Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding BBST® Community Track training courses:
Are these courses online or in-person?
They are 100% online
How long are the courses?
Each class 4 weeks long: 3 weeks of lessons and 1 week of exams.
How many hours will I spend each week?
Expect to spend 12 to 15 hours per week on these classes
What does the schedule look like for these courses?
Each week is broken into 2 lessons: Lesson 1 begins on Sunday and all assignments are due the following Wednesday at midnight PST. Lesson 2 begins on Thursday and all assignments are due Saturday at midnight PST.
I live in x country. Can I still take the courses?
We routinely welcome students from all over the world. As long as you are ok with due dates in Pacific Standard Time, you are welcome to join the class.
What languages are the courses taught in?
English. It’s best that you are proficient in written english because our exams are written in essay form.
What tips can you give me for making the most of the course?
Active participation is particularly important in the BBST® courses. It is in the discussions, the sharing and exchange of ideas, that much of the learning happens. In the class, each student brings something that can benefit others. Experts can learn from novices just as the novices can learn from the experts. It is in this participation, these discussions, where ideas become solidified and the true learning happens.
To keep up and get the most value from the course, we recommend that you:
- log in to the course several times a week.
- read and respond to course-related emails in a timely manner.
- participate in the course discussions as outlined by your instructor.
- complete all assigned work on time.
- be polite. Virginia Shea offers some Core Rules of Netiquette. There is good advice in this web site for all of us.
- ask for help. Instructors can’t see the confused look on your face so please don’t be afraid to say something if you are stuck. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask and, when you do ask, give plenty of detail about what is causing your confusion.
- ask questions. You will have questions and it is all too easy to ask questions that make others feel impatient rather than wanting to help. Eric Raymond’s guide to How To Ask Questions The Smart Way is an excellent source of guidance.
Why do I have to give feedback to other students?
Peer-to-peer feedback is very important in these courses:
- It gives you a way to switch roles from creator to evaluator, which will help you more objectively evaluate your own work.
- It can help you see opportunities to improve your work, by seeing patterns of problems in the work of other students.
- It provides feedback to students from several sources, rather than from one instructor. Peer feedback is more credible to some students than instructor feedback.
- Most important, careful evaluation of the questions and comments of other students gives you another type of opportunity to step back from your work and reflect on what the course is teaching.
The instructor will monitor your grading and your comments and will assign final grades.
How can I give good feedback to other students?
The following guidelines may help as you grade work submitted by your peers:
- Plan to read the submitted assignment at least twice. The first reading familiarizes you with the author’s work and helps you prioritize the areas for a more careful reading and detailed feedback.
- Evaluate the submission against the rubric provided by the instructor. Here are two examples of rubrics:
- When we give you a reading assignment and ask you to post comments based on it, our expectations are summarized in this rubric for initial postings .
- When you post your assignment, we will ask others to comment on it. Our expectations for those comments are summarized in in this rubric for follow-up comments.
- Offer constructive feedback. This includes both compliments and criticisms. Sometimes it’s more effective to pose a question designed to get your classmate thinking about their work than it is to offer your suggestion right away. Sometimes you’ll want to do both.
- Give specific feedback. Be sure to tell your classmate why something worked well or why it didn’t work. That kind of feedback is more useful than a vague comment such as “Good job!” or “This needs work.”
- Offer comments at multiple levels when appropriate:
- Task level: Task level comments focus on how well a specific task is understood or is performed.
- Process level: In this context, process refers to the steps (often cognitive steps) one takes to solve a problem or perform a task. Process level comments draw attention to the process your peer used to understand or perform the assigned task.
- Self-regulation level: Self-regulation is the ability to track one’s own performance against a goal. Comments focused at this level offer suggestions to help your peer think about their own performance. Throughout these courses, you will learn many heuristics designed to help at this level. Remind your classmates to use these as appropriate.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us.