How The Online Courses Work

Technical Requirements

  • The Zoom platform is used for a live video connection to the instructor and other course participants during the 90-minute course session each week. You must install Zoom on your own computer and create a Zoom account for yourself. Be sure that you have the latest version of Zoom and know how to use it.
  • A special FaceBook page will be created for the course, so you’ll need to have a FaceBook account to participate in online discussions that happen outside of “real-time” course meetings.

When Signing Up

  • If you wish me to communicate with you using an email address other than that connected to your PayPal account, you must supply me with that other email address or my efforts to supply you with information will not succeed.

Before The Course Begins

  • You will be emailed a coursepack (as a PDF file) which contains the course schedule, syllabus, and supplemental reading materials.
  • You will also receive the link to the course’s FaceBook group via email. The FaceBook group is private and intended only for paid participants. If your FaceBook name is something other than the name associated with your PayPal account that you used to pay for the course, you must notify me what that name is or you will not be allowed to join.
  • Make a request to join the FaceBook group by using the link that I supply on email. Once you are in the group, introduce yourself to the participants: tell us something about yourself, what you hope to get out of the course, and what drives your interests in Scotland.
  • You may need to purchase a book that will be used for readings in the course.

Before Each Class Session

  • Do the readings listed in the schedule in this coursepack. These will be between 30 and 50 pages a week, and are important for understanding the concepts and information in depth.
  • Write posts on the FaceBook group according to the prompts for the week’s reading given in the class schedule in this coursepack. Respond to the posts of other participants in respectful dialog.

During Each Class Session

  • You will need to use a Zoom link for the class session to connect to the instructor and other participants. It will be emailed to you and posted in the FaceBook group. You may also need to use the password for the meeting session.
  • The instructor begins by inviting participants to remark briefly on their reactions to the materials read for the week: What did they find most important, surprising, or interesting?
  • The instructor will offer a summary of the main points from the week’s readings.
  • Discussion prompts about the reading listed on the schedule will be discussed among participants as well as issues raised by dialog on FaceBook during the week.
  • If you cannot “attend” the Zoom session live, the portion of the session offering a summary will be recorded and available for the next week via a URL that will be posted in the FaceBook group (each recorded class will have a unique URL).

Course Etiquette

  • Treat all participants with respect. Do not name-call, troll, or insult others.
  • When you debate ideas, stick to the issues themselves: do not personalize issues.
  • When you are speaking online, try to keep your contributions concise and succinct so that everyone can have a turn to share their thoughts.

Rescheduling in the case of emergencies

If the instructor is incapable of teaching at the scheduled time due to illness, loss of internet or electricity, or family emergency, he will contact participants as quickly as possible via the FaceBook group and email (as soon as that may be possible). It will be assumed by default that the course will be extended an extra week (or more, in case of recurrences) on the same day of the week and time.