Interacting in Your Course
In all VirtualSC PD courses, your participation is of the utmost importance. On this page, you will be provided with textual directions and videos for participating in some of the most basic course modules, including:
- Forums and Advanced Forums: Forums and Advanced Forums give you a chance to interact with other course members within a discussion board formatted module. Advanced Forums are virtually the same as Forums, but with advanced capabilities and display option.
- Assignments: Assignments give you the opportunity to show your facilitator what you’ve learned, and how you’ve synthesized that new learning. Assignments can have multiple formats and requirements.
- Blackboard Ultra is a world-class, real-time training, demonstration and collaboration environment that is powerful, flexible, and easy to use. Some of VirtualSC PD’s courses require attendance via Blackboard Ultra. Please download, save and read the information on this PDF, to ensure that you are ready to join your facilitator when they have a meeting online.
You will also be presented with materials on how to check your progress in a course, and check your grades.
Completing and Submitting Assignments
Over the duration of your VirtualSC PD course, you will most likely be asked to create an assignment outside of Moodle, and upload it within your course. Documents need to be submitted in a PDF format. Click here for directions on how to convert different file formats to PDF.
Remember that you should back up, or save, your work in multiple locations, and on more than one type of media. It is recommended that you save your work to your computer hard drive/desktop (in a folder named specifically for your VirtualSC PD course), and on a flash (thumb) drive.
When you name your file, make sure that you adhere to the naming convention set forth in the assignment. Your facilitator may have given you a specific naming convention for all files to be submitted with, or may have a different convention for each assignment. Make sure to pay close attention to this in your VirtualSC PD course. If your facilitator has not defined a naming convention for files, the following convention is always a safe bet: FirstNameLastName_AssignmentName_Date.
With this convention, you may have a file name like: “JohnSmith_SelfReflection_12012013″
This format gives the facilitator not only your name, but also the assignment you are working on, and the final date on which you saved your work. While this may not seem important, or relevant, to you as a course participant, it will greatly aide your facilitator should he/she decide to grade offline after downloading multiple documents from many students. If your facilitator reverts your assignment back to draft, follow the steps in Uploading a document after it has been reverted to draft.
All assignments are due during the active session week. Unless prior arrangements were made and agreed to with the adjunct, then late assignments will not be accepted and will be awarded a 0 in the gradebook due to not meeting the assignment deadline.
If the participant communicates with the adjunct prior to the deadline and gets an extension—it is up to adjunct to deduct points for being late on the rubric-adjunct will use professional judgement.
Watch the video below to learn how to submit an assignment in Moodle:
Participating in Discussion Forums
Participation in discussion forums is a mandatory component in all VirtualSC PD renewal and graduate courses. Communicating and learning together allows you to share your questions, ideas, and possible frustrations with other students. It also allows you to receive help from your peers should you need it. You will be asked to synthesize the reading and resources you’ve been assigned in each week of your course within the discussion forum. The only exception to this would be if you are taking a self-paced, non-facilitated renewal course from VirtualSC PD. Make sure that you refer to the Forum Guidelines and Discussion Forum Rubric found in this course when posting to forums, and replying to others. Watch the video below to see how to create an initial forum post: (Click here to view How to Use Discussion Forums video)
Using Blackboard Ultra
Blackboard Ultra is a world-class, real-time training, demonstration and collaboration environment that is powerful, flexible, and easy to use. Some of VirtualSC PD’s courses require attendance via Blackboard Ultra.
The VirtualSC PD graduate course adjuncts facilitate three Blackboard Ultra webinar sessions during the six weeks of course work. Look out for dates and times that will be shared during orientation week. Please try to attend all three sessions live, if you need to miss part or whole of the webinar they will be recorded. All sessions have a brief quiz to track attendance. The quiz will be posted under the webinar link information in the course session that it occurs.
Joining a Blackboard Ultra Session
- If you know you will be needing to access the webinar using a mobile device (Smartphone, iPad, or tablet), be sure to download the free Blackboard Student App ahead of time. At the time of the session you simply log into the application, click on the access link and then choose “Open this page in BB Student”; enter full name and click on “Join as Guest”. You will not be able to join the session by going into the application and trying to search for our organization or session, this is not an option.
- If accessing via computer or laptop, simply login to your course using the recommended browsers Google Chrome or Firefox. Navigate to the active session and a link will be posted and will look similar to image below:
- Once in, open another browser tab and go to the Blackboard Ultra link here to walk through the basic navigation of Blackboard Ultra for participants.
Viewing a Blackboard Ultra Session Recording
Missed part or all of the Blackboard Ultra meeting? No problem! We record sessions and recording links become available once the session ends.
- Login to the course, navigate to the session where the webinar occurred, and click on the link, scroll down to see the “Recording” link as pictured below:
Checking Your Progress
As a participant in an VirtualSC PD graduate or renewal course, it is your responsibility, and your responsibility entirely, to keep up with your progress and grades. Checking your grades is as easy as logging in to your course, and looking in the Administration block. See the image below (the red box and red arrow) for the Grades link. In this area, you will find your overall grade, cumulative totals, and overall feedback. For assignments and forums that use Marking Guides and Rubrics, you will view that feedback from within the Joule Grader. There is a video below the image you see here showing you how to accomplish this.
Additionally, please note that many of our courses have been set up with “activity completion” check boxes. These are just a visual aid for you to see how you’re progressing through the content of the course. See the image below (the yellow box and yellow arrow) for an example of Activity Completion. Always defer to the actual grades area to see if assignments have been graded.
Viewing Feedback on Assignments with Marking Guides or Rubrics
As mentioned above, many of the assignments you will complete, and forums you will participate in, are set up to use Marking Guides or Rubrics to provide you with succinct feedback on how you performed. Watch the video below to learn how to access the Joule Grader for this feedback: