Using eCampus

Hi all,

I know I said in class on Thursday that I would be installing “Moodle” (an open-source content-management system) for us to use for discussion forums and homework turn-ins, etc., but I’ve decided to see if Blackboard (Bb), er, eCampus will suffice this semester. Your login for eCampus/Bb is the same as your myID.

I haven’t used Bb in years, mostly due to moral outrage against its unintuitive interface and locked-down stupidity. It’s likely that I will still feel that way at the end of the semester — particularly since I HAD to include a numeric “grade” option for your first assignments, even after I told you that there would be no grades on individual assignments throughout the semester.

So, don’t be surprised to see a ZERO for the grade option; I had to put something, and that seemed the best choice. Zero doesn’t mean I won’t be assessing your work; it just means that I will not be using any numerical values to do so. So, basically, ignore the grade part in the homework drop.

The course shell is empty — the only thing there right now is the assignment drop for the Editorial Values Statement. I will begin to fill this out a little bit over the next week or two, but don’t go looking there for the syllabus or schedule — I like to keep that information public, on my website. There’s also an “Introduction” discussion forum that Bb automatically creates for every class. I did not put that there, but I won’t delete it since some of you did post to it, and that was nice.

I will set it up so that you can communicate with me and each other through Bb, and if there are any features you would LIKE to see me implement on it, please let me know. This will be an experiment for me this semester, to see whether Bb is worth the moral outrage 😉 [I am happy to expound in class on why I feel this way, should you want a more thoughtful, educated answer on this tool.]


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