Dear Stetson Faculty,
Welcome back! The Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology (OOLET) would like to take a moment to review some simple steps that will ensure a smooth semester opening for your online course components. As you may know, students often look in Blackboard for course materials on the first day of the semester (if not sooner!). Students who find empty shells or outdated content can easily become disheartened or disinterested. To avoid this, review the five steps detailed below.
- Confirm Course(s) are in Blackboard
Prior to the beginning of the semester, log into Blackboard and confirm the course(s) you have been assigned are listed under your Courses > Current Term column. If a course is not listed, contact your director or dean; you can also check directly with the Registrar’s Office. Once it is confirmed you are the instructor of record and your Blackboard course site has still not appeared, contact the Help Desk.
- Copy Course Content
If you would like to reuse course materials from a previous semester, you can copy an old course site into the new course shell. For instructions on how to complete a course copy, press here. OOLET has created an online course template to help structure your online course content. This template was designed to support an effective online learning community and follows current instructional design pedagogies. It includes a standardized course architecture, boilerplate and placeholder text, and embedded instructions. For more information, visit the Online Faculty Resource Center (Blackboard > Organizations), and go to Blackboard Basics > Online Course Template.
- Update Your Course
Once your course materials are copied to the correct course site, you must:
- Verify materials are up to date (i.e. syllabus, assignments, etc.).
- Test all links (internal and external) to ensure they are working properly.
- Delete any old Announcements and Discussion Board items.
- Adjust any deadlines and dates to match the new semester.
- Review content for relevancy, update and improve as necessary.
- Make Course Available
On the first day of the semester (or earlier, if desired), you must make the course available for students. Press here for directions.
- Need Help?
If you have any technical questions or concerns, please contact the Help Desk by submitting an online request here, or by phone: 386.822.7217 (Deland), 727.562.7323 (Gulfport).
OOLET staff are always available for individual, virtual, drop-in and/or group training regarding online pedagogy, best practices, management, and technical tools for online course development. To schedule a meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the new semester dust settles, look for more OOLET announcements regarding new training sessions on a variety of tools to enhance our online learning experiences!
Questions? Contact us at email@example.com.