How to Know Your Students Know About Student E-mail Accounts.

I have talked to many faculty concerned about students not knowing they have a student e-mail account or not realizing the critical communication that is automatically sent to their e-mail accounts. There have also been many conversations at various meetings about how to get students to use their student e-mail. When I was attending the  ATL conference in Spokane, Monica Lemoine, an instructor at Highline Community College, shared an activity she uses on the first day of class to be sure her students are off to a strong start! She encouraged us to “steal” any ideas we liked so here it is:

Day 1 Information Hunt:

  • Divide the students into small groups
  • Provides a set time limit for them to complete the activity.
  • Provide an instruction sheet to each student

The students must go to the building containing the computer lab, she remains in the classroom. They have to sit together as a group and complete ALL of the tasks on the instruction sheet. If they need help they have to work together to problem solve. Some of the activities on the instruction sheet that each student in the group must complete:

  • Access their student e-mail account
  • Log onto Angel, click on the course name,
  • Navigate to certain documents in Angel that she wants them to print for class.
  • Return to the original classroom and show her what they printed.

At the end of the activity she knows that her students:
• know where the computer lab is located,
• work together to problem solve
• have their student e-mail account activated
• can access Angel, navigate, and print materials.For the complete handout with detailed instructions that she provides the students please e-mail csmejkal@centralia.edu and I will share that document.

Chicken Soup for the Burned-Out Instructor’s Soul: Help Underprepared Students to Meet Your College-Level Expectations.

Monica Lemoine from Highline Community College presented a great workshop at this year’s ATL conference in Spokane. Monica encouraged us to “steal” her stuff and use it wherever we can so I thought I would share one of her “easy to implement policies that yield large returns.”
The workshop focused on policies that an instructor can implement in class to “help underprepared students meet your college-level expectations.” She implemented the following ideas after experiencing frustration with students not using appropriate e-mail etiquette.
Students must e-mail her in PEF (Professional E-mail Format) to receive assistance.
This format requires students to
1. Start with a greeting (like Dear ____ or Hello ____)
2. Be clear about your purpose (what are you writing about and why?)
3. Use your best grammar. (This means: use complete sentences with proper punctuation (periods), correct capitalization (remember to capitalize first-person “I”), and near-perfect spelling. Don’t skimp here!)
4. Sign with your first and last name, class name, and e-mail address. (Always assume that your instructor does not know who you are, even if you’re certain they do.)
To enforce this policy she replies to all e-mails not in compliance with PEF with a “canned” statement that says “I am sorry but the e-mail you sent was not in PEF format. In order to better assist you please resend your request using PEF format. Please refer to the syllabus for PEF requirements.”
She shared other good ideas during the workshop. If you are interested in seeing Monica’s other ideas please email csmejkal@centralia.edu and I will share the handouts provided at the workshop.