-- Introduction --

Soooo, let's get started. 

I'm Gallagher, "speaking" for the Virtual Americana instructional team of Paul Galante, John Lennon, Stephen Tompkins, Robert Wilson, and Michael Yellin -- each of whom will "speak" to you in one of the five units of our course.

We'll begin our course content on Wednesday

The very important purpose of this Monday and Tuesday stuff, however, is to orient you to the materials you will work on, the people you will work with, and the tools you will work through.

I've divided the orientation into two chunks and 11 steps for you to work through at your own pace Monday and Tuesday.

Take your time.  You have some flexibility about what you do and when you do it during these days.  But the activities are laid out in a logical fashion, so I suggest working through them in the order you find them here.  

Some of you are old hands with Blackboard and in computer and online environments and will move through the steps quickly.  Others do not have that familiarity and may find the going slower and tougher.  But it is important that everybody reaches a comfort level with the technology before we begin the content of the course on Wednesday.

If you have trouble:

1) Here are the hours for the Lehigh Help Desk if you have technical problems such as with using Blackboard:

610-758-HELP /
Mon - Thurs: 8AM-8PM
Friday: 8AM-5PM
Saturday: 1PM-5PM
Sunday: 1PM-5PM

2) And I will patrol my email ( and IM messages (ProfessorClipper) till about 11PM both Monday and Tuesday to try to answer any questions.

Ok, move on to the next file to begin those introductory activities.