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Posts Tagged ‘Semester Startup

Semester Start Up Checklist

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Welcome Back Faculty

Today I am interrupting the Grade Center Series to focus on the semester start up process.  The Grade Center Series will continue as soon as the semester gets under way.

For preparation of students return to campus, online faculty need to get their courses ready. If you have not already done so, content from the old semester needs to be copied to the current term shell and updated. Check out my handy “Startup Checklist” at Startup Checklist. This document contains all the instructions to copy content from semester to semester and the things you need to address in the new course like due dates and syllabus.

In addition, you will want to check out the “One Week before Class Starts” post located at One Week before Class Starts. This posting addresses a vital commutation you should have with your students prior to the the first day of class.

Welcome back faculty, I hope you have a great year!

 

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Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

August 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Mid-Semester To Do

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Mid-Semester To Do

  1. Mid-Terms Grades
    1. Normally student receive a mid-term exam this allows the faculty and student to access their learning at that point in time.
    2. Once the grades are calculated for each student they will need to be entered into Banner Self-Serve. This process alerts the Registrar to any student in trouble and initiates an official communications between the school and the student.
    3. The Registrar will send a notice to all faculty on due dates for entering grades and the process to enter the grades.
  2. Gather mid-class feedback from your students
    1. Administering a mid-class evaluation is a great way to see how your class is going from a student perspective. You can create a Blackboard Survey to do this evaluation.      
    2. Blackboard survey allows you to ask personalized, class specific questions. (Need help? See Office of Extended Learning)

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

February 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Semester Startup: The First Week of the Semester

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Week 1 Start Up Activities

Week 1 Start Up Activities

Once the class content is up and running, it is time to start managing students. At BridgeValley, students will automatically show up in the course roster, but will not have access to the course until the first day of the semester. This is done to give faculty members time to make changes to the content without interruption. Students tend to believe that online learning should take place anytime anywhere which is sort of true. The truth is anytime anywhere is correct, but it takes place within the semester dates.

During the First Week of Class Instructors need too…

  • Provide online classes with a self-introduction discussion
  • Introducing yourself to the class and asking students to post an introduction 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 hasn’t 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 use to use last login date as proof of attendance, but regulations have changed. Attendance is now 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)
    1. 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).
    2. 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.

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Thing to do Weekly throughout the Class

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Weekly To Do

Once a week (preferably on the same day each week) we recommend that you:

  1. Post a note to the class announcements area, telling students what you will be covering in the coming week and reminding them of any due dates.
  2. Update your class schedule with any new or revised due dates
  3. Summarize discussion forum conversations, since it can be hard to bring a close to those discussions and/or point out the important points before moving on to other discussions!
  4. Consider holding online office hours
    1. Giving your students a chance to communicate with you in real-time can help build strong relationships and motivate students to fully engage in the class. Two popular options for conducting live office hours with geographically dispersed students are chat rooms (text-based discussions) and Big Blue Button (web conferencing) sessions. Just let your students know when and how to join your office hours!
    2. To add a Chat Room to BlackBoard,
      1. Go to a Content Page> Select Tools> Chat> Select Chat Session> Office Hours
    3. To use Big Blue Button:
      1. Go to a Content Page> Select Tools> Big Blue Button> Add the Name an description> Submit

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

Thing to do Daily throughout the Class

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Things to do Daily

How often you check the class is an individual decision, but you should let your students know, up front, how often they can expect to hear from you. Checking in at least once each business day and once over the weekend is a good way to keep in touch and to keep the e-mail and discussion forums from piling too high!

  1. Monitor the Class Discussion Forums
    1. You can check for Discussion Board post from the BridgeValley Online tab and looking in the What’s New module. This process divides the post by course so you will only have to check one place instead of entering each course.
    2. You can opt to have notices sent to your email account by following the steps listed below.
  2. Monitor the class e-mail tool for new messages
    1. You have the option of forwarding a COPY of your class e-mail to your personal e-mail address.
    2. To do this go to BridgeValley Online> What’s New module> Edit Notification Settings> General Setting to choose Individual Messages or Daily Email Digest> Submit
      1. Individual Messages will send a notice each time a student submits.
      2. Daily Email Digest will send one Message a day and include all transactions.
    3. After setting the desired Notification setting you will return to the Edit Notification Settings Screen. From there you can select Individual Courses or do a bulk set for all your courses.
      1. For a bulk set, click on Courses I am teaching
      2. Select all or just the course you want notification from
      3. Make sure email is selected for the items you want notification from and click submit.
  3. Grade Assignments
    1. Students appreciate timely feedback on their assignments…and will let you know if they feel they are waiting too long! How long it will take to grade assignments and send meaningful feedback to students depends, of course, on the nature of the assignment. Students may not be able to proceed in your course until they get your feedback on how they are doing.
      1. As a general rule of thumb, it seems reasonable to expect students to receive their grades, including feedback, within one week of submitting an assignment.
      2. If one anticipates that it will take longer than that to return students’ work, it is best to inform them in advance when their grades and feedback will be available. Doing so will forestall a lot of questions from students and calls to the main office!
      3. It also is best to grade assignments in sequence (i.e., assignment 1, then assignment 2, and so on) so students can apply the feedback from one assignment to the subsequent assignment.
    2. To grade Assignment and Quizzes
      1. Go to Grade Center> Full Grade Center> Click on the Action Link of the Column Title> Select Grade Attempts
    3. To Grade Discussions
      1. Go to the course menu> Tools> Discussion Board> Select the action Link beside the Forum you want to grade> Select Grade> Select Grade.

 

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Semester Start Up: One Week Before the Class Starts

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One Week Before Class Starts

One Week Before Class Starts

One Week Before the Class Starts…

  1. Send your students a welcome letter that tells them:
    1. The URL of the course. (Direct Link: http://ilearn-bridgevalley.wvnet.edu)
    2. How to login (Normally students log into the course through their MyBridge account. (The username is their B number and the password is their six digit birthdate.)
    3. What materials they need to purchase and where to can get them
    4. Who to contact if they need technical assistance (Password reset 304.734.6600 and Blackboard reset 293.5192. )
    5. Reinforce course prerequisites – What are they? How necessary are the prerequisites? Will you enforce them?
  2. If you do not want your student so see some content hide the selected class materials from student view. (Optional)
  3. Post a “Welcome Announcement” for your students.
    1. Tell your students to begin the class by reviewing the syllabus and working through your class orientation materials. Provide any addition directions for those materials!
    2. Remind students of the official class start date.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Before the Class Ends

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Before the Class Ends

Before the Class Ends

  1. Encourage your students to complete the online Course Evaluation Survey.
    Research has shown that the biggest influence on whether a student completes an end-of-class survey is the instructor! So a note from you that encourages your students to complete the survey and that assures them that the information will be used to improve the class is important.

    1. Have questions about the online contact the Dean of Extended Learning.

On the Last Day of the Class 

  1. Post an end-of-class announcement to wrap-up to the class. Include a final request to complete the Course Evaluation
  2. Handle any deferred grade requests 
  3. Remind students to download/print their work, if they desire. If the class utilizes an e-portfolio, recommend that students download a copy of their e-portfolio, especially if this is their last class in the program.
  4. Post final grades on Banner Self-Serve
  5. Review and revise your course materials while everything is still fresh in your mind.
  6. Download a copy of the Gradebook for your records. 
  7. Make an archive of the course and download a copy.

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

December 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

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