The Centre for Teaching and Learning is now operating through online service delivery only. Please email email@example.com if you need help and we will respond as quickly as possible. When emailing please share your phone number and the details of your request.
The Centre for Teaching and Learning is here to assist and support your work and this email pertains to the next two days. Please know that we are available for questions at any time.
As you prepare your classes for remote delivery for the remainder of the term, consider how the following applies to you, your course, and the students currently in that course. This is adapted from Indiana University, Keep teaching during prolonged campus or building closures.
When moving to an online environment quickly:
- Consider realistic goals for continuing instruction: What do you think you can realistically accomplish during this time period? Look at your course outline and schedule. Keep in mind that students may be dealing with life situations as well (including children at home, illness, etc.) Do you want to keep them engaged with course content somehow?
- Review your course schedule to determine priorities: identify your priorities for the remainder of the term – lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What can be done online through Blackboard?
- Review your syllabus for points that must change: Are there due dates or assignments that might need to change? Students will appreciate the details about changes as soon as you are able to provide them.
- Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and the students, and roll out new tools only when absolutely necessary. This is a time when everyone’s mental and emotional energy is being challenged – so keep it as simple as possible.
- Identify your new expectations for students: You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students including participation, communication and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations including illness, lack of internet/reliable internet, or needing to care for family members. Consider how to handle requests for extensions and accomodations equitably.
- Create a detailed communication plan: Once you have more details about changes to the course, communicate them to the students, along with more information about how they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.). Students will have many questions, so try to figure out how you want to manage that.
- I have assessed my course learning outcomes and have identified the remaining incomplete outcomes. If you have questions, please email the CTL for assistance from a learning designer.
- In reviewing the topics related to the incomplete outcomes, I am able to identify the key concepts that students must have. If you have questions, please email the CTL for assistance from a learning designer.
- I am able to identify ways to use Blackboard to incorporate engaging and interactive learning activities that address the key concepts. If not, consider attending “General Question and Answer Session” or “I use Blackboard but would like some help”.
- I have considered assessments and reviewed for changes required. If you have questions, please email the CTL for assistance from a learning designer.
- I know how to use Blackboard, including copying and uploading content, and creating Gradebook. If not, consider attending “ I am new to Blackboard, how do I get started?”
- I want to consider alternative ways to facilitate assessment. If you have questions, please email the CTL for assistance from a learning designer.
- I know how to provide feedback/grade assignments on Blackboard. If not, consider attending “I am new to Blackboard, how do I get started?”, or “General Question and Answer Session”
- I know how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to have synchronous classes or online office hours. If not, consider attending, “I need to talk to my students online. How do I do that?”
- I know how to use Blackboard to communicate with students through announcements and messenger. If not, consider attending “I am new to Blackboard, how do I get started?”, or “General Question and Answer Session”
To help you address your questions, the Centre for Teaching and Learning will offer a continuous live stream of a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session on Monday, March 16, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. This session will focus on communicating with your students online. Please use this link to connect to the session when appropriate.
The day will be organized in the following manner:
9:30 – 10:30: I am new to Blackboard, how do I get started?
10:30 – 11:30: General Question and Answer Session
11:30 – 12:30: I use Blackboard but would like some help.
1:30-2:30: General Question and Answer Session
2:30 – 3:30: I need to talk to my students online. How do I do that? Collaborate Ultra (virtual classroom, online office hours)
Participants who have signed up for the general sessions at 10:30 or 1:30 can access their session through the same link.
Space is available in the 907A/B labs for in-person participation. In following with the COVID-19 protocols, space will be limited.
We will send out links for Tuesday’s live stream session on Monday afternoon. Tuesday’s sessions will focus on assessment and grading.
If you have experience teaching online and are interested in becoming a peer mentor to assist fellow faculty please sign up here. We will be posting your name on our website.
The Centre for Teaching and Learning will offer sessions on Tuesday, March 17, from 9:30 AM to 3:15 PM. There will be two types of sessions; one type focusing on Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate, the second type focusing on online exams. Please use the links below to connect to the session when appropriate.
10:30 – 11:15 (Online or 907B): Blackboard for First Time Users
11:30 – 12:15 (Online or 907B): Breakout Rooms in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
2:30 – 3:15 (Online or 907B): Blackboard for First Time Users
9:30 – 10:15 (Room 907B): Exam Builder (Respondus 4.0). Please bring your laptop and an exam to load into Blackboard. The Exam Builder software allows you to convert your exams from a word document into Blackboard.
10:30 – 11:15 (Online or 907C): LockDown Browser and Monitor
1:30 – 2:15 (Room 907B): Exam Builder (Respondus 4.0). Please bring your laptop and an exam to load into Blackboard. The Exam Builder software allows you to convert your exams from a word document into Blackboard.
2:30 – 3:15 (Online or 907C): Lockdown Browser and Monitor
As you consider summative assessment in your course and changes that will work for you and the students, this link from eCampus Ontario may help clarify your thinking about online assessment. Flowchart to help instructors when an exam needs to move online.
The CTL is available to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out by email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone ext 4989, or visit room 913C.
Follow Up from Monday’s Sessions
Recordings from March 16th Sessions
- 9:30-10:30 Session (Basics about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and answering questions)
- 10:30-11:30 Session (General Blackboard Questions and Answers)
- 11:30-12:30 Session (Basics about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and answering questions)
- 1:30-2:30 Session (General Blackboard Questions and Answers)
- 2:30-3:30 Session (Basics about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and answering questions)
The following resources on our CTL Resources SharePoint Site will assist you with developing your course in Blackboard:
Please note: To address questions that were asked during the March 16th sessions, the Bb Collaborate Ultra section of the CTL Resources SharePoint site will be updated with additional resources by the end of March 20th.
The following resources from the Library will support students with using:
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 the Centre for Teaching and Learning is returning to regular drop-in support for faculty. We encourage you to email email@example.com if you need help and we will respond as quickly as possible. When emailing please share your phone number and the details of your request.
The CTL Resource SharePoint site is a comprehensive tool built to support you in your work. We have updated this site based on feedback from the training sessions this week.
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
- Exam Builder
- Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor
Recordings from March 17th Sessions
Question of the week: “How do I create a link to Collaborate Ultra in my Blackboard course?”
Here’s what you need to know:
On Thursday, March 19, 2020 the Centre for Teaching and Learning is continuing regular support for faculty. This includes face-to-face support where required. The majority of the CTL team is working virtually and so we encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help and we will respond as quickly as possible. When emailing please share your phone number and the details of your request.
Beginning Friday, March 20, 2020 the Centre for Teaching and Learning will be providing virtual support only.
New and/or Updated CTL Resources SharePoint Site Pages
Question of the day: “How are Students Connecting to Your Course?”
We are hearing that there are students who are working only with a mobile device. This will impact their ability to access exams. Please connect with your students to assess which devices they are using and, if needed, create an exam that students can complete on their mobile device.
Please note: You cannot convert a test you have previously created into a mobile friendly version. A brand new test will need to be created.
To create an exam that is mobile-friendly, select the “Mobile Compatible Test” under the “Assessments” tab” in your Blackboard course:
First Live Collaborate Ultra Class
If you’d like tech support during your first live class to help you and your students with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, please let us know; we can arrange for a CTL member to be available for both you and your students.
Why might you want this? If your students run into technical glitches, someone can be available in the Collaborate Ultra session to help solve the tech problems quickly, allowing you to focus on your teaching.
Setting Up Audio and Video In Collaborate Ultra
Are you using Collaborate Ultra for the first time? You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. This is necessary so that you are seen and heard.
Please see Collaborate Ultra Trouble Shooting Tips.
Please note: Collaborate Ultra may be experiencing some delayed responses due to increased traffic. If you experience something unusual, such as glitches or longer load times, try exiting the tool and re-entering it.
Connectivity for Students
It is a good idea to check in with your students to see if they are having issues connecting to online tools. If you have students challenged with access, contact the CTL and we may be able to help you find some solutions.
Private Internet providers are providing pricing incentives and increasing usage caps to support customers through this period.
On Friday, March 20, 2020 the Centre for Teaching and Learning will offer virtual support only. Please email email@example.com if you need help and we will respond as quickly as possible. When emailing please share your phone number and the details of your request.
If you need a laptop in order to work from home please contact Myra Skaronski in the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
Question of the day: “How do I prepare my students for live classes in Collaborate Ultra?”
The Library website hosts a number of tutorials for students on how to use and access online tools. Here are some links you can share with your students:
You have also been asking how to take attendance in a virtual class. This resource will illustrate how to access the session attendance report in Collaborate Ultra:
Lockdown Browser and Monitor Resources
- Visit the CTL Resources SharePoint site to learn how to get started with Lockdown Browser and Monitor. Be sure to check out the Best Practices section near the bottom of the page!
- This Respondus Monitor Presentation outlines tips to consider when using Respondus Monitor.
- Once you’ve delivered an exam using Respondus Monitor, visit this page to Understand Respondus Monitor Results.
Congratulations on a job well done! We have been humbled and inspired by your efforts to meet the challenges of moving to an online delivery model in record time. Your dedication to your students, your commitment to quality instruction, and your openness and creativity to do things differently have been evident every step of the way. We heard this song and thought of you, a little ditty to help brighten your day.
Question of the day: What is happening with final exams?
We will offer an online workshop on Monday March 23, 2020 to talk specifically about the Monitor portion of Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. This video provides a good overview of the software.
Please let us know you are coming by signing up here.
So much information has been shared this week we thought you might find it helpful if we provided general links to resources available to you and your students.
- The best way to contact the CTL is through email email@example.com
- TThe CTL Website shares evidence-based best practices for teaching and learning. Specifically, the Online Strategies for Class Disruption page may interest you.
- TThe CTL Resources SharePoint site provides you with step by step instructions for working with educational technologies.
The Library hosts a number of tutorials for students on how to use and access online tools.
Keep on keeping on. Cheers.
This week the CTL will continue to share information based on the inquiries we receive from you throughout the day. In an attempt to reduce the amount of information you are receiving, we will limit our emails, sending emails only when there is benefit to the larger group. Please continue to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Institutional discussions are currently focused on assessment and final exams. While online proctoring tools are available, the use of these tools should be considered carefully.
Strategies for Assessments in Blackboard
Below are some alternative online strategies to consider when using Blackboard without LockDown Browser and Monitor
- Use question sets
- Use time limits
Instructors can create online exams in Blackboard that are made up of questions randomly pulled from question sets so that each student will see a unique test. For example, you can have a question set with 10 questions but only have Blackboard choose five random questions from the set. These types of exams are made up of multiple question sets, but can also have stand alone questions that need to be on every exam.
Time limits can be used by restricting the amount of time available to take the quiz. Instructors can set up a time limit for the quiz. When time has expired, the quiz can be auto-submitted, if desired. Setting up a time limit can be effective, even when allowing for open-book exams, since a student would not be able to do well on the exam unless they were well-prepared and familiar with the material.
Strategies for Assessments using LockDown Browser and Monitor
Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor requires students to have certain technology available, such as:
- Computer with a camera
- High-speed internet connection (which cannot be universally expected now)
Please note: Assistive technology such as Read and Write Gold will not work with Respondus LockDown Browser.
Before a high stakes exam, it is good practice to ensure the following:
- Your students have a compatible device and they can install and use the software appropriately
- Your students have properly installed the software and know how to use it
- You have provided a short quiz for students to take so they can ensure the software is installed and that it is working correctly on their device
Yesterday we offered a virtual live session on Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. A recording of the session can be found here.
Here is some additional information on how to interpret the information provided in Respondus Monitor.
Supporting your students during their exams
When using online assessments it is a good idea to ensure students have support. Provide your contact information to students and ensure you are available to them prior to and during the exam. For example, they may need you to release the exam or extend the time for students with accommodations.
The following list of RDC Faculty members are available to mentor others in preparation for teaching students remotely. Connect with them through email for support.
Learn with Us
The ITL Program introduces new faculty to Teaching and Learning at RDC and provides a supportive environment for discussion, self-reflection, and practice.
The IOTL 1 and IOTL 2 programs focus on the knowledge and pedagogical approaches that are important for online course delivery for faculty who are new to online teaching.
The ETaL program is a credentialed Career Development Certificate where faculty meet in interprofessional groups to explore teaching and learning in post-secondary.
The EOTL program focuses on best practices in teaching and learning for all program delivery models, including blended and face-to-face.
Explore with Us
SGIF sessions are designed to gather qualitative data from students about their learning experiences which can guide the instructor’s planning.
A Peer Observation is intended to be a formative learning experience in which one faculty member observes another and provides feedback on their teaching.
As part of Open Classes, RDC faculty volunteer to open their classes to their colleagues as a learning opportunity which helps to develop their teaching practices.
Collaborate with Us
This Office 365 SharePoint site features guiding resources related to educational technologies at RDC. You will be prompted to log in with your RDC credentials. Learn more.
The Getting Started Series has now moved online! Watch videos about Blackboard, Office 365, Collaborate Ultra and more – anytime, anywhere.
The Quiet Book Club is a chance to read a book, in quiet solitude, and then come together for a collegial discussion at the end. A no-pressure Book Club!