This website, which was originally created as a result of the pandemic and subsequent transition to the online environment, is intended to help faculty select and use the best tools for student success at a distance. As our understanding of remote teaching has evolved, we have gathered together best practices, tutorials, training opportunities, and a curated list of resources intended to guide you toward the creation of the most dynamic online experience you can offer your students.
Professor, English Department
Digital Learning Faculty Fellow
Communication with your students is the key to successful teaching and learning during this stressful time period. They are used to seeing and talking with you and their classmates each week in person and will need guiding through their course in the new delivery mode. Be sure to interact with your students early and often. Share your plans and expectations. Stay in contact with your students to ensure they have what they need to continue learning.
The easiest and most efficient way to communicate is by posting Announcements that appear on the opening page in your Blackboard course. When creating your announcement, click on the Send Email box to also automatically email your students. Some faculty start up an "Ask the Professor" discussion board so students can post questions, concerns, and comments about the course. You, or one of their classmates, can respond to the discussion posts.
You should also share the following resource in your Blackboard course so students can refer back to them when they have questions:
DEIS is a faculty support division under Academic Affairs. This division provides leadership, offers creative support services, and collaborates with faculty and other support service departments for the successful integration of technologies into the teaching and learning environment to ensure that students have a rewarding and successful experience at Columbus State. DEIS also houses the College’s Faculty Professional Development Initiative designed to support the pedagogical needs of all faculty. DEIS is committed to supporting and empowering faculty to improve the quality of online instruction through technology, production assistance, training, and consultation. The division includes three departments: Course Design Innovations including the Faculty Assistance Center, Instructional Technology Innovations, and the Faculty Professional Development Initiative (FPDi).
Course Design staff assist faculty with online classroom material preparation, instructional design and development, and Blackboard support. Instructional Designers trained in best practices for online and blended learning work one-on-one with faculty members to integrate effective design strategies into their classes. Staff will guide faculty in the implementation of nationally recognized online course design standards, such as effective navigation, synchronous/asynchronous interactive elements, videos, audio, graphics, and assessments.
Instructional Designers also help guide the operations and technical support of the college's learning management system (Blackboard), assisting with the ongoing operational support for the system all its peripheral software and applications.
The FAC is dedicated to daily support for faculty with routine Blackboard technical issues. Faculty can send an email to receive service – firstname.lastname@example.org. FAC staff can troubleshoot Blackboard issues; help faculty one-on-one with Blackboard and other technologies; and provide faculty training.
In addition to assisting faculty with instructional design and development as well as Blackboard support, the Instructional Technology staff help guide faculty members and the broader College community with best practices in instructional technology selection, implementation, and integration. The staff focuses on research and development of both current and emerging technologies, assisting with the oversight and coordination of these instructional technologies as they are vetted and deployed in online, traditional classroom, and blended learning environments. They also provide oversight and coordination of technology-based training for faculty and staff. The Instructional Designers in this department are highly skilled in multimedia production including video shooting, editing, post-production, animation, graphic design, photography, and design of digital assets for Blackboard courses.