Nexus: Instructor Communication Portal

Did you know that PACE has an instructor only area on Nexus? All PACE instructors should have access to the PACE Instructor Communication Portal (reach out if you don’t). The Instructor Communication Portal acts as an instructor handbook and professional development area.

The Content tab contains folders that are much like chapters in an instructor handbook. Those sections cover off topics ranging from an overview PACE, our programs, and acronyms, to how to create your course, to how to close out your course and get paid (always a hot topic). Other sections under Content have links to recordings of all the PD sessions we held over the past year, and help files for Nexus.

New this fall is the creation of Discussion Forums where instructors can share tips and tricks, and pose questions.

If you haven’t looked at the Instructor Communication Portal, be sure to check it out!

Nexus Changes… or how to make things easier for instructors

Shrek said it best “Change is good donkey”.  

The pandemic has made (almost) everyone take a closer look at what they do, and PACE is no exception.  Looking at our course delivery, we’ve examined assessments, testing, delivery, learning outcomes, and our use of the learning management system (Nexus).  We’ve identified areas for improvement, gauging improvement in terms of the impact on students.  A large component of that has been around consistency across courses and programs.  A number of adjustments have been identified and this fall we will make some additional changes.  While the end goal is the impact on the learner, these changes do impact instructors – we hope in a positive way.  A number of the changes are intended to provide consistency, but also make things easier for instructors, particularly when looking at who is responsible for doing which task.

Specifically, PACE will:

  • create all assignment drop boxes
  • input all due dates
    • for consistency, assignments will typically be due at 11:59 p.m. the day before class
  • create all quizzes
  • set quiz dates
  • set feedback views
    • for consistency, these are typically set for the day after the quiz runs so everyone is finished before feedback is available 
  • create all grading items
  • link rubrics to drop boxes
  • Note on due dates: drop boxes and quizzes will not have an expiry date.  Instructors will have to check for overdue item flags.  This has been done to ensure feedback features are available and remove some administrative work.

Instructors are responsible to:

  • create and upload content
    • for consistency, a standard format for content layout is provided
  • create and post Zoom meeting instructions (if applicable)
    • for consistency, this is posted to the course home page as an announcement
  • create and post assignment instructions
  • create and post rubrics
    • If needed PACE can help with the posting of rubrics in the rubric tool
  • grade assignments
  • publish assignment feedback
  • create and submit to PACE quiz questions
    • PACE has guidelines available for creating quizzes and tests; the inclusion of feedback for multiple choice questions is highly recommend
  • grade quizzes
  • input any grades without associated items (example: participation grade)
  • communicate with students and provide grading information
  • export and submit grades on completion of the course
  • submit invoice

We hope that this allows instructors to focus on content and coaching, rather than administrative pieces like creating drop boxes. Over the past year, we’ve done a number of lunch and learns on many of these tools, look at the Nexus Instructor Communication Portal – PD Sessions for links to the recordings.