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Suggestions for Teaching and Managing a BeachBoard Course

Pre-Term

  • Upload the course syllabus.
  • Upload the course content.
  • Create a welcome announcement.
    • Announcements might include event or quiz reminders, assignment due dates, course milestones or notification of schedule changes. Changing these announcements regularly keeps students alert to course happenings and encourages them to revisit and read the homepage area.
  • Consider Adaptive Release once once your materials are uploaded to your course and sequenced for content delivery. It is possible to maintain a structured transfer of course content to your students without undue vigilance on your part. The Adaptive Release feature allows you to specify when the course content is disclosed to the students. With Adaptive Release, links containing course content will not be revealed to students until the specific time criteria is met.
  • Create your quizzes and/or self-assessments in the Test Manager.

Start of Term

  • Make your BeachBoard course available.
  • Use the Discussion Board tool to foster student interaction and focus on course materials. 
    • Consider using the first week to establish a rapport with your students, clarify expectations about the course, gather useful information concerning the students, and generate excitement about the learning experience you and your students will be sharing.
    • The Discussion Board tool also provides a forum for students to post technical problems/questions and the instructor or other students can share in the process of assisting one another over the technical hurdles or with other questions that might arise throughout the course.
    • Monitoring Discussions
  • View student activities via the Performance Dashboard.  
    • This feature allows you to see where in BeachBoard students are spending the most and least amount of time, which often correlates with the student’s achievement in the class.  The amount of effort spent following up with those who have yet to view your course could have a direct effect on student retention.
  • The Gradebook is a utility that is used for organizing and administering student information and grades within BeachBoard.  This is a popular tool for students to receive rapid feedback regarding their performance and status in the course.
  • Send Email can be utilized to communicate privately with individual students or to the entire class.

Mid-Term

  • Monitor Course Statistics and the Performance Dashboard which provide useful information on how students are interacting with the content. 
    • By observing, analyzing, and using the statistics, you can identify learning barriers and improve the quality of your course, which will ultimately enhance student learning and success.
  • Keep the gradebook as current as possible.
  • Send Email can be utilized to communicate privately with individual students or to the entire class.
    • You may want to send a private e-mail to each student thanking them for their contributions and efforts or post a more public message to the entire group. The personal support offered by the instructor will increase retention and completion rates for your course by preventing feelings of isolation and helping students to stay on task.
  • Deliver a mid-term survey.
    • Collecting feedback throughout the term will help you to identify problems and provide extra help where needed before your students lose interest or hover near the brink of failing.  One way formative evaluations can be conducted is through surveys.  Surveys can be used to collect feedback at the midterm point in a course or at the end of each unit of study. 

End of Term

  • Compile the Discussion postings to create a file of all interactions, which is easy to read and does not require you to work online once you save the compiled file. 
  • Post final grades in the BeachBoard gradebook (if being used).
  • Post final grades in MyCSULB. (Required)
  • Create and run a course survey to get instant, anonymous feedback from the students. (Optional) 
    • Your college or department may have a standard student feedback survey.  If you are creating your own for personal use, you can be very specific in your questions about activities, assignments, and level of perceived learning. Surveys can help you to collect valuable feedback for improving your course for future students, and they are anonymous. 
  • Export the course(s) for personal reference in the future and save it to a personal hard-drive. (Optional)
  • Technology Service Desk will make all courses unavailable to the students approximately two weeks after the term has ended. However, past courses will remain available to instructors on BeachBoard for five semesters.
    • We will also create an archive of the courses for record retention purposes. After five semesters, we remove the courses from BeachBoard, but store them off-line for one additional year.  After two years, the courses will be purged.

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