Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Academic Continuity: Technology Contingency Planning

In the event of an emergency situation caused by a natural disaster, human-induced disaster, or pandemic crisis, it may be necessary for WPI faculty to explore alternative methods for delivery of instruction. The purpose of this webpage is to provide technology solutions that would allow for flexibility in course delivery yet still support the continuity of instruction.

Click the links below to learn more about WPI-supported technologies available to members of the WPI community.

Posting Course Content
Technology Description Notes Links

myWPI

myWPI is a password-protected information and learning portal powered by Blackboard. Faculty can post course-related documents (e.g. PowerPoint slides, Word Documents, PDFs, etc.), homework assignments, and grades to a secure space intended just for their course. Enrollment is managed by Banner and course sites can be requested by filling out the appropriate site request form.

More information on myWPI

Personal Homepage

Anyone with a WPI computer account can create a website containing documents and other files using their personal space found at http://users.wpi.edu/~username.

Do not use your personal homepage to post secure information (e.g. grades) or copyrighted material.

More information on creating your homepage

Email

You can obtain a class roster through BannerWeb which contains the WPI email addresses of all your students. This will allow you to send files through email.

Be wary of sending large file attachments which may fill up mailboxes. Many students also have their WPI email forwarded to alternate email addresses and your message may be targeted as SPAM or be filtered to a junk folder.

More information on WPI Webmail


Delivering Lectures
Technology Description Notes Links

Lecture Capturing

The Echo360 system captures anything sent through an e-classroom projector and automatically posts it in an integrated interface to a webpage that is linked in each course's myWPI site. Students are later able to review the recordings straight through or by using thumbnails to jump around in the lecture. Lecture Capturing is available in 50P1226 (Fire Protection Engineering and School of Business classroom), 60P1002 (Gateway Seminar Room), AK116, AK219, FL Upper Perreault, FL320, GH227, HL116, HL218, KH116, OH107, OH109, SL104, SL115, SL305, SL411, SH106, SH202, WB229, WB323.

Faculty and staff are also permitted to install and use Echo360's Personal Capture (P-Cap) software on their desktop computers as part of our license with the vendor. P-Cap is a desktop screen capturing software program that allows you to publish recordings to your myWPI site and/or RSS feed. To learn more about the use of Personal Capture to capture from your home or office computer, click here.

More information on Lecture Capturing

Adobe Connect Web Conferencing

Adobe Connect is a Web conferencing tool that allows groups of individuals to communicate real-time via voice and graphics over the Internet. Adobe Connect features include an electronic whiteboard, screen sharing, quizzing and polling, text chat, and video conferencing. Adobe Connect sessions can also be recorded for later playback.

Adobe Connect is available to all members of the WPI community.

More information on Adobe Connect

Camtasia

Camtasia Studio is a video-based screen capturing software program analogous to using a video camera to record your computer screen. Using a computer microphone or headset, narrated presentations can be recorded on your computer and uploaded to myWPI as a video. Camtasia can also be used with a webcam if desired.

WPI has a site license for Camtasia installation on any WPI owned computer. The ATC also has Camtasia installed on all laptops available for loan in its inventory.

More information on Camtasia

PowerPoint Narration

Microsoft PowerPoint has a built-in narration feature that allows you to record audio and embed it within slides. The PPT file can then be uploaded to myWPI or another location where students can download it and play back the presentation.

Recorded narration can significantly increase the size of your PowerPoint presentation.

More information on recording PPT Narration

Audio Recorders

The ATC has a number of digital audio recorders available in its inventory that can be used to record audio presentations. These files can then be posted to myWPI or in another or another location where students can download it and play back the file.

More information on digital audio recorders


Posting Assignments, Exams, and Grades
Technology Description Notes Links

myWPI Assignment Tools

The Messages Tool, Assignment Manager, and SafeAssign are tools in myWPI that can be used for secure assignment submission within course sites. The Assignment Manager and SafeAssign tools are integrated with the Grade Center tool.

More information on myWPI assignment submission options

myWPI Test Manager

myWPI has a tool that allows you to deliver electronic exams that in some cases can be graded automatically. With the tool, students have up to four hours to complete an exam and question types include multiple choice, short answer, essay, true/false, fill in the blank, and calculated.

The Test Manager tool cannot automatically grade short answer or essay based questions.

More information on creating tests

myWPI Grade Center

The Grade Center is used for tracking student progress in a course. Students can see their individual grades within a course. Tests, surveys, and assignments handled through the Assignment Manager are automatically reported to the Grade Center. Other types of assignments and grades can be manually added to the Grade Center.

The Grade Center feature in myWPI does not replace the official course grading process. Official end-of-term and end-of-semester grades must still be submitted to the registrar, and students can check their final course grades online from the Student Web Information System, which is separate from myWPI.

More information on the myWPI grade center


Communicating with Students
Technology Description Notes Links

myWPI Discussion Board

The discussion board tool is a way for students in your course to interact and discuss topics in your course. Students can log in and post or respond to messages on their own schedule. This is considered an asynchronous method of communication because discussion board users do not need to be online at a specific time.

More information on myWPI Discussion Boards

Adobe Connect Web Conferencing

Adobe Connect is a Web conferencing tool that allows groups of individuals to communicate real-time via voice and graphics over the Internet. Adobe Connect features include an electronic whiteboard, screen sharing, quizzing and polling, text chat, and video conferencing. Adobe Connect sessions can also be recorded for later playback. This is considered a synchronous method of communication because participants will need to be online at a specific time to participate and interact with the instructor and each other.

Adobe Connect is available to all members of the WPI community.

More information on Adobe Connect

myWPI Course Announcements

Announcements are a good way to post reminders and important notifications to your students. Announcements stay in your myWPI site until you remove them and can be set to email your students at their WPI email address.

More information on myWPI Announcements

myWPI Synchronous Chat Tools

The Chat tools in myWPI allow course participants to interact with each other through a synchronous, text-based chat tool, powered by a Java plug-in.

More information on myWPI chat tools


Group Collaboration Tools
Technology Description Notes Links

myWPI Groups Tools

The Groups tool in myWPI allows student project groups in a course to have their own private area to share files and collaborate on their projects online. Groups may have their own Discussion Board, File Exchange, Collaboration area and e-mail list, depending on which features the instructor enables.

More information on myWPI Groups Tools

myWPI Wikis

A wiki is a website where multiple individuals add and edit content collectively. Multiple related pages may be linked within the site.

Wikis Overview


More information on creating myWPI Wikis

SharePoint

The WPI SharePoint portal is a new service that is being offered to members of the WPI Community to provide a collaboration environment that is tailored specifically to online document collaboration.

SharePoint is not available to external guests at this time.

More information on SharePoint


General Planning Tips
  • Record student contact information from BannerWeb should you need to get in touch with your students.
  • At the beginning of the term/semester, send your students a welcome email that includes your contact information. Suggest that they hold on to the message until the end of the course in case they need to get in contact with you.
  • Remind students to print a copy of the syllabus (if it is posted online).
  • Back up copies of any prepared teaching materials prior to the start of the term/semester in case you are unable to access the files on your office computer.
  • Even if you do not plan on using myWPI, request that a course site be created in case you do need to move a portion of your course online. If you decide not to use it, the site will be archived at the end of the term/semester, but it will be ready should a situation occur.

Tips for Teaching Online

Note

The information provided on this page and other pages linked from this page assumes that the WPI infrastructure is intact to support the continuity of instruction.

Maintained by itweb@wpi.edu
Last modified: Jan 30, 2014, 11:19 EST
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