ECOL 10 (online) - Co-taught with Dr. Lisa DiGirolamo

Dear student interested in Ecology 10 online,

Thank you for your interest in this online course.  We (Lisa DiGirolamo and Crima Pogge) are excited to embark with you on a journey exploring how we living organisms are connected to each other and to the non-living environment. Check out this link to see the learning objectives for this course.

Please join us for a get-to-know-each-other meeting Thursday, January 21, from 6-7 pm in S350 (Ocean campus).

We  would love to meet you! It will make it easier for us to communicate online if we have interacted once in person! As an incentive, we will provide a hot beverage and cookies.

If really you cannot make it, you can get the same points (but not the cookies) by emailing the instructors and setting up a time for a chat in Insight. Please provide five time periods of 15 minutes each during the second week during which you are available.  We will get back to you with one of those times set up for chatting.

Here are some basics about the course:

  • Ecology 10 is a semester long three unit course starting on Tuesday, January 19 and ending on May 24, 2015. You need to have checked into Insight by Thursday, January 21 or come to get-to-know-each-other meeting. The class has a huge wait list and we will drop you at midnight, January 21 if you did not show up online or on campus.

  • The class  fulfills the requirements for CSU GE (Area B2) and IGETC (Area 5). Plan to spend 6-9 hours/week on this course.

  • All course materials will be posted on our online platform Insight.  At the beginning of the semester, once enrolled, you will get  a welcoming email from our Insight administer at CCSF. You can then log in to Insight and access the course.  Insight has a nice handout on how to log in and a tutorial introducing you to Insight’s online environment.

  • Our textbook is Cain et al. Ecology. The second edition is much more affordable  than the third edition, and adequate for this course. You can usually get it for $ 20 online.

  • If you have trouble logging in, please check out the online course support center at CCSF.

  • If you need special accommodations, please contact CCSF’s Disabled Students Services.  You can find out more information here.

  • This is not a self-paced course. Weekly participation is required. Weeks open on Mondays at 2 pm and all assignments have to be done within one week.

  • Exams are scheduled on the third Monday of the month (Feb 15, March 14, April 18, and May 9) between 2 pm and 2 pm the next day (Wednesday). Make sure you can set aside a 2-hour block during these times.

Are you ready?

  • Online classes are equivalent in quality and rigor to face-to-face classes. In a face-to-face class, you are expected  to engage with the class material for 6 to 9 hours outside of the three hours you spend in class.  That adds up to nine to twelve hours a week, or a minimum of 144 hours a semester and is the same, by law, for online classes.  Take an honest look at your schedule for this semester and decide whether you can devote at least nine hours a week to the class.

  • As important as figuring out whether you have enough time for this class is to decide whether taking an online class is the right decision for you.  Take this short quiz from Palomar College to get help deciding.

What to expect:

  • Every week, we will post a "lesson" online. The lessons follows the textbook, and might have additional reading assignments, video tutorials and explanations. Questions are interspersed throughout the lesson, so that you have immediate feedback on whether you "got it". Every week, there will also be one quiz to reinforce the material.. In addition, you will also be required to participate in weekly discussion forums and work on your term project.

  • The term project involves choosing a natural area in your neighborhood, it can be a park, garden, or any other open space and, every week, report on a different aspect of what is going on in that space.  One week it might be to inventory all living things in a square foot, another day it might be to observe who eats whom in your spot. You will compile all your findings and thoughts in slides that you will share with other students in the class.

  • Just as in a face-to-face class, we will do our best to get to know you and your learning style through your assignments and participation in forums, and support you on your path to learning about ecology. We will give individual feedback on many assignments, and respond to your emails within 48 hours Mondays through Fridays.

Questions?  Concerns? Comments?  Do not hesitate to contact us at and We are  looking forward to working with you (and with each other)!

Note: if you found that this online format is not right for you, please drop the class immediately to free space for those on the waitlist and check out the face-to-face section (MWF 10:10-11:), which still has space.

Happy learning,

Crima Pogge and Lisa DiGirolamo


Last updated  December 2015 by Crima Pogge, all rights reserved