Communicate with Students
The most important thing you should do is communicate with your students early and often to give them information about changes to your course.
- Let students know how often they can expect to hear from you (e.g., daily, weekly, etc.) and through what channels: (e.g., e-mail, Blackboard or ePortfolio, text messages, or a free messaging app like Remind).
- Explain to students how they can communicate with you (e.g., e-mail, Blackboard inbox, phone, etc.).
- Inform students of the expectations for attendance and participation under your modified teaching plan.
- Tell students how the class will operate during the period of instructional modification.
- Direct students to campus resources for addressing non-instructional needs (e.g., health and wellness, other campus websites).
- Tell students to monitor official campus communication for updates from Guttman College: .
- Encourage students to practice daily preventative care: Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Stay home if you are sick. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school.
These are a great way to get students discussing a topic in writing. They work best for open-ended discussions rather than for content delivery. They can be set up to limit access to other students’ replies until after they have posted their own response. Professors can encourage discourse by having students post a response to a prompt, and then requiring them to respond to their classmates’ posts with meaningful responses. Such responses should go beyond mere statements that agree with the comment they are replying to and encourage further discussion.
- ePortfolio discussion boards: You can access discussion boards in ePortfolio through the course shell.
- Blackboard: The Blackboard discussion board is a versatile tool, and a great choice if you already use Blackboard, since you can integrate a rubric and link directly to your course’s grade book.
- Instructor guides for creating and managing discussion boards in Blackboard: Discussions
Record Lectures and Virtual Classrooms
Record your presentations/lectures: (Asynchronous)
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a video conferencing tool that you can also use to record lectures. See below for its use as a virtual classroom.
Create a Virtual Classroom: (Synchronous)
You can create a virtual classroom for your students to join synchronously. This is useful if your class uses a lot of real-time discussions, sharing of multimedia resources that will be discussed, and synchronous discussion or group work.
Click here for Virtual Classroom Best Practices
Note: Synchronous virtual classrooms require high speed connections from all participants. If you worry about that being an issue, consider an asynchronous option.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a a video conferencing and virtual classroom tool that exists within your Blackboard Course. It allows you to share Powerpoints and resources with your students, host small group discussions, and conduct polls. For best results and access to all features- you must use Google Chrome web browser
Getting Started: Finding your way around, setting up audio and video
Schedule Collaborate Ultra Sessions: Set up new sessions, Edit availability
Share Content: Share Powerpoint slides, the Virtual Whiteboard, your screen
Manage Attendees: Understanding the different roles, handling “Hand raising”, allowing a student to speak.
Breakout groups: Setting up the groups, using the timer to remind of time remaining.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows students to automatically be assigned to “break-out groups” within the same Collaborate Session. Essentially, the students attending the collaborate session are split into groups of a specific size (as determined by the professor) within the Collaborate session. This gives each group more ability to discuss topics at hand to a greater degree than they could in the larger online environment. After a set amount of time determined by the instructor, students are returned to the main room. This can be done in conjunction with a Google Slides presentation where each student group works on a slide in a collaboratively shared document.
Assignments, Tests, and Quizzes
Assignments tend to be documents, presentations or reports that a student would normally physically hand in. If that’s not possible, you can collect assignments using various methods including the campus supported Learning Management Systems- Blackboard and ePortfolio.
- Create assignments in your Blackboard course and grade them online. Be sure to use the Assessments interface when you set up the assignments. It creates a virtual dropbox for students to submit their files. Blackboard will automatically attach their names to the files, so it’s easy for you to keep track of them.
- You can post an assignment in one or more classes in the course shell. You can create a rubric or provide feedback on assignments here.
Online tests or quizzes
Blackboard Quizzes and Tests
You can use tests and surveys to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students.