Spring 2021 Course Planning
The Teaching Transformation and Development Academy's goal is to make sure instructors have access to all the tools and strategies needed to design, develop, and implement courses that maintain educational continuity and minimize disruptions to students’ learning experiences by incorporating flexible strategies blending characteristics of “flipped classrooms,” digital technologies, hybrid teaching practices, virtual classrooms, and in-person instruction.
This webpage provides resources for instructors working on:
- Online Course Development and Revision: providing exceptional online learning experiences that facilitate student engagement and success
- Preparing Flexible On-Campus, COVID-Resistant Courses: maintaining educational continuity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This webpage includes recommended tools and strategies, timelines to help you schedule your course development plans, and contact information for TTaDA support specialists in Instructional Design and Academic Technologies. To learn more about Blackboard and other academic technologies please sign up for a virtual workshop or view our recorded workshops and other resources.
This section includes the steps and resources for creating new online courses, redesigning existing online courses and ensuring the development of high-quality online courses.
Step One: Meet with an Instructional Designer to begin the design and development process
- Map out the course using the Course Design Matrix. Consider:
- What you want students to be able to do after completing the course?
- How will you assess their learning?
- How will you prepare them for the assessments?
- We have an example Course Design Matrix available for reference.
- Schedule a Consultation with an Instructional Designer
Step Two: Work with an Instructional Designer to build the course
- There is a Syllabus Template available that contains standard statements on things like Netiquette as well as university policies. The template has also been formatted for accessibility and UND branding.
- We have prepared a three-month course development timeline to help keep everyone on schedule.
Step Three: Course is reviewed
- Utilize the Online Course Checklist to ensure the course complies with UND standards
- Instructional Designer will review course
This section contains information and resources for all faculty who are preparing flexible on-campus, COVID-resistant courses in order to maintain educational continuity through the Spring 2021 semester. Faculty who have a contract to modify a course must follow this outline for adapting or modifying their course.
Work with your Department Chair to identify the appropriate structure of your course or lab for the upcoming semester (flipped classroom with smaller groups, hybrid classroom, or modular courses). See Recommended Tools and Strategies for more information on how Blackboard, YuJa, Zoom, and other technologies may be used.
View the On-Campus Planning Guide for examples based on enrollment, how often the course/lab meets (once, twice or three times each week), and room size.
Preparing the Physical Classroom
- Consider the classroom environment where you are scheduled to teach
- View your classroom or lab space (virtually) that you are assigned to teach (there are pictures available through the scheduling software and your Department can provide you with a picture of the classroom you are assigned for fall).
- Classrooms and laboratories may be equipped with additional technology to allow students who cannot attend or will be rotated to virtually join the class/lab on a specific day. For the technology that will be included in each classroom or laboratory, please view Table Set 2 on the On-Campus Planning Guide.
- Additional technology include: instructor mic, student mic, projector, instructor camera, student camera, instructor monitor, and possibly a Wacom writing tablet.
- If you have questions on the technology for a specific classroom, please contact UIT at 777-6325 or email techsupport@UND.edu . If your classroom is not listed, please work with your Department for scheduling.
Classroom Social Distancing Guidelines
- The front row of seating should be left empty to allow acceptable distance between the students and instructor.
- Students must be 6 feet apart at all times so classroom chairs may need to be moved to accommodate physical distancing or less lab stations used (therefore the number of students allowed in the classroom/lab will be less than the original capacity).
- In order to accommodate physical distancing, instructors should remain behind the teaching station in the classroom and not approach the students.
- Use assigned seating and allow extra time for students to enter and exit the classroom following social distancing guidelines.
- Develop a schedule to reduce the number of students physically present in the class at any one time. A detailed schedule should be included in your syllabus so that students are aware of expectations.
- Use Blackboard and/or email for sharing class resources and submitting/returning student work. Students should be advised to use electronic resources or use their own printed copies of resources during class. Physical paper copies should not be exchanged to minimize contact. View the Designing a Paperless Course document for more information.
- Contact TTaDA for assistance with ideas for modified course structure.
Plan Ahead for Active Learning
- Active learning may require some additional planning time, but is still possible in a flexible on-campus environment. Consider using the following instructions for a "think-pair-share" activity from this Phil on Ed Tech article to include students from all delivery modes:
No matter where you are in time and space, I want you to think about [topic X] or answer the following [question Y]. Write down your ideas for one minute only.
- If you’re in the room, turn to a (distant) neighbor and share what you wrote.
- If you’re on the videoconference, I’ll put you in breakout groups of 2 or 3.
- If you’re watching the recording, press pause and participate in the Think-Pair-Share discussion forum. Then come back and press play. I’ll summarize the ideas of the people who are live.
Virtual Office Hours
- Zoom office hours are recommended especially if a faculty member’s office is small where 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. If a face-to-face meeting is preferred, a larger conference room or space will need to be scheduled by the Department.
Post an Annnouncemet in your Blackboard Course
- Communicate the course structure with students well in advance of the first class. This information should be included in the course syllabus and should also be posted as an announcement in the Blackboard course site (check option to also send an email to students).
How to Address Student Non-Compliance or Presenting with Symptoms
- If a student refuses to follow any of the established protocol, please talk with the student first. If they continue to refuse, please contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 777-2664 or by email at osrr@UND.edu.
- If a student presents with symptoms (fever, cough, flu-like symptoms), they should quarantine, notify UND Student Health immediately (Student Health will determine if testing for COVID-19 should be done) and let you as the instructor know as well as modifications may be necessary to his/her class schedule.
I am developing more than one course. Do I need to work on all of my courses at the same time, or can I just focus on one course at a time?
Yes, faculty can elect to just focus on working on one course at a time. However, you would just need to figure out a modified timeline that works for you and the instructional designer you are working with so that we make sure all the courses are getting done. If you want to create a modified timeline, contact your designated instructional designer as soon as possible.
What is “life happens,” and I miss a deadline?
First, email your designated instructional designer stating what deadline you have missed and when you anticipate the work to be completed. If you miss more than two deadlines and/or anticipate great difficulty completing the course development, email both your designated instructional designer and your department chair as quickly as possible.
Where can I find the Course Development Timeline, the Course Design Matrix, and the Syllabus Checklist?
All of these documents and more can be found both on the Course Planning page and the Blackboard Course Development site.
I am confused. I am completely migrating my course to an online format for the first time, but I have heard other faculty say they are simply “revising” a course. Are there different levels of development going on for different faculty at the same time this summer?
Yes, classes have been categorized as New Development, Major Revision, and Minor Revision. Your contract will contain this information, and you can always check with your designated instructional designer as well. The estimated hours for completion were originally provided as follows:
125 hours for New Development, 75 hours for Major Revision, and 25 hours for Minor Revision.
I was told I was going to be paid for 25 hours of work to complete a Minor Course Revision; however, I don’t think it is going to take me that long. Will I still get paid the total amount I was promised?
Faculty are not being paid hourly; you are receiving a salary to complete a course development project within a specific time frame. For some, the minor revisions might only take 10-15 hours, while for others, you might need 30 or even 40 hours to get all the revisions made. As long as your revision status doesn’t change (i.e. from Minor Revision to Major Revision), you will still receive the same pay.
I started working on a Minor Revision but was then told I would need to complete a Major Revision. Can my status change?
Yes. You are responsible for all of the revisions required by your designated instructional designer and department chair, so if you are told the course needs a Major Revision, your contract will need to be renegotiated to some extent.
If this happens, we will work together to determine what the necessary minor revisions need to be and what additional “optional” revisions could be made as major revisions. You should contact your department chair explain that you have made the minor revisions based on your individual consultation with your designated instructional designer and that they have advised you to make these other “optional” revisions as well. Self-advocate that you need more development funding for a Major Revision.
In the end, department chairs have to sign off on the course development contracts before you receive pay, so contact your chair as soon as you understand that this is a real possibility for your course revision.
I am teaching a Flexible Hybrid On-Campus Course, or a Hyflex Course. Do I follow the same timeline?
Yes, because the stipend for the Flexible course revision is for also for work to be completed this summer.
Is the timeline for courses being developed for Spring 2021 the same as for those being developed for Fall 2020?
Yes, faculty are under contract, so you must finish both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 this summer.
Is the timeline same for all options within the Flexible model (i.e. labs, large-enrollment courses, etc.)?
Yes, again, faculty are under contract to have the work completed this summer.
How can I request a Blackboard shell, and/or how do I receive access to the Summer Course Development site?
Please use the Blackboard Request Form to have a Blackboard shell created and/or request access to the Summer Course Development site.
What is the best way to organize a new course?
While there are many ways to organize a course, TTaDA recommends that you organize your course by weeks and/or modules and put everything that a student is responsible for during that week or module in that folder with the due dates clearly visible to students.
I’m starting to enjoy online course design and all of the academic technologies. How do I sign up for more workshops?
Fill out this Registration Form to attend as many workshops as you want!
I’d like my recorded lectures to look as professional as possible, and my webcam isn’t cutting it.
Please email email@example.com to utilize the Digital Media Studio in TTaDA when we return to campus. You will be given a complete orientation on how to work the technology and how are scheduling and sanitizing the space.
What type of technology will be provided in the classrooms?
Each classroom will have a fixed camera or web cam and a boundary microphone or ceiling mics. Lapel microphones with body packs will be removed from the classrooms for sanitary purposes. Some classrooms will also have a Wacom digital writing tablet for adding annotations to PowerPoint, using the Zoom virtual whiteboard, or using with other annotation software.
What if I want to bring my own microphone to the classroom?
There will not be a way to connect individual microphones within each classroom, so it is recommended to use the provided boundary microphone or ceiling microphones, which do not need to be touched.
What if I want to bring my own laptop to the classroom?
We recommend using the existing classroom computer for recording over Zoom. If there is no technology available or you have additional questions, please contact UIT Classroom services prior to your class for assistance.
Can I check out equipment, such as video cameras, microphones, and laptops?
Equipment will not be provided for individual use outside the classroom. It is recommended to purchase your equipment through your department ahead of time. In cases of equipment failures or other urgent situations, UIT will have a limited amount of equipment available for checkout.
Are laptops available for students to check out?
UND was able to secure funding through the CARES Act to provide laptops for students with financial needs. Visit UND Laptops for Learning program web page for more information.
What type of headset do I need to create recordings or participate in virtual meetings/office hours from my office/laptop computer?
A Logitech USB microphone/headset is recommended. This can be purchased through your department.
Where can I find the updated seating capacity for each classroom?
Classroom and lab capacity is updated daily. The Office of the Provost will soon provide classroom technology information.
Classroom and lab capacity (all capacities include one instructor)
Are there computer labs available that may be used for student testing?
In order to encourage social distancing and allow all students a consistent testing experience, it is recommended to look at alternative assessments or ways to deliver exams in a virtual format. Students may also bring laptops/devices to the classroom for testing purposes.
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.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is also available for virtual classes, meetings, and office hours.
Review the Student Privacy and Best Practices and Etiquette and Best Practices for Online Collaboration and Meetings documents.
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. Review the Student Privacy and Best Practices document for information about recording live class sessions with YuJa.
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.
If Blackboard tests are used, there are various options for administering exams in Blackboard with different levels of security. View more information on High Stakes Exams.
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.