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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.

A course sample lesson schedule

How Can I Use Calendars in My Course?

Use Google Calendar  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 a checklist  to help students stay on track.  A schedule provides students with assignments, due dates, and possible points.  Course Schedule-Student Checklist  example. You can combine purposes with your schedule by providing an extra column for checking off the items. 

Set due dates in your course LMS  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.

In Canvas, each assessment due date will be automatically reflected in the module list. You can also rearrange due dates using the calendar drag/drop feature. 

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.

UAF Faculty Senate Requirements

Research Foundations

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.

In Practice

2D Design

Madara Mason’s “2D Design”  suggests  a weekly schedule  that students can use  to work through course content and assignments.

Website Design

Part of a course schedule shownIn “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!

Instructional Design Team, UAF eCampus