How do I start my first day online with my students?
Here are the “best practices” to a great first-day launch of your course.
In preparation for the "first day of your course, here are a few guidelines to follow for reaching out to your students one week before the start-date, to help them find your course on time.
1. Ensure that all the weeks other than the first week are hidden from students.
Turn editing on and take a look at the eye located at the top right corner of each week. Other than the first week, they should be closed. At the beginning of each week, plan to open the new week (and close the last, if you so choose). You may have material from previous weeks that you want your students to reference, in which case you may choose to keep those items open.
2. Make your course "Available" to your students.
You must open your course! Access the "edit settings" link under Course administration in the Settings block. For details (see "Students Accessing Your Course" information in this knowledge base).
3. In your course's News Forum, post a "Welcome" message.
This “welcome” should include:
(a) directions on how a student should log in to MCMoodle to find the course (see "Access MCMoodle" to send students);
(b) instructions to click on links and become familiar with MCMoodle navigating;
(c) request for them to post in the "Introduce Yourself" forum;
(d) emphasize that all general course questions they have for you should be posted in the "Ask Your Instructor" forum. This will help inform the entire class.
Note: You will need to upload any PDF to your course before you can attach it in your News Forum message.
4. After sending this "Welcome" message, check the "Introduce Yourself" forum and your Participants block throughout the weeks.
This will be one way to ensure your students have successfully accessed your online course.
In the following weeks, make sure you post your announcements, reminders and general information on the News Forum. Remind students that they should post their general course questions in the "Ask Your Instructor" forum. Personal matters, on the other hand (late assignments, special needs, extended time due to death in the family) should be emailed directly to you.