Where to Find Help

Web Only

This textbook was authored for the CIS 526 - Web Application Development course at Kansas State University. This front matter is specific to that course. If you are not enrolled in the course, please disregard this section.

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As you work on the materials in this course, you may run into questions or problems and need assistance. This video reviews the various types of help available to you in this course.

First and foremost, anytime you have a questions or need assistance in the course, please post in the course Discord room. It is the best place to go to get help with anything related to this course, from the tutorials and projects to issues with Codio and Canvas. Before you post on Discord, take a minute to look around and make sure the question has not already been posted before. It will save everyone quite a bit of time.

There are a few major reasons we’ve chosen to use Discord in this program. Our goal is to respond as quickly as possible, and having a single place for all questions allows the instructors and the TAs to work together to answer questions and solve problems quickly. As an added bonus, it reduces the amount of email generated by the class. Discord includes lots of features to make your messages easily readable using both markdown and code blocks. Finally, by participating in discussions on Discord and helping to answer questions from your fellow students, you can earn extra credit points!

Of course, as another step you can always exercise your information-gathering skills and use online search tools such as Google to answer your question. While you are not allowed to search online for direct solutions to assignments or projects, you are more than welcome to use Google to access programming resources such as the Mozilla Developer Network, Node language documentation, CSS-Tricks, StackOverflow, and other tutorials. I can definitely assure you that programmers working in industry are often using Google and other online resources to solve problems, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t start building that skill now.

If all else fails, please email me and let me know. Make sure you clearly explain your question and the steps you’ve taken to solve it thus far. If I feel it can be easily answered by one of the earlier steps, I may redirect you back to those before answering it directly. But, at times there are indeed questions that come up that don’t have an easy answer, and I’m more than happy to help answer them as needed.

Beyond Discord, there are a few resources you should be aware of. First, if you have any issues working with K-State Canvas, K-State IT resources, or any other technology related to the delivery of the course, your first source of help is the K-State IT Helpdesk. They can easily be reached via email at helpdesk@ksu.edu. Beyond them, there are many online resources for using Canvas, all of which are linked in the resources section below the video. As a last resort, you may also want to post in Discord, but in most cases we may simply redirect you to the K-State helpdesk for assistance.

Similarly, if you have any issues using the Codio platform, you are welcome to refer to their online documentation. Their support staff offers a quick and easy chat interface where you can ask questions and get feedback within a few minutes.

Next, we have grading and administrative issues. This could include problems or mistakes in the grade you received on a project, missing course resources, or any concerns you have regarding the course and the conduct of myself and your peers. Since this is an online course, you’ll be interacting with us on a variety of online platforms, and sometimes things happen that are inappropriate or offensive. There are lots of resources at K-State to help you with those situations. First and foremost, please DM me on Discord as soon as possible and let me know about your concern, if it is appropriate for me to be involved. If not, or if you’d rather talk with someone other than me about your issue, I encourage you to contact either your academic advisor, the CS department staff, College of Engineering Student Services, or the K-State Office of Student Life. Finally, if you have any concerns that you feel should be reported to K-State, you can do so at https://www.k-state.edu/report/. That site also has links to a large number of resources at K-State that you can use when you need help.

Finally, if you find any errors or omissions in the course content, or have suggestions for additional resources to include in the course, DM the instructors on Discord. There are some extra credit points available for helping to improve the course, so be on the lookout for anything that you feel could be changed or improved.

So, in summary, Discord should always be your first stop when you have a question or run into a problem. For issues with Canvas or Codio, you are also welcome to refer directly to the resources for those platforms. For questions specifically related to the projects, use Discord for sure. For grading questions and errors in the course content or any other issues, please PM the instructors on Discord for assistance.

Our goal in this program is to make sure that you have the resources available to you to be successful. Please don’t be afraid to take advantage of them and ask questions whenever you want.