Student Guidelines

Below the first set of “rules” are the guidelines for courses taught by Lorelle VanFossen. Specific guidelines for conduct and student participation in the classes can be found in the course syllabus.

Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules

Citation: 10 Rules for Students and Teachers (and Life) by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent from Brain Pickings

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student – pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher – pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined – this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything – it might come in handy later.

Student Guidelines

While the above guidelines summarize all you need to know to be a good student, here are some specifics you need to know.

Since the beginning of time we’ve been rather possessive of our hard earned labors and efforts to produce unique and original work. This possessive ownership of our stuff has moved into the world of “intellectual property,” the things of art.

The courses I teach demand original thoughts and original creations, from the words to the images to the entire website.

Yet, we live in a world where regurgitation of other people’s original (or wish they were original) ideas is celebrating across the social web-o-sphere.

Here is what you need to know when it comes to copying other people’s work.

There are No Good Text Books for WordPress…Yet

I’ve been hunting for ages for a perfect book on WordPress. So far, WordPress 24-Hour Trainer by George Plumley comes the closest.

But don’t worry. I’ve articles and reference resources that will fill in all the information you need to know.

Other excellent resources include:

Naming Conventions

All instructions for navigation with the WordPress Administration Panels and software programs and web apps is given in order of the menus.

Appearance > Widgets is the path to access the Widgets on the WordPress Administration Panels.

File > Save As is the path to save a file in a text editor or word processing program.

WordPress has many naming conventions that are confusing. The official name for the back end of WordPress, the administration area, is the WordPress Administration Panels. Unfortunately it is nicknamed the dashboard (a panel on the Administration Panels), admin, back end, etc. Panels are now called “screens.” These morph over the years and you will learn the various names for the bits and pieces of WordPress in class. Check out Naming Conventions – What to Call It on “What You Most Need to Know” for examples.

WordPress has a capital P in the middle of it. It is a trademark. As a trademark, you cannot use it in the domain name of a site and you may not use the logo on commercial products. See WordPress Trademark and Domains for more information.

The Homework and Assignments

The homework assignments and reading material is outlined for every class. You are responsible for reading and keeping up with the material and homework assignments.

There are many links within the assignments to reference and resource material.

To open these links in a new window or tab for reading later, use the following options:

  • Right click link > Open in a New Tab
  • CTRL+click link (Windows ) or CMD+click link (MAC)

Links are included in lists and within the content. It is your responsibility to find them all.

There is a Blog Checklist to follow throughout the class. Check off each task as it is completed. This list will be used by the instructor to grade your blog at the end of the class.

Teamwork and Collaboration

All my courses are highly interactive and collaborative. Take advantage of that to get to know me and your fellow students.

If you are truly new and inexperienced at this, identify the more knowledgeable folks in the class and make them your new best friends.

If you are experienced at this, help others around you. You will often learn more by answering their questions.

If you are frustrated with another participant, take a deep breath and do some self-examination to find out what is really bothering you. Use this as a chance to learn more about your self and your ability to work with all types of people. Everyone has a treasure within them waiting to be discovered and respected.


I’ve heard them all and I’ve used a few myself over the years.

Don’t bring them to class.

Come prepared. If you can’t come prepared, arrive on time and be present. The rest will work its way out.

If your work is being graded, then expect to comply with the rules of the grading process. How you meet the grade requirements is just as important as the graded work.

Don’t bring excuses, bring plans. Explain how you are going to resolve the issue, make up the work, complete the project. Prove your imitative. Earn our respect with the work, not the excuses.

Privacy and Security

Blogging can be a very personal experience as you learn how to share your thoughts, ideas, and expertise. Please respect the privacy and security of others by keeping what is said in the class in the class.

Participation within the social web can be frightening as we put our names, email addresses, location, and other information often considered private and personal, out for others to see.

Remember, you do not have to be “you” on the web, but it helps.

You do not have to make your email or location public. Read all the fine print to understand what information is public and what information is held back privately.

By signing up for a blog or social media network or service, you are under no obligation to keep it or participate in it beyond the scope of the class or after the class.

By setting up your site on, your site is automatically protected from harmful malware, viruses, or hacks. If you choose to move off of, check your web host’s policies on security and protection of your site’s content and installation.

Don’t click when in doubt. Don’t open emails from people you don’t know. Don’t click or buy just because they ask.

It is your life, your privacy, your security. You set your terms and conditions to protect yourself.

Don’t Make Me Call Your Parents

The educational institutions in which I teach have policies and procedures that protect you from me and me from you, and all of you from each other.

Play nice.

Don’t make me call your parents – or bring in the big chief with a big stick.

Also, don’t risk your site by breaking the Terms of Service and Copyrights.