Getting Started In Your Class

Welcome to the class! If you’re enrolled in one of my college classes this sections contains several things you need to do to get started. If you’re not in one of my classes and you’re using the material to learn on your own, or using it to add to your knowledge or sharpen your skills you should skip this section and jump to next section of the class.

Ok … if you’re in one of my college classes the most important thing you should do to get of to a good start in the class is read all of the information contained in the Class Introduction Module in Canvas. Start with the first item in the Canvas Module, and work your way through each subsequent item listed in the Module. (Actually, for you literal types, this document is the first item in the Module, so when you complete this document move on to the second item.)

This information in the Class Introduction Module will provide you with information about how the class functions and how often you need to come to class (if it’s not an online class), grading policies and other college or class policies related to this class, how to get help, etc. Make sure and read this information carefully, and ask if you have any questions. At the end of the Introduction Module you’ll have a short quiz over the material to ensure that you’ve read or viewed all of the material and understand how the class functions.

Next you should familiarize yourself with Canvas and the different sections of Canvas. I suggest using the Canvas Modules to work your way through the class. You’ll see that the course is divided into Modules, and each Module has a list of all the things you need to do along with resources that may help you such as videos and web sites, and due dates. You can also use the Canvas Calendar to track due dates, but the Modules have links to everything you need for the class, not just the homework and tests. That is, you’ll find additional resources to help you in your learning experience. These include videos and additional reading, data files you may need for the tests and exercises, and utility programs or possibly even virtual machine images that you’ll need to complete the homework and tests. If you’re new to Canvas you should also click around the different Canvas sections like the calendar or class discussion area to familiarize yourself with the tools and layout of the course. If you do start “clicking around” the only place you need to tread carefully is in the Quizzes section as you don’t want to start a quiz or test at this point. This is because you only get one attempt at some quizzes and tests, and if you open it now it will count as your attempt. Other than that I don’t think there’s anything else that you can break if you’re just looking around.

When you’re finished with the Class Introduction Module I suggest you look at the calendar and get an idea of when things will be due, especially the first quiz which is due a few days after the start of the quarter. After that, start working your way through the all of the items in the subsequent Canvas Modules. Keep going until you reach the end, at which point you will have completed the class!