As you start your courses at GCU, you will need to use the LMS platform to submit your assignments and do your course work. The LMS classroom will provide ways of communicating with your instructor and participate in your course online. This article will provide an overview on the different features of the LMS platform. Click the appropriate header below to see the different features.
If you have multiple courses when you log in, you may see the Integrated Dashboard. The Integrated Dashboard will provide a quick and easy access to your messages, programs, and links to all your courses.
The My Classes will show any active courses that you have. Your completed courses will be displayed in the Past Classes. To access the Past Classes or Future Classes select the Edit icon in the upper right corner of the My Classes widget. This will display a menu of features that you can select for the widget. Under Show, select the downward arrow to display Current Classes, Past Classes, and Future Classes. Selecting Past Classes will display your completed courses for 5 weeks after the course end date.
Once inside the actual class, you will be able to see the dashboard, which houses a drop-down menu with nine main tabs: Dashboard, Path, Planner, Student Resources, Gradebook, Connect, Messages, and Preferences.
On the course Dashboard, there is a weekly calendar which displays the current week’s activities such as discussion questions, assignments, and quizzes. There are also links above the planner to each of the individual weeks. The Forums section will display snippets of unread posts you can click to access the forums. Assessment and Announcements will display the most recent announcement and assignment items. Gradebook will show your recently graded items.
The Planner tab allows you to view course assignments and discussion questions in a Month, Week, or Day view. When first entering the planner, you will be in the Month view by default. Just like the Weekly Planner, you will have gradable items scheduled here. Clicking on the title will take you directly to the item itself. For example, clicking on an assignment’s title in the planner will take you to the Assignment Dropbox and details. Hovering over a scheduled item will give you more details such as item start date and due dates. You can filter planner items by Classes, Types, and Status.
The Weekly tab opens up the planner for the current week and the Daily tab opens the current day. Here you will see any scheduled items for that week or day. Like the month view, the various individual Assignments, Discussion Questions, Quizzes, or CLC Assignments can be accessed by clicking on the titles of the scheduled items. You will also have filter options for scheduled items by Classes, Types, and Status.
You can create custom scheduled items to be displayed on the planner by clicking Add Personal Event. Enter in a Title and Description, choose the Type, and set the Start and End Dates. To add the event to your planner, click the Save button.
After creating the task, you can go back and edit the task, mark as complete, or delete the task. Once the task is marked as complete, it is given a green check mark on the planner.
The Path tab gives you access to the Course Materials, Syllabus, Topics, Study Materials, and Tasks.
The syllabus provides a detailed overview of your class and allows you to prepare for each week. To download the syllabus please refer to our article Downloading Your Syllabus.
Clicking on the Course Materials tab will expand a menu displaying the eBook for the course and all additional resources.
The Path tab will display all topics that will be covered during the course. Under each Topic you will find Study Materials and Tasks.
In Path, select a Topic. From the dropdown menu select Tasks. All items for the entire Topic will be displayed: Assignments, Discussion Questions, and Quizzes.
All weekly and Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) assignments will be displayed under Tasks. Clicking on the assignment name will take you to the assignment drop-box.
The assignment drop-box provides details such as the due date, how many points the assignment is worth, and any information needed to complete the assignment.
The drop-box is where you will submit your assignment(s). Select Browse From My Computer, then upload your file(s). You are only given the option to upload an existing document. As a reminder, The Add file from file cabinet, Google Drive, and OneDrive features are not currently functional.
Once the assignment has been loaded to the LMS classroom, you have the option to use LopesWrite if applicable. The Submit option appears next to Similarity Index. For more information about using LopesWrite, see this article: LopesWrite
Instructors will not receive the assignment until Submit Assignment is clicked. Make sure you select all the documents you would like to be submitted before hitting Submit Assignment. Once clicked, you will receive a message confirming this submission will be treated as your final submission for the assignment – meaning if submitted, you will not be able to go back and resubmit. For more information, see Submitting Your Assignments.
If you need to resubmit your assignment for any reason, you should contact your instructor and ask them to reassign the assignment.
To access your Discussion Questions, begin by clicking on the discussion topic you would like to respond to.
Here you can read through the topic question and then click Add A Post to type your response within the message field. Once finished, you will need to click Post Reply to add your initial post to the forum. When other students reply to the post, the reply will be indented slightly to the right and directly below the original post. This view is called Thread Display and easily allows everyone to follow along in the discussion.
Discussion questions can also be saved as a draft so that it can later be edited or submitted. Saving as draft saves the post for viewing and editing that you may want to do; instructors do not have access to see draft posts. A draft will only remain editable for 24 hours. After that time, it will be stuck in Draft mode and you will not be able to edit or post it to the forum.
Once you submit your discussion question response, an Edit and Delete button will appear at the bottom of your post. Posts can be edited or deleted only if:
- The post has not been marked as substantive by the instructor;
- The post has not been replied to; or
- 24 hours have not passed since the post was made
In addition to your initial response, you are also responsible for reading and responding to fellow classmates. To reply to a classmate, click their post and click Reply. You can also quote the original student by clicking Quote & Reply.
To access your CLC forum, go to the CLC Assignment Dropbox, and click on Group Forum located in the upper-right.
For more information regarding CLC group Forums, check out the following article: Viewing Your CLC Group Forum.
Quizzes are only able to be completed during the week that they are assigned. To view quizzes, click on Tasks and then the title of the quiz. You will be taken to the quiz dropbox where you can see the due date, max points, a brief description, quiz duration (if applicable), and the number of questions for the quiz.
To attempt the quiz, you can select Attempt Quiz. If the page is refreshed or internet connection is lost during the quiz, it will be automatically submitted to the instructor. If this happens, please contact your instructor and ask for the quiz to be reassigned.
To progress through the quiz, you will click Save & Next located at the bottom of the question after providing your answer. Along the top of the quiz is a series of numbers indicating which question you are on, as well as the status of the quiz.
Once you click Save & Next, the number of the question you answered will change from orange to blue to indicate that your answer has been saved.
On the last question, the link changes from Save & Next to Save. Once you save your final question, click the Submit Quiz Attempt button to submit it for grading.
Study Material contains the online reading resources needed throughout the course. Simply select the name of the resource to view its contents.
Each week you should review any additional readings and websites that are made available for the topic. This provides you with a foundation for the week’s learning.
The Student Resources tab provides access to the Library, Student Success Center, Classroom Policies, Learning Support, and Technical Support.
The Library link opens a new window to the GCU Library; accessing the Library Homepage does not require a login. Once either Find Books and More or Find Journal Articles has been accessed, the Library may request login information. You must log in with their GCU username and password to access the books or journal articles. For more information about the library, see The GCU Library.
The Student Success Center includes valuable tools to help you succeed online. Here you will be able to find information to help navigate classes, such as tutorials on different subjects: writing templates, style guides, plagiarism prevention, college-specific documents, policies, and handbooks. For more information on navigating the Student Success Center, check out the article Student Success Center.
Classroom Policies goes through items such as attendance, discussion questions and participation, the late policy, and assignment submission.
The Learning Support link connects you to the Institutional Effectiveness page, which has tutorials on many of the programs that you will use here at GCU, including a LoudCloud Walk to Class video series.
The Technical Support link opens a new window to the GCU Technical Support Help Center page. Here you can search the Help Center for articles to assist with various topics. For example, Accessing Your LoudCloud Classroom or Submitting Your Assignment to LoudCloud.
The Gradebook tab is where you will be able to view your grades. Start by selecting Gradebook from the drop-down menu under Dashboard. This will display the grades for each assignment. You can also view any comments your instructor has made on that assignment.
You will be able to filter these results by selecting the filter icon in the upper right corner. The content can be filtered by selecting Assessment Type and Assessment Status.
The Connect tab provides access to the Class Wall, Class Forums, and Roster.
There are three types of forums that you will be able to access from here:
- Discussion Question
- Private Forum
- Questions to Instructor Forum
The forums are where all communication takes place in the LMS classroom.
As previously mentioned in the section covering Discussion Questions, this area is where weekly discussions will take place.
If you have a question that you would like to ask the instructor privately, one that you might stay after class to ask if you were attending on campus you should send your question through the Private Forum. The Private Forum helps you easily keep track of communications since it is all available at-a-glance right inside the classroom. Furthermore, the Private Forum has an added feature where students can also communicate with their classmates. For more information, see (LMS) Navigating the Forums.
The forum titled Questions to Instructor is where you will be able to post questions for the instructor that you would normally raise your hand in class to ask. The instructor will respond to these questions within 24-48 hours.
Please note, You can edit or delete topics posted in either one of the forums. To do this, go into the forum where the topic is located, hover your mouse over the gear icon and select edit or delete.
Keep in mind, you CANNOT edit or delete their topic(s) if the instructor or a classmate has replied to the topic.
The Class Wall is just like a coffee house on campus, it is a place for students to hang out and get to know each other. On the first day of class, your primary responsibility is to post a short biography on the Class Wall. It is an opportunity to provide some personal information to the other students and the instructor. It also allows the instructor and University Counselor/Student Services Counselor to verify that you will be attending the course. You can filter these posts by utilizing the Unread post, Most Recent, and Past Two Weeks Posts tabs located in the upper-left section of the Class Wall.
To post a bio to the Class Wall, select Post a Comment in the upper right side. Then, you can either type or copy and paste it into the comments field and click Post. Please keep in mind that you will not be able to edit or delete posts from the Class Wall.
The Roster is a list of everyone in the course. This is also where you can find your instructor’s contact information. Click on the instructor’s name to view their profile. You can view any information your instructor put on their profile such as email address, phone number, webpage, gender, date of birth, citizenship, signature, "About Me", preferred time zone, address, work experience, and education.
LMS includes an editable profile where students and faculty can provide contact information, work experience, and education history. It will allow you to upload a profile image, as long as the file size is less than 20KB in size.
The profiles are not private so any information that you do not wish to share should not be added to your profile or should be placed under Private.
Messages contain both course Notifications and Announcements. Notifications will alert you of any new material added to the course or if any existing material changes.
You can change how and where to receive notifications by selecting Notification Settings located in the upper-right corner.
In Announcements, you will be able to see important announcements from your instructor about anything new and exciting that is coming up during the week. The instructor may also provide information on specific assignments or clarify any expectations that they may have. It is recommended that you check your announcements each day you log in.
The Class Announcements tab displays any announcements pertaining to your class only, while Global Announcements displays any announcements regarding the University as a whole.