From time to time, external challenges may require face-to-face instruction be moved online. In many cases, it will be wise to use scheduled class time for doing things like presenting lectures through Zoom. Most instructors will also provide activities that students complete at other times. UIW possesses multiple technological and human resources to ensure that both synchronous and asynchronous instruction can continue without issue in a virtual environment. Remember to stay calm and wash your hands.
Most laptops have a built-in camera. If yours does not, an external camera can be easily and inexpensively attached. Please be aware that your laptop or computer will need to have an open USB port to plug in a camera.
A microphone is also commonly built into your laptop. If not, a microphone can be easily and inexpensively attached. A headset with built in microphone is recommended, an open USB port will be required. Mics that plug into a dedicated mic jack on your computer are not recommended because they will amplify internal computer noises.
We recommend a minimum bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps for both upload and download speed. Most providers, even satellite, should offer basic packages that exceed this amount. If users are unable to obtain these speeds, they should not worry. Most applications and products will work just fine at slower speeds. This recommendation is a speed that will provide an optimal experience across all applications.
If your household does not have internet, some providers may offer special access deals, including free access for a limited time:
Also, many wireless providers are providing assistance as well:
All service providers (AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, and others) has opened their public WiFi hotspot networks for anyone to use at no charge for at least the next 60 days.
This does require you to be in physical proximity to connect to the hotspot. There are many of these installed throughout the country so finding one to use is as simple as checking their maps. Spectrum is one of the larger providers in the San Antonio Area and can be found here.
Please contact your internet and/or cell provider to learn of more about assistance that they may be providing.
Use Blackboard Announcements to communicate time-sensitive information with students. Follow these directions to create announcements in Blackboard.
OPTION ONE: All students have an Office365 Outlook email account. Encourage them to follow these directions to add Outlook to their iPhone email app. Follow these directions to sync mail on Android and Apple devices.
OPTION TWO: All UIW students have access to email within Blackboard. Follow these directions to learn more about creating/sending emails within Blackboard.
Zoom is UIW’s enterprise web conferencing platform. All UIW employees have Zoom accounts. You may have up to 300 participants in your Zoom session. The session may last no longer than 24 hours. UIW students may also host Zoom sessions. Student-created sessions are limited to 100 participants and are limited to 40 minutes in length. You might also consider using Zoom for virtual office hours. UIW faculty and students may access Zoom through Cardinal Apps. Learn more about Zoom.
OPTION ONE: Use Zoom to record your lecture at the usual time you teach. View our Zoom webpage for more information. If you wish, you can post this lecture after class so students can review it. Follow these directions to post a Zoom recording in the Course Documents area of Blackboard.
OPTION TWO: Pre-record your lectures and divide into three to five-minute chunks. Follow these directions to post these short video lectures into the Course Documents area of Blackboard.
OPTION ONE: Add a slide to your existing PowerPoint that prompts students to think about two or three questions that you would normally raise in class. Add a similar slide at the end of the PowerPoint that will remind students of those questions. Follow these directions to post your PowerPoint in the Course Documents area of Blackboard.
Share a video or a website with your students. It’s a good practice to provide a few questions to consider as they view these items. Follow these directions to share a web link.
To share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with students follow these directions. Blackboard handles these a little differently from shared links.
Use the Blackboard assessment tool to create a low-stakes quiz. Two hints:
The same Blackboard tool used to create tests also allows you to create surveys. A survey can be useful if you just want a quick sense of how the entire class is doing. You will know which students responded to the survey, but you won’t know the content of individual responses. Also, a survey works well if students will be replying at different times. Follow these instructions to create a survey in Blackboard. There are several options for administering a survey; follow these instructions to review the options.
Microsoft forms is a powerful survey tool available to all UIW faculty and staff. Forms can be accessed in Cardinal Apps by clicking on Office 365, then clicking on All Apps. Follow these directions to create a survey in Microsoft Forms.
During a lecture or other presentation, pause occasionally to ask the class a question. Since you and the class can see the distribution of responses, it’s a good opportunity to discuss puzzling or controversial material. Poll Everywhere is a good tool for this, and it can be accessed through Cardinal Apps. Follow these directions, for specific instructions on how to create polls. For more information about creating polls, follow these directions.
UIW faculty may proctor assessments, delivered in Blackboard, using Respondus Monitor.
Respondus Exam Creator can be used in the LMS to build exams and quizzes for your students and is part of the Respondus® Version 4.0 package. This is a Windows-based authoring tool.
Blackboard uses the term “assignment” in a particular way: it’s an online, graded task; teachers create one using the Assignment Tool and students respond online. While assignments can be high-stakes events like major papers, it’s worth considering using low-stakes assignments to keep students engaged. For instance, if students view a video, they might write a paragraph or two in response and submit that work in the Blackboard Assignments area. Follow these directions for creating an assignment in Blackboard.
In this approach, post the directions for an activity in the Course Documents area of Blackboard. Use the same instructions in the share files section of this site. Students then complete the task in the appropriate tool, for instance, Word, PowerPoint or Excel. They then submit their work as an email attachment.
This Blackboard tool allows students to respond to something they have read or viewed, typically in response to a prompt posted by the instructor. Unlike discussion board entries, only the student and the instructor can read a journal entry. Follow these directions for using the Journal tool in Blackboard.
Online discussions can be conducted with the whole class during the regular class time or students can meet in small asynchronous groups. The instructor begins the discussion by posting a question. In addition, set a deadline for completing the discussion, and specify expectations for length and numbers of responses or postings. For an overview of how to manage the discussion board, look at these instructions.
For small groups, begin by placing students into groups of 4 or 5, following these directions. Within Blackboard, each group will have a separate discussion board. Pose a question, set a deadline for completing the discussion, and specify expectations for length and numbers of responses or postings. A student you have assigned to be group leader creates the first post; the leader also prompts laggards and writes a post summarizing the discussion. On subsequent discussions, rotate the leadership role. For an overview of how to pose questions on the discussion board, look at these instructions. To help your students access their group discussion please share this discussion reference (PDF) with your students
If you’ve already placed students in groups within Blackboard, use those groups. If not, begin by placing students into groups of 4 or 5, following these directions. Each student in the group posts the draft of a paper or other assignment. Each member of the group comments on all other students’ papers. NOTE: Provide some structure for these comments with guiding questions or a rubric.
EdPuzzle is a free assessment tool that allows instructors to embed open-ended or multiple-choice questions, audio notes, audio tracks, or comments on a video. EDpuzzle interactive videos can be made with videos from several websites, including YouTube, TED, Vimeo, and National Geographic. Click the following link for resources on how to use EDpuzzle in your course. Follow these directions to embed questions into a video.
Flipgrid is an online platform that allows instructors to create "grids" to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called "topics," and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled-grid display.
Students are also able to respond to one another, creating a web-based video discussion. Watch this video for an overview. And for more information on how to use this in your classroom! Use this Getting Started link to read step by step instructions to create your Flipgrid.
How to access it: Go to Cardinal Apps, login using your UIW user name and password, then click on Employee mail, In the upper-left corner click the "Waffle" icon, locate and click Flipgrid.
Padlet is an online tool that is best described as an online post-it board. It can be used by students and teachers to post notes on a common page. The notes posted can contain links, videos, images and document files.
Create as many online post-it boards or "walls" as you like and insert ideas anonymously or with your name. You can set these Padlets' permissions to Private or Public. Private walls can be created by requiring a password to access them or by limiting access to registered users with specified emails.
See the Padlet Gallery for some great examples and inspiration of how you can use Padlet in your learning space.
To get access to Padlet, email the Instructional Technology Services team.
“Going Online in a Hurry”
The article offers practical first steps in moving your existing face-to-face course to an online platform.
“How to Be a Better Online Teacher: Advice Guide”
Flower Darby, author of an excellent book on online teaching, suggests ways to create a human presence.
“Pedagogy: Assignment Ideas”
Lots of quick ideas for adapting familiar face-to-face teaching strategies to online teaching
“Recipes for Effective Online Teaching: Curated Activities Plus Activities”
The key idea of this infographic: make videos short and frame them with activities before and after viewing.
A selection of rubrics for discussion board activities--from the simple to the complex.
“Evaluating Discussion Forums for Undergraduate and Graduate Students”
Gloria Craig considers how to write discussion board questions that prompt higher order thinking and issues in construction rubrics.
“How to Deepen Online Dialogue”
Rebecca Zambrano discusses writing engaging prompts for the discussion board.
“Engage Students with Online Discussions”
The University of Minnesota offers creative uses for the discussion board.
“Tiny Earth Digital and Online Resources”
Sarah Miller, from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, offers a multitude of resources for digital science and labs.
Tips and Tricks for using Zoom in instruction.
Camtasia for Screen Captures and Annotating
Build a dynamic online presence by making personalized videos to explain your syllabus, introduce themes, record video lessons, and more.
Under “Fair Use” educators in nonprofit institutions have greater access to copyrighted material than the general public; however, the law still limits the amount of material that can be borrowed and the ways in which it can be used. Here are three ways to use copyrighted material legally.
OPTION 1: When posting copyrighted material on a Blackboard or Canvas site, use only a small excerpt (typically less than 10% of the original text) or one image from a single work. These directions from the Mabee Library outline the provisions of “Fair Use” in more detail.
OPTION 2: When directing students to copyrighted material owned by the library, for instance, a journal article, post a permalink rather than the work itself. For assistance with creating a permalink to an item owned by a UIW library, contact Leslie Todd (email@example.com or (210) 829-3841).
OPTION 3: When material is posted on the web, share the link with students so they can visit the site. Except for the small amount of material allowed under “Fair Use,” do not download and post copyrighted material on a Blackboard site.
The purpose of this policy is to govern the use of the recording and privacy functions in teleconferencing applications. These applications include, but are not limited to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and RingCentral Meetings.
Learn more about UIW's acceptable-use policy of online recordings and teleconferencing applications.
A demonstration of testing in Blackboard by Susan Hall and Luella D'Amico.
Teaching online invites us to include more videos in a course. Lucretia Fraga (DSE) will demonstrate how EdPuzzle allows instructors to embed questions and thus make video assignments more interactive. Participants will learn how to use EdPuzzle as a tool for informal assessment and explore other classroom applications.
Do you occasionally stub your toe when using OneDrive? Kathy Bottaro from Instructional Technology Services will present some highlights of this tool for cloud storage. Participants will learn how to access their OneDrive account, share documents with colleagues, and use OneDrive links to post items to Blackboard and the world.
Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragón is an action-researcher, designer and facilitator of organizational change processes who has worked in international and local development contexts for the last 18 years. In this interactive session he will share 4 key Action Research ideas that may be useful to university actors who wish to honor and draw from our diversity in support of equitable, socially just outcomes and opportunities for all people in the world. These 4 ideas are at the heart of a new book he has co-authored with Ernie Stringer—Action Research, 5th edition
We learn a lot from looking at and responding to another’s work—and a colleague benefits from useful feedback, too. . But as powerful as offering feedback can be, students often lack the tools to engage. Then they may become reticent, and the carefully planned activity falls apart. Participants will learn the “Critical Friends” framework for providing meaningful feedback.
An asynchronous course can be a lonely place, especially for students who did not specifically choose online learning. Participants in the session will learn a quick and easy strategy for including small group work within asynchronous courses.
Moving classes online doesn’t remove our requirement to report attendance of various groups of students. Participants in this interactive session will learn various efficient ways to monitor attendance online—in both synchronous and asynchronous classes. Bring your best ideas and your biggest problems.
In Fall 2021, Canvas will replace Blackboard at UW’s learning management system. Participants at this session will get an early look at Canvas features and hear from faculty experienced with Canvas. (More detailed training sessions will follow in the spring.)
This page addresses three important types of engagement for online courses: learner to content, learner to faculty, and learner to other learners.
Want to "flip" your course?
These faculty have offered to give remote help to others.