About this course (and you)

by John Bandler

After five plus years teaching, in multiple institutions of higher learning on multiple learning management systems (LMS) it is helpful to put some of my content on my website.

Students come to a course from many different places, with different skills and academic abilities. It helps to focus them on the course and principles of learning. So I created this module/page for the learning management system as we start the course. It looks something like this:

An initial note about this course and you

A quick note about this course, you, and the materials.

This course is: This course is a DESCRIPTION OF COURSE

You:  You are a [undergraduate/graduate/law school] student. You are expected to have a good head on your shoulders and an appropriate ability to read, research, think, write, and edit. You should have a desire to improve those skills. You should resolve to put in significant effort. If you are have any doubts about yourself and your skills, decide to improve yourself (starting today). You should put in honest effort to improve yourself. You should also be kind and collegial with classmates and the instructor.

We all: We all start where we start. It is our job to improve ourselves further in the time available to us.

The course topics: We cover a lot of different topics, including [DESCRIBE E.G, Law, technology, cybercrime, cybersecurity, national security, more]. I cannot predict your knowledge level on each topic. You may be strong on one topic but weaker on another. This means you may need some introductory materials some places, but eventually need to get to the graduate level. To cover all topics at the right level for each student we start with a simple layer first, then progress towards complexities.

This is layered: To lay a foundation for students that need it, the materials are layered. There are simple layers on top, getting more complex as we go down. If you are new to a subject (e.g., law, cybersecurity, cybercrime, technology), I point you to some introductory materials to digest before you advance. If you already have a baseline in that subject, you could skim those introductory materials, move through the others, and then go beyond the assigned reading.  Whatever your level, ensure you grasp the simple first, then move on to the complex. Start with the course materials and digest them before going to outside materials. Ensure you get yourself to [college/graduate/law school] level layers of learning.

This is about learning and your journey - not just the destination: Your learning and education is in your hands. It can be tempting to take a short cut to "get the answer" or "write the assignment". Google, ChatGPT, and other short cuts present easy temptations. But always start by reading the assigned course materials. Then and only then should you expand your research. It is up to you to read and digest the course materials, to think, exercise your brain, and build your knowledge and skills. Again, don't go to "google" or other short cuts until you have first done the reading, your thinking, your assignments, and discussion. This is about your learning and your education, and remember that this does not come automatically with credits or a degree. You control your own learning and education.


John Bandler

Reviewed/updated 7/8/2024

Questions about individual grades or final grades?

Come see me at office hours. I will be happy to go over your presentation, final paper, and other coursework and feedback during office hours. But not until all of my grading obligations are done for all courses, and not during holiday vacation.



Posted 7/8/2025 based on years of teaching. Updated 7/8/2024