Collecting assignments is fairly straightforward, since many instructors already collect work electronically. The main challenge is whether students have access to computers, as anyone needing a campus computer lab may be unable to access necessary technologies. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Require only common software: Students may not have access to specialty software located in on-campus computer labs. Some of that software may be available via IUware or IUanyWare, but unless the students have permissions to load software onto a computer they can access, they may be unable to use these tools. Be ready with a backup plan for such students.
- Avoid emailed attachments: It may be easy to collect assignments in small classes via email, but larger classes might swamp your email inbox. Balance what is simplest for students with what is easiest for you to manage.
- State expectations, but be ready to allow extensions: Some students will undoubtedly have difficulties meeting deadlines. Make expectations clear, but be ready to provide more flexibility than you normally would in your class.
- Require specific filenames: It may sound trivial, but anyone who collects papers electronically knows the pain of getting 20 files named
Essay1.docx. Give your students a simple file naming convention, for example,