Learning Centered Technology

Technology for the Educator

The First Week of the Semester

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Week One

Welcome to the first week of the semester. The students are back and the fun begins. It is said that the start of the semester is the busiest time of the year for online faculty, while the end of the semester is the busiest time for traditional classroom instructors.

By this time, you should have your classes moved over for the new semester and all the updating complete, but your duties have not ended. Week One activities are just beginning.

During the First Week of Class Online Instructors need too…

  • Provide online classes with a self-introduction discussion.
  • Introducing yourself to the class and ask students to post an introduction. It is a good way to break the ice and build a sense of community. This is also a great way for the instructor to get a feel for students, who they are and what experience they bring to the class.
  • Review the personal introductions that students post and respond to each, this shows students that a live person is present and teaching the class. It helps build community.
  • Check the class roster often, that first week is typically a drop/add period. You do not want to leave anyone behind nor allow students to continue when they are not enrolled. Some students may be unaware of their enrollment status in the class so send private emails if you see a potential problem.
  • Contact students who have not yet accessed the class. You can easily see who has, and has not, accessed your class in the Grade Center. If a student has not accessed the class, there may be a problem that needs your attention. You can use the send email tool to contact students outside of blackboard. Early intervention helps prevent larger problems down the road.
  • Have at least one graded activity for the students to complete. Since you cannot physically see students, attendance is harder to take. We do not use last login date as proof of attendance. Attendance is determined by last activity performed by students. (You may use the self-introduction discussion as the graded activity.)
  • Take attendance in all online classes and report those to the Registrar via the MyBridge account. The Registrar will note the absence and contact the students. Any student who has not attended class by the end of the fourth week of the class will be notified of their unsatisfactory progress and provided directions on how to withdraw from the class and/or institution. (For more information see Operating Policy D-OP-6-14)
  • First date for verification of attendance check is at end of the 1st week of a term. Any student that has not attended classes will have their record flagged with a grade of NGR (no grade reported).
  • Financial aid will not be paid until students can provide proof of attendance for all classes. Students reported as not attending must have all instructors sign a proof of attendance form indicating that the student has begun attendance.


In addition to the first week start up activities, you may want to check out the post Daily Activities at Daily Activities and Weekly Activities at Weekly Activities. These post will help get you on track to have a fantastic semester.



Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

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