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Posted by Stokes Schwartz almost 2 years ago

If we are completely honest with ourselves, many students come into our courses lacking basic planning and organization skills. Even when armed with a syllabus, course schedule, or online course modules, many still have difficulty planning for and carrying out weekly assignments and/or projects by designated due dates.

To assist them, I suggest that we include due dates for assignments, projects, quizzes and exams not just in our syllabi or online course modules, but that we should also include what I call an 'Important Due Dates' tab in the D2L pages we set up for our courses. Likewise, I suggest we do so whether we teach in a traditional face to face setting, hybrid, or online.

A quarter century of teaching undergraduates leads me to conclude that few consult the syllabus (or online modules) in more than a cursory way after Week One. More generally, when people have to search for something, they are less likely to find it. So, be sure to drag your 'Important Due Dates' tab to the very top of all other tabs on the left side of your D2L course content page, making it as easy as possible for students to find.

They will then be able to access all of the dates for assignments, projects, quizzes, or exams in one place without the need to wade through denser, text heavy syllabi, course schedules, or weekly course modules. At a glance, they can find what they need to know and prepare accordingly.

Given the various challenges so many young people seem to face in 2021, why not make things as easy as we can for the students in our courses?