Faculty Course Technology Support
Faculty Course Technology Support
This page includes information on using some of RIT's supported academic technology to implement your course. Faculty may choose to use an academic technology that is not listed on this page, but they would be responsible for supporting it and ensuring that students can access course activities on an ongoing basis.
myCourses Learning Management System
For an overview of completing common tasks in myCourses, view the myCourses Quick Reference guide. Note that the quick reference does not cover the Quiz tool. Links to Quiz documentation are provided below.
The myCourses content tool is used to share content with students.
The myCourses announcements tool is used to make full course announcements in an easy-to-find location for students.
You can send an email from the myCourses Classlist to students' RIT email accounts.
Students often use the Calendar tool within a course or the calendar information on the myCourses home page to help them prioritize their coursework. Due dates entered in myCourses activities the Content tool, Discussions tool, Assignments tool, and Quizzes tool populate in the course's Calendar tool. Zoom meetings scheduled through the Zoom tab of myCourses also appear in the Calendar. Instructors can also add custom events to the Calendar tool in their course.
The Groups tool allows instructors to place their students into groups for use with though manual assignment, automatic assignment, or student self-selection. Instructors can make as many group configurations as they need for different purposes (called group categories). Instructors can streamline the creation of group assignment submission folders and group discussion areas with this tool.
The myCourses discussions tool is used to conduct online asynchronous discussion among faculty and students. The discussions tool is capable of integrating with the myCourses grades tool.
The myCourses assignments tool serves as a virtual dropbox for students to turn in their completed work. The assignments tool is capable of integrating with the myCourses grades tool.
The myCourses Quizzes tool is used to conduct simple quiz assessments. Common question types include true/false, multiple choice, and written open response. The quizzes tool is capable of integrating with the myCourses grades tool.
The myCourses grades tool, commonly referred to as the gradebook, is a convenient place to record and communicate your students' grades during the semester.
Releasing Final Grades
The myCourses final grade is not the final grade of record for a student. Those must be entered manually into SIS by the instructor.
The myCourses Rubrics tool can help you be more consistent in your grading by evaluating assignment or discussion activity based on predefined criteria. Rubrics can also provide students with feedback on areas of strength and that need improvement.
The Class Progress tool provides a dashboard with details of each student's progress within a course. Key things the faculty can view about a student are grades, total content topics viewed, discussion participation, assignment submissions, quiz submissions, and login history.
The Insights Portal allows instructors to view data visualizations about the effectiveness of their materials and students' engagement with course materials.
The homepage of your course is the first page a student will see. A homepage is made up of multiple widgets arranged in a multi-column layout. The default home page contains information that is helpful to all courses, such RIT policies and, announcements and updates areas, and the course calendar. The main navigation bar (navbar) includes links to myCourses tools and integrations. You can customize both the homepage and the navigation bar.
Faculty can copy/import course components from another one of their courses or from a colleague's course.This is helpful if you teach multiple sections of the same course or if multiple faculty teaching the same course will be using the same materials. Note that you must have the Instructor, Support Staff, or Course Copy Access role on both the original course and your destination to copy components so colleagues may need to add you through the Classlist tool.
Self-created Video (Camtasia/Panopto)
RIT provides the following tools for instructors for creating and sharing asynchronous course videos:
- Camtasia is an application that records screen captures, webcam video, and audio. It also provides a robust set of editing tools so that the finished videos can include transition effects, text callouts, and other engaging media components. Common uses include screen recording tutorials/demonstrations, short lecture videos with instructor on camera, and voiced-over slideshow recordings. Videos are stored in Panopto for use in myCourses.
- Panopto is RIT's cloud-based streaming video server. It allows instructors to share videos in myCourses automatically to students enrolled in that course. Playback is streamed to ensure smooth viewing and accessibility across a variety of devices. Panopto also includes recording tools and lightweight editing software that can be used instead of Camtasia, and allows instructors to facilitate video-based assignments, discussions, and quizzes.
The Provost has established guidelines for captioning media to ensure that RIT creates an educational environment that is accessible to all learners. Review tutorials on captioning course videos.
Synchronous Meetings (Zoom)
Zoom is a video-conferencing tool that can be used to host virtual meetings, remote classes, guest speakers, and more. Zoom pro accounts are available to all faculty, staff, and students at all RIT campuses. To begin using your RIT Zoom pro account, you must first authenticate at https://rit.zoom.us/.
Instructors can increase interaction and participation using features such as polls, breakout rooms, whiteboard, screen share, and chat. Zoom sessions can be recorded and played back via the browser (called cloud recordings). Recordings are automatically captioned and captions can be edited. Note that cloud recordings will be automatically moved to the Zoom trash 130 days after they were recorded unless instructors take action to preserve them.
To ensure meetings are accessible to all learners, Zoom supports having captionists and interpreters in the meeting. Review Captioning and ASL Interpreting in Zoom for details.
Google Workspace for Education
Google Workspace for Education is a suite of tools for collaborative file editing, sharing, and storage. Apps can also be used for independent work. There are apps for mobile devices or the apps can be used in the browser.
Slack facilitates quick, informal communication through group and one-to-one messaging, file sharing, emojis, and other multimedia content. Instructors can request Slack workspaces for use with their courses. Third-party integrations such as Zoom and Google Drive can turn Slack into a collaboration hub. It can be used synchronously or asynchronously.
Accessibility is an important part of electronic course materials and making your materials accessible benefits a wide range of learners.
To assist instructors in creating accessible content, RIT is implementing Blackboard Ally into myCourses. The Blackboard Ally tool automatically reviews course materials for accessibility and provides just-in-time training for instructors. This information can help you improve your course materials so they will work better on mobile devices and with assistive technologies. Students also get access to alternative file formats for many course materials without the instructor needing to create multiple files.
Details about using Ally and creating accessible course materials are on the Accessibility and Ally wiki.
In addition to the guidance Ally provides, be sure that videos with an audio component have captioning. Review the self-created video section of this website for details on captioning.
Faculty Course Planning
There are resources available for planning for courses so that regardless of the delivery mode in which you teach, you’ll be able to continue teaching smoothly and successfully. This guidance is aligned with a robust academic continuity plan to help you be prepared for academic disruptions at all scales, including planned travel, snow days, and public health emergencies.
College Course Advancement Team (CATs)
Each college has a representative on the College Course Advancement Team (College CATs) who will support their colleagues in the development of high-quality instructional materials for any teaching modality. Your College CAT is a resource for you while preparing for classes.