Instructor FAQs COVID-19

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The following are the most frequently asked questions regarding teaching and learning for instructors at the University of Windsor. Watch this list as it will grow as questions come in.

Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

Live or Prerecorded Sessions

How can I offer online lectures/meetings in real-time?

  • When deciding how to share course content, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Have you already met the learning outcomes of your course? If not, is it critical to hold the classes as synchronous lectures, or can you post the materials online?
  • If you decide to hold lectures, you can use the Virtual Classroom, a tool available in every course site. Note, however, that students’ access to technology and internet connections might make it difficult for some of them to attend, so you may prefer to record sessions in advance and let students watch on their own schedule. This can help mitigate technical problems, and ensure that all students can access the materials.
  • You can also use PowerPoint to pre-record your lectures and link to / share the file from your OneDrive or other hosted file-sharing site.
  • Please note that video and audio files should not be uploaded directly into Blackboard as they cause a huge load on the systems!
  • Wherever possible, however, we encourage you to keep your solutions as simple and as low-tech as possible. Information about large files and how to manage them can be found here.

How can I pre-record lectures and videos?

How can I use PowerPoint to record a video?

Can I upload videos to Blackboard in my course site?

  • Please note that video and audio files should not be uploaded directly into Blackboard as they cause a huge load on the systems!
  • Wherever possible, however, we encourage you to keep your solutions as simple and as low-tech as possible. Information about large files and how to manage them can be found here. Please note that video and audio files should not be uploaded directly into Blackboard as they cause a huge load on the systems! Wherever possible, however, we encourage you to keep your solutions as simple and as low-tech as possible. Visit the article on managing large files.

Can students chat with each other or me in Blackboard?

Getting Help

  • If you've read through the materials above and you are experiencing issues or errors, please file a ticket at http://www.uwindsor.ca/bbhelp and someone will assist you as soon as possible.
    • Online support for using Blackboard Collaborate is available Monday - Friday, 9-5 pm in the Bb Cafe Organization site.

How do students learn about using Blackboard and the tools that are in course sites?

  • Tutorials for you and your students on how to use the Virtual Classroom have been made available in your course sites. You will notice a new item in the left menu called “Virtual Classroom Tutorial” and that is where quick information on how to use the virtual classroom can be found. If you wish to suppress this, simply hover over the edit chevron icon to the right of that item, and you will see the option to “Hide Link.”
  • Students have a resource page that will help them get started on common tools, such as discussion boards, journals, assignments and tests.
  • All registered students have access to a Blackboard Student Orientation site, that contains practice assignments, tests, and other tutorials to help them learn and experience Blackboard. The site is called SO-18-19: Blackboard Student Orientation 2019-2020 and is located in their Courses list, where there is No Term Assigned at the bottom of the list.

Assessments or Grading

How do I set up something in Blackboard to receive my student's papers or files?

  • In Blackboard, you can use the Assignments tool to give students instructions for your assessment, offer the location to upload files or enter content directly into a text editor. Students will receive an email upon successful submission. After submission, you can use the online annotation tools to provide feedback directly inline on the students' work, in addition to providing comments for feedback. You can also associate a rubric to the assignment where you can have preformed feedback based on criterion and levels of proficiency and you can add additional comments for feedback while providing a grade (if you choose to). The Assignments tool is powerful and packed with features. We do not recommend, however, using the Delegated Grading option found within the tools as there have been issues with this feature in the past. View a short video on how to set up the assignment and find it for grading.

How can I design an assessment that maintains academic integrity?

Can I use Blackboard Tests to replace the in-person exam I was going to use?

  • This is not advised! While Blackboard Tests offer 17 different types of questions and are very useful for tests and shorter exams, it is not designed to replace long, high-stakes, or proctored exams. If you do use the test tool, we encourage you to break the exam into multiple components to reduce the chances that students will run into technical problems.
  • Right now, online proctoring is also not available. Largely because of global demand, services that offer online proctored services are not able to keep up.
  • For final exams, we recommend that wherever possible, you use alternate forms of assignments. Please see the Exams and Alternate Assessments During Disruptions page for some ideas to replace your final exams.

How can I give a student with a disability extra time on a test?

  • If you are using the Tests, Surveys and Pools tool, there is a feature when deploying the test, that allows for exceptions including extra time, extra attempts or option to access the assessment on a different day/time. Read about the feature in Blackboard's help article on Test Exceptions.

How do I give a confidential grade to students online?

  • How you grade online will depend on the assessments you’ve chosen, whether you have GAs or TAs to help you, and your preferred workflow. If you are using Blackboard tests, all of the objective questions will be graded automatically. Online assignments can be graded inline, using Blackboard’s annotation and feedback tool. If you have created a rubric for the assignment, it will also be available in this area. Any grades submitted here will automatically populate the grade centre. Assignments can also be downloaded and assessed outside of Blackboard – but do note that only the grades can be uploaded in bulk. Individual feedback would need to be uploaded individually. Visit UWindsor's Instructor Help pages for links to more information about online grading.

Can I choose not to have a final assessment?

  • If the learning outcomes of your course have been met and assessed through 60 per cent or more of the final grade, then you might consider re-weighting previous assignments rather than holding a final assessment. If you choose this option, the following MUST still be true:
    • No assessment can be weighted more than 50 per cent;
    • All learning outcomes should have already been assessed; and
    • At least 60 per cent of the final grade must have been completed in prior assessments.
  • We also recommend that you offer an optional final assignment so that students who were depending on that final assessment to improve their grades will still have an opportunity to do so.
  • Otherwise, the format and weighting of your final exam will likely need to be changed as a result of the transition to alternative delivery. Please see the Exams and Alternate Assessments During Disruptions page for some ideas to replace your final exams.
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If you notice any errors or omissions with this material, please advise the LMS Team or submit a Service Request at http://www.uwindsor.ca/bbhelp.