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Instructor Resources

University resources and updates can be found at https://protect.ku.edu/

5 Minute Pedagogy Videos

Online, hybrid, flipped, and web-enhanced course formats

Real-Time vs Asynchronous Instruction: A Reflection

Videoconferencing Alternatives: How Low-Bandwidth Teaching Will Save Us All

Useful Overview of the School’s Bb Template - From the Master Syllabus for Blended SW869 developed by Dr. Kepple



Video Walk Through of a Completely Online Course Template - SW220 developed by Dr. Kepple


CTE, CODL and Others

You can get help to start online adaptation of courses by contacting KU IT Educational Technology Support, itedtech@ku.edu, 785-864-2600. The team will assess each faculty member’s situation and either assist with Blackboard migration or refer instructors to more specialized consulting available through the Center for Online and Distance Learning.

To assist with this endeavor, we have developed a “master template” that any instructor can modify to make pertinent to their course material. This Blackboard template can be employed with ALL courses (i.e., BSW, MSW, and PhD). Should additional assistance be desired or to be added to the master template, you may contact Dana Shafer (at: dshafer@ku.edu). 

Edwards Campus: For instructors needing assistance, Steve Werninger, swerninger@ku.edu, is available to meet virtually or face to face to provide desk side coaching on Zoom, lecture recording, and Blackboard. We also are currently working on reference and how-to materials that will soon be available on the Faculty and Staff Support Services website: https://edwardscampus.ku.edu/faculty-resources/.

Preparing to Scale Online during the Coronavirus Webinar Recording; While focusing on Blackboard’s “Collaborate” platform (a platform not offered through KU), the video covers best practices for ensuring content is online and accessible for your learners

Blackboard Resources for Instructors; KU resource page

Blackboard Learn Videos for Instructors; directly from Blackboard

Video Playlist: Building Your Course

Video Playlist: Communication & Collaboration

Video Playlist: Data, Reporting & Reuse

Blackboard Instructor App; This app replaces the original Blackboard Learn mobile app, which Blackboard no longer supports. Please uninstall the Mobile Learn app and download this vendor-supported version

Get started using Microsoft Teams for your Blackboard course


Kaltura; a video streaming solution, so that KU Faculty, Students, and Staff can create and deliver multimedia content.  KU’s learning management system (Blackboard) integrates with Kaltura.  Also available, is MediaHub, where KU users have a private YouTube-like repository to post and share video content.

Kaltura Uploads (Share Audio and Video Files)

Upload and Share a Video in MediaHub

Add Video To Blackboard

Kaltura Express Capture (Webcam Recordings)

Create a webcam recording (video); Good for brief updates using your webcam, like weekly announcements and check-ins. Used often for student recording of speeches, assignment content and demonstrations. Can be accessed from text editor, so instructors could use for video feedback on assignments.

Kaltura Capture (Record Presentation from Your Computer)

Create a PowerPoint or Screen Capture recording (video); Annotation tools built-in to recording application. Presentation content or website walkthroughs - anything you can display onscreen. Kaltura Capture can be used by students, as well as Faculty, in MediaHub. Then share with instructor in Blackboard assignment.

Additional Kaltura Features

Kaltura's Video Editor (video); Edit your video online, after recording and/or uploading.

Captioning in Kaltura;  All videos in Kaltura are have machine-generated captions automatically added.  Those captions will include errors and are not considered accessible until you edit them for accuracy.  You can edit your captions with an online captions interface.


KU no longer uses Blackboard Collaborate for online meetings. KU is now using Zoom. A link to a Zoom meeting can be posted in a Blackboard site or emailed to students.

“Zoombombing” – a practice in which uninvited attendees disrupt a meeting by sharing inappropriate or offensive material.

Those hosting Zoom meetings and webinars should take steps to prevent such incidents. Key recommendations include:

Distribute the Zoom meeting link privately to attendees and ask them not to share it

Set a meeting password

Allow only signed-in users to join

Understand in advance how to remove disruptive participants

KU Zoom; Download the Zoom App, Join or Host a Meeting, Sign In

Joining a Zoom Meeting by Phone

Using Zoom at KU Video Series

Using Zoom at KU (PDF)

Using iOS mobile devices (PDF)

For Instructors (PDF)

For Students (PDF)

Cloud Recording with Zoom (PDF)

Connect a Conference Room System (PDF)

Self-study manual (PDF)

Accessibility, Closed Captions

Accessibility, Hot Keys

Zoom FAQs

Zoom Video Tutorials

Join a Meeting

Scheduling a Meeting with Zoom Website

          Meeting Controls

Scheduling a Meeting with Google Calendar

Scheduling a Meeting with Outlook

Assigning Scheduling Privilege in Outlook

Scheduling a Zoom Webinar

Breakout Rooms

Closed Captioning

All About Zoom Webinar

Recording a Zoom Meeting

Joining & Configuring Audio & Video

Sharing Your Screen

Sharing Multiple Screens Simultaneously

All About Recording

Recorded Training Sessions

Getting Started with Zoom
This 30-minute training session with live Q&A will provide a high-level tour of Zoom and cover the basics you need to get up and running.

Zoom Meetings Training
This 60-minute training session with live Q&A will review features applicable to Zoom Meetings and using the Zoom Client software. We will discuss scheduling and hosting your meetings.

Zoom Meetings for Education Training
This 45-minute training session with live Q&A will cover the power of virtual teaching and learning in the Zoom classroom for students and teachers.

Zoom Rooms Training
This 60-minute training session will cover the basics of setup and devices, scheduling with Zoom Rooms as well as hosting and participating in Zoom Room Meetings.

Zoom Webinar Training
This 60-minute training session with live Q&A will review Zoom features applicable to Zoom Video Webinar. We will discuss scheduling, customizing and hosting your events.

Zoom Administrator Training
This 60-minute training session with live Q&A will review the Zoom Administrator Portal and how to manage your Zoom account. Topics include deployment, account, user and group management.

Zoom Phone Administrator Training
This 60-minute training session with live Q&A will review the Zoom Phone Administrator Portal. Topics include phone numbers, auto receptionists, call queues, and more.

Here is a handout document for instructors on using Zoom: https://technology.ku.edu/sites/technology.ku.edu/files/docs/training/Zoom/h_using-zoom-at-ku_instructors.pdf


VoiceThread is a cloud-based application that allows users to upload, share and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos. Over 50 different types of media can be shared in VoiceThread. Users can comment on VoiceThread slides using one of five commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, phone and audio-file upload. Additionally, using VoiceThread's "doodle" tool, you can markup or annotate the multimedia you have uploaded when leaving a typed, video or audio comment. Users can keep a VoiceThread private, share it with specific people, or open it to all.

You can use VoiceThread which can be enabled in Blackboard to upload slides and add narration, or just create a short video or audio recording. Students can comment and engage directly with the VoiceThread lecture you created. This page (see Support tab) contains tutorials on what it is, how to add and enable it in your Blackboard course site, and information for your students.

VoiceThread: Creating

VoiceThread: Editing

VoiceThread: Viewing

VoiceThread: Commenting

VoiceThread: Doodling

Creating Accessible Content

Screen Reader Accessibility

Here is the link to a video recording on using VoiceThread in Blackboard (begins after 30 seconds): https://voicethread.com/share/14617695/

Here is the link to VT’s workshop page where you can register for upcoming sessions or view the archives on the right side of the page: https://voicethread.com/workshops

Here is the link to VT’s blog where you will find a number of guest posts from educators who use VoiceThread with their classes: https://voicethread.com/blog

And here is the link to VT’s YouTube channel. If you subscribe to VT’s channel, you will receive the latest tutorials as soon as they are posted: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXggZ2yUPudu9EKx5ZtrdAw 

Other Methods for Instruction

From Brown University: Inclusive Approaches to Support Student Assignments During Times of Disruption

From Pace University, includes (on page 8 of the PDF): Possible Alternative Methods for Course Delivery when the Internet is Unavailable

From Indiana University (https://keepteaching.iu.edu/strategies/index.html): Keep things phone friendly: In a crisis, many students may only have a phone available, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats, PDFs being the most common. Consider saving other files (for example, PowerPoint presentations) to PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets, and keep the file size small. It is fairly easy to reduce the size of PDF files using Adobe Acrobat, and there are online tools that do the same thing (for example, search Google for "PDF file size"). Videos take lots of bandwidth, so only require them if you are confident students will have access to them during a crisis.

Joining a Zoom Meeting by Phone

On-campus Wi-Fi - Students who want to get into the libraries to use computer terminals or Wi-Fi should call the front desk of the libraries.  The library doors are locked, but they will allow faculty or students in upon request.  Here are the numbers:

Watson 785-864-8983

Anschutz 785-864-4928

General Tips & FAQs for Faculty Going Online in a Hurry

General Tips

Best Practices for Exams in Emergency Remote Teaching Environment (PDF)

KU efforts to ensure a successful rapid remote transition – resources for instructors, employees and students (PDF)

Accommodations. Students who qualify for accommodations may need specific revisions, such as enlarged font or spacing on exams. For questions regarding accommodations to coursework for students who presented a letter of accommodation, please AAAC

Consider virtual office hours. You can use Zoom to video conference with students to keep your same hours, or encourage students to email you during those hours. If you or your students are willing to meet face to face, the college is open. Here is more information on virtual office hours from the University of Washington.

From American University:

  • When at all possible, opt for an asynchronous class (occurring independently but with specific due dates/times) rather than synchronous (occurring at the same time). Requiring students to meet online at a certain time will likely lead to the need to create a contingency plan for student absences due to poor internet, loss of power, or children also staying home due to inclement weather.
  • Keep videos to 6 minutes or less.
  • Use Open Educational Resources (OER) in your courses whenever possible. You don’t want students traveling to retrieve materials if class is cancelled so materials accessible online through the library or other open source are preferable.
  • Caption video content for accessibility.
  • Before you use any files you find, check that resources are labeled as ‘copyright free’ and are from a trustworthy source.

From Arizona State:

Please do:

  • Maintain the scheduled time and day that your class meets. This ensures that students who attend your class do not need to adjust their schedules to participate (Note that this point does not agree with the first point above from American University. There are pros and cons with both approach).
  • Contact your students prior to the campus closure date at least twice. Be clear with your instructions on how you will use Zoom, Canvas or Slack to manage your class. On the day prior to the official closure, send a reminder email or message to ensure that all students received the instructions. 
  • Download all platforms you plan to use on multiple devices in case one of your devices malfunctions during instruction. 
  • Test out your equipment and your hosting location with colleagues and solicit their feedback on your setup. Be open to ideas and be willing to share tips with colleagues who are seeking advice.
  • Reach out individually to students who were previously attending on-campus classes but are missing virtual classes. This may be a sign they are experiencing accessibility or other challenges.
  • Ask your students how you can help them during the transition. Students may have additional challenges that amplify during times of stress or uncertainty. Be helpful and direct them to advising, counseling or any other student support services if needed. 

Please do not:

  • Hold a class via Zoom on a day or time that your class does not normally meet, or extend class time beyond scheduled hours. 
  • Change the syllabus, grading structure or expectations of the course unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Change assignment deadlines, test dates or finals schedule unless absolutely necessary.
  • Make any changes that impact the amount of work and study time required of students and TAs.
  • Ignore expressed student needs (e.g., advising, counseling services, financial aid, etc.) that fall outside your immediate duties as a teacher.

Resources for higher education facultyfrom Pearson

Emergency Telemental Health Implementation: Moving Fast While Maintaining Standard of Care; a short free 30 minute webinar for those who want some basics about using the proper standard of care for telehealth.

Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption; while some information may be specific to Stanford resources, provides tips on Zoom and remote pedagogy.

The seven secrets of successful virtual meetings; This paper outlines the seven secrets that project managers need to know to have successful virtual meetings.

Transitioning to an Online Class; This article discusses some of the benefits of the online learning format and how you can structure your course materials to take advantage of those strengths.

NASW Resources and FAQs on COVID-19; provides resources on Helping People in Special Populations, Preparing Your Practice, Telehealth, Supporting Clients, Self-Care, Ethical Considerations

Digital Accessibility Checklist for Courses; an excellent checklist for ensuring digital designs are accessible

Engaging the Reluctant Learner (Video); lessons learned from an instructor’s perspective

Two Minute Mentor (Videos); KU Profs share their experiences

Using Technology; CTE brief text overviews

Online Teaching;  CTE brief text overviews


How can my class continue if it is not possible to meet on campus?

If you do not already use a Blackboard class site to support your course, we recommend that you get your Blackboard class site ready as a potential back-up. Each course automatically gets a Blackboard course site when courses open for registration and students are automatically enrolled. Instructors need to manually make the course available in order for students to view course materials and resources and to engage. To set up your course site in readiness, do at least the minimum:

  • Post an announcement telling students where to find everything.
  • Post your syllabus and/or class schedule by uploading a file to the Blackboard course site.
  • Create at least one discussion forum where students can ask questions (you can call it something like Ask the Professor or Q&A forum). You can easily add more discussion forums if they are needed--generally a good idea to have one for each week of the class.

What is the best way for me to communicate electronically with my students?

It is best for you to use Blackboard to communicate with students and to share course materials.

Students would receive an email to the account associated with that tool, note that it might not be their KU email address. Ask students to check and confirm their email is updated and correct in Blackboard and other systems.

How do I access Blackboard?

If you have not logged into Blackboard recently, please use these step-by-step instructions on how to access your courses in Blackboard.

I am not very familiar with Blackboard. How can I quickly prepare myself?

If you are not familiar with basic Blackboard instructor functions, or have forgotten how to use specific tools in Blackboard, we recommend that you review the resources linked to above.

How do I make my course available to students?

To make your course available, please follow these steps listed here. There is also a video to guide you through this process. The instructor needs to make the course available to students. If the course is not available, students will not be able to access your course materials. 

How can I let my students know that I have activated the Blackboard class site and that we will continue the class via Blackboard?

  • After activating your Blackboard class site with the minimum content enabled, let your students know by sending an email from within Blackboard and let them know that you will be emailing them announcements from the Blackboard course site to keep them up to date on the class activities.
  • Revise the syllabus and schedule as needed to account for how and when you will continue assignments, discussion, tests, etc. during the expected time period you will not meet on campus. 

How can I prepare my students for the eventuality of not being able to meet on campus?

Prepare your students by having a conversation with them about the following:

  • Have students download the Blackboard app to their phone or other device and test it out. (Note that you can also access Blackboard via a mobile app).
  • Ask students to check and confirm their email is updated and correct in Blackboard.
  • Find out who does not have a remote computer or smartphone to access Blackboard. It may be possible to arrange for the student to borrow equipment from the School.
  • Also find out how many have only limited access to Wi-Fi at home - you will want to adjust the kind of content you post in Blackboard accordingly, avoiding materials for which prolonged access or bandwidth is necessary like long videos or the use of video conferencing.
  • Reassure your students by communicating before any eventuality, and if you do experience a disruption to campus meetings, keep your students informed by emails or emailed announcements from within Blackboard.
  • Include info on how to contact the Helpdesk in your communications, and on your syllabus. 

How can I continue my usual lectures?

You have many choices for presenting or lecturing online, whether you want to use slides, or just create an audio or video presentation. The following are all relatively easy to learn:

  • You can present your lecture, with or without slides via Zoom with students attending in real time or you can record it beforehand and make it available for students to access later, then create a discussion forum to engage with students. You can also record a live session and share with students who were not able to attend live.
  • You can use VoiceThread which can be enabled in Blackboard to upload slides and add narration, or just create a short video or audio recording. Students can comment and engage directly with the VoiceThread lecture you created. This page (see Support tab) contains tutorials on what it is, how to add and enable it in your Blackboard course site, and information for your students.

How can I have students submit written assignments?

You can arrange for students to submit their assignments via an assignment link in Blackboard. This guide can help you set up assignments for your class assignments in Blackboard. You can use the various tools available there for providing feedback via text, audio, or video, writing in comments directly on papers via the in-line grading function, or grading by means of a rubric. Additionally, you can use SafeAssign, which is also available in Blackboard. If you don’t want to use Blackboard for assignments, you can also explore making use of OneDrive for Business to which KU faculty and students now both have access.

How can I create quizzes/tests/exams in Blackboard?

You can create many types of quizzes or exams in Blackboard and there are many options available such as timed or not timed, multiple attempts, or automated feedback. Learn how to set it up by reviewing guidance here and here.

How can I ensure academic integrity when offering tests and quizzes, or essays, discussion posts, and papers online?

  • For tests and quizzes offered online in Blackboard, help ensure academic integrity by creating a large question pool from which you draw your test, randomizing the questions for the test taker, and add other test options like no backtracking, time limits, or password enabling, depending on the nature of the test. To review these options and find those most appropriate for your tests, see Test and Survey Options.
  • Plagiarism in writing assignments occur no more frequently for students in online classes than those who attend only in-person classes, because all students have access to the internet. For writing assignments submitted online, consider using SafeAssign in Blackboard. This may allow you to reduce the chances of plagiarism by noting similarities of content submitted with other content. You can also use Google to search for specific odd phrases and vocabulary that don’t seem to fall into the student’s usual writing patterns. Consider asking students to review the originality report and resubmit after revising, if need be.
  • To discourage students in online discussion from simply repeating or copying what other classmates have said, use the “Post first” settings option in Blackboard discussion. This will prevent students from reading others’ responses before they have posted their own.

How can I meet for class or office hours in real-time with my students?

From California State University, East Bay:

  • Phone, zoom, skype or other means where students can access you in real time is encouraged. Here are some tips for Zoom office hours:
  • Login to your zoom room, mute the mic, turn off the camera, and just work as you normally would. 
  • Let people know that your zoom room is similar to a “real” office in that when they stop by, it is possible other visitors will be there. If all visitors have the same question and are comfortable continuing to talk, then the conversation can just continue with the new visitor(s) there. If people need to have 1:1 conversations, just ask the new visitor(s) to come back in a few minutes, as you would in a “real” office.
  • You’ll hear a chime when people enter the room and then you can unmute yourself and say hello. 
  • If you need to step away from your computer, make a quick word doc, ppt slide, or google slide that says, “Back in 5 min.” Then screen share that and take your little break.

How can I enable students to work or meet in small groups when they cannot be on campus?

There are a number of options available.

Who do I contact for support?

Instructor support can be found here.

Here are the university’s web pages that have been developed to help answer questions and provide updates specifically about how the university is monitoring and planning for the evolving coronavirus situation:

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