One way improve student interaction and possible success in a course is to have strong organization.
An equally important practice is to use clear, consistent naming conventions in your TCU Online course shell and syllabus. Often when reviewing courses, we find that what an instructor has called an item in the syllabus has a different name in TCU Online in the Assignment Submission Folder (or Quizzes or Discussions), a third name used for the grade item in the Grades tool, and a fourth name in the TCU Online Content area or when the instructor references instructions in class. While these names might be related – for example, First Essay, Essay #1, September Paper, Reflection paper – this difference can be a point of confusion for students. Students will find it difficult to determine which rubric or set of expectations apply to the item and can be confused about where and when to submit items when naming conventions do not match in all these places.
In online courses, confusion about activities often leads students to stop working while they await clarification from the instructor. This delay may mean that students fall behind in the course. Online students do not have the benefit of hearing the instructor use a set of terms interchangeably to refer to a given activity. Nor can students pose a question in passing and receive an immediate response that clarifies any misunderstandings related to the existence of multiple names for a given activity. Consistent naming is especially important in instances where students might be confused about which TCU Online tool is being used: essay exams, submitting a presentation, and reflective journals are activities that may use different tools in different courses.
Use the list below to proof your TCU Online shell and syllabus before your course goes live.