By Da’Shel Wright
Academic Advisor, School of Security and Global Studies, American Public University
When you register for a course, the Sakai online classroom is where you’ll take your class. However, navigating the various sections of the online classroom can be puzzling for students taking an online course for the first time.
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Entering the Online Classroom
First, log into your ecampus and select the “enter classes” button located at the top left corner of the ecampus. Then, click on the class that you want to enter.
Once you enter the classroom, you will land on your course’s homepage. This homepage provides pertinent information about course objectives, instructor information and announcements. You can also access messages and forums from this page.
The calendar on the course’s homepage helps you remember important due dates and deadlines. It’s easy to add them as needed to this calendar.
Other Sections of the Online Classroom
Navigating the ecampus is simple – just click on the icons that you’ll see on the left side of your screen. These icons represent different pages, such as:
- Announcements: Instructors communicate with you and other students by posting announcements. Examples of announcements are welcome messages to students during the first week of the course, weekly assignment reminders and any personal updates instructors choose to share.
- Calendar: The calendar is a great tool to use to stay organized. You can adjust your calendar view based on personal preferences. Calendar view options are by day, week, month, or year, and they can also be a list of events. The list of events feature assignments organized by the date and time they are due.
- Messages: One-on-one communication takes place through the messages feature. Here, you have the ability to compose a message to your instructor and your classmates. We encourage you to use this tool to engage with your teacher and other students. Keep in mind that any communication should be professional and ethical.
- Forums: Classroom discussions occur on the forum page. You will respond to a forum topic posted by your instructor in addition to responding to the forum posts of your peers. Participating in forum posts is a great way to engage in collaborative learning with peers and your teacher.
- Lessons: Weekly lessons include learning objectives, educational content, reading and resources. For instance, you may watch videos or presentations, or you might be assigned ebooks or other material to read.
- Syllabus: The course syllabus is your roadmap for the course. The course summary, description, objectives, evaluations, contact information for your instructor and university policies are covered in the syllabus.
- Resources: Instructors store helpful student resources in this section of the classroom.
- Assignments: The assignment list that you’ll do throughout the class is in this section. Visit it frequently to become familiar with assignment instructions, titles, due dates and grading rubrics.
- Gradebook: Here, you’ll find your assignments and the grades you receive on this page. You can view grades for individual forums, assignments, tests and quizzes. Also, you can see your overall grade and how far you’ve progressed in the course through your course completion percentage.
- Library: You can easily access the APUS Library through your classroom. The APUS Library provides students with the opportunity to conduct research and to access course materials, resources, and services.
- Help: If you experience technical difficulties, seek help from our Classroom Support team. You can request technical support, ask for help with your assignments if there is a technical issue and report instructor concerns.
- Roster: This page contains the names and pictures of those enrolled in the course with you.
- Campus: This link allows you to return to your ecampus from your classroom.
Be sure to take the time to explore each part of the Sakai online classroom, so that you don’t miss any vital information. By consistently logging into the online classroom and committing time to exploring it, you’ll become more familiar with how the online classroom works.
About the Author
Da’Shel Wright has worked for American Public University System since 2015, first as a financial aid advisor and now an academic advisor. She holds a B.A. in English from West Virginia University and a B.A. in human development and family studies from American Public University. Da’Shel has plans to pursue a master’s in higher education in the future. She has a passion for learning, exploration and higher education.