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Professional Development Institute: COVID-19

Professional Development

Contingency Planning Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

This page will be updated as new resources are available. Content will include resources for both faculty and staff on how to deal with changes in how we do business, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Support Sites


ACUE Webinars for Teaching Online

Webinar topics, dates, and times: 

These one-hour, live webinars will include Q&A with participants and will be recorded and hosted by ACUE. Additional open educational resources to support effective online teaching are being offered in conjunction with OpenStax. Implementation resources related to each topic are available from ACUE's Online Teaching Toolkit.


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate

What it is: Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join a session.

You can stream live sessions and/or record session to be viewed later.  Not only can you share your screen, you can have students share their screens. This is a great option if you need students to do presentations OR if you want to work with a student who is having difficulties with files or applications.

What should you know:

  • If students have a poor Internet connection, they might have a better experience if they connect only with a microphone or chat, instead of using a webcam.
  • If students are trying to access Collaborate via smart phone or other mobile device, they may have a poor experience, as I have had reports that the tool is buggy when accessed this way.
  • Students will need to learn how to use the system too. At the bottom of the page, I have provided links to resources on how to use the system.  

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Help for Instructors (from Blackboard)
This is the Blackboard site for Collaborate Ultra. It includes tutorials on how to use the product, including getting started, scheduling sessions, and recording.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Basics (video)
Updated: Provides a general overview of setting up Collaborate Ultra and using it.  The presenter provides useful tips and information.

Blackboard Collaborate: A one click virtual classroom  (video)
Provides a general overview of setting up Collaborate Ultra.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (video)
Another video from the faculty point of view.

Collaborate Ultra: Information to Share with your Students

Collaborate Ultra for Students

This is the Blackboard help site for students. They will need to learn how to access your Collaborate sessions and/or recordings.

Participating in Collaborate Ultra Sessions

This might be a helpful page to share with your students.  It provide tips for participating in a session. This page from Northern Illinois University includes additional tutorials and information on using the Collaborate Ultra tool in Blackboard.  Note that it also includes tips on using lots of other tools, including wikis and blogs.

Campus Resources

Embedded Librarian: Give your online students a little extra help with their research projects. Invite an Embedded Librarian into your virual classroom. An Embedded Librarian appears in your Blackboard course to guide your students to appropriate sources by posting helpful tips and videos. The Librarian also answers student questions about their research projects. Contact Veronica Steward at or call 812-2347.

Disability Services: Contact Disability Services if you have questions about accommodating students with disabilities.

Faculty Development Resouces

Teaching Online

Building Community

Microsoft Teams

You may have already received emails regarding this situation, but in case you haven't, Blackboard Collaborate is not handling the increased usage volume from most of the nation going fully-online very well.  As a result, they're disabling various features periodically to try to adapt.  One of the disabled features is the ability to call into Collaborate meetings via phone rather than computer, which many of our students may need.  As a result, I've prepared a series of tutorials to enable you to use our Office365 Microsoft Teams application to conduct your classes in place of Collaborate. As a bonus, Teams will also automatically transcribe/closed-caption all of your recorded videos!


I've prepared 6 fairly quick videos to walk you through setting up MS Teams for your courses, giving students access, scheduling course meetings, delivering them, recording them, and making the recordings available to students.  If there's anything else you'd like to see, please let me know!  Please note that you'll need to be logged into Outlook or some other O365 application to see these videos.

  1. Initial MS Teams setup:
  2. Student view of joining your MS Teams classroom:
  3.   Accepting student requests to join your MS Teams classroom:
  4. Scheduling a meeting for your students:
  5. Conducting and recording the meeting itself:
  6. Adding links to the completed meeting in Blackboard, for on-demand viewing:
Again, if any part of this is unclear or you'd like more detail in some area, PLEASE let me know!


Casey Bailey

Learning Management Systems Administrator

Phone: 501.812.2732

Captioning Videos in Microsoft Teams

Jason Green provided this information about closed captioning videos in MS Teams.

After you receive the notification that the video has completed processing, open it in streams and select the drop down (…) to the right of like.  From that menu, choose Update Video details. Then in the left hand column select the language of your video from the video language dropdown and then click apply at the top of the window.  Teams can’t start auto-captioning your video until you tell it what language the video is in.

General Resources for Working Remotely

Managing your Phones

Need to know how to check your messages from a different extension or external line? Need to know how to forward calls? Check out this article: Using the Voicemail System to Manage Voicemail

Recording Videos

Captioning Videos

Important! All videos must be captioned to meet ADA compliance.

Request an Office 365 Video Channel: If you need a space to post your videos, contact Jason Green ( Include your course name and section numbers, and he will set you up with a video channel. 

  • Note: to caption videos for Office 365 Video, you will need to save the files as .vtt files. You can find free converters online, if you transcribe them in another application or app.

Adding Captions to your YouTube Videos: University of Washington, includes links to captioning other videos as well

Smartphone Video

Use your smart phone to record video. You may need to reduce the file size or convert the file to fit your needs. Larger videos take longer to upload and may use up students' data plans. 


iPhone: you can reduce video sizes in the camera settings.


Screencasting: When you create a screencast, you are capturing video from your computer, whatever you see on your computer desktop or an open window. Screencasting is a great option for demonstrating how to use software or how to navigate a website.  You can also narrate slide presentations, which is what you see in a lot of webinars.

This method does not require use of a camera, but you usually have the option of adding video from a webcam or other video device.  Some software allows you to show both the computer desktop AND webcam video, so you can show your beautiful face or include a sign language interpreter.

Student Engagement

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