Distance/Online Learning - Semester Start | Fitchburg State University
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Semester Start Up Reminders

Making Your Course Available

Remember that you must make your course available in order for students to see it and access the course. This should be done no later than the first day of class, and earlier is preferred. For winter courses, we ask faculty to make the course available one week prior to the start date to allow students to pre-read and prepare for the intense experience of a 2-3 week online course. This is especially helpful to students with a learning disability. Faculty do not need to be active in the course until it begins.

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Beginning of the Semester Tips

At the beginning of each semester, you should:

  • Confirm your own access to the class about 2 weeks prior to the semester, in case there are any issues.
  • Make sure all documents and links are working properly
  • Make sure that you have made the course available to your students.
  • Once the semester has begun, please confirm that registered students have accessed the class. For those students that have not accessed the course, sending a friendly email within the first few days is recommended. This will help to eliminate future problems. If students do not access the course or respond, please send me an email to ncheloni@fitchburgstate and I will be happy to follow up on your behalf.
  • During the first days, communicate your expectations to students. Establish your presence in class by responding to student introductions. Let the students know when you will be available and how long it will take for you to answer emails or discussion board questions.  It helps ease students' stress or concerns if they see a steady presence and rapid responses. Do set clear expectations though, that you will not be logging in or checking emails 24/7. 

Merge Course Sections

View Instructions under "Merge Multiple Course Sections Request."