Welcome to American History

Illinois Virtual School

Getting started

You have assignments that are due on the first day of the course!

To get started with our course, please log in to the course with the following steps:

  1. Open a web browser and visit: http://www.ilvirtual.org/
  2. Enter your username and password.
  3. Once you are logged in to the system, you need to activate your dashboard (if you haven’t already done so for another course)
  4. There you can click on the course and it will launch so you can access it


Once you have successfully logged in to the course, do the following on the right hand side:

  • Watch my video and minimize the widget
  • Complete the info under “Course information” and minimize the widget
  • Familiarize yourself with contact information for me
  • Familiarize yourself with the “Stuck & Need Help?” widget

Mrs. Bilyeu

My name is Mrs. Bilyeu. I am really looking forward to getting to know you all as we embark on this learning experience together.

I currently teach French at a large high school in the Peoria area. I have taught both French, American history and civics. I love history and am passionate about learning new things that have happened in the past. I am not an expert in history, but I know that you and I can learn new things together!

I always welcome your emails, phone calls, and/or text messages at any point during a course. Sometimes an extra note of clarification makes all the difference – so please don't hesitate to contact me. I ask that you schedule a time to talk using the website below, since I do have a busy schedule. As your teacher, I'm available to answer questions and help however I can.

If you feel that you may need accommodations based on the impact of a disability, please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Email is the best way to reach me, since I am on email all day long, although it is nice to hear someone's voice over the phone as well! I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and learning together throughout this course!

Course Overview

American History – Semester 1 covers history from before the “discovery” of North America to the turn of the 20th century. The course contains 4 units.

American History - Semester 2 covers history from WWI to the present. The course contains 5 units.

During each unit, you will be asked to complete reading assignments and an activity, and to participate in the online discussion. The online discussion is a particularly important part of the course, as that is where we will exchange ideas and learn from each other’s experiences and insights.

In my experience, the best discussions occur when people have time to make posts, see their peers' responses, and then respond again. This takes some time and also requires frequent monitoring of the discussion board. To maximize the effectiveness and vitality of our discussion forums, write your original post by the Sunday of each due date. This allows others to respond to your ideas in a timely manner and will hopefully allow some vibrant conversations to occur.

You should also provide specific examples that you learned from the readings or outside sources. If you use any information from outside sources, please cite it in your posts!

Don't feel limited to the "three posts per week" expectation. I know that there will be some weeks when you struggle to get in the minimum. I completely understand that and will work with you to help you keep up with the requirements of the course. However, in the weeks when you do have a bit more time, I hope you will return to the discussion forums and really get into the discussions, posting multiple times. I hope we can take advantage of the collective knowledge of the group.

Here's what you need to know:


Grades can be viewed in Maestro (http://www.ilvirtual.org/). They’re updated nightly from the course itself. You can see more information in the course itself, and if you have questions – do not hesitate to contact me.

All discussions are required. You may continue to participate in any of the discussions throughout the unit. By the due date the discussion will receive a grade. If you do not participate in a discussion, that assignment will receive a zero in the gradebook. All discussions are open for participation through the end of the semester with no time limit. If you post in discussion after the due date, your zero will be changed to your score.

If you experience an illness or a family emergency that will affect your submission of your assignments in accordance with the schedule, contact your teacher ASAP. An extension may be considered.


This course is divided into units. There are assignments due each week. The days those assignments are due are indicated in the schedule and in the personal assignment calendar sent to you as an email attachment. If you have not yet received your personal assignment calendar, please contact me.


One convenient aspect of online learning is that you can work at your own pace, whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. You are not required to be online at the same time as anyone else in the course. However, you are required to complete specific tasks in each unit, including posting in the discussion board. It is very important to log in several times per week and I would strongly suggest that you set aside particular days and times during the week that you will devote to the course.

Course Grading Policy

All work needs to be submitted by the due dates. If an assignment is not submitted on or before the due date it will be marked as a zero in the gradebook as a temporary grade. Any work that is submitted later than the due date will be considered at reduced credit. Anything submitted later than two weeks past the due date will not be considered for a grade and will become a permanent zero.

As the teacher, I reserve the right to make a case-by-case judgment of any situation.


You are required to submit between 35 and 40 assignments during the semester. Most weeks there will be assignments due, although this may vary. All assignments are required. No assignments are optional.

Assignments include the following:

  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Maps
  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Term Paper
  • Final Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I'm going on vacation?

If you plan to go on vacation or know of an event that will take you away from Internet connectivity, it is your responsibility to work ahead and submit work.

What do I do if I get sick or if there's an emergency?

If you experience an illness or a family emergency that will affect your submission of your assignments in accordance with the schedule, contact your teacher ASAP. An extension may be considered.

What do I do if I can't login to the course?

Contact me or contact the help desk.

What do I do if I lose access to the Internet or my computer?

Contact me as soon as you can.

If it's a long-term issue, make use of your school or public library.

How strict are you with due dates?

I'm really strict.

Here's why: I'm a procrastinator and have trouble keeping up with things. I struggled with open-ended online courses myself.

Due dates require you to stay true to yourself and to the course. They allow me to update your school, parents, and you on how far along you are. They also are the fairest way for you to get your work done.

Honestly, how much effort and learning would really happen if you did it all at the last second?

Do I have time to make-up work?

Yes. You have two weeks after the due date to make up any missing work for full points. After that, it is a permanent zero.