Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan, USA


Internet Address:

Credits: 4

Term: Fall 1999 (Sept 7-Dec. 12, 1999)

Contact Information for Moti Nissani (class instructor):

Office Address: Room 2134, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, 5700 Cass Ave., Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Home and Mailing Address: Briar Hill, Farmington Hills, MI 48336

FAX: (313) 577-8585


Tel.: 248-427-1957 (h)

Voice Mail: 313-577-5886

E-mail address for obtaining additional information about Wayne State University, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, and registration:

Email Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Wayne State University

Note: This course satisfies Wayne State University's general education requirements in intermediate composition (IC).

A Cautionary Note: This online university course can be taken from one's home, ANYWHERE in the world. Indeed, besides local residents, this particular course has last term been taken for credit by one student in Kathmandu, Nepal (an Asian country bordering Tibet and India) and by another in Washington, D.C. So, if you like the idea of taking a class from your home, if you plan to go to Mexico or Antarctica during the fall term, if you live in a remote place like Central Alaska, if you want to take a class that saves trees and gasoline, if you want to give the slip to the textbook industry, if you want to sharpen your computer skills, this course is ideal for you. This course also offers intense, one-on-one interaction with class instructor, and can therefore produce, within a few months, remarkable progress in your reading and writing skills.

But online courses suffer, as well, from distinct handicaps:

  1. There is something extremely valuable about traditional learning; about sitting in class and interacting face to face with fellow human beings. This valuable aspect of the learning process is missing from online courses.
  2. You can only take this course if you can type, use e-mail, and access a computer, modem, and the internet.
  3. You should consider taking this course only if you are a self-starting, highly motivated, student. If you are the kind of person who needs constant pressure to do your assignments or submit them on time, and if you are not yet fully able to follow a complex set of written instructions, then you ARE NOT READY for an online course. Remember, the only motivation and instructions you get in this class are from a computer screen.
  4. To get the most out of rigorous online courses, and to get a good grade, you will have to WORK HARD.

So, to overcome these problems, the online format is optional. If at any time you get tired of it, you can start attending the parallel, Tuesday evenings, traditional class. Alternatively, you can start attending the traditional class, and once you feel comfortable with online instruction, switch to the online format.

Text: None (all readings will be available online).

Grading is based on reading comprehension, writing proficiency, improvement throughout course, effort, timely submission of weekly assignments, final examination, and contributions to online activities.

Actual Meetings: You are only required to attend the first class (September 7). However, I shall be present every week at the computer lab (113 Rackham, Tues., 6:00-9:40) where the class is scheduled, offering traditional instruction and computer help to those who need it. Also, if you need help with any aspect of the course, or if simply want to add a human touch to this experience, you can meet me there.

Rewrites and Makeups: One important aspect of becoming a better reader and writer is re-writing. The process begins prior to submission--after you finish the first draft of your paper, you carefully edit it. You then submit, online, the second draft. After receiving my comments, or those of fellow students, you submit your final, thoroughly revised, version of your paper. Typically, this process needs to be completed WITHIN the week of that assignment. That's the only way to really derive the maximum benefit from this class.