Calendars & Schedules
Helping students stay on track
What are Calendars & Schedules?
Sometimes the terms “course calendar” and “schedule” are used interchangeably. A class schedule allows the students to see, at a glance, what to read during a module or a week, and what assignments are due.
A course calendar can be more of an active space, where you let students sign up for one-on-one office hours or to track required course meetings.
How Can I Use Calendars in My Course?
Use the generated Google calendar that comes with your course shell to show students when assignments are due, when reading assignments should be begun, when important discussion elements are ongoing. See the page on how to add a Google calendar to your website for more information.
Create your own checklist to help students stay on track. A schedule provides students with assignments, due dates, and possible points. Course Schedule-Student Checklist example
Set due dates in your Blackboard course to help student stay on track when submitting assignments, posting and commenting on the discussion board or blog, taking quizzes or exams, or performing other assignments and assessments.
Due dates show up in the student’s My Grades or Gradebook. Setting due dates in Blackboard can be a tedious process — use “Set Grade Center Due Dates” to change all due dates on one page. This is a time saver!
Questions and Considerations
If you’re teaching an online course it is essential to provide a calendar or a course schedule. Your students need assistance knowing what is due when. They also need encouragement to stay on track.
Where does it reside? When using a course calendar you need make it available to the student. We suggest including it visually, through embedding or creating it in Blackboard or your course shell–wherever you have the student doing most of her or his work. Also attach it inside of Blackboard as a PDF. A brief overview of your course schedule should be present in the text of your syllabus.
Cavanaugh, T., Lamkin, M. L., & Hu, H. (2012). Using a Generalized Checklist to Improve Student Assignment Submission Times in an Online Course. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 39-44.
King, F. B., Harner, M., & Brown, S.W. (2000). Self-regulatory behavior influences in distance learning. International Journal of Instructional Media 27(2), 147-155.
Madara Mason’s “2D Design” suggests a weekly schedule that students can use to work through course content and assignments.
In “Website Design”, taught by instructional designer Janene McMahan, students can see the entire semester schedule at a glance in a Google doc that is embedded into the website.
Watch: Calendars & Schedules
Some thoughts on different approaches to creating course calendars, and how students see due dates in your Blackboard course shell.
UAF Instructional Designers
This page has been authored collectively by the experts on the UAF Instructional Design Team. Let us know if you have suggestions or corrections!