We are very happy that you have decided to join us this semester. Before we begin our semester of study together, it is important that you review all of the material in the Orientation and on our course syllabi. These two resources will prepare you to be successful in this course and will make the journey over the next 13 weeks significantly easier for you.

What will we learn about in the Orientation?

  • An overview of your school's learning management system
  • An overview of the course website
  • Technical requirements for this course including learning about the software you will be using
  • A brief introduction to the course
  • Modern Earth Science principles
  • How to succeed in this course
  • Where to get course assistance if you need it

What is due for the Orientation?

You should complete the Orientation before the first week of class so you are prepared.

The following is an overview of the activities that must be submitted for the Orientation. Detailed directions and submission instructions are located on the page containing the assignment within this orientation. If you are at Shippensburg, some course activities will take place in myShip, if you are at UNO they will take place in Moodle, and if you are at Penn State they will take place in Canvas.

Tasks Page of Orientation
Set up profile and notifications in your Canvas space. The Learning Environment
Sign up and familiarize yourself with the course Blog Course Blogs
Introduce yourself and meet the rest of the class. Getting to Know You
Complete the STELLA tutorial Refreshers and Tutorials
Learn about Modern Earth Science Principles Modern Earth Science Principles
Review the Course Syllabus Syllabus
Check the Summary page Summary and Final Tasks

(Note: You may want to print this page to serve as a checklist as you go along.)

Have you looked at the syllabus yet?

This Orientation complements and expands on the information provided on the syllabus. If you haven't read it, be sure to review that document carefully! It is linked from this website and may also be available in Canvas


There are two ways you can get help in the class.


For the quickest response directly from your professor, use email through Canvas. We will check several times daily during the week and daily on weekends. Please use this mode of communication for questions and concerns you do not wish the rest of the class to see.

Help Discussion Forum

In Canvas, there is a Help discussion forum where you can post a question that everyone can see. I'll try to respond to these as quickly as I can, but in most cases, you might have to wait for a day. If I've missed something, send an email to me (Dave Bice) alerting me to the question.

What is next?

Once you are ready, click next and work all the way to the end of the orientation.