How to Effectively (and Quickly) Move Your Course Online

To best serve our students, it is important to set realistic expectations to allow students to succeed during this time while gaining the learning they need from your course. This page is meant to help you create a practical approach to delivering your content virtually, not creating the perfect online course.

Guiding Principles

  1. Maintain a student-centered approach. Set clear expectations for your students. 
  2. Be practical and reasonable in your course delivery. 
  3. Ensure students have regular and deep interactions with course materials.  
  4. Remember FERPA
  5. Rely on YSU staff and technology tools to help guide you in delivering your material virtually. 

Good news, if you’ve never taught online or used Blackboard to supplement one of your face-to-face courses, the Academic Continuity Team (ACT) has already created you a course shell in Blackboard. If you’ve never accessed Blackboard, follow these steps.

The software YSU provides (e.g. Blackboard Ultra, Learn, & Collaborate; Microsoft Suite and Office 365; WebEx Meetings and Teams) is not the ONLY way to deliver your course online, but it is the option with the most on-campus support. You may choose to deliver your content through other methods; however, we encourage you to consider using YSU supported tools since they are familiar to students and supported by trained campus staff. In whatever method(s) you decide to use to deliver your course, be consistent and communicate expectations with your students. The ACT Technology Guides page includes a curated list of the most essential technology guides.

Maintaining academic continuity: Overview

The table is meant to provide an overview of YSU’s academic continuity process.

You may see a green plus sign (+) on your screen. This plus sign will expand the overview table if you are working on a smaller phone, tablet, or laptop screen. The plus sign (+) only gives overview information. If you are interested in accessing more detailed content, please be sure to click on the questions to be directed to the expanded Best Practices page, which includes technology guides, resources, and additional suggestions.

OVERVIEW Table

Recommendations

Technology Tool Overview

Key Considerations for Equity

How should I communicate with students?
How should I distribute course materials?

How can I make sure students get the content I normally communicate through lectures?

  • Go live or record using Blackboard Collaborate or WebEx Meetings and Teams
  • Upload a video using Microsoft Stream
  • Post recorded audio or video in Blackboard
  • Share audio or video files through a shared OneDrive folder.
  • Additional tools
  • Consider asynchronous instruction to account for technology access issues.
  • Use Microsoft Stream to generate a transcript of your recording.
  • Consider recording audio or creating a podcast as an alternative to video.
  • Additional considerations
How can I facilitate labs and hands-on experience?
  • Record yourself demonstrating using Blackboard Collaborate, WebEx Meetings or Teams
  • Post web links or recordings to Blackboard
  • Share links or recordings through a shared OneDrive folder
  • Additional tools
  • Provide links to a variety of free simulations and videos that can be watched online from a mobile device.
  • Additional considerations
How do I foster communication and collaboration among students?
  • Facilitate live chats in Blackboard Collaborate or WebEx Teams
  • Create group discussion boards in Blackboard
  • Create group shared folders or documents using OneDrive
  • Additional tools
  • Use a discussion board, rather than a live chat, to allow students to participate when they have technology access.
  • Additional considerations

How do I create, collect, and return assignments?

  • Create and collect assignments in Blackboard
  • Allow students to take pictures of their work to submit using Office lens or Adobe Scan
  • Have students submit assignments via email
  • Have students submit assignments through individual student OneDrive folders
  • Additional tools
  • Be flexible. Allow students to take a picture of written work with Office Lens or Adobe Scan and email to you.
  • Additional considerations
What do I do about student presentations?
  • Have students present live through Blackboard Collaborate or WebEx Meetings and Teams
  • Have students submit recordings of presentations through Microsoft Stream or a shared OneDrive folder
  • Additional tools
  • Allow students to write a script that accompanies a PowerPoint or audio record themselves, rather than creating a video presentation
  • Additional considerations
How do I assess student learning?

How do I share grades and feedback?

  • Share grades through Blackboard
  • Email grades ONLY from a YSU email (instructor) to an individual student YSU email. (FERPA)
  • Additional tools
  • Consider audio or video recording yourself giving feedback and sharing that with students to replicate some of the interaction they have in class.
  • Additional considerations

How do I provide access to specialty software?

  • Show students how to connect to the YSU App Cloud via Microsoft Azure
  • Additional tools


Useful Definitions

  • Blackboard Ultra: The NEW learning management system, frequently called an LMS (some courses are still designed in Blackboard Learn) that YSU uses to deliver online courses and supplement face-to-face courses. The Academic Continuity Team can provide support for both Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Ultra. 
  • Course Shell: If you’ve never set up your course in Blackboard, every active Spring 2020 course has a newly created Blackboard Ultra shell. This shell is a generic template for your course where you can share content, collect assignments, administer grades, and engage students in collaborative discussion. 
  • Synchronous eLearning: Live classes using chat and/or videoconferencing. These types of classes should need to happen during your regularly scheduled course time. While synchronous learning may be appropriate in certain contexts, we caution in the use of synchronous learning because of equitable access to technology for the students enrolled in your courses.
  • Asynchronous eLearning: Learning activities that can happen at any time for a student. Content and coursework are delivered by the instructor through an online platform (e.g. Blackboard, OneDrive, email) and students interact with the material and meet expected deadlines by submitting work electronically.
  • WebEx Meetings and Teams: Software that allows you to virtually collaborate with one or many people. You can video call, audio call, message, file share, use a collaborative whiteboard, share screens, and record video. Everyone with a YSU login has access to this tool. 
  • Microsoft Stream: Like YouTube, Stream is a video service that you and your students can access using a personal YSU login. Microsoft Stream will also automatically transcribe your recording.
  • OneDrive: A file hosting service, like Google Drive, but it is connected to you and your students' YSU email address and allows you to store files, share files, and create shared documents/folders securely.