Spring Beta: Week 1

Week 1 of the Spring Beta is almost up, and I’m back to talk about some of those nerves I mentioned in the last post. “What if students can’t find the course?” I asked, thinking maybe it was a silly question. Not so silly, it turns out; several of my students e-mailed saying they couldn’t find my course despite multiple e-mails having been sent to them about where to find it.

Students not checking their e-mail is nothing new, but it is going to make transitioning to the new LMS that much more difficult. A bright spot, though, is that many students knew how to find my e-mail address despite not having access to it through eCollege, and were able to e-mail me to find out how to access the course. I still have about ten who haven’t logged in (and I plan to bug them as soon as I finish with this blog post) but it’s not uncommon to have a high number of students who never participate in Eng 1302. They end up dropping a couple of weeks into the semester and retaking the course at a later time, generally.

I’ve also had several students who don’t know how to navigate the course in D2L. I thought our navigation bar was pretty simplistic (go to “Content” to access course content, for example) but it seems my students aren’t eager to spend any time exploring the course. Instead, they e-mail me asking where things are. I’ve been walking them through the steps to access the various areas of the course they need, and I think as the semester goes on, this will be less of a problem.

One really neat thing I’ve noticed this semester is how many students are sending me screenshots of the course from their phones. eCollege was not something you could really access from your phone, either as a student or as an instructor, so it’s cool to see my students already adapting this technology to their needs and accessing my course on the go. Maybe this means they’ll miss fewer deadlines. Who knows?

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.tamuc.edu/innovations/spring-beta-week-1/

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