By Katherine Stewart
Delaware Technical Community College
I have found that semester after semester I am asked the same questions. I am sending out the same emails, posting the same announcements, and providing the same information to numerous students. About 99% of the time, the answers are somewhere on Blackboard.
My students are accustomed to having information at their fingertips. They don’t want to have to dig through Blackboard to find their answer (and I don’t want to dig through Blackboard either!).
But students need to have simple access to this information when they need it.
So I thought to myself…
How can I fix this?
I need to put all these answers in one place.
But make it intuitive and easy to navigate.
Probably shouldn’t make a long list on Blackboard, no one would read that to find answers.
I’ll make a Frequently Asked Question page through Google Docs!”
Why Use Google Docs?
- It’s easy to use
- It’s accessible anywhere
- It automatically updates when you make changes
- It looks like a professional FAQ
- You already have an account through Delaware Tech
With Google Docs, you can effortlessly create a link to an FAQ, which can be uploaded to any course and updated with ease.
To start, I created a simple list of questions and answers. Each question was formatted to be a Heading (the option right next to the font selection).
Then, using the “Table of Contents” option, the document automatically made a list of all Heading questions at the beginning of the document. This list automatically links to the questions I wrote. I click on the table of contents question, and I automatically get linked to the answer!
(Click here for a video tutorial of how the Headings and Table of Contents features work in Google Docs).
It was SO SIMPLE!
I created a link for students to view (not edit) this document and posted it on Blackboard in an FAQ menu and students are USING IT!
If students have a question, they check this document first. Then, if I encounter a new frequently asked question, I can update the document. I update one document, and the new version is instantly accessible through the links on Blackboard and to the students.
Why didn’t I think of this earlier? It is such an easy way to provide a lot of information to students in an understandable and interactive way.
I am so happy with my FAQ, and I wanted to share this with other instructors. You can do this too! You can customize it for your classroom, provide instant access to up-to-date information, and reuse the link for every class.
I strongly recommend trying this out for yourself.
Please take a look at a copy of my FAQ to see if this will work for you and your students. This version allows for comments if you have any suggestions for me.