Following is a list of strategies and commonly used tools we recommend to instructors dealing with course disruptions at the University of Mississippi. These tools are recommended based on their accessibility and reliability, and due to the availability of support for their use.
Course Content and Delivery
Blackboard should be your hub for your class whether teaching in-person, online, or in a hybrid mode. Utilize the various features within this tool to build out the various aspects of your course.
Learning Modules and Course Content
You can share materials with students easily through your blackboard course. Students report a preference for instructors to use Learning Modules for course materials, as it allows for easy organization (say, by week or class session) and labeling of items. You might consider using the Announcements tool to notify students of new modules or materials. You can also create content folders within your modules to group like content together or simply use text headers to further organize your content and reduce stress for students.
You can also use Panopto to share recordings in modules. With Panopto, you have the option to record your screen (e.g., slides) along with your voice and/or webcam, or upload external recordings to your blackboard course. Using Panopto allows for the seamless addition of Video in your course
Materials in Google Drive (such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides) can be shared publicly or sharing can be restricted to UM users or to specific students. Complete documentation for using Google Drive and related products can be found in the G Suite Learning Center.
Many of the resources from University Libraries are licensed for UM users. Permalinks for e-books, articles and streaming videos can be added directly into Blackboard modules. From there, students will log in to the library with their name to authenticate their access. Information about the types of available materials and instructions for creating links for off-campus access are available. University Libraries can also help you find course materials with free access for faculty and students. For additional information, contact The University of Mississippi Libraries.
Communication with Students
The Zoom web conferencing platform is well suited for synchronous (real-time) online meetings involving small or large groups (up to 300 participants), and includes video, audio, screen sharing, text chat, and many other features. Instructors might use Zoom to deliver online lectures to an entire class, or to hold virtual office hours with a single student or a small group. Zoom meetings can also be recorded for later viewing, and recordings can include automatic transcription that displays as separate text or as captions that appear along with the recorded video as it plays.
All UM faculty, staff, and students have centrally managed Zoom accounts for video meetings. When signing in to Zoom, select “Sign in with SSO” and enter the domain “olemiss.” You can also go directly to olemiss.zoom.us. You will be prompted to sign in with your MyOleMiss credentials.
- Scheduling Zoom Meetings
- How do I Start or Join a Scheduled Zoom Meeting as the Host?
- Download Zoom Participant Menu Slide (Feel free to add to your slide deck)
- Joining & Configuring Audio & Video (Video for your students)
- Testing computer or device audio
- Record a Zoom Meeting to Local Computer
- In-Meeting Controls for Zoom (Basic)
- Managing Participants in a Meeting
- Sharing a Screen
- Sharing a Whiteboard
- Using Annotation Tools on a Shared Screen or Whiteboard
- Polling for Zoom Meetings
- Zoom Breakout Rooms
Zoom and Blackboard
Use the Zoom integration within Blackboard to set up recurring course meetings or share cloud recordings of lectures. If using this integration, be sure to enable the Zoom widget in so it is visible in your course navigation.
You can give updates to your class through the Announcements tool in Blackboard. You can set your Blackboard announcements to send email notifications to students (but know that students can adjust these settings for their courses).
Consider using announcements to answer frequently asked questions for all students or to share resources for students to review if there are common misunderstandings.
This tool should be used whether you are teaching in-person, hybrid or online in an effort to keep important communications in a single location for students to stay up to date on all their courses.
Assessing Student Learning
Respondus is a third-party tool you can use to create, manage, and print tests in Blackboard. It is available for proctoring assessments.
- Respondus Lockdown Browser – LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment in Blackboard Learn. When students use LockDown Browser to take a Blackboard test, they are unable to print, copy, go to other websites, access other applications, or close a test until it is submitted for grading. Tests created for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers.
Lockdown Browser Directions for Instructors
Lockdown Browser Directions for Students
- Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser – Respondus Monitor, a webcam feature used in conjunction with LockDown Browser, records students during online, non-proctored exams. When this feature is enabled for a test, students are required to use a webcam and microphone with LockDown Browser. After the exam is complete, an instructor can review details of the assessment, including the recorded videos. Instructors also have access to industry-leading video analytics to prevent cheating during non-proctored exams.
Proctoring Exams with Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser
- Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring with Lockdown Browser – When LockDown Browser is used with “Instructor Live Proctoring,” the instructor watches students remotely during an online test. This feature requires the use of a video conference system such as Zoom and is intended for small classes where the instructor can view all students on the screen at once.
Live Proctoring with Respondus Lockdown Browser and Zoom
To learn more about Respondus, visit their current webinar offerings. They also offer on-demand training resources for higher education. The following on-demand videos are a good place to start:
You can assign quizzes or tests to students through Blackboard, where you have a range of question types available. Additionally, you can limit access to certain days/times, set time limits, and adjust other security settings.
You can use the blackboard assessment tools to give students the opportunity to pause and reflect during long, recorded lectures. Use a quiz as a short, low-stakes knowledge check at the end of each lecture or embed a series of lecture videos within a quiz with questions after each segment. Consider using surveys to gauge how students are feeling about the course itself, too.
You can use the Discussion tool in Blackboard to encourage students to ask questions of you and each other about course topics and the logistics of learning in your chosen mode of instruction. If you want to have students discuss material they have prepared, create a graded discussion and have them attach photos, videos, or files to share.
- Discussions: Blackboard Help
- Contact FTDC for support regarding course discussions.