West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Fox Center at West Valley College

Best Practices for Faculty

Most instructors at West Valley College use the ANGEL learning management system (LMS) for their online and hybrid courses, and to enhance their face-to-face courses. ANGEL helps you to organize course content and to offer teaching and learning anytime anywhere. It also either eliminates or reduces the need to print, thereby allowing you to be "green" in your teaching.

In order for you to get the most out of using ANGEL, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with all of the tools before the class begins. There is a "How to" instruction manual for ANGEL, and tips, in the ANGEL Faculty Handbook. You can get a copy of the handbook by login into ANGEL and clicking on the "help" icon (on the left side of your course page).

Following are the key "best practices in using ANGEL" for instructors.

Click links below to show, or click here to Show All .

Bookmark the WVC ANGEL website

Download the ANGEL Instructor Reference Manuals

Set Up Your Home Course Page

  • ANGEL provides a variety of components that you can add to the first screen that students see when they enter your course.

  • Editing/customizing the tabs in that first page allows you to give your students the most important information upfront (for instance, your syllabus, grades, calendar, forums, email, and class announcements).

    Sample of a course home page

Make Your Class Viewable or Hidden

  • ANGEL class "shells" are generally open to students a few days before the class begins.

  • You can keep your class closed until the official first day of the semester by going to:

  • Manage tab-->Tab Settings-->Viewable by Course/Group Editors

    Hiding Tabs

Change Your Tab Labels

  • Changing Your Tab Labels

Name Folders and Drop Boxes Clearly

  • Clearly identify files, folders, and drop boxes to help both you and your student navigate through ther course. For example, don't name it just "Drop Box." Name it "Essay #1 due by 5:00 PM on Thursday May 4."

    Sample of a drop box's text

    Assignment name sample

Use the Calendar

  • Help organize you and your students by posting due dates for assignments both in the assignments and in the calendar.

  • It is also useful to post announcements and to send email reminders.

    Sample calendar showing due dates

Use Nested Folders

  • BUT, don't bury lessons and other items in subfolders; the fewer clicks, the better.

    Nested folder sample

Use the Announcement Tool

  • Use the announcements tool and add/change announcements often to keep students' attention.

  • You can add this feature from the "edit page" link on the top left of your course page and then selecting "add components."

    Sample of a course announcement

Create Discussion Forums

  • Let ANGEL help you build a community!

  • Encourage students to interact with one another.

  • In larger classes, set up teams, group discussions and study groups.

    Sample Discussion Forum

Use ANGEL's Chat and Office Hours

  • ANGEL has a feature that allows you to chat or hold office hours.

  • To add and configure these features, click on "edit page" at the top left of your course home page, then click on "Add Components".

  • Instructions are also available in the ANGEL Faculty Handbooks.

    Sample of a Chat window

Convert Documents to PDF

  • If possible, convert documents to PDFs before uploading to ensure that others with varying versions of word processing software can access your documents.

  • Most current versions of Microsoft Office (for the Mac and PC) have this ability.

  • If not, you can use free tools such as PDF Creator (PC) and a free PDF converter for the Mac in the Mac App Store.

  • The full versions of Adobe Acrobat allows you to create and edit PDFs.

Use the Grade Book

  • Using the grade book will help both you and the students keep track of their progress.

    Grade Book Sample

Check for Browsers Announcements

Review the Tutorials

  • Review the video tutorials about ANGEL in this website.


Still Have Questions?

Contact WVC Distance Learning:

Max Gault, Instructional Technologist
email: max.gault@westvalley.edu
(408) 741-2627

Lisa Kaaz, Distance Learning Coordinator
email: lisa.kaaz@westvalley.edu
(408) 741-2623

last published: 8/24/15 • validate xhtml css 508