Belated Week 16 posting

All right, I fell behind in weeks 14 and 15 because I was really sick and instead of trying to make everything up now, I’m going to try to pick up and move on and work my way backwards if need be later on 🙂 I don’t want to get so deep into a hole that I cannot possible get out.
That being said, here is my slightly belated Week 16 post! 🙂 I should be back in the saddle now…
First, a couple of notes on the readings, although I realize we only need to post up our FAQs (which I’ll get to). Nielsen’s “College Students on the Web” really stuck with me because I realized that I had falsely identified some, not all, but some of my students as everything he said they were not. I’m so glad this was provided because it really is a good snapshot, and I would assume a fairly accurate one. Secondly, the reading in Ko and Rossen was very helpful for me this week in developing the FAQ because at first I was not entirely sure what should be included. When they said “go through the steps yourself and jot down and points that may not be obvious” a light bulb went off and that helped me to put my FAQ in perspective and I think helped me to develop a much more practical FAQ. So, here goes nothing!
I teach for a University back east and so all of my courses are fully online and only run eight weeks a piece. Therefore, some students who are not tech savvy tend to struggle and have a steep learning curve because the course moves so quickly. I find myself having a very detailed syllabus, but not see that a FAQ page might be just what I need to add! Here is what I developed in response to the particular course I am currently teaching. I have changed actual phone numbers and email addresses for the purpose of this blog.
Where Can I See the Requirements for the Course?
The “Course Materials” page includes not only the syllabus, but the schedule of assignments, the grading rubrics I will use to grade all papers, and all the course policies.
Do I need any special software to participate in this class?
You need to be able to access the internet. You need Microsfot Word or the ability to convert your assignments into a Word document. You should have the most current version (8 or higher) of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Aside from these three progra,s the only other resources you’ll be accessing will be on the web, like YouTube or websites that I like to.
How do I submit my assignments each week for grading?
There is a link on each unit page that looks like a green check mark. Simply click on the link and a box will appear for you to upload your assignment. Your assignments should always be in a Microsoft Word 1997-2003 document, which means the file ending will look like this – .doc.
How can I see my grades?
Simply click on “My Grades” on the left hand side of the main screen of the course page and you’ll be taken to your individual grade page. All assignments that have yet to be graded will have a green exclamation point next to them – this means you have submitted your work, but it has not been given a score by me yet. All assignments that have already been graded will have a numerical score next to them. The score is also a link. If you click on the link you will be taken to the assignment itself and any comments I have made on your assignment. It is particularly important for you to click on these each time you see new scores appear, as the feedback I provide is intended to help you progress in this class.
What happens if I have trouble with Blackboard and cannot access something?
First, you can post to the “General Questions” area of the discussion board to see if anyone else is having the same problem. Occasionally a link is broken and I can simply fix it on my end. If we then determine that nothing is wrong on this end, you should contact Technical Support at 1-888-888-8888. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Is tutoring available to online students?
Yes! We have two ways for you to get help with your papers. First, the University Writing Center has a limited number of consultants available each week just for online tutoring. You should email your questions, along with your assignment to  Second, the University partners with This is an excellent source that is available for free to all students currently enrolled in classes. Simply visit and follow the prompts for online tutoring. You will sign in with your school ID #. If you have any trouble with this website, please contact Stephanie at
Can online students borrow books from the university library?
Yes and no. The library will not allow you to check out books if you are not physically on campus to pick them up and they can only ship them within the state to another college nearby where you might live. If you live out of state, you would not qualify for this service. The bright side is that the university has thousands of online versions of books, eBooks, that you can access from home. The library is also hooked up to other sources, like Project Gutenberg, which provides the full text of thousands of more books online. While you may not be able to physically get a book from the library depending on your location, you can certainly access online books. For questions on how to access these eBooks, contact Jesse at 1-888-888-8888.
How often should I log in to the class? How often do you log in to the class??
I expect you to log into the course at least three times during the week. All assignments are due by Midnight on Sunday, so you may find yourself logging in twice during the week and once on the weekend, or even more than that if you wish. I am typically online in the course on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I will respond to discussion board questions and do any grading during those times. I check my email everyday however, so if you have urgent or personal questions regarding your grades or the assignments, please email me at and I will respond to you within 24 hours.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Julie Vignato
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 16:18:29

    It sounds like you learned a lot this week! I like your FAQ’s. They seem very helpful. I’m glad you are feeling better. Falling behind in work is never fun, but it does give you a perspective in how students might feel when they are sick.


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