EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

Course Communications


We can all appreciate that experience as an undergrad when we had that really great connection with an instructor and our classmates. The hallmark of a successful online class similarly holds meaningful interactions among students and instructors. The two web-based learning environments that we use for this course—Canvas and Drupal —support several kinds of communication, as described below.

Communications in Canvas

The Canvas course management system supports several modes of communication, including course e-mail, and announcements.

  • Conversations is the equivalent of email in Canvas. It's great to use for a quick email to another student, instructor, or a whole team. Keep in mind that the text editor is very minimal, and does not have much formatting capability.
    • Please use Conversations for private messages to me (your instructor) or fellow students. I prefer that you use the course mail within Canvas (rather than emailing me directly), except in case of emergencies.
    • Whenever you post a message in a forum or send a conversation, use a descriptive subject line. Subject lines that include the gist of a question or comment increase the chances that recipients can retrieve the messages we're looking for. Poor subject lines, such as "Question" or "Lesson 1," are useless as search keywords.
    • For more information, see the Canvas Guide on Conversations.
  • Announcements are occasional messages from me that appear each time you enter the course and under the Announcements tab. Announcements highlight assignment due dates (also published in the course Calendar) and include benchmarks by which you can tell if you are on track in the course.

Communications via Canvas Discussions

Many of the pages in this website will require registered students to post comments, questions, and responses on Canvas discussions: there will be many of them: at least one for each Lesson Discussion, and one general forum for "Questions" at the very bottom of the long list. You should request to be notified of subsequent posts by "subscribing" to these forums and having your Canvas email forwarded to your preferred address. You might want to make a specific folder for EME 810 messages to be diverted from your main email inbox too. You must log into Canvas before you can do this.

Printing an entire Lesson into a PDF file

OK, so this is less of a communication to others, and more of a useful tip for you. Sometimes you will not be near the web (you went to the lake, your internet is down because you just moved, you are in a café that asks you to pay [gasp] for WiFi). How can you be prepared to still make use of your time?

  1. Prior to departing from the web, go to the first page of your very important Lesson.
  2. Look in the upper right for "Printer-friendly version" with an icon of a little printer to the left of the text.
  3. Right-click on the link and select "Open Link in New Tab" (just so that you don't lose the other page).
  4. Go to that new tab and print the page to a PDF file (don't waste paper, it will be long).
  5. The entire Lesson will now be available to you (as a static document, yes) for later reading or for doing a text search on a key word.
  6. Save the PDF to a space on your local computer and you're off!

Like I said, this is more about having the most resources at your fingertips (maybe you commute by train or subway and want to read while you ride) to make more use of your free time for the course. Good luck!

Have questions? Need help?

There are many ways to get the help you need. See the "Help!" link in the Resources menu to learn more about the people and resources available to you.