- 1 Academic Continuity During Unplanned Course Interruptions
- 2 Students!
- 3 Instructors!
- 3.1 Accessing Help
- 3.2 Deciding and Delivering Remotely
- 3.3 Assessment and Grading
- 3.4 Communication
- 3.5 Content Delivery
- 3.6 Instructor's Most Frequently Asked Questions
Academic Continuity During Unplanned Course Interruptionsctl@uwindsor.ca) or the Office of Open Learning (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help and more information.
Keep an eye on this page for updates to resources during the disruption!
PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD ANY LARGE FILES (video, audio, or otherwise) TO BLACKBOARD.
For more information please visit our Sharing Large Files Article
Below are links to tops that you might find helpful.
- Having trouble in Blackboard? Submit a Service Request.
- Want to practice using some of Blackboard's tools? When in Blackboard, go to your Courses tab. When in Courses, scroll to the bottom of your courses to the section that says No Term Assigned. You will see a course there called SO-18-19: Blackboard Student Orientation 2019-2020 where you can learn about Blackboard and practice using Tests or Assignments and visit a tutorial on using the Virtual Classroom.
- Online self-help page for instructions on how to use common Blackboard tools.
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.
- 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.
- 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 in advance. More information in the Multi-Factor Authentication article by ITS.
Join us in the BB Cafe Virtual Classroom for one-on-one support, any time between 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. (Please note that you need to be logged into Blackboard for this link to work).
- If you are having trouble getting into the session, A guest link is also available.. We also recommend that you use Google Chrome, and have cookies enabled. For more information about how to do this, please see BB Cafe Drop In Session detail
- If you cannot access BB Cafe, submit a ticket at http://www.uwindsor.ca/bbhelp and a member of the team will respond as quickly as possible.
For a complete list of support resources for teaching online, including workshops, links to videos, tutorials, and self-paced courses, support for GAs and TAs, visit COVID-19_Preparedness_Workshops, Tutorials, and Resource Link
Instructors have been asking how to use Blackboard's Virtual Classroom and preparing PowerPoint presentations with audio so they can interact with their students or provide material for exploring topics asynchronously. We have prepared tutorials for Virtual Classroom, and adding audio to PowerPoint for enhanced learning.
For all topics related to how the campus is being supported through the current situation, including information about COVID-19, and relevant FAQs for students, instructors, researchers, and staff, visit the University Coronavirus main page.
Deciding and Delivering Remotely
Open this link to access an online assessment pivot flowchart to help you with options and questions to help you figure it out!
Topics include: Using the virtual classroom, using Zoom, PowerPoint recording, putting resources on OneDrive or SharePoint, questions about meeting your learning outcomes, Does it need to be live?, Do you need to deliver a lecture, alternate content and formats,and General Tips.
Exams and Alternate Options
In the shift from in-person exams and assignments to online formats, there are a number of options. Traditionally proctored exams can be offered in online or take-home formats. Additional possibilities that can address similar learning outcomes can be found in the Exams and Alternate content and formats article. Key when substituting assignments is to ensure that the new assignment is equivalent in terms of the expectations and criteria for grading.
Remember to consider accessibility when creating materials and assessments online. While there are many advantages to online course delivery, including potential improvements to accessibility, there are also some notable risks. Both the institution as a whole and individual instructors are considered “educational service providers” under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and are required to provide equitable access for students with disabilities. The duty to accommodate persists so long as teaching, learning and assessment continue - even in the face of disruptions due to severe weather, outbreaks of communicable illnesses, and labour unrest. Learn more in the Tips for Accessibility article.
Assessment and Grading
Exams, Alternate Assessments, and Academic Integrity
Blackboard has a range of tools that can be set up as gradable alternate assessments, including Assignments, Tests, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Wikis, and Journals. These can facilitate individual, group, and class assignments, as well as provide opportunities to students to interact with each other. More information about how to use a variety of tools for assessment can be found on our Instructors:Assessments wiki page
The shift from in-person, invigilated exams to online formats often raises concerns that students will be more likely to cheat. Academic Integrity at UWindsor article provides several strategies to mitigate dishonesty.
Can I collect student assignments online?
- Blackboard's Assignment tool allows you to collect assignments digitally, provide students with feedback, and share student grades.
- To add an assignment to your Blackboard course site, access a Content Area (such as Resources). Once you open this area, you will notice four menu items at the top: Build Content, Assessments, Tools, Partner Content
- Select the Assessments menu and from the drop-down list, choose Assignments
- Complete the details you wish to customize the assignment and provide instructions for students
- For more information on setting up and using Assignments, please visit the Creating and Marking Assignments Wiki page
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. There are also options enabling you to provide extra time or different release dates for specific student accommodations.
- To learn how to set up a test, please see More on tests and assessments
- Caution: Do not enable the Force Complete setting. For more information about best practices and known issues for instructors, please visit our Test Best Practices and Troubleshooting Wiki page.
- Do you have a publishers' testbank that can be imported into the TestGen software? If so, this video will show how to import it to Blackboard.
Blackboard allows you to communicate individual grades, category grades, and total grades with students through Blackboard's Grade Centre. 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."
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.
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.
- Blackboard's instructions for setting up the Discussions tool can be found here
- 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.
- Discussions can also be set up as graded assignments. To learn how to set this up, please visit Blackboard's Grading Discussions Instructions
- Other tools to promote student interactions include blogs and wikis. For more information, please see our Communication and Collaboration Tools Wiki.
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.
What is the maximum file size that should be uploaded into Blackboard?
Our main concern is videos being uploaded to Blackboard as Blackboard is not designed to be a media streaming service, In addition, consideration must be taken for students who have a slow/unstable internet connection. Our recommendation is that files larger than 50-100MB be uploaded to an external service, and then link them to Blackboard.
The Instructor's Most Frequently Asked Questions article is changing frequently, so if you have a question that isn't listed there, contact the LMS Team at by submitting a Service Request at HTTP://www.uwindsor.ca/bbhelp
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