Planning for Instructional Change
As an instructor, it's useful to prepare should the need ever arise move your courses to the fully online format. Here are some preparations you can make...
Assess your Readiness to Teach Online
View Technology Expectations for Teaching Online to ensure that you have the right technology in place to teach online.
Access a Blackboard site where you are the instructor. Become comfortable using key features and functions. You should be able to perform the following actions:
- Upload your syllabus as a file attachment
- Upload lecture notes and other course materials
- Create a web link
- Create an announcement
- Create a discussion forum
- Create assignment links for students to submit papers electronically
- Post student grades and provide feedback using the grade center
- Launch a virtual real-time meeting using Zoom. Test your system to ensure both your microphone and video camera are connected.
- Invite a colleague or friend to a Zoom meeting that you've created. Practice interacting in this format using video and voice.
Gain Additional Readiness
If you had any difficulty in completing the steps listed above you should take additional steps to get up to speed. Consider the following actions:
- Register for Getting Started with Blackboard 9 for Instructors and TAs (self-guided tutorial).
- Register for Zoom Training
- Contact Online Learning & Strategy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.396.1165 to schedule a consultation where we can address initial concerns and help you to formulate a preparedness plan for online teaching.
- Consider your campus-based course and the types of activities that are involved (e.g. labs, hands-on experiences, etc.). Begin to consider options for coursework or comparable activities that can be completed in lieu of the original activity or requirements.
- Communicate with colleagues in your school and field who have experience teaching online. Pick their brains to determine what you need to know to be successful teaching online in your discipline.
- Develop pairings, collaboratives, or other mechanisms to create a faculty support network to address challenges, create strategies and to problem solve. Build synergies to learn and grow together.
- Reach out to colleagues outside of your disciplinary area for further diversity of perspective. Recognize that many others will be in a similar place as you, curious to learn more.
For further details on what to do in the event that a shift to fully online instruction occurs, visit the Instructional Continuity page.