Online and Hybrid Courses
During your class
Classes have started, you have accessed your online course, perhaps had an in-seat meeting for your hybrid online course, and you're already in the swing of things! Now what?!? Here are some things to keep in mind as you move through the semester.
Things to keep in mind to ensure success:
Have a back-up plan if your technology fails! (See the notes on "After you register")
Take the time to review the course schedule and create a calendar for all of your due dates - including online discussion expectations. This will save you a great deal of anxiety as you move through the class!
Log-on frequently. Remember to access your course site a minimum of 4-5 times each week. Look for new announcements, content, and participate early and often on the online discussion.
Check your GVSU gmail account daily. Your professor and your classmates will most likely contact you through Blackboard, and this is where those emails are sent. Respond to your email right away. When your class is not meeting in-seat, email and online discussion become two of the primary means for "presence". Be present to your professor and your classmates.
Do not expect your professor or your classmates to be online 24/7. If you have an urgent need for a response, then include that in the subject line and give them 24-hours before contact them again. (If your professor has communicated their availability, be sure to check that and respect the time-frames presented.)
Make sure that you are familiar with online Netiquette (review the link from the orientation.) Don't flame, don't USE ALL CAPS, be respectful and careful in choosing your words. The nuances of your voice or facial expressions cannot be seen in electronic text, so find other cues to express your intent.
Verify software compatibility with your professor and classmates. If not everyone is using the most current version of Microsoft Word, then documents posted in that format will not be available to others. If you are using software that is different to others, save your word processing documents as .rtf or .pdf files. (Check with your professor about compatibility preferences.)
As a GVSU student, you have full access to the University Libraries whether on campus or not.
If you are unfamiliar with using online library services (such as finding books, journal articles, etc.), then begin with the Library homepage under the "How do I..." heading. The librarians are here to help you with your scholarly work, so let them guide you.
The library guides are another great place to get started with Grand Valley's Unviersity Libraries. You may find a subject guide for your discipline, highlighting materials specific to your needs. One this page, you might look for a specific Course Guide in case your professor has worked with a librarian to create one. The Reference guide will assist you in finding the sources that you need and the Citing Sources guide will help you to properly cite them.
Don't hesitate to contact someone in the library for help. They make themselves available through a number of avenues.
All GVSU students have access and are invited to participate in student services and events. From the GVSU Current Students link you will find a list of departments and services that are the most accessed.
Although it may be difficult for you to come to campus to meet in-person with someone, check the department websites for contact information so that you are able to connect virtually. They will typically have a phone number and email address listed as an initial step, and many departments are also taking advantage of other virtual means for connecting with distance students (such as Wimba Pronto). Contact the department directly to learn what your best avenue for an appointment or to learn additional information.
Even if you are typically not on campus, you are welcomed and encouraged to participate in any of the campus events, and check with your professor and classmates about any discipline specific lectures that are upcoming.
If you have questions or run into problems with the technology needed for your online or hybrid online course, you might see if there is a guide to assist you on the IT help site. Next, contact the GVSU Help Desk: email firstname.lastname@example.org. or call (616.331.2101). They can help you to trouble shoot problems with your username/password, Blackboard or email access, and myriad other technical questions.
For questions regarding Blackboard, you may find what you need in the online handouts or video clips. These are organized by topic so that you can walk through how to use a specific Blackboard feature. You can also revisit the Blackboard Tutorial where you can practice using the features that your course might require.
For questions regarding one of the Wimba tools , you may find what you need from a list of GVSU handouts or you may prefer the web-based guide from Wimba.
|GVSU specific printable handouts||Wimba's web-based guide|
As well, we have 24/7 support directly from Wimba. For more information, go directly to their student website: http://www.wimba.com/services/students/ or visit their online support center where you will find their trouble-shooting knowledge base and a link for a live chat. You can also call their help desk at 866.350.4978 (note that this is not a toll-free number), or email email@example.com.
Note that you will need to run the Wimba Wizard before accessing Classroom, and you will find that link once you click on the Wimba Classroom link from within your Blackboard course site.
Finally, note that on the GVSU IT student website, there are many links for student assistance, covering many useful topics. You might take a moment to browse through this site before you have any problems so that you know what is available to you as a GVSU student.
|One last thing...|
Don't forget to enjoy the process!
Have a great semester!
Page last modified October 27, 2010