Blackboard is a Web-based course-management system designed to allow students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities to complement face-to-face teaching. Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, an academic resource center, and more. The degree to which Blackboard is used in a course varies. For example, instructors may supplement an on-campus class by putting their syllabus and handouts on their course sites. In contrast, other courses may be conducted entirely through Blackboard, without any on-campus sessions.
AUM offers Blackboard Collaborate an online web conferencing software. Faculty and students may use it in conjunction with Blackboard courses to facilitate office hours or other between-class communication needs, to accommodate guest lecturers, or to serve as a communication tool for students working together on small group projects or in study groups. Blackboard Collaborate lets faculty and students connect with classmates in a simultaneous online classroom session, communicate with real time voice and video, demonstrate complex software applications, “live”, share applications such as Word, Excel, PDFs, Web pages, etc., and record sessions that can be viewed later.
As part of the continuous initiative to provide an inclusive teaching and learning environment for the University, Auburn University at Montgomery implemented Blackboard Ally this summer in selected courses. Ally provides guidance on how to correct accessibility issues with digital course content, which means learning materials will work better on mobile devices and tablets as well as with assistive technologies.
Not only will content be more accessible for those with identified or self-disclosed disabilities, but students will be able to download “alternative formats” of course files by clicking the dropdown icon next to the file name, and choosing a version of the file most appropriate for their device and need. Opening up opportunities to engage with content in a variety of modalities can enhance their learning experience and engage them in new ways! For more information, please contact Carolyn Rawl at x3934 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auburn University at Montgomery offers a four week, non-credit Online Teaching Certification Program, available to AUM faculty, staff and graduate students. This course is designed to prepare you for online teaching, or sharpen your skills if you are already teaching online. The course is self-paced. A certificate of completion, a $300 technology allowance and other items are given are awarded for successful completion of the course.
Why earn an Online Teaching Certificate from Auburn University at Montgomery?
Online Course Development Timeline and Process
A collaboration between the English Department, The Office of Online and Digital Learning, and the AUM Library, resulted in the creation of a free digital Open Educational Resources (OER) textbook that will save students at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) approximately $100,000 annually. AUM developed the English 1010 and 1020 textbook and conducted a research project as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) OER grant program. AUM was also the first university in the state to publish an open textbook on the newly formed Alabama OER Commons repository. To date, Google Analytics reports that the textbook has been accessed by 2,091 people in 25 countries and counting.
The English Composition textbook, Composing Ourselves and Our World contains material from a variety of sources. We compiled the textbook using original content and exercises from the faculty, images of AUM students from our staff photographer, artwork from an AUM Fine Arts student, and open resources that span the nation. The majority of students 77%, reported that they preferred access to the free digital textbook and 74% felt that it enhanced their learning.
OER Faculty Champions include Dr. Angela Fowler, Heath Fowler, Elizabeth Burrows and Amy Locklear. Josh Hill and Sandra Vigilant from the Office of Online and Digital Learning assisted the faculty members in creating this OER.
Quality Matters (QM)
QM is a nonprofit organization comprised of a dedicated staff that works together to support everyone’s online quality assurance goals. AUM’s membership allows for discounts on professional development, discounts on conferences and free Quality Matters Success Stories webinars. For more information, please visit www.qualitymatters.org.
Respondus is a quiz tool software application that allows faculty to upload an existing on-campus quiz (in text format) to Blackboard, create six question types, plus question feedback, convert publishers test banks and create a random set of questions.
Respondus LockDown Browser
LockDown Browser is a custom browser that 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 it for grading. LockDown Browser supports Windows and Mac OS operating systems.
Respondus Monitor Adds Security for Online Testing
Respondus Monitor is a companion product to LockDown Browser. It adds webcam and video technology to deter cheating and ensure student identity in non-proctored environments. Students use their own computer and webcam. The student and the surrounding environment are recorded during the exam. Instructors can quickly review data and video from the exam session, including automated flagging of suspicious behaviors.
Instructors can give students the choice of taking the exam from home or work using Respondus Monitor, or going to a proctored setting where only LockDown Browser is required.
Students don’t need to schedule exams in advance when using Respondus Monitor. The system is available 24/7. There is no per-exam fees for the student. Instructors can use the LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor with as many exams as they like in a course. If you would like to use Monitor for your online assessments, please call Carolyn Rawl at x3934.
StudyMate Class creates a dynamic, active learning environment within Blackboard courses. Students learn core concepts and terms through the use of dozen learning activities. Learning activities range from flash cards to self-assessments and games. Simple templates are used to enter course materials such as glossary terms, fact, or multiple choice questions. StudyMate includes a flexible grading system that integrates with Blackboard’s gradebook.
Questions on how to use the academic software tools? Please call the Office of Online and Digital Learning at (334) 244-3124. Our office is located in 126 Goodwyn Hall. Or you may contact an Instructional Designer:
TechSmith Relay makes recording lectures easy and consistent. Faculty can deploy the recorder from any web browser. Videos are uploaded to an easy-to-navigate online video library. You can edit in your browser and easily share with a line, embed code, or directly into Blackboard.
AUM currently subscribes to Turnitin; a service that detects plagiarism by comparing submitted papers to billions of pages of content located on the Internet and proprietary databases. Faculty can manage potential academic misconduct by highlighting similarities to the world’s largest collection of internet, academic and student paper content.
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