The Distance Education office at Oregon Tech provides technology that can be used in your on-campus classes at no charge. (These same programs are used in the fully online classes.) Some of the software that is available to any faculty member at any of the Oregon Tech campuses includes Blackboard, which is a course management software, and Collaborate web conferencing software. Faculty can use either of these programs to supplement their classroom instruction. When you use Blackboard at Oregon Tech as a supplement to an on-campus class, we call it a "Blackboard hybrid class."
Use Blackboard to:
- post your syllabus and handouts online for students to access at any time from any location
- send announcements to your class
- let students turn in assignments electronically - even large files that are too big to send by email
- give your quizzes or tests online and let Blackboard grade them for you
- post student grades in a secure environment
- use blogs or online discussion groups to enhance student participation
The Collaborate web conferencing program can be used to:
- invite a guest speaker to your classroom who cannot come to campus
- record a lecture for students who have a conflict with the scheduled class time
- record a lecture to let your students review the material - the recording can be done in the live classroom or in your office
- conduct a live class lecture from a distance when you're at a conference or out of town for some other reason
- have students record a presentation
- collaborate on a document with people at a distance - share your computer screen and "show" them rather than "tell" them
- conduct online office hours
- set up online study groups for your students to use so they can meet from their homes
The Distance Education staff also has software on our computers to help you do tasks in Blackboard such as:
- convert a Word formatted quiz/test into a Blackboard
assessment (using Respondus)
- convert a voice narrated PowerPoint into a web-ready format of acceptable size for posting in your Blackboard class (using Impatica or Camtasia)
- capture your
activity on your computer screen to show students how to use a program (using Camtasia)
- convert non-copyrighted media files into a format that can be posted
online (using various programs we have)
- teach faculty how to use HTML editor programs such as Expression Web or Dreamweaver
Distance Education also has some equipment that can be borrowed by any on-campus or online instructor. These items include:
- Camcorder with tripod - record a lecture or presentation (The ITS helpdesk also has two camcorders that you can check out.)
- Speaker/microphone unit - use in your classroom with Collaborate to record or broadcast what everyone in the room in saying so that you can have others listen from a distance, or you can record the lecture for students to listen to later. These units can also be used as a speakerphone when connected to your telephone if you have a telephone without that feature. You can also use these units if you need to attend a web conference using another program that uses Voice Over IP to deliver the audio. This unit is especially useful if you have a group of people attending on your end.
- Headset with microphone - use in your office with Collaborate or any other web conferencing program. The quality of your audio is much better using a headset instead of an "open microphone" system. You can also use the headset to record your voice on a PowerPoint presentation. The Oregon Tech bookstore sells headsets for a very reasonable price if you plan on using them often. If you only need them once or for a short time, please feel free to borrow one of ours.
The Distance Education staff can also help with using other technology in your classroom. For instance:
- Provide help with using the Smartboard in your classroom implementing Collaborate to connect with students and faculty located at other campuses or even connect with them at their homes. You can use Collaborate to connect with anyone in the world who has Internet access.
- Provide help in transferring your media into a web-friendly format to post in your Blackboard class
- Advise on other software that you may want to use in your Blackboard class. We'll research the program for you if we aren't already familiar with it.
- Brainstorm ideas you have on how to include other technology in your Blackboard class.