Essentials of ConnectWeb at UCSB for Faculty
Whereís the page? The URL for most classes is http://connectweb.com/ucsb.asp
How do I get started? Follow these steps:
Before the quarter begins:
On the first day of class and immediately afterward:
On the first lab day:
What do I do if the computer acts up? Close the browser and re-boot the computer. ConnectWeb uses a lot of memory, and a re-boot usually cures the problem.
How do I log off and log on to another class? Shut down the browser and start it again. Make sure you shut down the browser every time you finish working with the program so that your account remains secure.
Does ConnectWeb ever stop working? On extremely rare occasions, something will go wrong at ConnectWeb central. Itís usually fixed within twelve hours, and they have never lost any information posted to the site.
How do I post assignments if I donít own Microsoft Word? Use whatever word processor you do own, but save the document as an html file. Itíll upload just fine.
Does this work with a Mac? Of course it does. The old Connect.Net didnít, but this version works with any computer that can run a relatively recent web browser.
What if it really starts acting strangely? Try hitting "refresh" up top. Try it again with the right mouse button (on PCs). Try clearing the browser cache (in the browser options, up top). Shut the browser down and try again. Shut the computer down and try again. Shut off all the computers and write on the chalkboard. Call it a day and go home.
What do I do if itís not going well? ConnectWeb is a tool, like any other. Switch to Plan B, stop everyone and talk for a bit, or just take a break. Then think about whatís going wrong and what you want to do. Usually, thereís a relatively simple solution available.
Does using the program take more or less time than doing things the old-fashioned way? That depends on how much you use the program, and what you mean by "the old-fashioned way." In my experience, the program doesnít save time, but it does give you more and better tools to teach your class.
Why should I use this program? It gives you more options for teaching, and it helps you stay in contact with your class more easily and more effectively.
Why should students use this program? They get more feedback, more instruction, and better organization of their assignments than they would otherwise. They can track their progress more efficiently and get assistance more easily, too. They never lose the syllabus, the assignment, a corrected paper, or your email address.
Tricks for Specific Features: (Theyíll make sense once youíve used the program for a while.)
How can I put links or complicated formatting into an assignment? Create it in MS Word or as a web page, then upload it using the "upload" button, rather than by typing it directly into the window on ConnectWeb. The program will preserve your links.
How do I return all the papers at once when Iíve graded an assignment, rather than returning each paper as I finish grading it? Grade each assignment, but donít click "finished grading" until you want to return it. When youíre done with all of them, go to each one and click "finished grading." (Yes, itís a pain.)
How can I post something for my students that isnít an assignment? Use the "Create Assignments" page and post it as if it were an assignment, but change the "Paper due" option from "Yes" to "No." Itíll be in the assignment list as a link, but there wonít be a space for them to post papers.
How can I see new postings to an online discussion without posting something new myself?
Put the cursor over the discussion area, click the right mouse button, and then "refresh." The part of the page with the discussion postings will reload.
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