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Text-based message board discussions (which can also include images and even video) are found in many Canisius online courses.  These allow thoughtful, reflective exchanges of ideas and perspectives between class members.  Students and their professor discuss professional experiences, ethical issues, the pros and cons of management methods, and other concepts and concerns at the heart of various disciplines and real-world institutions.  Since these discussions are text-based threads, members respond over a period of days, at times most convenient to each student.  So one student might offer comments in response to her professor's prompt question early in the morning, before starting her work day.  Another student may respond to the first student's comments after his kids are in bed.  These discussions can be lively, insightful, and a great opportunity for students to get to know fellow professionals!   

Dropboxes and Quizzes

Obviously, in online classes, Since handing in assignments on paper isn't practical!  Instead, students upload assignment file into "dropboxes."  D2L supplies a receipt email so students are assured that their work was successfully delivered to their professor.  Since professors Professors needn't collect assignments during classroom meetings, so they often have deadlines at more convenient times throughout a week, more suited to working professionals.

In some courses, students might take short quizzes or large exams via the internet.  These might be quick questionnaires that help students determine whether they are on track with course reading and activities, or tests that challenge students to employ their learning, similar to real-world situations or professional qualification exams required for licensure.


In most online classes, students can track their grades in a personal grade report.  At any time, students know how they're doing in their classes.  In fact, D2L can send notifications to students as soon as new grades appear, so students get regular feedback on their work.