The Oregon Tech Online Department offers valuable services to all faculty and staff. The Blackboard course management software is used by online faculty to teach fully online courses and by on-campus faculty to supplement on-campus face-to-face classes. It has also been used to support some administrative groups. The Zoom web conferencing program is available to all Oregon Tech faculty. Call the Online office at 541.885.1142 if you're interested in using either of these programs.
Blackboard Course Management Software
At Oregon Tech, the term "Online faculty" refers to those faculty members who teach fully-online classes using Blackboard. Online faculty members are required to use the standard Blackboard course template, to comply with Online Course Standards and their classes are reviewed by their peers. New Online faculty members usually participate in weekly hour-long meetings with an Online staff member to learn about the many features of Blackboard which faculty uses to design and teach online classes. Approval for creating online courses comes from the instructor's department.
On-campus faculty members, at all Oregon Tech locations, may choose to use Blackboard to supplement their in-class instruction. These supplemental course shells used by on-campus instructors are referred to as "hybrid shells" and the instructors are commonly called "hybrid instructors." New hybrid instructors can request one-on-one training to learn the Blackboard basics. Workshops are offered as needed. The standards for posting supplemental materials in Blackboard hybrid shells are less stringent than for online course instructors. No departmental approval is needed to request hybrid shells. An email message is sent to all faculty each term requesting which instructors wish to use Blackboard in their on-campus classes.
Zoom Web Conferencing Service
The Oregon Tech Online department has Pro versions of the hosted Zoom web conferencing program that may be used by any Oregon Tech faculty member. You can also get a free version of Zoom at http://zoom.us, which has the same features as the Pro version except it limits your session to 40 minutes.
The only hardware requirement, in addition to a computer with an internet connection, is a headset with both earphones and microphone that connects to your computer. You can buy a headset at a reasonable price from any office supply store. Remind students that they need headsets, too.
Zoom web conferencing allows invited conference attendees to hold audio conversations, share documents or applications, share computer screens, and collaborate. Zoom is used by Oregon Tech online faculty in their online courses to offer online office hours, present course material to students in real time, allow guest speakers to talk to their classes, and offer tutoring sessions for students who need additional help. Collaboration using Zoom is limited only by your imagination. Zoom is available for use by Oregon Tech faculty at any campus location.
If you decide that you want to use Zoom Pro in your class, contact the Online office and a staff member will schedule a short training session for you.