Assignment countdown clock — a helpful, visual procrastination deterrent
Or procrastination aid. I’m not sure which. Sometimes it seems that students enjoy seeing how close they can come to the edge, without falling over. But in either case, you might consider this little bonus to your Blackboard assignments page.
With last month’s newsletter/blog entry, I talked about adding iconic images to your assignment posts as a way to alert students to important assignments, or to distinguish links to videos, journal articles, websites, etc. The hope is that students will see the images and recognize the type of tasks required that week. But when do the assignments need to be completed?
As a student, I have very responsibly planned to complete an assignment after work, only to discover that it was supposed to be turned in by noon. Out of luck. Some heartless instructors actually remove the submission link when the time is up, so a late student is forced to communicate with them to negotiate credit. That is awesome. I highly recommend it. Yes, they should have read our instructions better. The time was clearly stated. But sometimes they just need a giant, red-lettered sign to slap them in the face. The following is how to make a giant, red-lettered count-down clock to serve this purpose inside your Blackboard course.
Use the Countdown Flash Clock Generator, to customize your clock with a display message, the date and time, and a message to display after the time has expired. Be careful… the time is 24-hour, so 5:00PM is 17:00, and the date is day.month.year, not month.day.year, as you are probably used to. You can adjust the colors and size. I would recommend no bigger than 150 x 450 for Blackboard, to keep from filling your page too much. It’s easy to copy and paste the code into your Blackboard assignment, in just a few simple clicks, and you can get the whole process done in just a couple of minutes.