Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Virtual Graduation Scheduled for May 16

Vol State joined the national effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus to help protect the health and safety of our students and community by transitioning the remainder of the spring semester to online instruction. As a result, our traditional May Commencement Ceremony for spring graduates was cancelled. Commencement is a tradition we value as it celebrates the achievement of our students as well as the support and sacrifices of their families. It is also a time for us as employees to acknowledge the fulfillment of our mission and core values.  In an effort to still celebrate this important milestone for our graduates, Vol State is excited to announce that we will be hosting a virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 16, 2020! The virtual format will still provide our graduates the individual and personalized recognition they deserve while also giving them an exciting opportunity to contribute personal content by submitting a photo and message to be included in their individual slide. Additional instructions and details regarding participating in the virtual ceremony will be shared with eligible students via their student email within the next couple of weeks. Spring 2020 graduates that would also like to participate in an in-person commencement ceremony will be invited to participate in the December 12, 2020 ceremony and should continue to check their student email through the month of October for important details.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Tips on Navigating Online Classes

If you are worried about having to conduct your college work online, do not stress, here are different ways to navigate eLearn and better understand the content. 
Check Announcements 
This is where you will find important information. Professors use this tool in different ways, but if you see an announcement posted on the main page of the class, it is necessary that you read it. I have had professors post an outline of what the rest of the semester will look like here, informing us on what will be included in each module, whereas others have chosen to input a motivating message. Check this source frequently for new details regarding each of your courses. 
Submit Work 
You will most likely submit most of your work in the Dropbox section under “Evaluation”. This has not changed much from our normal routine. We will just have more assignments due online since we cannot give them to the professors in-person. Check the “Calendar” on the main page of your course as many professors keep a timeline of what assignments are due there. If you see a quiz that needs to be completed under this section, you will be able to find them in Quizzes under the “Evaluation” tab as well. Keep up with the dates of when tasks are due so you can turn it in on time, which is essential to getting high grades. 
Stay Updated 
Know how you are doing in your classes. Under “Evaluation”, you can check your class progress with the label Grades. None of my professors present an accumulative grade, but I can see what percentages I have received on an assignment. This is also a great way to see upcoming items you need to work on. Depending on the professor, there might be a whole list of work that needs to be completed for that semester. Additionally, there might also be feedback available on a finished assignment. Feedback allows the student to see their mistakes on their work. Take this criticism and apply it to your future assignments. 
View the Content 
This is the portion of eLearn that I find that varies the most between classes but provides crucial documents for the course. The “Content” tab shows anything from video lectures to the syllabus. You will personally have to maneuver through your classes' content section as they differ a great deal from class to class. I have found that professors either label with modules or types of information. For example, if one of your grades is to locate a video that is provided to you over the recent virus, the video will most likely be under the tab “Contentlabeled “Videos”. Go through each section and carefully find what you need. 
Class Comprehension 
We all learn in different ways. For me, I can retain information the easiest through listening. Not attending classes is going to be difficult for me as I am not getting my knowledge through lectures. Yet, some professors are going to conduct Zoom classes, which is a live video chat with them giving you instruction. This makes it feel more like a normal classroom. Although, if you find yourself at a point where the information is not being understood with any method you try, contact your professors and classmates. Most likely, there will be someone in that group who can help you take a new approach to the subject. You can email them through Classlist under the “Communication” section. A few of my personal tips are to highlight important content while you are reading, take notes while watching a video, download an audio version of your lectures, and double check everything 
End the semester strong by conquering online classes. 
If you are struggling in any way with online classes, please let someone know. 
~ Georgia Smith