Instructional Technology

Creating successful online and remote educational experiences requires the corresponding use of various technological resources. This page will assist you with identifying and leveraging such resources as you seek to build and transform your courses.

I would like to...

Record instruction

  • Pre-recording your lecture is the recommended path during an emergency.
  • Students may be ill and unable to attend sessions at a specific time.
  • Added stress of attending live instruction may result in many emails between you and individual students.
  • Live instruction may have technical support issues, and support staff may be overwhelmed by volume.

Top UB supported tool recommendation:

  1. Use Panopto to record webcam or screen video on your own device (e.g. laptop)
  2. Schedule an on-site Video Recording Studio to create content

Alternate tools:

  • Tools such as PowerPoint allow you to narrate a presentation
  • Embed existing video in UB Learns using Mashups

Hold discussions with my students on their own time

  • Having asynchronous discussions is recommended during an emergency.
  • Ensure discussion questions are open ended and meaningful.
  • Set expectations for students’ posts and interactions.

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. Many students are familiar with the discussion board feature in UB Learns
  2. Student can write and respond to peers using group blogs 

Alternate tools:

  • Students can use collaborative documents such as Google Docs to reply and comment on peer postings 

Lead discussions with my students in real time

  • Synchronous discussions are not encouraged during an emergency. 
  • If using real time discussions in your class, use them during your regularly scheduled class time.
  • Live discussion can also be helpful for group collaboration. If meeting outside of class time, ensure group members are available for this activity.
  • Alternative assignments may be needed for some students who are unable to participate.

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. Webex can also be used for a live class discussion or small group discussion.
  2. Create groups using Jabber which allows for live collaboration via text, audio or video using your computer or mobile device.
  3. Some academic units have purchased Blackboard Collaborate as an integrated UB Learns web conferencing tool.

Alternate tools:

  • Many free tools offer real time discussion capabilities (Google Chat, Slack, etc.)

Hold Office Hours

During a time of emergency, students will have many questions related to the changes in content, assignments and delivery methods.

  • It is important that you are regularly available to assist your students. 
  • Share your availability and preferred methods of contact.

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  • Start a meeting on Webex and allow students to log in at their convenience or during a specific time slot.
  • Set your availability status on Jabber so students know when you are free to text or call.
  • Use email for times when synchronous hours are not plausible. 

Alternate tools:

Students may be familiar with additional applications that allow for texting and calling without using your personal phone number (Google Voice, WhatsApp, etc.)

Provide course content to my students

Ensure students have access to the content they will need to complete remaining assignments, study for upcoming assessments, and reach the course’s learning outcomes. 

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. The recommended method to share course materials is through UB Learns. The LMS acts as a hub to access content, interact with peers, submit assignments, view grades and complete assessments. 
  2. UBbox is an alternative method for sharing documents and assignments. Create one or more shared folders for your class. Here both you and your students can upload documents.
  3. When possible, use UB Library Resources. This will ensure students have access to content without accruing additional fees for printed or digital text. 
  4. Attachments and links can also be shared via email

Alternate tools:

Many instructors have professional websites or blogs. Articles, resources and assignments can be posted here if open and shareable outside of the UB community.

Receive assignments from my students

It is likely that your students will still be able to complete most or all of the assignments on your syllabus. 

  • Consider if adaptations to assignments need to be made.
  • Submitting assignments digitally is often a preferred method by students and instructors.

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. Students can submit papers, projects, images, etc. to UB Learns using Assignments. This feature allows for feedback and grading in the LMS which will automatically populate to a student’s gradebook.
  2. Students can upload assignments into folders in UBbox. Grades from these assignments will need to be manually entered.

Alternate tools:

  • If having trouble uploading assignments, students can email them to you. If using UB Learns, manually grade the assignment to override a missing submission.
  • Shared folders like Google Drive can be created for collaborative documents or groups assignments.

Assess my students with quizzes or exams

  • Digital software allows for a variety of question types and settings to be included in assessments.
  • Some question types allow for automatic grading and feedback.
  • UB Learns integrated tools will automatically populate assessment scores into the gradebook.
  • Some departments use additional assessment software such as ExamSoft. Check with your department for additional assessment tools. 

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. Create tests or quizzes with a variety of question types using UB Learns Assessments.
  2. Results from Top Hat questions can also be integrated into UB Learns grade center.
  3. Increase academic integrity by using additional Respondus tools.

Alternate tools:

Digital assessments, proctoring software and student response systems often come with additional costs for the instructor and students. 

Maintain an online gradebook

It is important to maintain feedback and up to date grades during this transition. Ensure students have access to their feedback, grades, submissions and progress. 

Top UB supported tool recommendation:

  1. UB Learns Grade Center automatically populates graded assignments and assessments. Manual grades can also be entered.

Provide accessible materials

Ensure all shared content is accessible for students.

  • Include closed captioning and/or transcripts to video recordings (if automatically captioned by the software, review the text and edit as needed).

Top UB supported tool recommendations:

  1. Use the Ally feature in UB Learns to check accessibility scores.
  2. Contact Accessibility Resources for information about accommodations and assistive technology.