Before the semester started….

September 5, 2007

There were a bunch of things that had to be done in preparation for CECS 1100.030 which was the second iteration of The Door. This is intended to reflect on what had to be done as I build a job aid for the future instructors who will teach using this instructional method that blends problem-based learning (PBL) and elements of alternate reality games (ARGs), hence the title of the blog DoorARG….

To be done 3 Weeks before….

1. Moodle administrative set up

You will need to contact the manager of the Moodle server within Computer Education and Cognitive Systems in the Dept. of Learning Technologies in the College of Education. In this case, it was Vinny from whom you will have to request that a section be set up for you class with the appropriate section number (i.e. CECS 1100.030 in the fall of 2007) and make sure it starts off in a weekly format rather than a biweekly one. You will also need to have him add you as an instructor to a previous section that used the Door such as Fall 2007’s 1100.030 section. Try not to use an old one, because they are updated each semester for improvement based on student feedback and to reduce strain on the instructor. Give Vinny at least a day or two to get this set up and if you don’t have it done ASAP, don’t sweat it.

2.  Moodle internal set up

Once you have your class set up, you’ll need to import all of the assignments, tests, etc. from the previous section of the class. Turn editing on in the Moodle and on the left hand side you should see a link for Import. Click on it and import everything from that section. Upon successful completion, your new section should look just like the old one. Make sure to go in the Settings and ensure that the start date for your new section corresponds with reality so that the weekly assignments and resources match up properly.

3. Course web site set up

There is an existing web site for the course, but it is set up for Dr. Warren and is therefore specific to him, so you’ll have to set up your own. However, you can use the resources and materials found at http://www.scottjwarren.com/1100F7 to create your own to ensure consistency across sections in terms of the entry portal for students in all sections.

We will likely move to a more stock site before the spring of 2008 so that all sections can use the introduction each semester and leave the individual instructors to create updated an syllabus and schedule of due dates on a separate site or within the Moodle. The current site is done in iWeb, making editing difficult. The spring 2008 versions of both the Underw0rld and main course sites will likely be done instead with Photoshop and the files will be left in the CECS 1100 Instructor Ning for future editing and updating.

4. Become familiar with the course websites and materials

Over the course of the semester, the class doesn’t always move linearly, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Door “Bible” found in the CECS 1100 Instructor Ning and the main websites for the course:

To do 1 Week before:

1. Test the sites and upload any changes

Make sure that everything is working and that all your changes to make the dates match the new semester actually work.

2. Figure out your student group assignment method

Enough said about that.

3. Go through it all one last time

Make sure none of the resources have disappeared and that the video, audio, MySpace, and other links still function from the last semester. Make sure you can get into all relevant e-mail addresses where students will be sending questions and assignments.

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