Public Health 220-80, Blonna

PBHL 220-80 Welcome Letter - Team

Richard Blonna

Hunziker Wing 146 (973)-720-2528


Welcome to Stress Management (PBHL 220) on-line. By taking this online course you join an elite group of students who are taking advantage of William Paterson’s extensive distance learning program. The online nature of this course carries certain expectations. I expect you to spend at least the same amount of time online as you would spend in a regular classroom attending class. In addition, I expect you to prepare for class offline by reading and writing on your own.

This class is taught in an asynchronous fashion. All students are not required to log on at the same time. You may log on and submit your work whenever you want to as long as it is received by midnight of the due date. I log on the following day, read all assignments, and provide feedback. You are required to respond to my comments and those of your classmates thus engaging in an asynchronous discussion online. 

In order to be successful in this class, you must be a self-directed and independent learner. If you are not such a student you should consider dropping the class.  If you are this type of learner I look forward to working with you and promise you an interesting and exciting semester.

Orientation Session (in-person, online, CD)

This class is taught 100% on-line. Orientation to the course is available in-person, online, and via CD. Students who prefer to meet in-person may attend the in-person orientation session on Thursday, September 2nd from 7:00-8:30pm in Atrium 114.  You can also access a video of the orientation session by clicking on the following link:

and then Scroll down to Dr. Blonna’s Video Orientation. If you need them, your username is student and your password is student05. Lastly, you can pick up a copy of the orientation CD from Geraldine Suppa, Secretary for the Department of Community Health. Her office is Wing 132.


Finding the Course

-Go to and click on the User Login to access the login page.

-Press the Login button to access to the Username and Password page
-Enter your username, which is identical to your WPUNJ e-mail username
-Enter your password.

-If you are not sure of your password go back to the BlackBoard Home Page (previous page) and  

 read the section on the right-hand side of the page under Welcome regarding accessing your

 username and password.

-For additional instructions regarding using BlackBoard please refer to the various help links contained on the BlackBoard Home Page

Course Structure

Our class "meets" by logging onto BlackBoard, a shell-program that serves as my vehicle for delivering the course to you. The course is password protected.  In a sense, BlackBoard is our "classroom" for the semester. Everything (accessing information, receiving and sending assignments, and conducting discussions) is done through BlackBoard.

The course is taught in a small-group format. You will be enrolled in a discussion group with six other classmates. The majority of your assignments for the semester are submitted to your group for comments and discussion. You will be expected to complete each assignment and participate in every discussion, unless you choose to pass on a particular assignment for personal reasons.  In addition to presenting traditional content related to Stress Management, this course relies heavily on the open and honest sharing of personal information within the small groups. No student will be forced to share personal information and I will accept a limited number of “passes” however you might consider dropping the course if you find such sharing objectionable. You will be required to comment on your group mates' work in addition to completing your own assignments. Working in small groups this way will help you develop close bonds with your fellow students even though you won't be meeting them face-to-face in a traditional classroom setting.

The course content is broken into five "Units". Each unit is served by a group spokesperson of my choosing. I rotate this responsibility so that everyone serves as the spokesperson at least once during the semester. Spokespersons are responsible for summarizing key unit assignments and reporting the group’s work to the whole class. This expands the discussion from the small group to the entire class and gives you the opportunity to interact with all of your classmates.

Course Assignments

All of the semester’s assignments are posted in an announcement on the first day of class. This announcement lists all assignments by unit and due date. Course assignments are located under the "Assignments" button on course home page. All of the assignments are listed here by unit. Your assignments will guide you through the units and into discussions with your group members.

There are 50 assignments due over the course of the semester (first one due on 9/03). Each unit has between five and ten written assignments. On average, two assignments are due EACH Wednesday and Friday of the semester. The assignments range from simple "sentence stems" (Stress is …. etc.) to more complex assignments involving activities in the text and on the web. Some of the assignments are critical reviews of websites related to stress management. Follow the instructions described in the "Critical Web Review" link found under assignments button.

These assignments often require you to search for information found on specific Web Sites that are required reading (in addition to the textbook) for the unit and are built into the course as links. A textbook is required for the course (see syllabus). You will not be able to complete the assignments without the textbook.

Attendance, Late Assignments and Vacation

Almost half of your grade is based on attendance and the timely submission of the daily written assignments. LATE WORK IS NOT ACCEPTED. If you have a vacation planned for any time during the semester you should bring a laptop computer and work from your destination or lose credit for the missed assignments and lack of attendance. Unlike a traditional class, attendance is measured by logging on every Wednesday and Friday. Failure to log on constitutes an "ABSENCE". Grades are automatically dropped one level after two absences. I check attendance and participation after each class. In addition to checking your attendance and the submission of your work, I monitor the "quality" of your completed assignments and your contributions to your group. I will e-mail you if the quality of your work is unacceptable and you will be asked to resubmit assignments.


Grades will be based on the following formula:                                                                                                            

Personal Stress Plan                       (100 points)  

Time Journals and Summary         (100 points)                                                                                                             

Stressor Journals & Summary       (100 points)                                                                                         

50 Assignments                              (250 points)   

Class Participation

(online group work)                        (50  points)                                                                                       

Grade = total points/600

Contact Information

Feel free to contact me via e-mail or phone (973) 720-2528 anytime you have a question or if you want to schedule an in-person meeting. I check my e-mail and phone messages daily during the summer session and will get respond within 24 hours of receiving your message.

Finding Help

Please do not contact me for help with any technology-related problems. I am not a technology expert and therefore am not the best person to help you with problems related to logging on, working with BlackBoard, error messages, etc.

The WPU BlackBoard team provides excellent online tutorials and other help at If you experience difficulties accessing BlackBoard, please fill out the help form on the BlackBoard home page The anticipated response time would be within 24 hours during the week and within 48 hours on weekends. You may also speak to a representative of Instructional Technology by contacting Robert Harris, at