Spring break has ended and with it comes the realization that the semester will quickly be drawing to a close. While some may be looking towards the summer like a long-lost haven of peace and tranquility, a place with no assignments needing to be graded and no seemingly endless line of course related stressors; others may be looking towards the summer and are beginning to feel the first tendrils of panic and/or procrastination.
Summer classes will be starting before you know it, and then the panic to get fall classes started will be upon us. Avoid panic and any problems that procrastination will inevitably cause and start thinking about building your courses for next semester.
We know that course design requires time and effort, but with the beauty of spring blossoming right outside our doors, it can be easy to trade picking a textbook, evaluating assessments, and building instructional materials in favor of spring time activities. Procrastinating may sound like an okay idea, but in the end it may lead to sheer panic when time ultimately runs out to build your class. Since nobody wants that, it’s time to getting hopping!
Don’t know where to start with building your online courses for summer and fall? That’s okay, IDT is here to help get you started. Instructors can request a .DEV Shell to familiarize yourself with Blackboard and the tools available to you without worrying that students can see every mistake you make. You can even design your entire online class in the .DEV Shell and then roll it into your live course when you are ready.
Need a little more information and assistance? No problem, IDT has designed a program called FaST Start, for just this occasion. Whether you have never taught online or are a seasoned online professor, the FaST Start program has resources, information, and content available to assist you. Support manuals are available for download which you can then import into your course, providing great information for you and your students.
Not sure how to import or even upload and edit content in Blackboard? Step 2 of our FaST Start program teaches you the Blackboard Basics through our short tutorial videos. For those of you who are looking for more, On-Demand Training provides an extensive list of videos for both faculty and students, all of which can be embedded directly into your course. If you can’t find a video to help you with your task, request a video and IDT will direct you to the proper source or produce a new video to explain the how-to of your task.
FaST Start also explains the WSU Requirements for Online Courses, Legal Requirements, and tips for teaching online. Each step of the FaST Start program was designed to assist you, the instructor, with different aspects of teaching in an online environment at Wichita State University. Now that you know about the vast amount of information available at the tips of your figures, hopefully you feel ready to hop to it!