(Listed in order of frequency)
What assignments am I supposed to be doing?
Rely on the "Learning Guide" for your success in the class. Realize that I am often purposefully vague about exactly what projects are to be completed and how they are to be done because there are several possible ways to accomplish the objective. I want you to explore your own path. In turn, this creates a more meaningful experience for all of us because, rather than everyone doing the same thing, each member provides a unique perspective. Certainly ask questions during the process, but ask specific questions related to your ideas instead of "How do you want it done?"
What are the due dates?
The only real firm due dates are for exams and the final day work is accepted (which is the final exam date). All other dates are soft (within a few days) and based on the timeline under "plan" in your Learning Guide. However, you should be contributing work throughout the term because part of your grade is based on the continuity of work. Also, you need to have work available each time grading takes place, otherwise points will be lost for not having work present.
How much work should I be submitting?
That depends on the quality and depth of the work. In general, you should be checking the group page most days of the week and contributing quite often. The traditional formula for time spent on a university class is 1 credit = 3 hours a week. I expect that you should be spending about 6-9 hours a week on my 3 credit classes. Some of this work will on your own (e.g. reading, studying, planning), but a significant portion of your time should be spent producing work that demonstrates your learning and reflects dedicated focus on the topics in the class. In short, you need to provide good evidence of your learning. The Application Rubric contains the criteria for judging this.
How do I navigate the site so I don't miss anything?
While I do not require that you read everything presented, it is important that you stay up to date on the majority of the content and focus in on the most important information. Access your group page often (most days) to see content displayed there and also use the My Unread link and the tabs provided there to sort out the information. See the Navigating My Group tutorial.
What is the best way to contact you?
Send me a message through email directly or here, and you'll get a fairly quick reply. In many cases, a better solution is to post a question as a group announcement and I'll reply there, or maybe others in the group will provide a better answer. In any case, there is a good chance that others have the same question so by discussing it publicly, everyone will benefit. Phoning me usually doesn't work so well. I don't check my phone messages very much and I'm often not sitting by my office phone. If you happen to catch me while I'm in my office, I'll be happy to talk.
Where do I submit my work?
Click on "Create Project" or another appropriate link (e.g. Collaboration, Paper) in the right hand menu. Your work will be submitted when you save it and it will show up on the group main page. See the guide for presenting work.
What should I do about a test question I think I got right?
I have always maintained an open invitation to challenge questions on exams, and I often award points (sometimes extra points) for providing good rationale for why a certain answer should be correct or for identifying a database mistake. Please specify the test name, the question, and your rationale. Just keep in mind that simply arguing "I can't find the answer anywhere in the book" is not a very convincing argument to me. Thanks for contributing to my effort to make the testing as accurate of a test of knowledge as possible.
Do you offer extra credit?
Not as a standard practice, but occasionally I give extra points to work that is more than exemplary. In general, everything above 70% is "extra" credit because that is my demarcation for "satisfactory" work.
Can I get an extension for finishing this class?
No, unless you are taking PES409 Practicum.
Do I need to find a proctor for my tests?
No, tests are completed online without a proctor (see guidelines).
Why can't I attach a document for completing my assignment?
Many assignment types purposefully do not allow documents to be attached. This is to help avoid incompatibility problems with document types. Furthermore, providing content in one consistent web-based format provides better continuity in content presentation.
How do I present work that has important format elements and graphics?
A "media" presentation is designed to do this, with options to embed content or attach certain document types. For example, slide-based presentations and spreadsheet files can be embedded by using the share features in Google Docs. If this doesn't accomplish the goal, try saving to PDF and uploading the file.
How do I keep my work private?
Work is encouraged to be presented publicly so others can benefit. Furthermore, this is a good venue to present professional quality work to proactively manage your online reputation. If there is certain work you want to keep private you have two options. If you only want the instructor to see it, uncheck the "Published" button before saving it. Alternately, this is also a good option for saving work as a draft until you are ready to publish it. The other option is to uncheck the "Public" button for groups if you want to make your work presented to your group only.
In general, the recommended browser is Google Chrome. Other browsers may work fine with the site, but always make sure you have updated to the most current version of the browser. And, having more than one browser available is helpful.
Questions? visit the Technical Question Forum