Disruption to Classes
- 1 Academic Continuity During Unplanned Course Interruptions
- 1.1 General Pre-Disruption Planning Tips
- 1.2 Making the move to online
- 1.2.1 How do I communicate updates, changes, and other relevant information to my students?
- 1.2.2 I like learning by watching. Are there any videos to help me learn quickly?
- 1.2.3 How can I offer (and record) online lectures/meetings in real-time?
- 1.2.4 Virtual Classroom training videos:
- 1.2.5 How can I pre-record lectures and videos for my students to view on their own?
- 1.2.6 Can I get my voicemail messages if I'm not able to come to campus?
- 1.2.7 Can I collect student assignments online?
- 1.2.8 How can students share comments, files, links to videos with the class or smaller groups so that I can monitor activity?
- 1.2.9 How can I facilitate exams, quizzes, or tests online with my students?
- 1.2.10 Can I share student grades online confidentially?
Academic Continuity During Unplanned Course Interruptionsctl@uwindsor.ca) or the Office of Open Learning (email@example.com) 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 Classroom available 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.
- The university has an article on dealing with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit at http://www.uwindsor.ca/studenthealthservices/535/novel-coronavirus-update-and-information.
- The World Health Organization's advise is found in their Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak article
University Workshops or Support Sites to Facilitate Options if Disruption of Classes Occurs
Making the move to online
- Dave Cormier of the Office of Open Learning has prepared an informative "Online Learning in a Hurry" Blog which offers pedagogical insights for getting ready quickly. Visit at oliah.ca.
- Going online in a hurry? Review this Chronicle of Higher Education article by Michelle Miller with tips from Derek Bruff, Jenae Cohn and Beth Seltzer, which provides some share-worthy tips and tricks from some leading experts in the field.
How do I communicate updates, changes, and other relevant information 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.
I like learning by watching. 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 (and record) online lectures/meetings in real-time?
- 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:
- How to access the virtual room, recordings, and what settings to use
- How to set up Audio, webcam, and turn on recording
- Using chat, whiteboard, and screen sharing
- How to add the student tutorial to your course site
Equipment you will need 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 for my students to view on their own?
- Online support pages for both students and instructors on Blackboard's Collaborate Ultra tool are available from Blackboard
- Topics that can be found include:
- 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.
Can I get my voicemail messages if I'm not able to come to campus?
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.
Can I collect student assignments online?
- 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
- Information on Grading Assignments from Blackboard's pages
- Additional links and supports for UWindsor found in the Assessments pages of this online site
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 exams, quizzes, or tests online 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.
- Setting up a test
- Deploying a test and test options
- Grading a test
- More on tests and assessments
- Do you have a test already prepared in MS word that you would like to convert to Blackboard? There are a few test generators with online software that may produce a useful version (though it doesn't always produce great results). There is online documentation to support their use as well. https://quondam.csi.edu/blackboard/bbquiz/ and
https://resources.online.nwtc.edu/blackboard/test-generator/. Use at your own discretion!
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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