Academic Continuity Planning
The hustle and bustle of life can cause unexpected situations that might disrupt your courses.
The Teaching Transformation and Development Academy's goal is to make sure instructors
have access to all the tools and strategies needed to ensure continuity of academic
operations when emergency conditions occur. The following recommended tools and strategies
are available to help you deliver your course content, participate in committees/meetings
and continue communicating with colleagues in spite of life's disruptions.
To learn more about Blackboard and other academic technologies please sign up for a virtual workshop or view our recorded workshops and other continuity planning resources.
Blackboard Learning Management System
A Blackboard course site is automatically created for all classes. Sites for groups, committees,
departments, or organizations can be requested using the Blackboard Request Form. Learn more about posting pertinent materials to Blackboard and other ways to effectively
manage instruction and interaction with students: Using Blackboard - UND Basics.
Blackboard can be used for the following:
- Making your course available
- Posting syllabus and other documents
- Sharing faculty/leader contact information
- Creating/sending announcements
- Submitting assignments
- Taking exams - See more about Testing and Alternative Assessments below
Live Virtual Classes/Meetings
Zoom allows for interactive classes, group collaboration, and virtual office hours. It can be used synchronously to hold classes/meetings live from a distance, or asynchronously by granting students/participants access to recorded archives.
Record with YuJa
YuJa can be used to record audio/video and/or capture the computer screen from any computer/laptop with a microphone headset and/or webcam. Recordings can be shared by copying/pasting the link or using Blackboard's integration to post recorded content within a course/organization site.
Blogs, wikis, and discussion boards are a few examples of the tools available within Blackboard for online interaction. They provide opportunities for asynchronous group collaboration and course participation.
VoiceThread is a tool for enhancing engagement and online presence. With VoiceThread, instructors and/or students can create, share, and comment on images, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio files, documents, and PDFs, using microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file uploads.
High-stakes testing would typically involve some form of proctoring in an online or remote learning environment. Proctored exams pose several challenges during this current public health situation and are not always necessary for assessing a student’s mastery of course learning objectives. Consider whether or not these tests can be replaced with other alternative assessments, such as:
- Essays/papers including executive summaries, an infographic or poster session, writing an OpEd essay
- Oral reports such as live webinars, or recorded video/audio reports
- Open book exam
- Create your own product exam such as a software product, a video tutorial like a youtube “how-to”.
If Blackboard tests are used, there are various options for administering exams in Blackboard with different levels of security:
Respondus LockDown Browser locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit for grading. Click here and scroll to Lockdown Browser for more information.
YuJa Proctoring allows the student to record video/audio and their computer screen while completing an exam. The recording is securely saved to the instructor’s folder which will avoid distribution of the exam recording by the student. Click here and scroll down to Yuja Proctoring for more information.
You can also view the Guidelines to Reduce the Risk of Cheating in Online Examinations document for some additional online testing strategies.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about what tools would work best for you, TTaDA is here to help by providing instructional design, faculty development, support, and training.
Additional Resources and Training