Thursday, February 11, 2016

Checking Your Pulse

Brightspace Pulse, a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices, is an organizational tool that NLU students can use to stay on top of their course assignments, dates, and grades. Because Pulse consolidates information drawn from all the student's courses with personal dates and tasks that the student can enter directly into the app, it is ideal for short- and long-term planning and prioritization. And because Pulse is a mobile app the student has fingertip access anytime, anywhere.

Pulse already is available for NLU students to use with all their courses. With that in mind, what can an instructor do to ensure a Pulse-friendly course? Here are some suggestions.

  • Use dates thoughtfully in your course. Pulse, as expected for a planning tool, is date-driven. It will pull specific kinds of dates from your course: due and end dates in D2L tools such as Content and Quiz, and D2L Calendar dates. Pulse cannot scan through your course documents or pull from descriptive assignment instructions when retrieving date information. Using "official" dates in tool items and in the D2L Calendar will make your course work better for students who use Pulse. An added bonus is that confining specific dates to the D2L fields designated to hold dates streamlines date-related tasks when updating your course each term.
  • Use grades thoughtfully in your course.
    • Have Grades set up in advance of term and, where relevant, have grade items correctly connected to the corresponding Dropbox Assignment folder, Discussion topic, or Quiz.
    • Since a students may consider the weight of a course activity in the final grade when planning the amount of time s/he will allocate to the activity, and since this information is especially easy to find in Pulse, it is more important than ever to have your Grade calculation set up correctly when the course starts.
    • Grade student work promptly. This is always best practice. Feedback to students, including grades, is crucial to student engagement and success. Pulse does not change this equation, it simply gives the student the potential to see the grade even sooner, as well as control over the specific time and circumstances when s/he sees the grade.
  • Post News Announcements frequently in your course. Not only will students see them on your course home page in D2L, News Announcements show up in the Updates area in Pulse.
Want some over-the-shoulder assistance with your Pulse-friendly course initiative? Check the LITS schedule for open labs as well as for professional development and training opportunities.

Having put in the effort to be Pulse friendly in your course, you naturally would like students to benefit from your effort. You can share information about Pulse in a student success page in your D2L course, in a News Announcement, or during class if you are teaching face-to-face or blended.

Additional Resources

How to Use Pulse

Download Brightspace Pulse for iOS or Android

App Store (Apple)

No comments: