Friday, May 14, 2010

You Be the Counselor: Getting Ready for the First Day of Class

My online Classes start on Monday. I’m feeling nervous and excited as I log into Blackboard to see if my classes are available yet. In the past, some of them have been posted as early as the Friday before the class starts. Earlier in the week, I had gone to the online bookstore and ordered my textbooks. They had just arrived today. I was hoping the syllabus for my courses would be posted already, so I could get started a little early. Since I know I’ll have to schedule my homework and tests around my work, getting a look at the deadlines for my assignments and tests is a big deal—it lets me rough in my expected schedule for the next month or two. Unfortunately, I see that none of my classes are listed yet. I get a bit worried, and check My NOVA to make sure I am properly enrolled in the classes. With relief, I see that they are still on my schedule, and my balance is paid, so everything should be in order. I look back at the Blackboard website—just in case something has changed in the last 5 minutes. Then I notice the Announcements:
On May 15 the college will be upgrading from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9, and Blackboard will be down from 12:01 am on May 15 until no later than 11:59 pm on May 15.
I bet my classes won’t be available until Blackboard is back up. I take a deep breath, make myself relax, and prepare myself for another two days of patience. At least I can start looking over my textbooks…

Each of us has our own way of preparing for the start of a new semester. What are some of the things you do to prepare for the start of your online class? Is there anything you recommend new students do during the week before or first week of an online class?


  1. I make sure to arrange my schedule and set aside specific hours each week to work on my courses.

  2. Important tip! Since you don't have to go to class, you have to create your own course-time to keep up with your course work. In addition to setting aside dedicated time to study, make sure you have a dedicated place where you can really focus.