Student Orientation Letter 
Fall 2004

Online Ant 101 
Physical Anthropology 

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Dear Online Ant 101 Students,

Hello! I am Andrew ("Drew") Habermacher, your instructor for online Ant 101 Physical  Anthropology.

Please read the following very carefully to get started. It answers the questions most frequently asked by new students about this online course . Click on the question (A through K) to jump to its answer.

A. What rules of academic integrity (plagiarism, etc.) must I adhere to in this course?

1. Students in this course, like all PGCC students, are bound by the college's academic code of integrity.

2. The college's code of academic integrity may be found at Code of Integrity

3. You are expected to familiarize yourself with and follow the academic code of integrity.

B. How do I logon to the Blackboard Online Course Classroom?

1. Go online and browse to Prince George's Community College's Blackboard site at

2. Click on the button labeled Login.

3. You will see a dialogue box that asks you to enter your user name and password.

  • Your user name will be : the first initial of first name + the first 3 letters of your last name + your birth month (expressed as two digits) + your birth day (expressed as two digits). Use only lower case letters to enter your username and use no spaces.

    For example, if your name is Tyrone Shoelace and your birthday is April 8, your user name will be


  • Your password will be: your full 9-digit Social Security Number (no spaces and no hyphens).

For example, if Tyrone Shoelace's SS# is 123-45-6789, then his password will be


  • NonPGCC Students:  

    If you are NOT a student at PGCC and you ARE registering for this course through another college (such as Montgomery College, Hagerstown Community, or another community college participating in MCCT), then you must send an email message to me at with ALL following information: your full name, your birthdate (Mo/day/yr), your student number or social security number, your email address, your phone numbers (home & work), and your (snail)mail address. Once I receive this information, I can enroll you into the Blackboard online classroom and you will be able to login as indicated above.

4. Once you login to Blackboard, I strongly recommend that you immediately change your password. To change your Blackboard password, follow these steps.

  • Login to Blackboard using your given username password.
  • From YOUR Blackboard Welcome page (you will see WELCOME, <Your name will be shown here>! in bold letters at the top of this page), click on Personal Information in the Tools Box on the left side of the page.
  • Click on Change Password.
  • Fill in the requested information. You can change your password to any combination of numbers and letters (lower case only). Remember your new password. 
  • Click the Submit button in the lower right corner.
  • Write down your username and password information so you can refer to it if you forget.
  • Very Important: You will have only one username and one password for Blackboard 5 regardless of how many Blackboard courses you may be taking. If your login is successful, you will see the Blackboard Welcome screen and links to your courses will be listed in the box labeled "My Courses."

C. When can you access the Blackboard online classroom?

1. On the day the class begins (possibly a few days earlier) information for registered students will have been uploaded to Blackboard. This upload will create a registered student's username and password and add the student to all Blackboard classes in which the student is registered.

2. A few days later, a second upload will add students who registered after the first batch of students were added to Blackboard.

D. How does Blackboard work? Who teaches me to use the Blackboard online classroom?

1. You are expected to teach it to yourself. You must be proactive and take the responsibility to learn it.  It is not difficult to learn. The instructor will provide some pointers, especially in the beginning of the semester.

2.  There is an optional orientation for Distance Learning students held at P.G.C.C. (see course schedule for time & date). I highly recommend that you attend the Distance Learning orientation. Consult the college web page or the registration bulletin for time and place. 

3. READ the Blackboard Student Manual which can be accessed via the PGCC Distance Learning website at

4. The Blackboard student manual is also accessible from Student Tools button inside your Blackboard online course classroom.

5. After you read the manual, if you still have questions about some function in Blackboard, then email

E. How do I get started with my online anthropology course?

1. Add your preferred email address to Blackboard (required):

  • Login to to Blackboard using your given username and password.
  • From YOUR Blackboard Welcome page (you will see WELCOME, <your name here>! in bold letters at the top of the page), click on Personal Information in the Tools Box on the left side of the page.
  • Click on Edit Personal Information.
  • Fill in your Personal Information.
  • While you're here, fill in other information to help your professor and classmates know more about you.

2. After you've added your correct email address to Blackboard, go to the Communications button in Blackboard and send me an email. (Disregard this instruction if you have previously provided me with this info.) This email should include:

  • Your name
  • Your mailing address
  • Your day AND evening phone numbers
  • Your preferred email address

3. Carefully read the Bb Announcements. The first announcements explain how to get started with the course.

4. The course assignments are organized in weekly units called learning units. To begin the course work, follow the instructions in the Welcome Announcement and click the Assignments button, find Learning Unit 01 and do as it instructs.

5.  Textbooks

The textbooks are: 

Jurmain, Richard, L. Kilgore, W. Trevathan and H. Nelson.
2004. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. 5th Edition. Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.
ISBN: 0-534-61435-3

Angeloni, Elvio (editor) 
2004. Physical Anthropology 2004/2005. McGraw-Hill/Dushkin Annual Editions. Guilford, CT: Dushkin-McGraw-Hill. 
ISBN: 0-07-286153-3

Purchase textbook(s) at the College Bookstore, Largo Campus or online from

6. Email or call me at 301 322-0548 with any questions or concerns. Except for weekends, I will respond to emails and phone calls within 48 hours.

F. How do I submit written work and receive graded in this online course?

1. Essays and other written assignments must be submitted as MS Word (.doc) files or Rich Text (.rtf) files to the appropriate Bb Learning Unit. 

2. Essays and other written work will be graded and returned within ten (10) days of the due date for the assignment. By clicking going to the Bb grade book and clicking you your essay grade, you will be able to read the instructors comments about your essay's contents and written expression.

G. Do I ever have go to campus for this course?

1.  Yes, the comprehensive examination is a proctored exam which you must take on your college campus. You will be told more about this during the semester.

2.  Also, you will need to visit a library to complete some of your course assignments. Depending on the type of honors project you select, you may also need to make visits to observe social situations you have chosen to describe and analyze.

H. How do I communicate with the instructor and other members of the class?

1. To communicate via email, go to the Communications area and you will find the email addresses of every student & teacher in the class.

2. We will also be communicating using the Bb Discussion Board (aka conferences, fora or threaded discussions). In addition to the several graded discussion board conferences, there is a special forum called "The Culture Cafe" where students may introduce themselves and ask questions of one another and the instructor. 

3. The chat area of Blackboard is found in the Communications area called Collaboration. From time to time I will schedule optional chats of 30 minutes. Not graded and not required, they serve as the instructor's online "office hours" .

I. How often to I need to go online for this course?

1. You are expected check & read course-related email messages at least every other day (every 48 hours) and you must respond to an email from the instructor within 48 hours.

2. Every other day (every 48 hours), you should visit the Blackboard online classroom for this course to:

  • read new announcements posted since your last visit,
  • take quizzes,
  • check any new entries to the course calendar,
  • read and post messages to the discussion board assignments
  • submit written assignments to learning units
  • check your grades in the online grade book

J. How important are the Discussion Board (aka conference) assignments? Do I really have to do them?

1. Discussion assignments are very important. They are conversations about the course material you are reading.

2. Discussions are graded and students are required to participate in them. See the course syllabus for their exact point value.

3. Discussion Board assignments must be completed within the time period indicated in the assignment. Generally they begin when they are posted and close ten (10) days later.

K. How firm are the deadlines and due dates in this course?

1. Very firm. Once a due date for an assignment is missed, it may not be made up nor submitted late.

2. Since there are more essay, quiz and discussion points than you can actually use, most of the time missing a quiz, discussion or essay assignment is not fatal to your grade. (See the online syllabus for details.)

3. The only exception to the above policy: 

  • Students who have work conflicts with an assignment due date may provide the instructor that information PRIOR to the due date to be missed to request an extension.
  • Sickness requiring a doctor visit may be eligible for an extension. Proof of the visit must be submitted WITHIN A WEEK of the missed deadline.
  • If such timely proofs are judged by the instructor to be acceptable reasons for having missed an assignment due date, a brief extension of the due date will be granted.

The foregoing should be enough information to get you started participating. However, I am sure you will come up with questions I have not thought to answer in this document.  If so, call or email me. 

I look forward to working with you to make your online learning experience go as smoothly as possible.

Andrew Habermacher, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology

Return to Ant 101 Welcome Page

Revised July 26, 2004