(Student’s Eye View is a new series on the TigerLearn Blog. Within this series, you will be able to examine a student’s thoughts and opinions of technology enhanced learning tools. Check back frequently for new articles in this series.)
There is no worse feeling than the sheer panic of realizing you forgot to do an assignment or take a quiz. For me, it usually happens right when I go to bed. I’m entirely relaxed in my warm bed, the feeling of sleep is near and, suddenly, my eyes snap open and I remember that sales management simulation I have due at midnight. Trying to manage multiple tasks and due dates isn’t the easiest thing to do. As students, we have many assignments, projects, and exams due all in one week. If I didn’t write all of my due dates down somewhere there is no way I would remember them all. I used to be very particular about writing in a planner each day, but anymore I feel it’s an extra step that I could cut out to save time. I’ve now been searching for easier alternatives.
An advantage of working in the Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies department at FHSU is learning about the various ways of implementing technology in the classroom, both virtual and on campus. Part of my job involves testing Blackboard shells for cohesiveness, organization, and making sure everything can be easily found by students. While I was working in a shell, I noticed in the sidebar there was a link entitled ‘Blackboard Calendar’. After clicking on it, I realized I had found the easier alternative I had been searching for. Blackboard Calendar is an available tool already in Blackboard; this means there is no additional uploading needed. The calendar displays a consolidated view of any course, organization, and personal events you may have scheduled and, similar to other calendars, you can view events by day, week, or month. But, unlike other calendars you don’t have to put your events or due dates in the calendar manually, Blackboard does that for you.
As students, almost everything we do for our courses goes through Blackboard. We find links for homework assignments, submit assignments, and take quizzes and exams. So, why not have a virtual planner right there for us to check each day. We can go to the Blackboard Calendar link and check to see what assignments we have due and when. All courses that you are enrolled in are compiled in one Blackboard Calendar and they are color coded so there is no confusion regarding what’s due in each class. Not only that, but you can click the link in the calendar and go straight to the assignment or exam, no extra navigating required. Using the Blackboard Calendar is convenient and manageable.
For professors, the Blackboard Calendar not only has all your events and assignments in one place, but you can grade those assignments directly through the calendar. Simply clicking on the assignment link in the calendar takes you directly to your gradebook. You can also edit assignments through the calendar as well. If you decide to change the due date of an assignment all you have to do is drag and drop the assignment to the changed date. The Blackboard Calendar takes away all the unnecessary clicks needed to locate the assignment and edit it. Now, you might be thinking that putting everything into the calendar sounds like an extra task that could be eliminated, but there’s no need to worry. The moment you create an assignment with a due date, Blackboard automatically places the assignment in the calendar, no extra steps added. And with students checking their calendars daily there is no need to remind them each time something is due, giving college students more accountability for getting tasks done when needed.
So, there’s no need to panic because, with the Blackboard Calendar, everything you need to know is right in one calendar, color coded and ready for use. You can set your mind at ease knowing that your due dates are already in your calendar and grading can be done in a snap with all assignments being in one place. And for me, I don’t have to stress about when my assignments are due. With the Blackboard Calendar, I can get some much needed extra sleep knowing I don’t have to worry about forgetting an assignment.
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