|This lesson explains how to create and maintain a schedule page.|
- Read the material on this page
- Follow the links and read the relevant Help material
- Review the sample website
- Take the practice quiz
- Observe the FTF demonstration
- Do the exercises
Read the Quick Guide for an overview of the subject.
Quick Guide for Schedules
Introduction to Schedules
In an online class, a schedule page is a critical component for providing information to students about lessons, topics, and deadlines as well as for providing links to individual lecture pages.
In a FTF class, schedules are less critical but can be very useful in organizing information for students. The more Web-based components a FTF class uses, the more it needs a schedule page.
Each item in the schedule should indicate the date students should begin work (where appropriate), deadline for completion (where appropriate), general information about the assignment (such as reading in textbook, reading/viewing online lecture, taking quiz, submitting paper, etc), and a link to the lecture page and/or assignment.
The schedule page should always contain all the dates and deadlines for lectures, tests, and other assignments. Be sure to update the dates every semester!
When specifying the deadlines for completing assignments in an online class (such as posting to the Message Board, submitting a paper via the In Box, or taking a quiz), be sure to indicate the exact deadline including time. For example: "All weekly assignments due at 10:00 PM Pacific Time on Sunday of that week." Remember, students in an online class might not live in California or on the West Coast!
Coordinate your entries for each lesson on the schedule page with your entries for each lesson on your lecture pages. Make sure all assignments are accurately listed on either the schedule or the lecture page(s), but try not to duplicate that information in both places.
In general, if you have just two or three activities (such as read textbook, read lecture, take quiz) for your students each week, then specific information about those assignments should be included on your schedule page. However, if you have more than three or four activities each week, then it's usually better to move specific information about all those assignments onto the appropriate lecture page.
Be sure to install your class nav bar on the schedule page.
If you use the "Magic Button" in the Section Homepage module to create your class website, the system will automatically make your schedule page, populate it with some basic information, and set up a link to each of your presentation pages for lectures, etc.
Otherwise, you can easily create a schedule on your own.
No matter how the schedule page was created, you can always use the Schedule module to edit and update your schedule at any time.
To manually create a new schedule, log into your CATE account as usual. From the Main Menu, click the "Schedule Pages" button to reach the appropriate module. There you will see a list of schedule pages you already have on file. Should you need to do so, you can pick one of those and then click the "View/Edit/Clone/Delete" button in order to work on that schedule.
In this case, however, we want to create a new schedule.
To do so, we could clone someone else's schedule. If they will permit you to do so, that's fine. However, remember that you would only be cloning the schedule, not all the other class components, so the links on the schedule would all be deadends and you would need to edit them.
For our purposes, we really want to click on the "Add a New Schedule" button and build our own from scratch.
After clicking the "Add a New Schedule" button, the system wants you to name the schedule. It's almost never a good idea to name a schedule according to a section number, because the section number almost always changes from one semester to the next. Instead, it's usually better to name it based on the course, such as "English 1A" or "English 1B."
Next, if you know the number of rows (aka "elements") you need for the schedule, you can plug in that number. Whether or not you enter a number here, you can always add and delete rows at any time.
After dealing with those two fields, click the "Confirm Adding a New Schedule" button. At that point, your schedule will actually be created and the system will display the main page for editing the schedule.
Much like nav bars, a schedule comprises two separate levels. The first level contains configs for the schedule itself, such as what is the name of the schedule, is it open or closed, is it password-protected, and so on.
The second level is made up of multiple elements. Generally these elements are the same as rows (so the terms can be used interchangeably), but in some layouts that's not exactly true, so most of the documentation refers to elements even though schedule elements are usually rows.
In any event, each element has its own separate configurations, and that's where we'll be doing most of the work on the schedule page.
Edit configurations for the schedule as a whole
To begin with, click the "Edit Configurations" button. This is where you can edit configs for the schedule as a whole.
The checkbox at the top allows you to control whether or not the schedule can be viewed by students and other visitors.
The second checkbox allows you to determine whether or not your colleagues will be allowed to clone this schedule.
You can edit the name of the schedule at any time, and you can specify whether the name will be displayed or not (in some cases, you might not want or need the name at the top of the page) and whether or not the name will be centered on the page. Note that a schedule must have a name, even if you don't want to display the name.
You can do exactly the same thing for an optional sub-title for the schedule.
If you decide to use the first row (element) of the schedule for headings -- which is very common -- you can use the checkboxes to specify "TH" tags (for accessibility compliance) and/or bold text for the headings.
In the Schedule module, schedules are built according to several basic templates. Those templates (we'll get to them in a minute) should cover at least 99 percent of needs. However, you can always create an entirely customized table (of columns and rows) for your schedule using the Table Maker module, then embed that table in your schedule page instead of using one of the basic templates. Should you need to take that route -- much more work, so don't embark on that path unless you have no choice -- under the "Embed a Table in this Schedule Page" heading you can select the table to use.
Under the next heading you can specify which nav bar to place at the top of the schedule. You can do exactly the same thing for this schedule in the Nav Bar module if you prefer. In any event, if you have a schedule page then you will almost certainly need a nav bar.
Search configurations are best left at the default values, but you can alter them if you like.
Placing an image at the top of the page is entirely optional. This miniaturized version of the image-picking interface will allow you to place a picture.
The next config is explanatory text for the schedule as a whole. If you enter (or copy and paste) text for this field, you can place it at the top or bottom of the page.
Finally, you can specify the password zone for this schedule. We'll cover passwords and authentication in a later lesson.
Layout and Colors
Clicking on this button gives you access to a variety of layout templates. Use the corresponding radio buttons to pick one.
You can also specify the font face and size if you like, or you can just leave them at the default values.
The next step is to pick a color scheme for the schedule. You can use the corresponding radio button to pick one of the color schemes designed by our student workers. Or, farther down the page, you can select the radio button for "Customized colors" and specify your own color scheme (and/or background image) for the page as a whole, for a spot color, heading, color, text color, etc. Using the customizing options allows you to make the page just about any color you want, but remember that it needs to be suitable for students with limited vision who need sufficient contrast in order to be able to read the text.
Configurations for elements within the schedule
All the previous configs applied to the schedule as a whole. Now we shift gears a little.
If you have multiple elements (rows) on file for the schedule, two new buttons will appear.
Edit all elements
This routine allows you to view the schedule rather like a large spreadsheet and directly edit any/all text within the schedule. Note that this routine does NOT allow you to pick or edit the link for any element.
This routine allows you to edit the sequence in which the elements appear within the schedule.
No matter how many elements you currently have in your schedule, this button will be available so you can add more.
When you add an element, you always need to edit its configs. You do that by clicking the "Edit Element" button. Similarly, if you want to modify an existing element, you can select that element and then click the "Edit Element" button.
When editing an element, the following options are available.
You can change the sequence number in order to adjust the placement of the element within the schedule. Note that you can also do this via the "Edit Sequence" button at the schedule level of the Schedule module.
The "Heading" field will appear at the top or left of the element, depending on which layout configuration you've selected for the schedule. Generally this will be something like "Week 1" or "Lesson 1" or "Unit 1."
The "Dates/Times" field is next. Depending on your preferences, you might want to just enter the date you'll begin covering that material, such as "1 February." Or you might want to enter the deadline by which students must complete their work for that material, such as "7 February." Or you might want to enter the full period, such as "1 - 7 February." That third option is almost always best.
The "Text" field allows you to enter information about what will be covered in the lesson. This can be as brief or as lengthy as you want, but we recommend keeping the schedule short and clean. Details about each lesson should appear on the appropriate presentation page.
Finally, you will usually want to select a link leading to the lesson itself. That's done via the usual link-picking interface found under the heading "Select one link for this element from the following options."
As we learned in an earlier lesson, nav bars provide a standard, consistent navigational interface and should appear at the top of all the pages in your class website, including the schedule page.
However, nav bars only lead to a few (usually around six or seven) primary components of your class, such as section homepage, schedule page, gradebook, etc.
You will almost certainly have at least a dozen lecture pages -- probably many more than that -- and there's no way you want to try to fit that many buttons into a nav bar.
Therefore, one of the key navigational aspects of a class website is that from the schedule page students will be able to follow links to all your lecture pages. In order to do that, each element (row) can have one link (but you can have as many elements as you want). If you use the "Magic Button" in the Section Homepage module to create your class website for you, all this is handled automatically. If you build the schedule manually -- or if you edit something done for you by the system -- you'll need to ensure that your schedule page contains links leading to all your lecture pages and other teaching materials that don't already have links via the nav bar at the top of the page.
Also keep in mind that each day or week or unit or lesson can have multiple elements, which allows you to provide an unlimited number of links for each of those organizational divisions.
Here's an example of how a schedule might look with multiple topics and links for each week.
Editing and Updating the Schedule
Don't forget that every semester you'll need to update the start dates, due dates, and deadlines for all the assignments for your class.
The place to do that is right here on the schedule page.
Although you might be tempted to scatter those dates throughout your lecture pages, in the long run you'll find it far easier to centralize all those dates in one place-- the schedule page. Doing so means you won't need to run around every semester trying to track down every place where you entered a date so you can change it for the new class. That in turn means there won't be any unpleasant surprises when your students run across old, uncorrected dates from a previous semester.
On your lecture pages, just make a note such as "See schedule page for dates and deadlines."
Study the Help module for this topic. Think of this as a chapter in your textbook.
Help document for Schedule Module
How to...Activate a Page: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_activate_page.html
How to...Place an Image: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_place_image.html
How to...Install a Nav Bar: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_install_nav.html
How to...Use HTML Tags in CATE Pages: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_htmltags.html
To see how all the components covered in these lessons fit together, please visit the sample class website.
Sample class website
After studying all the material for this lesson, take the self-assessment quiz.
CATE Online Training Quiz 06: Schedule pages
Demonstration (For face-to-face sessions)
We'll demonstrate how to go through the step-by-step process of building a presentation from beginning to end.
|To help you better understand the material, to integrate the different modules, and to demonstrate how an entire class can be constructed from various components, in each lesson you'll be creating a portion of a class website, so at the end of the process you'll have a complete model of an entire class. |
To begin with, you should always use a practice course (such as CATE 101, ROCK 101, or BASE 101) for your exercises. After you've mastered the process and created material that's ready for your students, then you can convert your practice class into a real class that you're actually teaching and make it accessible.
Here's the exercise for this lesson:
Manually create a schedule page (even if one has already been created for you automatically).
Edit the overall configs for the schedule as a whole: name, color scheme, etc.
Add at least two or three elements (rows) to the schedule.
For each of those elements, use the link-picking interface to make a link to some material somewhere on the Web (even if it's just a page like Google or Wikipedia).
Experiment with organizing your schedule so it has at least two lessons, each with at least two elements and two links.
Lab (For face-to-face sessions)
We'll walk around the room and assist individually as you undertake the exercises for this material.
WWII 101 A plain-vanilla sample class website
Rock 101 A fancier sample class website
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