Emergency Preparedness Issue

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Putting your course online in an emergency

Life doesn't always go as planned. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to move your in-person class online quickly. Instructional Design and Access (IDA) created a comprehensive guide that can walk you through options for moving a face-to-face class online in a personal or campus-wide emergency. Many segments in this month's newsletter come from that page.

The CDC Issues Guidance for Higher Ed

As concern about the Coronavirus/Covid-19 grows, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance to educational instutions of all levels. At this time, their higher ed guidance is specific to administrators, but it may be interesting to some faculty as well. Meanwhile, there have been a few high-profile in-person class cancellations in American universities since the outbreak.

ARC 2020 is Coming August 12th!

On August 12, 2020, Instructional Design and Access will join trainers and others from across campus to host the third annual Academic Resources Conference. This year, the conference will be held in the Rhatigan Student Center, and the expanded space will provide an opportunity for an expanded schedule. If you haven't had the opportunity to join us before, check out our ARC 2019 website. Please let us know how we can best serve you at ARC 2020 by sending an email with your thoughts to IDA@wichita.edu

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A Message from Dr. Carolyn Shaw

Recent concerns about Coronavirus present an opportunity for us to work together to ensure the safety of our community and the continuity of instruction for our students. If we work together to prepare for contingencies, we can give ourselves the best chance to weather this challenge successfully. Many University offices are working together to support our instructors. For example, Human Resources has prepared Employee and Supervisor preparedness training you should all review. The Instructional Design and Access office has also put together a resource page to help faculty move their basic course content online quickly should the need arise.  This page provides options ranging from simple to more sophisticated for you to push content out to students in a digital format.

If you have questions about how to address problems this may present, here are some teams that will help:

  • Academic Affairs 978-3010
  • Media Resources Center mrc@wichita.edu
  • Instructional Design and Access ida@wichita.edu
  • Information Technology Services 978-4357, option 1
  • University Libraries: 978-3581
  • Student Health 978-4792
  • Counseling and Prevention 978-4792

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Three Online Options in an Emergency

As you consider the possible impact of an emergency cancellation of in-person classes, think through the ways the three main options for "going online" might work for you.  More on these options, along with supportive training, is presented in detail on the Going Online in and Emergency webpage:

  • Option One: Short-term solutions (e.g.: Professor is ill; Professor will be out of town for a short time; Road conditions are poor but the University is still open)
  • Option Two: Long-term solutions (e.g.: Professor cannot come to campus but still wants to teach; the University has closed or made in-person attendance optional in an emergency)
  • Option Three: Blended solutions (e.g.: In-person class will meet on campus as scheduled but an online option needs to be created for an accommodation; Professor needs to use class time in an unexpected way and needs to "flip" the course quickly)

Consider Trying a "Test Run" Online for Your In-Person Class

Although at this time there does not appear to be a Coronavirus hotspot in the Midwest, it doesn't hurt to be prepared if worse comes to worst and the University has to explore emergency options. One thing you can do now to ensure you are more prepared later is to choose one or two class meetings for a test run. Whether you choose a "no Blackboard" option or decide to build out your Blackboard class, you may need help.  If you do, Instructional Design and Access is here to help you via email IDA@wichita.edu and at our Blackboard and accessibility labs: 1:00-3:00pm, come-and-go in the C-Space in Ablah Library and, if necessary, via Zoom at those same times. Please request a Zoom consultation by sending us an email.

Concerned about Course Evals if You Go Online?

One persistent concern we hear from new online professors is about what going online will do to their course evaluations.  If you are considering putting your in-person class online in response to an emergency, you don't want this kind of worry to dog your efforts and make you feel unsure.  Research into online student satisfaction indicates that instructor presence goes a long way toward making students feel their online course is effective.  Instructor presence is largely a byproduct of running an in-person class, but how does "presence" work online? This short discussion on instructor presence sets in-person and online presence side-by-side to illustrate how similar they can be and how to establish it in your online course sessions as easily as you do with your in-person ones. Want more help crafting meaningful online courses? Check out IDA's "New to Teaching Online" webpage.

Campus Media Services Serves YOU

Campus Media Services is a full-service audio/visual provider for the entire campus with three main areas of focus: classroom technology support, live event media technology, and AV purchasing and installation. 

Need services from CMS? Please submit your requests using the Media/Technology Request Form. For emergencies, call 316-978-3588.

Hours: Monday --Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Friday and Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Need Basic Computer Training?

Computers are not everyone's thing. If you are concerned that your basic computer skills need a little help, consider working through these free, fully online courses from WSU Bridges. WSU Bridges is an initiative of Wichita State, and it is designed to use free online training modules to plug knowledge holes and also facilitate the sharing of open and alternative course materials across professors and departments. These three Bridges courses will help you get up-to-speed on computers:

Get Your Blackboard Instructor Guide!

New to using your Blackboard resources? Or are you an old-hand who would like to learn how to use it better? IDA has a resource for you. The Blackboard Instructor Guide is a fully accessible web-based document with screen shots and concise instructions to help you make your Blackboard class exactly what you want it.  Would you prefer this guide as a paper booklet? Send your request and box number to IDA at IDA@wichita.edu and we'll drop one in campus mail for you. 

New FAQ May Answer Your Questions

Going online can be frustrating and sometimes a little scary.  It can help to get your questions answered quickly and accurately. IDA has created a new "Going Online" FAQ to make your online efforts a little smoother.

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One Button Studio and Seminar Rooms

Your University Libraries have many services available to support instructors who want or need to add a little technology to their courses. For example, did you know you can use the One Button Studio to film yourself giving a lecture? All you need is your prepared lecture and a Thumb Drive to put it on and the One Button Studio will do the rest.  Or maybe you would like to use the technologies in one of the two Seminar Rooms to reach your students at a distance.  These services are free and centrally located in the Ablah Library. Consult the library for more on their services or to book a room.

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Extending Test Time for One Student Online

One advantage to Blackboard testing is instructors can give timed tests and have the system submit them automatically at the end of the time. But when students are receiving extra test time as an accommodations, instructors often get concerned about what to do.  Thankfully, it is easy to change the amount of time a single student (or a group of students) gets on a test as is illustrated by this short video from IDA.

Accessible Online Presentations

If you find yourself suddenly having to move an in-person class online, you will face accessibility challenges that are different from those with face-to-face classes.  To ensure that your courses remain accessible, even if they go online, consider working through the Kansas Accessibility Resource Network's short online course in Accessible Online Presentations. The course is free, fully online, and should take about 30 minutes. While there are suggested prerequisites, the course can be launched without having taken them.

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Working from Home? Connect from Home!

Wichita State's Information Technology Services (ITS) has put together a new webpage to walk you though how to successfully connect your work computer while off campus. Or maybe you would rather use OneDrive? They have you covered for that too! Need help with any of this? Contact the Technology Helpdesk at (316) 978-HELP option #1. Need training? Contact Applications Training at (316) 978-5800. 

What's New in PowerPoint?

Are you interested in creating a video presentation out of your PowerPoint slide show? Great news! Microsoft has recently improved PowerPoint recording features. Learn about these improvements from ITS's Office Bytes blog post from earlier this March. Once you have your video, you'll want to use it, and that means getting it uploaded to a video hosting service like YouTube or Panopto

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Use SafeAssign to Check Your Own Work!

The need to publish and present goes on, even as instructors consider things like emergency planning and possibly teaching in a whole new way at a moment's notice. If you are getting ready to submit your written work for review, you may be interested to know that you can run your own work through the University's plagiarism detection software in Blackboard to ensure you don't have any accidental citation oversights.

To use this feature, simply go to any Blackboard class shell and under “Course Management” (on the left, bottom) go to “Course Tools” and choose “SafeAssign.”  From there, choose “Direct Submit” and then “Submit Paper.” You can upload your file there. NOTE you must tick the box that says “submit as a draft” so your paper doesn’t get added to the SafeAssign database. You do not want it in the database because if the publisher you submit your work to uses SafeAssign or something similar, your paper will show up as “plagiarized” because it will already be in their system.