Disruption to Classes

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Keep an eye on this page for updates to resources during the disruption.



Click here to get virtual help on the BB Cafe

  • The link above will only work if you are logged into Blackboard. If you need to access the site as a guest, click here.

Click here for Alternative Assessments Wiki

Click here for a a pivot-strategy decision-making workflow

"screenshot from Google Doc of workflow for making decisions during a disruption to classes"

Academic Continuity During Unplanned Course Interruptions

"Devices connected digitally"
In the event of an emergency situation caused by any number of factors (such as disease outbreak, all or parts of the campus are closed due to natural disaster, safety situation, etc.) your ability to continue your class in your regular manner may be impacted. The following guide may assist you in finding alternatives for these situations. Please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning (ctl@uwindsor.ca) or the Office of Open Learning (ool@uwindsor.ca) for help and more information.

General Pre-Disruption Planning Tips

The following tips are a useful practice regardless of any emergency or threat to assist instructors in preparing for an interruption in a regularly scheduled class.

  • Download student contact information from either UWinsite Student or Blackboard should you need to get in touch with your students.
  • At the beginning of the term/semester, send your students a welcome email of post an Announcement in Blackboard that includes your contact information. Suggest that they hold on to the message until the end of the course in case they need to get in contact with you.
  • Remind students to download or print a copy of the syllabus.
  • Back up copies of any prepared teaching materials prior to the start of the term/semester in case you are unable to access the files on the UWindsor network.
  • Learn how to use the Virtual Classroomavailable in all Blackboard Course sites (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra). A tutorial for your students on using this tool and instructions on how to embed in your course site is found in the "Get Help" tab at the top of Blackboard Learn.
  • If you have a laptop, consider taking it home with you after your day ends on campus in case you may need to work from home.
  • Ensure you have set up your Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) so that you can log in from home. MFA is now required for secure access to major campus systems and needs to be set up advance. More information in the Multi-Factor Authentication article by ITS.
  • Copy into your site previous materials from older sites and update them to save you time recreating content. Course Copy can be a Blackboard utility to bring in parts of a course as well as the entire site. Course Copy Part 1 and Course Copy Part 2 videos can help save you time.

University Coronavirus General Support Page

University Workshops or Support Sites to Manage the Transition

Making the move to online

There will be in-person support from OOL and CTL present within the faculties every day. Find the schedule here: http://bit.do/FacultyOnlineSupport

Also feel free to drop by 1232 CEI (enter at 700 California) between 9am and 5pm every day!

Or join us in the BB Cafe virtual classroom from 9am-5pm daily.

When making the move to online, there are three key things to keep in mind:

  1. how to communicate with your students (and others)
  2. how to deliver content to your students
  3. how to assess your students

The following sections will help you with all three of these components.



How do I communicate updates to my students?

  • Blackboard has an Announcements tool that is available in all course sites on the left course menu. Remember to select "Send an email immediately" found at the bottom of the Create Announcement screen if you wish the announcement to arrive in the student's email. Announcements will also maintain a copy of the announcement on your course site.
  • Alternatively, you can get the student roster with emails from UWinsiteStudent or use the Email tool found in your course site left menu where you can easily send attachments.

Can I get my voicemail messages?

Yes! You can have your voicemail forwarded to your email so you can retrieve your messages even if you are not in your office. Please read the TeamDynamix article on voicemail forwarding.

What communication strategies can I use?

  • Shifting from in-class to online, particularly midstream, can be anxiety provoking for all. The following strategies can help reassure students and transition your classroom community to an online format:
    • Be transparent and matter of fact about the transition, what you plan to implement, and how long you expect it to take. Provide regular updates.
    • Communicate your concerns about how the transition will affect student accommodations, and your willingness to find ways to ensure that those accommodations will still be honoured.
    • Consider surveying your students to ensure they have the necessary equipment and connectivity to move to an online format. This can also help you make decisions as to what you might try in your online classroom.

Content Delivery

Are there any videos to help me learn quickly?

  • We have a page in this wiki called Essential Videos where we list the task you'd like to learn, followed by a brief description and the length of the video so you will know how long to set aside to watch the resource. You can also access it quickly at http://www.uwindsor.ca/bbvideos.

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

"Course Menu with Virtual Classroom Link"
Course Menu with Virtual Classroom Link

Note: You can also record your session for viewing after the live event.

  • Instructors will notice that Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has been enabled on each course site in the left menu under Virtual Classroom
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a video-conferencing application where many individuals can join the same meeting and share audio and video.
    • It also allows for a chat window, screen and file sharing, and presentation options of PPT or PDF files.
    • There is also the option to record the session so that users can link to your recordings on your course site to view on demand.
    • Finally, there is a student tutorial that can be loaded directly to any course site. The tutorial zip file is available here (make sure to hit the "download" button near the top left), and see the video below on how to add it to your course site.

Virtual Classroom training videos:

Your equipment for using the Virtual Classroom:

  • Computer/laptop/tablet/SmartPhone with a good internet connection
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional) or speaker
  • Microphone (if possible, a separate microphone can be better than your device's built-in)
  • Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)

Some Tips When Using a Virtual Classroom

  • It is recommended that you use the Google Chrome browser
  • Access by clicking on Virtual Classroom -> Course Room -> Join Course Room
  • Follow the Tutorial that orients you to the Course Room site
  • Test your Audio / Webcam equipment using the wizard available
  • Instructors should post some welcoming instructions for first-entry into the room as everyone waits for the session to begin. Suggestions include some screenshots of places to look for in the interface (Chat, raised hand, turning Microphone on/off, what hours you will be in the classroom, etc.)

How can I pre-record lectures and videos?

  • 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.
    • Face-to-face training for using Blackboard Collaborate is available from the Office of Open Learning. There is also a Collaborate workshop scheduled for March 18th 11 am - 12:30 pm; link to register.

How to use PowerPoint to record a video

How do I integrate Library Resources into my site?

  1. Faculty can embed library resources into their Blackboard course site using the library’s Course Resource Lists system.
  2. If you already have print items in our reserve collection please contact courseresources@uwindsor.ca about digitization options.

What Kind of Resources can be placed in your list?

  1. Online resources such as eBooks, articles and streaming Videos can be included and are accessible off-campus.
  2. Digitizing Print Materials: The library will digitize materials such as book chapters or journal articles within the bounds of fair dealing. Please let us know what you need and we will review your request.
  3. Copyright Clearance: If a digitization request exceeds the fair dealing guidelines we will seek copyright clearance. However, this process can take up to 6-8 weeks in some cases.
  4. We may in some cases be able to purchase high demand electronic resources like ebooks.
  5. Your course resource lists can also capture openly available information like public websites, online videos and more.

If you have more questions please email (courseresources@uwindsor.ca) and library staff will be happy to help.
The Leddy Library also has a help article which will walk you through the process as well.
The Leddy Library also has a website outlining services that will be available during the disruption.

Assessments, Assignments, & Exams

Exams, Alternate Assessments, and Academic Integrity

The Exams and Alternate Assessments During Disruptions article will help you make informed decisions about your assessment plans going forward.

Can I collect student assignments online?

"Create Assignment location"
Create Assignment location in Content Area
  • Blackboard has a feature to collect assignments digitally, provide students with feedback, and share student grades.
  • Please note when accessing Blackboard's online help pages for this tool, to use the Original Experience pages, not the Ultra version. The University of Windsor has the Original Experience except for the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool (see above).
  • To add an assignment to your Blackboard course site, access a Content Area such as Resources. Click Resources to be brought into the Content Area. You will notice four menu items at the top: Build Content, Assessments, Tools, Partner Content
  • Click the Assessments menu item at the top of the screen
  • From the drop-down list select Assignments
  • Complete the details you wish to customize the assignment and provide instructions for students
  • More on setting up and using Assignments from Blackboard's online help pages
  • We have developed a helpful video which will walk you through the process of creating an assignment which can be found on Youtube and Microsoft Stream
  • Information on Grading Assignments from Blackboard's pages
  • Additional links and supports for UWindsor found in the Assessments pages of this online site
"Course Menu with Discussion Board link"
Course Menu with Discussion Board link

How can students share comments and content?

Students can share comments, files, links to videos with the entire class or within smaller groups using the Discussions tool. Instructors can monitor activity in the main discussion board forums, or within the individual group discussion areas.

  • The Discussions tool enables interactivity and the ability for users to subscribe to the forum and receive notifications when someone publishes a new post.* The Discussions tool is also group-friendly and can be assigned to individual groups (either through the Groups tool or through Adaptive Release once the group has been formed) to contact each other.
  • A link to the Discussions Board tool is found in the left course menu.
  • Remember to hide the link to the Discussion board on your main menu if you choose not to use it in your site or students can get confused when they access the tool only to find nothing awaiting them.

How can I facilitate online tests with my students?

Blackboard has a Tests, Surveys and Pools tool that enables instructors to author multiple-choice, essay, short-answer, and up to 17 different types of questions. The Test Options screen enables you to control when each test is available and other editable features such as a timer, or when the test is available or unavailable to students. You can also analyze how students perform by question and see general information about a student's performance on the assessment (time to complete, etc.) from within the Grade Centre column options (available from the header of the column). There are also options enabling you to provide extra time or different release dates for specific student accommodations.

Can I share student grades online confidentially?

Blackboard allows you to communicate individual grades, category grades, and total grades with students through Blackboard's Grade Centre. The students view their grades through the My Grades tool.

  • There are many tools that can utilize online grading, which are built directly into Blackboard, including Journals, Wikis, Assignments, Tests, Discussions, Self and Peer Assessment.
  • Additionally, instructors can add new columns to capture grades that occur outside of Blackboard, such as a face-to-face midterm, presentations, participation, etc.
  • Online help pages for using the Grade Centre are available at Blackboard's Grading pages
  • The University of Windsor has created some customized tools to facilitate online grading and transferring of grades including Import to Grade Centre, and Transfer Final Grades, both found in the Course Tools section of the left menu when an instructor is in Edit Mode "On."
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We are constantly trying to improve the information in this Wiki.
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.