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Instructional Design Blog

Technology posts

  • How to Add Users in Blackboard

    Sometimes it may be helpful to grant access to your Blackboard courses to users who aren’t enrolled.  A few examples include student employees who are grading assessments and colleagues who want to observe your class. The great thing is...


  • Try some of these shortcuts to more quickly get your course ready for the semester.

    Shortcuts When Updating From a Template

    Preparing a Blackboard course for a new semester can be a monstrous undertaking, so reusing content from a previous semester or a course template can save a lot of time. The only trouble is, you may need to make several updates before the cour...


  • You can use Blackboard tests to create other non-test activities for your classes.

    Alternate Uses for Blackboard Tests

    I think we’re all aware of the capability to create and deploy tests in Blackboard, but have you ever thought about using the test builder for items that aren’t tests? Here are a few ideas you may want to incorporate into your own courses. ...


  • A student listens to an audio recording of course content.

    Evaluating Publisher Content for Accessibility

    As an institution of higher education, we are required by law to ensure that our course content is accessible to all of our students. This includes everything from the textbooks and publisher tools to handouts and exams. Unfortunately, publish...


  • Screenshot of Qwickly how-to video

    Use Qwickly to Post Content Across Multiple Courses [Video]

    Do you find yourself spending time duplicating emails and announcements to send to several of your courses? I have a solution for you. We’ve added a tool called Qwickly in Blackboard that allows you to send emails and post announcements acro...


  • Calendar screenshot from Blackboard.

    Consider Adding a Calendar Tool

    A few years back, I used to have several student workers who reported to me, and without fail, at the beginning of each semester, they would tell me with this great sense of accomplishment that they had entered all their major deadlines and exams ...


  • Screenshot from Quick Tips presentation

    Quick Tips Follow Up for Accessible CV and Syllabus [Video]

    To follow up on all the great work this spring from faculty in our college, I put together this short video presentation with a few quick tips that are especially relevant to CV and syllabuses. There are so many things to remember regarding ta...


  • Students access course content in Blackboard.

    Answers About Blackboard at ASU

    As you are gearing up for the fall semester, it may be helpful to you to understand a little about how we use Blackboard at Angelo State. I’m not talking about a how-to or tutorial for anything, but just a little info about how Blackboard is str...


  • A checklist helps with course preparation.

    Use a Course Prep Checklist

    Sometimes course copy in Blackboard can be a lifesaver. If you or a colleague have taught a course before, copying over content from a previous semester gives you a great foundation to start from. But the tricky thing can be remembering all th...


  • Dr. Saravanan Ramasamy talks about how he prepares for chemistry lectures.

    Preparing Lectures with Doceri [Videos]

    When Dr. Saravanan Ramasamy, assistant professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, invited me to observe one of his organic chemistry lectures, I was interested in seeing his classroom technology in action. What I observed was so ...


  • Watch these videos to learn more about how screen readers work.

    Understanding How Screen Readers Work [Video]

    If you’ve been reading through the Accessible PDF series, you might be feeling a little exasperated with some of the extra steps required to create a PDF. To keep you from throwing up your hands and saying “Really, Jayna? Isn’t this a bit mu...


  • Watch this video to learn about how to use the Accessibility Report in Adobe Acrobat.

    Creating an Accessible Syllabus and CV, Part 2 [Video]

    All right, so if you’ve made it this far, you should have a Word document that has been prepped for PDF conversion. I will briefly outline a few tips for exporting your document, but then we’ll go over how to interpret your accessibility repor...


  • Watch this video to learn about how you can prep your Microsoft Word document to convert to PDF.

    Creating an Accessible Syllabus and CV, Part 1 [Video]

    Think of all the bazillions of different things you can do in a Word document. The options are limitless. But because we have that freedom, we don’t have an option for easily converting all documents to accessible formats. It’s important t...


  • Dr. Connie Heimann discusses how she uses Top Hat in the classroom.

    Using Top Hat For Student Engagement [Video]

    A growing number of faculty in our college have adopted a product called Top Hat for use in the classroom.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Top Hat, the product allows students to use their cell phones as classroom clickers to ans...


  • I like a cheerful Ram Cat image as much as the next person, but using a decorative image like this in your course content is a definite DON’T.

    3 Visual Content Do’s and Don’ts

    There’s no question that planning a new course, or revising an existing course, takes a lot of time and energy. But as you are identifying instructional strategies and determining course content, have you considered the role that good visuals p...


  • Students access Collaborate for a class they are taking.

    Using Blackboard Collaborate in Face-to-Face Classes

    I know what you’re thinking — you teach face-to-face courses and maybe use Blackboard to supplement what you’re doing in class, so how could you have a use for Collaborate, right? In case you aren’t familiar with Blackboard Collabora...


  • Video: Creating Accessible Content Items in Blackboard

    Formatting Content Items in Blackboard [Video]

    With new digital accessibility laws taking effect in a few months, it’s a great time to start talking about a few quick changes we can make to help improve our course content. One of our challenges with Blackboard is that we actually have to...


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