Thanks for your feedback.
Many really good questions and suggestions came up. Here are some helpful explanations and reminders.
Your own schedule and deadlines
If you want a day off – schedule it! The course is designed to provide maximum flexibility regardless of your life responsibilities and preferences. You are welcome to submit work early so you can take a day off, and not be scrambling to finish by the deadline.
Have you considered changing your schedule to finish the day before the deadline? That would give you “extra time” if you need it. If a “midnight” deadline is important for your scheduling, shift your personal deadline to midnight on the day BEFORE the due date. Time management is a learning literacy and life skill that is one of the learning outcomes for the course along with the subject – Computers and the Internet in Society.
If having once-a-week deadlines for two topics would work better for you, you are welcome to submit everything in advance. Foe example if a Thursday 11:30pm deadline is best for you, complete the due Thursday AND following Sunday work by 11:30pm Thursday. You many need to participate in the discussion after “your due date” for there to be anything for you to comment on. Just consider that part of the next week’s work.
Projects, groups, topics
You are welcome to look ahead on topics and project information. You can sign up for groups anytime in advance if this is helpful to you.
Resources, selected media
Many of the resources “found” are text articles. Audio podcasts, diagrams, animations, videos are all appropriate great resources, too.
The selected media provided are just guidelines. You are welcome to do your own research on the topics and share that in the discussions. The selected media are provides as suggestions and some ideas for getting started on your research if you need it.
There are millions of other resources online that cover the same topics in different media formats. You are always welcome to search for any resources – video, audio, etc. that help you understand the topic. Use the keywords to help you find appropriate resources.
Managing your media review time
Practice skimming the “selected media” to get the general concepts of the topic. Then you can search for resources that work for you. This is also helpful when reviewing the suggestions from other students. The reviews should provide enough information for you decide if you want to access the resource summarized in the review.
Course emails and reminders
Catalyst is automatically set to send emails from some of the discussions. Students new to online learning often need so initial reminders about the requirements and activity with the online courses. In the introductory information, there is information about reviewing your student profile and adjusting some of the settings. This includes altering the email settings if you wish. People who don’t need the information are usually at a stage where they can figure out how to turn it off. If it really annoys someone, they usually ask, and the reminder is republished in the Questions forum. This is also a good assessment of a student’s digital learning literacy skill level.
Access to Catalyst
Access to a course within Catalyst is consider to be the same as an on-campus class. For student privacy and academic integrity reasons dictated by federal and state laws, only those participating in the class may have access to the Catalyst course and only during the semester in which the course is active. That’s the law.
Online courses can provide a window of opportunity to voice concerns and positives of the course. Everyone can part of something other than just another class. That is one of the benefits of online courses – everyone, even shy quiet people, can make a significant contribution to the discussions and to the class as a whole.
Discussion posts and comments
When everyone starts posting earlier, this usually produces more and better comments on posts. There are extra points for posting early, and these will increase throughout the semester to keep the participation up.
Real-time chat, message
There is an online chat function within Catalyst which you are welcome to use. You can also use the Message texting to other students.
Thanks to everyone. These are great suggestions and questions.