Our eClass environment, uses Moodle.
This format has no set meeting time, although courses do have definite start and end dates. eClasses typically run two weeks. This allows participants to attend class at a time most convenient to them, yet it still provides logically organized communication between class participants. It is a convenient way to expand your knowledge and skills.
Class lectures, assignments and reading lists will be posted on the Friday before it is officially open so that you actually have ten weekdays and three weekends in which to complete a course and give feedback before it's due date.
For each class, the following items will be posted:
- A lecture
- A reading assignment
- A discussion forum where you can post your assignment
- A discussion forum where you can post your answers to the review questions
- A discussion forum for general questions and answers related to the class. This is a place where class members can ask each other related questions and discuss the class topic.
The lecture material that we provide is meant to supplement the information you will read in the text and on the Web. We will use the lecture material to clarify or emphasize certain points. Sometimes we will alert you to other design issues that we feel are important.
We recommend that you read the lecture material first, then the (online) text and any web readings. You will usually find it the most beneficial to complete the material in the following order:
- Reading assignment
- Hands-on exercise(s)
- Review questions
A forum discussion is also a regular feature in each eClass and its use may vary with each topic.
If something doesn't seem to click for you right away, take your time, ask questions, don't stress. This really is not rocket science.
As you read or work on assignments, you'll have the chance to ask us questions. You should post these on the discussion forum so everyone else can have a chance to hear what you're asking; We'll answer them as soon as we see them.
In case you're feeling shy about asking questions in public, let us make two things very clear:
- There are no stupid questions. When you don't understand something, it's easy to assume that it's your fault. It could just as easily be our fault for not explaining a difficult concept clearly enough. Ask questions! One goal in this class is to foster inquiry and discussion, especially among participants. If you think you know the answer to something, post it! Even if you're wrong, the explanation of why will likely be very instructive.
- There is no shame in being wrong, so long as you're willing to learn from the experience. I've been wrong about web related issues more times than I can count, and learned more from the correction of my misperceptions than from any instance of understanding a concept the first time around.
You should probably check into Moodle several times a week; we will be trying our best to check in every day, although we may skip weekends. If you fall behind in the course, try to catch up, and email us if you are lagging a lot.
You should also read over your fellow classmates' assignments once you have completed yours. One feature of an online education system is that it allows for a group learning environment, and often you can learn a lot from your peers!
In some classes you will be asked to comment on other class participant's projects or answers. This should be done in a constructive manner so that people feel encouraged and motivated to improve their web skills. It should be specific to our learning outcomes.
As we review your assignments, each class participant will receive an acknowledgment after we've seen it. If there aren't any errors, the response will likely be short and to the point -- Looks good, good job, complete etc. Any errors we've found will be pointed out, and if they are significant enough, we'll ask you to correct them and repost the assignment. When you do, please repost the assignment as a reply to the message asking you to do so -- that helps us keep track of your progress.
You may see a several day span between your posting your assignment and our reviewing it -- this is especially true if you post assignments over a weekend. It may take us a while to get through them all.