Classes upgrade with RamCT

 Uncategorized
Aug 192007
 
Authors: James Holt

Students returning to CSU this year will find that the newly designed RamCT has replaced WebCT, the Internet platform used by many classes at CSU since 1998.

“We’ve outgrown WebCT,” said Melody Brake, RamCT Project Manager. “RamCT provides a more stable environment and room to grow. It’s more user friendly as well.”

A collaboration of university colleges made the decision for the change, which was paid for by the university’s central fund. No student fees were used in the transition, Brake said.

RamCT provides several services WebCT did not. A new application allows students to see which of their instructors and fellow students are logged on at any time and facilitates an instant messaging service.

Students can also personalize their RamCT page by changing the background color, choosing which channels are to be displayed, and arranging those channels according to preference.

RamCT also uses automated data transfer, which allows instructors to request RamCT sections from the university’s central system. That system then sends the data to RamCT to create the classes and add the students automatically.

But students will have to run computer checks before logging on to RamCT. Links for these checks can be found on the RamCT sign-in page

First, the proper version of Java, Java 6 update 2, must be installed. This download is free and compatible with Windows Vista. Students using Apple computers should use the most recent version of Java provided by Apple.

“We can’t forget our good friends with Mac’s,” Brake said.

Second, a browser check must be done. This checks for a compatible browser, that cookies are enabled, that Javascript is enabled, that the pop-up blocker is turned off and that the correct version of Java in installed. If anything is found missing, it will be denoted by a red “X.

Students will log into RamCT with the same student credentials they used to log into WebCT. Noncredit and MBA students login with their noncredit and business ID’s respectively.

Help regarding login issues can be found at http://help.ramct.colostate.edu, which addresses all anticipated problems for students with the “Students” link under “Support.”

Any problems regarding RamCT content for a course should be taken to the instructor of that course.

“The students won’t have any trouble,” Brake said. “Once a person is set up, it will be a piece of cake after that.”

Dr. David Greene, Associate Professor of occupational therapy at CSU, took part in a pilot program that allowed him to use RamCT for his classes last spring and this summer.

“It’s great. It’s real functional,” Greene said. “The whole RamCT staff is unbelievable and the support has been superb.”

Rachel Bomsta, one of Greene’s students and a first-year occupational therapy graduate student, said she thought RamCT worked smoothly.

“I really liked that I could have discussions with the class members and easy contact with instructors,” Bomsta said.

Kristina Kramer, a first-year occupational therapy graduate student who also used RamCT in Greene’s class said she really liked it.

“I liked that you could change the format and appearance,” said Kramer who made her RamCT page green and brown.

Brake said she always expects a few bumps getting started. For example, because all data is automatically updated, only registered students will have access to their class’s pages. Instructors may use temporary guest log-ins for waitlisted students.

When students are finally registered, their work as guest students will be lost. But, according to Brake, instructors are more interested in providing timely access.

Brake expects that RamCT will attract more instructors to use the Internet platform for their classes, which would in turn benefit the students. However, there will be an initial learning curve, she said.

“We expect, in a couple years, for a lot more people to be using it,” Brake said. “Welcome to RamCT.”

Senior reporter James Holt can be reached at news@collegian.com.

———————————

Graphic idea: Box with list of tools offered by RamCT:

– Syllabus

– Grade Book

– Assignments

– Email

– Chatroom & Whiteboard

– Assessments

– Discussions

– Learning Modules

– Selective Release

– Groups

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.