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Things I Wish I Knew

If I only knew…

I teach face to face (f2f) and blended courses at QC loving every minute of it!  I rely heavily on Blackboard (Bb) not only for teaching online but for checks and balances as well.  I am an eco-friendly classroom and do not accept any hard copies of assignments (nor emails), each of the assignments must be posted to Bb. By having the students post all assignments to Bb I know where they are, when they are posted, they are automatically organized, Bb automatically flags the assignments as late and through SafeAssign scans for plagiarism.   I do all my grading through Bb, the grade section of Bb keeps a running grade for the students to see and I can give the students feedback on their assignments there as well.  It’s a win-win.

Bb is a great tool but the students need to have access to Bb and I need to know that there are no glitches well before the final moments of the due date when at that point I cannot help them.  So this is what I do, I figured it out the hard way!…

Before the first class I have the students post a “This is Me” slide under the discussion board (Db) on Bb.  The slide is an introduction of which they are their year at QC, major, career goals, hobbies, interests, an appropriate picture of themselves and the best email address to contact them.  This assignment is helpful in many ways.  #1-I know that they have access to Bb before the first formal assignment is due and it avoids the panic email from the students at the final hour or minute for that matter! J #2-It gives them time to contact the QC Tech support and resolve any known issues before the first formal assignment is due and #3 I always have a reference for the student.  I can access the students picture to remind myself of who they are, it’s helpful to have a visual and the students best email address is at my fingertips in case I need to contact them and they are not checking their QC email.  This little assignment has alleviated many glitches early on in the semester. 🙂

As a side I always include the contact information for the QC Tech support on my syllabus to help the students save time with any technical issues:

Queens College Technical Support is provided via the following:

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1 comment to Things I Wish I Knew

  • Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing this post. To be honest with you, I find Bb very frustrating to use on many levels, so it is nice to hear from someone who finds it useful and can give tips as to how to use it.

    I really like your idea of having them post an “About Me” slide first in order to mediate any last minute panic, and I think that it helps to have students do it out of class in order to give those who may be having trouble getting to class that specific day to avoid freaking out.

    Thank you for sharing!