We had two orientation sessions on Friday. The morning session was for Blackboard (Bb), the web-based system for sharing class info. It’s actually kind of cool… depending on how the professor chooses to use it you can take quizzes online, submit assignments, have a discussion board with your classmates, access class documents, etc. My brother could probably give a better description of it seeing as he works in IT for another of the state unis, but that’s what I could tell about it.
So, it’s a cool system, but in my estimation it’s something that any reasonably computer-literate person can figure out. Definitely not something that requires an extensive orientation session. As it was they scheduled us for two hours (followed by an hour for lunch) and we were only there for 40 minutes, so ended up with a couple hours to kill before the library orientation.
The good thing is that most of us were checking our e-mail during the Bb orientation and were able to find out our class schedule and that some of our books were available, so we schlepped over to the student union to buy our books. OUCH! Pain to the wallet followed by pain in the arms and shoulders. And that wasn’t even all of the books! I was incredibly grateful for the Barnes & Noble gift card that my coworkers had given me for a going-away gift. Took away some of the sting. I’m hoping that there is truth to the rumor that the first semester is the worst in terms of financial outlay!
The library orientation went pretty well. We mostly went over how to access journal articles electronically. It’s nice to think that I’ll be able to do research without having to spend all my time in the library. It’s amazing how much is available online! We did do a tour of the physical library, though. I was pretty impressed.
All-in-all, not a bad day… kind of a waste of time and I couldn’t help thinking about the extra day’s pay that I could have earned, but at least I got to know the campus a little better, met a few more classmates, and bought my books before the undergrads got back to campus.