You will likely need to provide additional course materials to support your changing plans, from updated schedules to readings that allow you to shift more instruction online. In a pinch, providing some new readings and related assignments may be your best bet for keeping the intellectual momentum of the course moving. In Blackboard Learn, the best tool to use to post content is the Item tool.
Make sure students know when new material is posted: If you post new materials in Blackboard, be sure to let students know what you posted and where. You might even ask that they change their Blackboard notification preferences to alert them when new materials are posted. Refer them to How do I set my Blackboard notification preferences as a student?
Keep things mobile/phone friendly: In a crisis, many students may only have a phone available, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats, PDFs being the most common. Consider saving other files (for example, PowerPoint presentations) to PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets, and keep the file size small. Videos take lots of bandwidth, so only require them if you are confident students will have access to them during a crisis.
Depending on your course, you may need to deliver some lectures to keep the course moving along. It's not just about content: If a crisis is disrupting classes, lectures can mean more than just providing course content; they also establish a sense of normalcy and a personal connection. In online courses, we talk about the importance of "instructor presence", and that's just as true during short-term online stints. So, consider ways that you can use lectures to make students feel connected and cared about: acknowledgment of current challenges, praise for good work, and reminders about the class being a community. This effective work can help their learning during a difficult time. For any of these you will need the following equipment:
Device with a good internet connection, preferably hard-wired (laptop, tablet, smartphone)
Headphones or earbuds (optional)
Microphone (if possible; a separate microphone can be better than your device’s built-in mic)
Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a web conferencing application where many individuals can join the same meeting and share audio and video. It also allows for screen sharing and presentation mode. Sessions can be recorded and viewed at any time.
Plan your lecture to include questions and moments to pause and encourage students to participate in the conversation via chat or microphone
Record your session so students who can’t join in real-time can watch it later
If you expect more than 250 attendees (up to 500) in a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session, you must submit a large session request through our Web Conferencing (Blackboard Collaborate) ticket at least 96 hours in advance. More information can be found at the Blackboard Collaborate Large session settings page.
Ensemble Video is a media server that allows faculty and staff members to manage and publish their audio and video files into a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Blackboard and on other websites. Ensemble also allows students to submit audio and video files to a "dropbox" for instructors to review or share with other students.
Ensemble Video Recorder Chrome Extension allows simple screen or webcam recording right through the Chrome browser without needing any additional software.
Ensemble Video Quizzes feature allows instructors to easily create quizzes on their existing or new videos stored in Ensemble and then publish them into Blackboard Learn. Include quiz questions throughout your lectures to engage learners and allow them to check for understanding as they watch.
Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing application where many individuals can join the same meeting and share audio and video. It also allows for screen sharing and presentation mode. Sessions can be recorded and viewed at any time.
Record lectures into smaller, separate video lectures, organized by topic, idea, or skill. By watching video lectures of less than 15 minutes each, learners are more likely to maintain focus and retain key information.
PowerPoint workshop: Adding Narration and Automatic Timing (facilitated by Tim Jones, Buffalo State)
In order for Buffalo State to remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other guidelines, it is important to have all online videos accurately captioned. To do this faculty and staff need to store their videos in our Ensemble Media Server and complete the Request Captioning ticket in the ITPortal.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) will continue to work with students and faculty to ensure that appropriate disability-related accommodations, including testing, are provided regardless of the course delivery method. Students who are currently receiving testing accommodations (extended time) should work with their faculty to implement that via Blackboard Learn. For all non-testing accommodations, please contact email@example.com to discuss your individual concerns.
Test Availability Exceptions within a Blackboard Learn test, options can be modified to reflect accommodations needed for specific students. These options can be used to allow multiple attempts, extended time, or different test availability dates to specific students.
Blackboard Ally Alternative Format allows students to choose alternative formats for their course content. If content creators upload PowerPoint or Word lecture notes and the student prefers an audio version of the notes, they can facilitate this with the click of a button. Accessibility options will include audio files, electronic braille, epub for e-book readers and mobile devices and html for viewing in browsers.
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