How Do I?
This resource page is designed from the practical perspective for any instructor, who may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of teaching tools and apps available for online instruction. Please review the scenarios and the solutions below to evaluate if they apply to your teaching situation. If you wish to suggest or include new scenarios, please use the contact form to send us your suggestion.
How do I recreate my face-to-face assignments online?
Blackboard Learning Management System (Bb LMS) should ideally house all your course assignments. You can create coursework, manage feedback and grading, and track submissions for each individual student. Watch a video (01:36) about creating an assignment, explore this interactive tutorial on assignment creation, or read the written instructions on creating group assignments, editing, and deleting assignments.
How do I connect with students?
Research has shown that connecting with students through using the community of inquiry (CoI) model increases student retention – it’s an important piece of what you do as an instructor. There are several ways to foster connections in the online classroom. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a short welcome video that allows students to see your face, hear your voice, and learn about the goals for the course.
- From the main course menu, create a “Meet your instructor” menu item with a brief bio and photo. View this tutorial to help you with adding a menu item in your course, and this tutorial will show you how to add your bio information.
Use tools such as Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate to foster connections:
- Blackboard Collaborate allows you and your students to collaborate using audio, video, and recording capabilities. You can also use private and public chat, a whiteboard, application sharing, a clip art library, and add and edit content at any time. View the how-to guides here.
- Zoom offers video conferencing for synchronous instruction with multiple participants, screen sharing, recording a meeting or class. And lastly, click here to access how-to information for using Zoom.
How do I improve my grading?
Providing personalized feedback is an excellent way to improve grading and reinforce a connection with your students. Meaningful feedback also improves student performance. Utilizing the Grade Center in Blackboard is an excellent way to improve grading, track at-risk students, and it also allows students to track their own progress. Grade Center tutorials are available by clicking here.
We also recommend the use of rubrics. Rubrics are essential components of your online course and will help you with feedback that students can use to improve their work and encourage critical thinking. To help you with the construction of your rubrics, please review the provided resources below:
- Designing rubrics in Blackboard - View Tutorial (8 minutes, interactive)
- Utilizing Rubrics, Chris Daniel, View Recording (50 minutes)
- Introduction to Rubrics, Dr. Nedim Slijepcevic - View Recording (50 minutes)
- The Benefits of Rubrics in Online Classes, Wiley
How do I ensure my course documents are accessible?
There are several tools that make this process easier than ever before! Blackboard’s Ally is an excellent resource for measuring overall accessibility of the course once everything is in place; however, prior to uploading documents to your course, you want to be sure to make them as accessible as possible.
- Microsoft Word documents: Word has a built-in accessibility checker that will guide you through making the needed changes. The simplest way to access the accessibility checker in Word is to search “accessibility” from the top menu under “tell me what you want to do”.
- Adobe PDFs: A good rule of thumb is that a PDF is only as accessible as the Word document that you started with, so the easiest way to create an accessible PDF is to start with an accessible Word document. However, that’s not always possible. When in doubt, open the document in Adobe Acrobat Pro, click on “More Tools” and “Accessibility” to guide you through the needed changes.
- Additional information can be found here.
Once course documents and videos are uploaded to your course, and you feel that your course is complete, you can run one last accessibility check through Blackboard Ally. Please review the resources below for more information on creating accessible content:
- Accessibility Basics for Digital Documents, (interactive tutorial), IDC
- A Little Means A Lot: Simple Ways to Improve Course Accessibility (video), IDC
- Accessibility Cheat Sheet
- Using Ally’s Alternative Format Option to Access Course Content
- Using Microsoft Stream to produce videos with captioning: MS Stream tutorial
How do I create videos that are accessible?
Microsoft Stream provides free captioning of video content. We do recommend reading the transcript provided for accuracy to ensure the quality of the content. If there are transcript corrections needed, they are easily made by the end-user. Learn more about using Microsoft Stream at EKU.
How do I schedule proctoring services?
EKU's primary service for remote proctoring through Blackboard is Examity. When a test is proctored through Examity, a human interacts remotely with the student for identification and environment scanning, and then records the student's webcam, microphone, and monitor for the full test session. The cost for this service, paid by the student, is $17.50 for the first hour, $5 for each additional hour.
Please note: Given the technological challenges and dubious benefits of remote proctoring, we suggest that instructors use assessment methods that do not require this kind of monitoring. For additional information, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 859-622-3000.
How do I ensure academic integrity?
SafeAssign™ is a plagiarism prevention service built inside of Blackboard and it is ideal for essays and research-based assignments. The tool is designed to help educators prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. SafeAssign can be set up in two ways:
- Instructors can set up SafeAssignments in their Blackboard courses and let students submit papers to these assignments, as an option in the regular Assignment feature The papers will then be delivered to instructors through the Blackboard Learning System together with the originality reports, with the results of the matching process, attached to them.
- Instructors may upload papers directly with the Direct Submit feature, without student involvement.
View this resource for more information on the matching process and/or instructions for set-up, and watch this resource for information about grading assignments with SafeAssign.
How do I engage my students?
- During week one of class, ask students to introduce themselves in the Discussion Board area and share their major, hometown, hobbies, interests, and goals.
- Utilize announcements several times a week to keep students informed and remind them of upcoming due dates.
- Create meaningful discussion board questions that foster critical thought, and require an initial post and responses to classmates.
- When appropriate, you may consider scaffolding research paper assignments. For example, students could submit sources during week 2, a rough draft for peer review during week 4, and the final paper during week 6/7. This provides opportunities for engagement, performance improvement, and feedback from the instructor as well as peers.
- Communicate regularly through email. Keep in mind, due to FERPA, emails must be sent through Bb to EKU student email accounts. To learn more about FERPA, please visit https://registrar.eku.edu/ferpa.
How do I maintain a presence in a remote instruction course?
The Community of Inquiry (CoI) approach is a three-dimensional approach to instructor presence in online and hybrid classrooms. It refers to the integration of teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence affording learners the opportunity to create a deep and meaningful learning experience. There are several ways to implement this successfully through discussion boards, group assignments, and course design. Suggestions for each one are available at at the IDC CoI page.
How do I design an online module using Backward Design?
Online module design can be a time-intensive and daunting task. But it can be simplified with a basic understanding of the instructional design principles that will help you in this journey. There are many frameworks that can be used when designing lesson plans, but one of the most popular ones is Understanding by Design® or also known as Backward Design by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. We compiled a list of resources that will help you when designing your online lesson plans:
- Robert Mager's Tips on Instructional Objectives (PDF)
- Introduction to Writing Learning Objectives (interactive lesson), Dr. Nedim Slijepcevic, IDC
- Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Write Effective Learning Objectives, University of Arkansas Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support
- What is Understanding by Design (video), Jay McTighe
- Introduction to Understanding by Design® (Backward Design) (interactive lesson), Dr. Nedim Slijepcevic, IDC
How do I re-create labs online?
- How to Quickly (and Safely) Move a Lab Course Online (link), The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Toolkit: Remote Labs (Google doc), Arizona State University
- Conducting Hands-On Chemistry Labs Online (video), Shabnam Haghishahir, EKU
- Remote Lab Strategies
How do I share my screen during a synchronous session with my students?
Zoom makes screen sharing during an online meeting easy! As host of the meeting, you will see a “Share Screen” option in the ribbon below the meeting space.
How do I do a screen recording?
Screencast-o-matic and Screencastify (a Chrome add-on) are free options for screen recording; both easy to use and have excellent tutorials.