ESL 100 Online: Syllabus


The following course syllabus is rather lengthy, but it is comprehensive, and it should be read thoroughly so that you understand each aspect of the online course. It is your responsibility to read and understand all of the syllabus. If you don't understand a portion of the syllabus, please ask me about it in the "Discussions" section of this online course.

Most of the syllabus contains requirements and rules, rules, and more rules. This is an unavoidable but necessary aspect of online/ distance learning courses. Nothing can be left up to chance, and everything must be explained fully, especially when credits are at stake. Please be aware that all requirements and rules are as-is and will be followed and enforced.

So, my advice to you now is to get something to drink, get comfortable, and thoroughly read the following... (you may also want to print out a copy so you can go over the course requirements more carefully)...

The syllabus is divided into the following topic areas:


ESL 100 Expository Writing: A Guided Approach (3) Kapiolani Community College AA/WR
Prerequisite(s): Qualification for ESL 100 on the KCC placement test, or a grade of C or higher in ENG 22, or instructor recommendation, or successful completion of ESOL 94.

This course is taught online via the World Wide Web, using the WebCT online course delivery platform accessible at <> for Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

In this class, you will explore the content and concepts of educational reform in the U.S. Kindergarten to twelfth grade (K-12) is said to be ineffective and in need of change. Higher education is said to serve only the elite in society and must change to meet the needs of the middle and working classes. In this course you will be analyzing proposals to reform the education system in the U.S. Readings about education in America are included in the textbook for this class. Your instructor will provide additional information about reforms in education. You will be reading about these reforms and writing about their potential effectiveness.




Due to the online, distance nature of this course, the two required textbooks will be used extensively throughout the semester. Please purchase the textbooks as soon as possible. Readings and assignments requiring the textbooks begin the first week of instruction.

Textbooks are available through the KCC Bookstore.

Required books:

Strongly recommended reference:

Additional requirements:

  1. A modern computer (Mac or PC, desktop or laptop) and dependable Internet accessibility.
  2. The most up-to-date version of your favorite Web browser. Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari, and Mozilla are all compatible with WebCT.
  3. A U.H. e-mail account. NOTE: I will accept e-mails from WebCTand U.H. accounts only. E-mails from any other service (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) will be trashed, unread and un-responded to. These free Internet e-mail services spread viruses and spam and are not acceptable for academic usage. BE WARNED and use your UH account always for college work.
  4. Microsoft Word. You will use this program frequently throughout the semester to write all of your essays. If you have a computer but do not have MS Word and cannot buy it for this course, then you must make arrangements to do your work at a computer in one of KCC's computer labs. Unfortunately, other word programs such as WordPad, AppleWorks, WordPerfect, etc., are not compatible, and work submitted on any program other than MS Word will not be accepted for credit. No exceptions.




Goals of Course Content

Competencies and Objectives

In this course, you will study academic content about education reform in the United States. The purpose of this academic content is to facilitate the process through which you will develop your writing and critical thinking skills in order to achieve specific learning outcomes. In short, you will develop the way you use language to express thought. We will work together to understand and achieve these specific outcomes as detailed in the KCC catalog, and reproduced for you here:

ESL 100 focuses on critical reading and expository writing for the nonnative speaker of English. Students will benefit from extensive practice in writing expository essays focusing on the discovery and use of various linguistic devices which make an essay effective.

Upon successful completion of ESL 100, the student should be able to:

·       Read critically and evaluate literary selections and to apply the same techniques to the student's own writing.

·       Write clear, coherent prose, for specific purposes and for specific audiences.

·       Practice writing expository essays using rhetorical and writing techniques.

·       Identify details that support an author's thesis.

·       Discover in reading various techniques and devices used by the author.

·       Review topic sentence, paragraph and supporting details.

·       Write various types of academic essays.

·       Write a mini research paper with bibliography, demonstrating mastery of this form.

·       Organize outlines and thesis sentences as aids to writing.

·       Spontaneously write an organized and well-developed essay on a given topic.

·       Keep a journal for spontaneous writing assignments.

·       Promote ideas and increase writing skills.

In addition, due to the online nature of this course, upon successful completion of ESL 100, the student should be able to:

·       Communicate successfully for academic purposes in various types of online situations (including e-mail, discussion boards, and synchronous chat) by following accepted conventions of Netiquette.

·       Create acceptable, basic Web pages for academic purposes by using UH personal homepage Web space.

ESL 100 also fulfills the Written Communication Foundation Requirement for degrees at UHM and KCC.

To satisfy the Written Communication requirement, this course will:

·       Introduce students to academic discourse and different forms of college-level writing, and guide them in writing for different purposes and audiences.

·       Provide students with guided practice of writing processes -- planning, drafting, critiquing, revising, and editing -- making effective use of written and oral feedback from the faculty instructor and from peers.

·       Require at least 5000 words of finished prose -- equal to approximately 20 standard word-processed pages.

·       Help students develop information literacy by teaching search strategies, critical evaluation of information and sources, and effective selection of information for specific purposes and audiences; teach appropriate ways to incorporate such information, acknowledge sources and provide citations.

·       Help students read texts and make use of a variety of sources in expressing their own ideas, perspectives, and/or opinions in writing.




This online version of ELI 100 is taught over the World Wide Web at the following URL

It is every student's responsibility in this course to become familiar with the course and WebCT operations as soon as possible. Activities and assignments begin the first week of instruction. Note that our instructional week begins each Monday noon at 12:00 p.m.




The following are required of each student:

1) Course Participation

2) Online/ Homework Assignments


3) Online Discussions

- Discussion Question 1:

- Your response to the question

- Classmates' reactions to your response

- Your reply to your classmates' reactions


4) Online Journal


5) Papers/ Essays


·       MS Word's default margin size is 1.25 inches. It is your responsibility to figure out how to set to margin size correctly to the academic standard one inch.

·       Also, if you are using an Asian version of MS Word, then you must learn how to change your default paper size from A4 to U.S. letter 8-1/2 x 11 inches. This is American academic standard and, therefore, your responsibility.

·       Papers that are not formatted correctly will automatically receive lower grade points .

·       If you have concerns about paper formatting, then schedule an office visit with me as soon as possible. It is very quick and easy to show you how to correctly format your papers.

Based on the first draft feedback, you will revise your paper and submit a second draft, which will be assessed by me as a major course grade (see below). I will provide grammar feedback on your second draft, based on one or more grammar points that we are currently studying, in addition to global comments. You will take this second round of feedback and revise your paper as a third (final) draft that will be due at the end of the semester as a part of your Online Course Project (see more on this requirement below).

The exceptions to the drafting requirement are the Values Statement, the Research Paper, and the Course Reflection Essay, which require only two drafts each. However, second drafts of these papers will be counted as final drafts and will be graded as second and third (final) drafts. (See "Paper Draft Grading" below.)

First drafts of papers are simply given credit points (maximum 12 points per draft) based on the relevance to the assignment given and the minimum word requirement.

Second drafts of papers are assessed and assigned grade points (maximum 40 points per 500 words per paper) using the course holistic writing rubric, based on 1) relevance to the assignment given, 2) minimum word requirement, 3) information contained, 4) idea development, 5) grammatical complexity, 6) vocabulary usage, and 7) formatting. Your main paper grade comes from your second draft.

Third drafts are simply given credit points (12 points per 500 words to total 120 points ) based on how well the final revision was completed based on the feedback provided and the paper's contribution to the Online Course Project.


6) Peer Feedback


7) Vocabulary Quizzes/ Writing Exam



8) Online Group Debate

First, you will provide a minimum 250 word summary of your personal opinion about bilingual education. Afterwards, you will provide minimum 150 word arguments against two group members' opinions, regardless of your own personal opinion about the issue. Finally, you will provide two minimum 150 word reactions to the two arguments against your opinions, in which you continue to either support your original opinion or change your opinion based on your group members' arguments.


9) Online Course Project

120 points for final drafts of items 1-5 above

40 points for providing adequate links, item 6 above

80 points for including relevant graphics, item 7 above

80 points for properly formatting your Online Course Project as required

80 points for simply completing your Online Course Project thoroughly and on time

Credit points for the final drafts will be given as discussed previously in the "Papers/Essays: Paper Draft Grading" section above. Credit points for the other project items will be given, based on relevance and completeness.





Very important!

Before submitting papers and assignments, you must give each submission a unique name. Please use the following system...

For example...

The main point is that each submission must be clearly assignable to you by name and must describe its contents.

If you do not name your assignment correctly, you may erase an old assignment of yours or of another classmate, so please be careful and follow this same system all semester. This system really helps me manage the course, your assignments, and your grades, so help me help you.

Also, it is very important that you also type your name into the text body of each of your assignments, somewhere at the top of the first page of each assignment or paper. If you know how to use the "header" function of MS Word, then that is the best place to put your name, the assignment name, and the submission date.

Finally, make it a habit to check regularly for your assignments that I return to you, because I will respond to your papers and assignments after I receive them, and I will return them to you as soon as possible. This is especially important concerning drafts of your papers.




Each assignment in the categories below is assigned points as discussed in the section "Course Requirements" above, and you accumulate points throughout the semester towards your final grade by submitting assignments through the WebCT course.

Grading Categories:

Once I receive an assignment, I will assess it for a grade based on this 4-point holistic rubric for rating and scoring all course assignments. The assignment is given a rating based on the holistic scale of 1 to 4. The assignment rating corresponds to a points percentage, which is multiplied by the assignment's total possible points. As such, every assignment's total possible points is divisible by 4. For example, a 4-point assignment that scores a 4 rating receives all 4 points. An 8-point assignment that scores a 3 rating receives 6 points. A 12-point assignment that scores a 2 rating receives 6 points. And a 40-point assignment that scores a 1 rating receives 10 points. You accumulate grade points in this manner throughout the semester towards your final grade.

Your final course grade is determined by dividing your total accumulated assignment points by the total possible course points. Your percentage is then assigned a letter grade as follows:



Points Percentage

Total Points Range

Final Grade Percentage

Final Letter Grade



1200 - 1500





900 - 1199





600 - 899





300 - 599





0 - 299






out-of-town guests
computer hardware problems
computer software problems
computer viruses
inaccessibility to a computer
did not know about the assignment
did not know assignment was due
did not understand the assignment

As a responsible student, you have some degree of control over each of the above possible excuses. The only point where you completely have no control, and when you must trust technology 100% to do the job, is when you click the "Send File" button of the assignment submission feature or when you click the "Submit" button in the e-mail section of WebCT. This is all about the servers, which we both have no control over, and therefore is the only acceptable excuse.




My office is in I‘liahi, Room 220, my e-mail address is, and my telephone number is 734-9327.

My scheduled office hours are flexible throughout the week. Contact me for an appointment. I'm happy to meet with you if you need extra help or additional assistance with the course.

Keep in mind that the best way to reach me for questions or messages of a personal nature is by e-mail. I check my mail frequently and usually respond quickly. However, please keep in mind that I have a life outside of this course, and I don't just sit around waiting for messages. Therefore, I try to keep regular online office hours of Monday- Friday, 8-5 p.m. I usually will not answer my mail in the evening or during the weekend. Also, any e-mail directly related to course assignments should be posted on the WebCT course Discussion Board (see section above).




Due to the online, distance nature of this course, all incidences of academic dishonesty and plagiarism will be treated severely.

During the semester, you will read and learn about plagiarism in the Keys for Writers textbook and additional homework assignments. In the meantime, please refer to the page "Plagiarism" in the "Course Information" section of the course, and read the university's policy on academic honesty online at




Due to the online, distance nature of this course, all students are expected to follow Netiquette guidelines in all of their course communications with their peers and instructor. Netiquette refers to proper behavior in an online environment.

At the beginning of the semester, you will be responsible for formally learning about Netiquette issues. In the mean time, you should familiarize yourself with Netiquette guidelines by examining the following Web sites:

Violations of Netiquette guidelines that interfere with course instruction, disrupt course operations, or result in harassment of classmates or the instructor will not be tolerated and will be immediately referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action, including possible removal from the course. For additional information, read the university's policy on student behavior at




All students are expected to conduct themselves in this online classroom maturely and to be respectful of each other and of the instructor, according to the guidelines outlined in the KCC Conduct Code which is summarized in the course catalog and is posted in its entirely in the Dean of Students Office, ‘Ilima 205.

This online class is a safe zone. I will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Any violation will be referred immediately to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.

If you have a disability and have not voluntarily disclosed the nature of your disability and the support you need, then please contact the Special Student Services office at 743-9552, located in Ilima 105.

This syllabus and the course schedule are subject to change at the teacher’s discretion with appropriate notice.