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Online Studies: Blog

Updates, tutorials, and tips for Falcon Online and distance education.

Tips from an eMentor

by Cheryl Kohen on 2020-03-18T16:32:28-04:00 | Comments

tips from an ementor

I know this is a crazy time, so I'm hoping these tips will be helpful. This is mostly for full time faculty, but adjunct faculty may find it useful, too.

  1. Spectrum is offering free broadband and WiFi to students who do not already have it. 
  2. You can change your outgoing office voicemail message from home.
    • Call your phone number and wait for the voicemail to start.
    • Press *
    • When asked to enter your ID, do not enter your employee ID like you would if you were in your office. The ID they want is simply your 4-digit extension.
    • Enter your normal PIN that you use to check VM.
    • Follow the options to change and activate your alternate greeting.
  3. Publishers are being extremely helpful and generous right now by offering free access to their online tools. I know McGraw-Hill and Pearson are giving free access to Connect and Mastering/MyLab, but I haven't looked into other publishers.
    • Using one of these online platforms is probably the quickest, easiest way to transition your F2F class online. There are test banks you can use to generate online quizzes and tests, complete electronic textbooks, and assignments that encourage (force) students to engage with the material.
    • If you use a McGraw-Hill textbook (or want to), look for an email from Jeanette Thomas from McGraw-Hill with the subject "F2F Classes Canceled?"
    • If you use a Pearson textbook (or want to), look for an email from Megan Cowart called "Pearson Update: Mastering & MyLab Access."
  4. You can also use Falcon Online to create and offer tests to your students, but you will have to enter the questions manually. I have never been able to get the question importer to work, but maybe you can!
    • It's best NOT to use the "New Quiz" button. Enter your questions into the Question Library instead. 
  5. Take a minute to create a HELP forum and topic in the discussions area of Falcon Online. Subscribe to the topic and update your notifications so you know when someone posts there for help. I prefer instant notifications in the Falcon Online toolbar so the notification doesn't get buried in my email. Students who aren't familiar with online learning may have a lot of questions. In my help forum, I encourage students to answer and help each other. This will decrease the number of panicked emails clogging your inbox. 
  6. Communicate as much as you can with your students. I don't know about you, but my plans going forward are a little fuzzy. You don't have to tell them that, but you should tell them about the methods/assignments/discussions/etc. that you have decided on as soon as you can.
  7. This ties into #6, but you don't have to have everything ready for the rest of the semester by Sunday night. You just need to stay one step ahead of them. I know we all want to have everything ready, especially with the fear that we will get sick, but don't stress yourself out with unreasonable expectations.
  8. Reach out for help from me, other eMentors, other faculty who have experience teaching online, and the Faculty Innovation Center. Click through the Let's Keep Teaching InfoGuide for more tutorials and resources.

diana tata headshot


Dr. Diana Tata
Associate Professor
School of Biological and Physical Sciences
Daytona State College | 386-506-3984 

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