University Orientation Seminar: Introduction to the Courseroom


Overview

Sandra Rieger, Capella graduate and Senior Enrollment Counselor:

Hello! My name is Sandra Rieger. I'm a proud Capella graduate and a Capella enrollment counselor.

As a Capella learner, you will spend much of your time in our online courseroom. It’s not like a traditional classroom, but some things will feel very familiar to you.

Let’s take a quick tour.

 

Course Homepage:

Every course has a homepage.

At the top, you’ll find a course overview with a link to the course syllabus and a course overview message from your school.

The First Steps box contains important instructions to get you started on your first day of the course. Make sure you complete these steps before you begin your coursework.

Your Capella course is organized into learning units. You can view each unit separately or click on “View Course Outline” to display the content of all the units on one page.

At the bottom, there are links to helpful academic resources and technical support tools.

The Course Tools menu will help you navigate through the courseroom. In some areas of the courseroom, this menu will collapse and a sub-menu will appear. To expand the menu, click on the double arrows.

Every week, you’ll start a new course unit. Each unit contains the learning objectives and activities that make up your educational experience.

You’ll need 10 to 14 hours to complete each unit. To balance your commitments and academic activities, it’s important to create and follow a weekly schedule.

A Capella education is about full participation. You’ll use the Discussions Tool to contribute your thoughts to the course, and engage with your learning colleagues.

Like a traditional course, you’ll need to submit course assignments to your instructor. At Capella, we’ve made it easy for you with our assignments tool.

To learn more about the courseroom, watch the rest of this presentation. Our step-by-step tutorials will show you how to navigate the courseroom. You’ll know where to find course units, objectives and activities. You’ll also learn how to join a discussion and submit an assignment.

Set aside a few hours to practice on your own. You’ll be better prepared for your online coursework and a successful learning experience.

 

Tab 2: Navigate the Courseroom

This is the Course Homepage. It is your entry point to every course at Capella.
 
The welcome message gives you an overview of your course. From here, you can also read the course syllabus by clicking Read the Entire Syllabus.  Every time you start a new course, look for the First Steps and complete the instructions before you begin your coursework.  Click Start Here on first day to begin the process.

Your Capella course is organized into learning units.  Every week, you’ll start a new learning unit. Each unit contains the learning objectives, study activities, discussions and assignments that make up your educational experience.

Click View Course Outline to display the content of all the units on one page. It gives you an overview of all the course content and helps you organize your course work for the quarter.

The homepage features a course overview message from your school. It is a best practice to review this message before you begin your course. It will give you a better understanding of the course objectives and learning outcomes.

The homepage also links to other important resources to help you on your academic journey including the Library, Writing Center, and iGuide.

You can use these resources to improve your research and writing skills, manage your personal commitments and academic activities, network with your peers, answer your courseroom questions, and contact technical support.

Use the Course tools menu to navigate through the courseroom. In some areas of the courseroom, this menu will collapse and a sub-menu will appear. Don’t worry. You can always expand the course tools menu by clicking the double arrows.

At the top of the menu is the Course Content button. This button brings you back to the Course Homepage.

Your instructor will use the Announcements tool to post important course updates.

The Assignments button takes you to the Assignments tool.  The assignments page displays all of the assignments available to you in the course. You will use this tool to submit your coursework to you instructor.

The Discussions button takes you to the Discussions tool. The page displays all the discussions in your course. You can post your initial response to the discussion question and reply to your peers and instructor.

Have a question about your course? Use the courseroom Mail tool to contact your instructor.

Curious about your grades? Click the My Grades button to find your graded assignments and view detailed feedback about your grade.

A green asterisk on a button means that new content has been added to that section of the course.  Click for the latest updates.

 

Tab 3: Find Units, Objectives, and Activities

At Capella, your coursework is organized by units.

Every week, you'll start a new unit. Each unit contains the learning objectives, study activities, discussions and assignments that make up your educational experience.

Click View Course Outline to display the content of all the units on one page.

Notice that the Course tools menu collapses and a sub-menu appears. Remember, you can always expand the Course Tools menu by clicking the double arrows.

The sub-menu is a list of the all units in your course. Click the plus sign to expand and view the content under each unit. Before you begin each unit, it is important to understand the course objectives and preview the course activities you must complete for the week.

You'll need 10 to 14 hours to complete each unit. To help you balance your commitments and academic activities, it is a best practice to create and follow a weekly schedule.

On Sunday, we recommend that you review the learning objectives and activities for the course unit.

By midweek, finish your study activities, post your initial response to the unit discussion, and start on your assignment.

Later in the week, return to the discussion, review the responses from your peers, and then post your reply.

Make time throughout the week to work on your assignments. Most assignments are due on Sunday, but you may have a deadline earlier in the week.

Tab 4: Join a Discussion

Discussions are an important part of your classroom experience – and your grade. You are required to participate in every discussion. At Capella, you can’t hide in the back row of the class. To participate in a discussion, click the Discussions tool button in the Course Tools menu and select the appropriate discussion from the list.

Be sure to read the description of the discussion topic and review the discussion expectations.

When you are ready to post your response, click Create Message.

For security reasons, the courseroom times out after 60 minutes. If you create your response directly in the Message Box, you may lose all of your work.

It is a best practice to create your response outside of the courseroom in a word processing program, then copy and paste your response in the Message Box.

When you are ready to submit your response, click the “Post” button.

Your response will appear at the top of the list of posted discussions.

A Capella education is about full participation. Your learning colleagues are working professionals who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to your discussion. Check back often to read and respond to their contributions. Their unique perspectives can help you develop and communicate your own viewpoints.

 

Tab 5: Submit your Assignment

In a traditional course, you need to complete and submit assignments to your instructor. At Capella, we’ve made it easy for you with our Assignments tool.

To submit an assignment, click on the Assignments tool in the Course tools navigation menu. The Assignments inbox will show you a list of unfinished assignments. Select your assignment from the list.

Every assignment includes a due date and specific grading criteria.

Before you begin, make sure you read and understand the instructions for the assignment. Every assignment is different.

Click Scoring Guide to review the grading rubric. It explains how your instructor will evaluate your assignment.

To upload your finished assignment, click the Add Attachments button. Select your file. Then, click OK.

You can write additional comments to the instructor or simply click Submit to turn in your assignment. If you have submitted your assignment correctly, you will see a confirmation message on the Index tab. Click OK.

You can also click the Submitted tab to see a list of your course assignments and the date and time they were submitted.

The Graded tab lists all of your graded assignments for the course.

Click an assignment to review the scoring guide and get detailed feedback from your instructor.

 

Tab 6: Develop Your Skills

Sandra Rieger, Capella graduate and Senior Enrollment Counselor:

The University Orientation Seminar is your opportunity to develop and practice your courseroom skills. Learners who invest two to three hours in this seminar often feel more prepared for their first course and have a better experience throughout their academic program.

In Unit 1, introduce yourself to your new learning colleagues and submit a practice assignment. If you haven’t already ordered your course materials, we’ll show you how to use the online bookstore.

In Unit 2, meet the people at Capella who are here to support you in your program. Review important policies and procedures, and learn about Capella’s grading model.

In Unit 3, take a self- assessment to understand your learning style and discuss your results with your learning colleagues.

Unit 4 introduces you to helpful academic and support resources at Capella. You’ll get to know iGuide, the Library, the Writing Center, and more.

Finally, Unit 5 helps you prioritize your weekly schedule and academic goals. You can share your time management tips in a final practice discussion.

The seminar is facilitated by an instructor for two weeks. If you get stuck, use the mail tool to ask your instructor for assistance.

We’ve reached the end of this presentation – and the beginning of your Capella education.

Take some time to explore the University Orientation Seminar and practice using Capella’s courseroom tools. You’ll enjoy greater success in your First Course – and throughout your academic journey.