Beginning the Week of Monday, March 23, instructors will be communicating with their students in the online environment. The following guidelines may be helpful as you connect with your students online.
- Email your students early: It will be helpful if you can email your students before the course resumes, so that you can tell them your plan. Blackboard is the preferred online communication for your course materials and communications, especially since your roster and the Collaborate tool are built in. But tell them in email if you are planning to use a different tool to connect.
- Meet on Blackboard at your usual course time: If possible, every effort should be made to meet at your regular course time in Blackboard. Students will be instructed to log on to Blackboard (or another tool that you direct them to in email) at your usual meeting time.
- Use a combination of Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication: You may wish to use Bb Collaborate to communicate live with your students, and also leverage video lectures and other materials for asynchronous communication. The Teach Remotely page lists and offers links to all the recommended tools for these types of communications.
- Take Attendance: When you meet with your class in Blackboard, you can take attendance using Qwickly. Here is a tutorial on how to do that.
- Send Announcements regularly: Blackboard allows you to send Announcements to both your Blackboard course and your students’ emails at the same time. To learn more about sending announcements, check out the Announcements tutorial.
Checklist for Course Materials in Blackboard
Having course materials online helps you to be prepared and ensures that students always have access to the content they need. It is a good idea to create folders, each with one or two weeks of content in them, and label them according to the date.
Below is a checklist of what you might have in your beginning on Day 1:
- The Course Syllabus
- Collaborate sessions for synchronous communication with your students
- Class Lectures
- Other course materials, including assignments, readings and audio/visual materials
- An assignment area for students to upload assignments
- Quizzes or exams
When making course content available online, care must be taken to ensure it’s accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. For additional information, see our tutorial on making your course accessible with Blackboard Ally.
Below are some helpful resources from other colleges on how to think about teaching remotely.
- SUNY Remote Teaching Clinic: This resource is designed to help you temporarily deliver your face-to-face instructional materials at a distance. The free webinars in this clinic will provide you with the information and skills you need to teach anywhere.
- Linked-In Learning: As a member of the FIT community, you have free access to Linked-in Learning tutorials. Visit courses like Learning to Teach Online. Log in to Linked-In Learning with your FIT user name and password.
- Harvard’s Guide to Best Practices: Visit this page to learn about the most common teaching practices that are effective in an online environment.
If you need assistance with Blackboard, call the SUNY Online Support Services Help Desk (open 7 days per week) at 1-844-673-6786 during the following hours:
Monday - Friday 7:00AM-12:00AM Midnight EST
Saturday 10:00AM-8:00PM EST
Sunday 10:00AM-9:00PM EST
If you are having trouble with your FIT Username and Password, contact FIT's TechHelp.