

The course will be presented using LON-CAPA. Within LON-CAPA you will be able to complete your homework assignments, receive immediate feedback, help each other, participate in discussions, and track your course progress. LON-CAPA requires a username and password to login. Your login information will be sent to this email address on Thursday so you can begin exploring Module 1 before the first official day of class. Please let me know as soon as possible of any access issues related to LON-CAPA. 

In the days leading up to the class, you will benefit from investigating these additional online tools: Google Drive and! Please set-up a free account for each tool and explore what the tool can do. We will be using all of these tools by the end of the third week of class, so please take advantage of this head start. 

Your success is important to me. Our communication is critical to that success. Please be proactive in addressing questions and concerns related to the course as soon as they occur. Let me know how I can help. 


Alan Campbell

***Additional Resources***

Contact Information

Course Syllabus

LON-CAPA for Students

Online Tools: Google Drive <edit>and! For the online tools chosen to be used in the course, I have eliminated Diigo. The reason for this change is "less is more". Asking an online student to establish multiple accounts in addition to the Course Management System (in this example, LON-CAPA) is risky.</edit>     

Click here for the instructions for how to create an account.

First Week: Introduction Prompt

Geometry is a type of mathematics based on points, lines, and planes, and what you do with them. You may not realize it, but you have been "doing Geometry" for most of your life. Recall an activity where you built something, drew a picture, played a team sport, went hiking or camping, or a similar activity. Use the Geometry you have learned or seen in previous courses to make connections to the story, then respond to the discussion prompt.

Briefly share a story from your life, then relate the key events of the story to Geometry.

My answer is provided below to assist you.


First Week: Mr. Campbell's Response 

In the Summer after my first year of high school, I took Driver's Education. A football coach, "Big D", was the instructor and three girls were my car-mates. The first day was a complete disaster as I learned I would have to bring a pillow the rest of the week. You see, I was too short to see over the steering wheel properly, so I had to sit on a pillow in order to drive. On the second day, my pillow and I seemed to be doing well until I failed to  come to a complete stop at a Stop sign. "Big D" explained what I needed to do differently and said if it happened again I would have to get out and apologize to the Stop sign. Needlessly to say, I was cured. Stop signs and I had a perfect relationship after that incident. On the next two days we drove on a variety of roads, learned how to parallel park, and practiced making turns. Everyone was doing well enough to earn a field trip to New Orleans on our last day. Fortunately, I was given highway duty while the girls were left to do the inner city driving. Getting lost in the French Quarter was easy. Driving down a one way street the wrong way because "Big D" said to was exciting. Meeting another Driver's Education car at the other end of the one way street was priceless. 

Now let's consider the Geometry involved in this story. Measurement: The pillow incident was due to me being too short. The pillow elevated my seated position so I could see over the steering wheel and drive safely. Points, Lines and Planes: The stop sign represents either an endpoint or intersection. In either case, obeying the stop sign will significantly increase the safety of the driver and passengers. Parallel Lines (part 1): Driving on a two lane road implies the paths of the opposing cars will remain parallel otherwise they will hit each other.  Parallel Lines (part 2): Parallel parking dictates the position of the parked car will be parallel to the curb. This means the traffic near the parked car will flow freely. Angles: Making turns, in most cases, requires turning the car 90o. Using a wrong angle while completing a turn may lead to the car ending up in the wrong lane or worse. Reasoning and Logic: Going down a one way street the wrong way was a mistake. Since we were lost and did not get into an accident, in hindsight it appears to have been a logical decision. Consider the reasoning, though, that occurred in "Big D's" mind prior to making that decision. Do you take risks when you are driving? Are they calculated risks? Why are you willing to take these risks? 

Geometry, you see, is more common than you might think. I look forward to reading your stories with their Geometric connections.