A story with my Help Desk hat on. (I know you all have similar stories, but just had to share! 😉
Ticket came to the help desk from a student who was suddenly missing an online course from her Blackboard list. Before I called, I looked and – not surprisingly to me – she had been “no showed” and dropped.
So I call her and explain that she’s been dropped by her instructor for not doing any work in the online course and she needed to talk to her instructor about that.
“But there was nothing to do!” she protested. [I didn’t even try to debate that issue, and ignored it.]
“Nothing I can do, I’m only the help desk telling you what happened, and you need to talk to your instructor,” I reiterate.
I really, really wasn’t surprised for her to say, “But I don’t know who that is.”
Deep breath on my part. “Okay, did you download and/or print the syllabus so you can find his/her name and send an email.”
Faintly bewildered reply, “It’s an online course. Why would I do that?”
At that point, I gave up and pointed her back to the web site to try to figure out what course she was actually dropped from (she knew the subject but not the actual section) and who the instructor might be.
Do yourself, the bewildered student and the help desk all a favor and make a point to have something that all of your students can at least download so they have a point of contact for you for when – not if – things go wrong. At the very least, even if you don’t regularly use Announcements in your course, send an Announcement out to the email with a “Keep this information” title with your name and email address in it… Or simply send everyone an email with the same information. I can then at least send the next student to their Genesee email to see what they can find there.