The to do list in Buzz helps students manage their coursework to ensure they are pacing themselves appropriately in their online course. What appears in a student’s to-do list, however, is influenced by how each course is configured.
- To do list settings – Domain administrators have the ability to customize how far out the to do list is populated for students. This is a domain-wide setting that will impact all courses for all students in that domain. By default, the to do list reflects items that are coming due within the next 7 days. If there are no assignments due within the next seven days, a student’s to-do list will appear empty.
- Blackout dates – Buzz allows users to define blackout dates during which no items will be due. Blackout dates are commonly used to avoid having course assignments scheduled to be due over school breaks, inservice days, or national holidays. There are several levels at which blackout dates may be set:
- Domain blackout dates – domain administrators may define blackout dates that will affect all courses within the domain. Most districts opts to control blackout dates at this level and use this feature to control the overall school/district calendar.
- Course blackout dates – teachers may be given the ability to define course-level blackout dates. This tool, which is available via the course editor, given teachers more control over managing their course calendar. However, it is important to keep in mind that course blackout dates will override domain blackout dates. If a teacher wants to set course specific blackout dates, they will need to make sure that they add back any domain level blackout dates to their course.
- Student blackout dates – students may be given the ability to define their own blackout dates. These will not override any domain or course level blackout dates, but when set, will influence how the student’s coursework is paced. Domain administrators have the ability to turn off this feature if desired.
- Continuous versus Range courses – In a Range enrollment course, due dates are defined by the teacher within a course. At time of course setup, there will not be any due dates assigned to any course activities. Teachers will need to assign due dates to items via the course editor before any items will appear in a student’s to-do list.
In a Continuous enrollment course, due dates are calculated by the platform based on a number of factors, including the student’s start and end date, the number of activities in the course, and the various blackout dates that have been defined. The to do list will reflect activities that have a due date within the next seven days, but that list may vary from student to student if, for example, their enrollment dates are different. In a Continuous enrollment course, a teacher should not hide content unless they are intending to remove that content from the course (i.e., it should not be hidden for purposes of student pacing). In a Continuous enrollment course, hiding content will cause a student’s pacing guide to reset and the due dates displayed to a student will be incorrect. (And hence what appears on their to do list will be incorrect.)