Faculty Resources

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Faculty Resources

Whether you are developing an online course for the first time or refining a course that has been taught online in the past.

GETTING STARTED

Online courses are delivered via the World Wide Web and require no face-to-face meetings.
Faculty who are interested in teaching an online course should call the Department of Online Learning at (201) 200-3449 to schedule an appointment with an educational technologist. During the initial appointment (which generally lasts from one to two hours) the educational technologist will discuss best practices in online pedagogy with the professor and will provide hands on training in Blackboard to assist the faculty member in transforming his/her course from a face-to-face to an online format. Subsequent appointments will be scheduled as needed. Blackboard Learn course shells will be automatically generated for faculty teaching fully online courses, blended and face-to-face courses.

In Web-Enhanced or Blended Courses:
Web-enhanced courses are face-to-face courses which utilize a web-based component (e.g., Blackboard Learn) to enhance regularly scheduled course meetings. Blended courses are courses in which the content is distributed between online and face-to-face instruction. Faculty who are interested in teaching web-enhanced or blended courses should follow the same procedures noted above to request assistance.

TRAINING AND SUPPORT

The Department of Online Learning offers a number of resources and services designed to assist faculty who are teaching online, web-enhanced or blended courses. These include:

Individual Assignment to an Educational Technologist
Faculty who are interested in teaching an online course or in using Blackboard Learn to supplement a web-enhanced or blended course may request support by contacting the Department of Online Learning at (201) 200-3449. Each faculty member will be assigned to an Educational Technologist who will work with him/her on an individual basis or in small group sessions. Individual training sessions will be scheduled at the convenience of the faculty member and may take place either in the Department of Online Learning or in the faculty member's office. The Educational Technologist will provide ongoing support to the faculty member either through in-person sessions or via e-mail and telephone for their initial and all future semesters of teaching online and/or using Blackboard Learn.

Blackboard Learn Online Training Sessions
The Blackboard Online Training session is a totally online workshop designed to provide faculty with a basic understanding of the information and skills they will need to get started with Blackboard Learn. Topics covered include: logging in, browser requirements, basic navigation, adding tools to courses, basic course customization, the Web Links tool, uploading a syllabus, Communication Tools (Messages, Discussion, Chat, and Announcements), the Group Manager, the Assignment tool, Grading Forms, the Grade Book, creating assessments, and migrating a course from Blackboard CE8 to Blackboard Learn 9.1. These workshops should prove especially helpful to faculty who teach from a distance or who, for other reasons, find it difficult to fit face-to-face training into their already busy schedules. 

DL Support Team
Through a team approach, the Department of Online Learning provides 24/7 ongoing support to faculty. During University business hours, faculty may call their Educational Technologist at (201) 200-3449 for assistance. During time periods when the University is closed (e.g. evenings, weekends, holidays, etc.), requests for assistance may be directed to dlsupport@njcu.edu A member of the DL Support Team will respond to the request within 24 hours.

BEGINNING YOUR COURSE

Hardware and Software Requirements
One of the first things you will want to do before beginning your course is to make sure that the computer and software you are using meet the standards that are required. You will also want to make sure that your students have been appropriately advised of any specialized software they may need for the course. The general hardware and software requirements that are included in course announcements for online courses may be found on the Hardware and Software Requirements Page. If your course has additional requirements, it is recommended that you notify students of such requirements prior to registration by publication in the Undergraduate Master Course List, Graduate Studies Bulletin, GothicNet Portal and/or Online Learning website.

Browser Settings for Blackboard Learn
Although the Blackboard Learn learning management system does not require that any special software be installed on your computer, you will need to be sure that your web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox) is supported and that it is configured properly for use with Blackboard Learn. We recommend that you consult the Hardware and Software Requirements page before accessing your course for the first time.

Logging-In to BlackBoard Learn

  1. Use your Web browser (e.g., Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, etc.) to locate the following URL: http://blackboard.njcu.edu
  2. Enter your GothicNet ID in the User Name field and your GothicNet password in the Password field and click the "Login" button.
  3. All online courses that you are teaching or in which you are enrolled will appear on your My Web Courses page. To enter a course, click on its name.

Tips for Beginning Your Course: Follow the instructions in your training packet for customizing your Blackboard Learn course template, adding or modifying tools and adding content to your course. You may also wish to consult the Online Course Quality Checklist for tips on how to begin your course. If you need assistance, contact your educational technologist.

Uploading Readable Documents to Blackboard Learn: All documents uploaded to Blackboard Learn should be in PDF or HTML format so that all learners will be able to view them. Documents uploaded in other file formats (e.g., Word, Excel, etc.) can only be viewed by those students who have these applications installed on their computers. If you need assistance in converting your documents to PDF or HTML format, please consult the Educational Technologist to whom you are assigned.

NJCU Policies and Procedures Related to Online Learning
Faculty should be aware of the following NJCU policies and procedures as they pertain to online teaching and learning.

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