During the inaugural year of IOAPA’s partnership with Edhesive, we extended access to Computer Science courses to more than 100 students across Iowa. We will continue to expand computer science education across the state, and continue to work to maximize student and mentor success. This “Using Edhesive” blog series will highlight Edhesive features that we feel are especially important for IOAPA students and mentors. Whether you’re brand new to Edhesive, or already have a year under your belt, this information will be useful for all IOAPA Computer Science mentors and their students.
One of the most common questions we get about Edhesive is: “How do I get content questions answered?” Unlike our Apex courses, where each course is assigned a specific instructor, Edhesive courses are developed by a team of instructors and facilitated by the on-site mentors. Therefore, there is no assigned instructor for the Edhesive courses.
However, Edhesive offers online forums for teachers and students to ask and answer questions about course access, content, and logistics. The forums are course specific, so you will be connected to teachers or students across the country participating in your computer science course, whether it’s AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, or Introduction to Computer Science. Additionally, the student and teacher forums are separate; IOAPA mentors have access to both forums, while students can only access the Student Forum.
The forums are monitored seven days a week by Edhesive staff and teaching assistants who can provide support for both content and technical issues. Before we offer some tips for making the most of these forums, watch this short video to learn the basics of navigating and using it: Using the Edhesive Teacher Forum.
As promised, here are some tips for using the forum, based on Edhesive instructor input and IOAPA mentor feedback.
Ask questions! Just as you would email a question to an Apex instructor, you can post your question on the forum to get answers from Edhesive instructors (and other mentors/AP teachers). Plus, other teachers can benefit from the answer to your question, too! I know what you’re thinking: “What if my question is silly, or has a very simple solution? Everyone else on the forum will judge me.” Well, as I’m sure you have told your students over and over, there are no stupid questions. Our IOAPA mentors, just like our IOAPA students, are resourceful and independent; however, your time is valuable and it’s not realistic to expect to be able to solve every problem that arises without help. Posting a question on the forum is guaranteed to receive an answer, often within a couple of hours at most.
Ask anonymously or individually. If you’re still not sure about posting on the forum, there are a couple of options. If you don’t want your name attached to your question, you can post anonymously. The question would still be posted to the entire forum, it just would not include your name. If you have specific questions about your course or your students, Edhesive staff may ask you to follow up via email to get more details, but this can be a good way to get those “silly” questions addressed without any fear of judgment. You can also post your question to the instructors only, so it functions basically like an email to an instructor would. If there is a particular instructor with whom you wish to correspond, you can send it to them only, or you could send it to the whole Edhesive support team.
Keep up with the pinned messages. Edhesive staff will periodically “pin” answers to frequently asked questions to the top of the discussion list so they’re easy to find. If you have a question about how to access teacher materials or how to unlock tests or assignments, check the pinned messages – the answer is probably available there.
As always, please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org — but for content questions, we’ll probably refer you to the forums. Also see last week’s post about general Edhesive resources. Keep up with IOAPA and Edhesive on Twitter: @TeamEdhesive and @belinblankIOAPA.