First Friday Lab

Main Goal:  Introduce you to your Friday Lab Instructor, run through the Friday Lab Syllabus, create a WebCT link on the portal, and introduce WebCT.

Your Lab Instructor:  To find your lab instructor, go to the main math 1140 webpage:  Scroll down to the array of photos and find your CRN.  The name and photo above your CRN are your Friday lab instructor’s.  Click on their name and you will either be sent to their home page or their syllabus.  Either way your will be able to access your Friday Lab Syllabus.  Be sure to read this and know all of your responsibilities as well as a way to contact your Friday lab instructor.  When you finish reading your Friday Lab Syllabus, click on the hot link entitled math 1140 (this will take you back to the main math 1140 website which is needed for the next activity).

Using the Portal Link to WebCT:  Next minimize this browser window and open a new window in your browser (we will need two windows for one of the lab activities).  Go to the WMU portal ( and log into the portal. You should see a WebCT Vista link in the left column of your screen (My E-learning WebCT Vista).  This is the link you will use to access your WebCT material.

WebCT Assignment for Lab 1:  Now click your WebCT link; you should see a list of the classes you are currently enrolled for which use WebCT.  There should also be three icons under Excursions.  What do you think they mean?  (You have e-mail, there is a new posting to the discussion board, and there is an assessment open).

Click on you excursion class.  Note that there are short cuts listed on the left hand side for many tools:  Announcements, Assessments, Discussions, Mail, My Grades, My Progress, etc.  We will mostly use the Assessments, Discussions, and Mail tools this semester. Let’s start with the Discussion tool.  Click on the left hand side shortcut to Discussion.  Here you can see how many unread messages you have.  You will want to keep up with these, so that you can actively participate throughout the semester.  Be sure to read the messages at least twice a week and post any relevant comments/questions you may have.  Remember you are being graded more on quality than quantity, but you should have something relevant to have at least every other week. 

Click on Expectations/Goals.  You will want to display all of the messages and display them in Threaded mode.  The server will highlight the mode you are in, so you want Threaded to be highlighted and you want to Expand All.  Next click the title Expectation/Goals which has my name as the poster.  Read the posting and then click on reply and type a response to the posting. 

Okay let’s try creating a new posting that is not threaded to an existing posting.  Go back to the discussion board and pick the topic you want to start a message in.  Today we will use the Concerns topic, so click on this title.  Next click on Create Message. Be sure to fill in a concise subject related to your posting, so that people will know quickly if their posting should be linked to yours or if they should start a knew discussion/posting.  For today you can just use concerns as your subject. Then in the message box tell us about your concerns with math 1140.

After posting, read a few of the postings.  Notice that after you read a posting the title changes from bolded to unbolded.  This is how you keep track of the messages you have read.  I expect you to keep up with the postings weekly and to have read each posting by the end of the semester.  I can view how many postings you have read by viewing My Progress under the My Tools.  You can as well.

Recall you are to logon to the WebCT at least twice a week.  I strongly suggest that you log on in between classes instead of from home.  WebCt eats up a lot of running memory and may freeze your computer.  You must also have a high speed internet access to use WebCT.  I also strongly suggest read the other postings before you make a posting.  Chances are your comment will be related to another posting.  If so, then you will want to thread your discussion.  In other words, reply to the related posting instead of creating a new posting.  Also pick one topic to place your posting instead of posting the same message in several places.  Otherwise you will bog down the system and annoy the readers.

Okay, the next tool we want to explore is the Mail tool.  This is an internal e-mail system.  You can e-mail anyone within this class.  Note that this system is not integrated with Western’s e-mail system, so you must log onto WebCT to get your WebCT e-mail.  Click on the Create Message icon.  Note that you do not need to know the address of your classmate.  You only need to know their name; then you can use the browse button to find their e-mail address.  Hit the browse button and find my address.  There is a page pull down on the bottom right corned of the browser. Click on this and scroll all the way down (I think there are about 420 name). Then hit the green arrow next to the pull down. You should now se all of the people associated with math 1140. Find your lab instructor's name, click on the box to the far left of this name, and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click save. Eventually your compose pop-up window will refresh and have you instructors name under the address bar. Next write Fable in the subject line.  Now go to the other browser window which you minimized a while ago.  Click on the Fable and read the fable.  When you finish reading, answer the questions below in the WebCT mail window and then send your response to your lab instructor. 

The last tool we are going to look at today is the Assessment tool.  Click on the Assessment shortcut located on the left hand side.  There are several homework assignments listed here.  These assignments will be updated throughout the semester.  Note that there is one assignment currently open: the Syllabus quiz.

For most of these assignments you will be permitted to submit them as often as you like and your highest score will be counted.  Note that you must wait 10 minutes between submissions, and again I highly recommend that you do this on campus due to the fact that your computer at home may freeze and lose you data.

To start the assignment, click on the title.  If you have read your syllabus, go ahead and start the assignment.  Otherwise go back to the other browser window and read your syllabus first.

After you click the assessment title, click the begin button. Be sure to save each answer before moving to the next question. You can always go back to a question and change the answer before you submit the assessment. After you submit the assessment you can view your work by going to the assessment tool and clicking on View All Submissions (at the top of the page). Again after 10 min you can retake the assessment. I suggest you keep going until you ace the quiz.