Microsoft Resources for Teaching with Office 365

Microsoft Resources for Teaching with Office 365

As more schools begin to make the transition to distance learning and online classrooms, we want to help. Microsoft has created resources, training, and how-to guides that we hope will help educators and their classrooms make this transition.

To help support you during this time, we’ve created a support page for O365 with the information Microsoft has provided.

Microsoft Education is committed to helping all teachers, students, and staff stay engaged and focused on learning. Creating an online classroom is an important step in moving to a remote learning experience. Free for schools, Microsoft Teams, provides a secure online classroom that brings together classroom management features, collaborative workspaces like OneNote Class Notebook, and virtual face-to-face connections in a single digital hub that keeps students engaged.

Information included are Microsoft’s top resources on distance learningWeb Pages with tools to connect remotely, Microsoft Teams quick start guide for EDU (PDF). Webinars designed for educators, Blog posts, and Free Training, 

 These resources have been provided by the Microsoft Corporation and are included in this post for the convenience of WCU faculty who want to use Office 365 to facilitate online learning.

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CFC Open Sessions for Online Design and Blackboard

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Open Help Sessions for All Instructors

The CFC is hosting additional open sessions for all instructors to learn how to effectively facilitate online learning and engage students using Blackboard and its general suite of tools. We will be offering these sessions through the following video-conferencing link:

https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/da120265dc4b4471a96d1bbd8b388946

Dates and times are as follows:

Monday, March 23 – March 25
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

 

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OLC Webinar – Keeping Student Engaged in a Transition to Online Learning

The Online Learning Consortium is offering a webinar on Friday that may be helpful.  Click on the date to register.

Webinar: Keeping Students Engaged in a Transition to Online Learning

March 20 | 1:00pm ET

As educators across the country and at all levels rush to shift their teaching to a virtual environment, their first focus is content and delivery—rightly so. Faculty also need to know how to identify online at-risk student behaviors that, if mitigated, can lead to better course outcomes and satisfaction for faculty and students, alike. This session will help you identify ways to proactively keep your students engaged in an online environment (course) and understand what data you can use to help mitigate attrition.

Communicating and Engaging With Your Students

Communicating and Engaging With Your Students

We encourage maximizing asynchronous communication for almost everything.  There are many great ways to use Blackboard Collaborate (or Zoom) for limited real-time communication.  Here are some standard best practices (tried and true from more than 20 years of online teaching) to get you started and hopefully help you manage your and your students’ stress! 

General best practices modified for this situation: 

  • Use announcements in BB to send a message to the entire class.  I suggest one per day with reminders and encouragement. Be sure to select the email option so each student will get an email with the announcement that will prompt them to access the course. 
  • Email your students from within Bb because they are already enrolled and you won’t miss anyone. 
  • To save yourself from feeling like you are chained to your laptop and answering a million emails, create a “Questions” discussion forum and encourage students to post and read/respond in that forum.  Tell them not to email you unless it is personal nature, but all course questions are to be posted in the forum.  Encourage them to answer other students’ questions to get the peer to peer collaboration going.  If the answer is wrong or not quite right, you can post an encouraging and tactful correction.  Check this Questions forum multiple times during the day. 
  • Also, set specific ‘office hours’.  If possible schedule these at the same time each day.  Post the days & times in an announcement. Use Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom for these real-time, synchronous sessions.
  • Use Blackboard Collaborate to hold real-time, one-on-one tutorial sessions with any student who aren’t able to ‘attend’ office hours.  Keep these short – 15 minutes max.  If you choose to use Zoom, be sure to post the link in your Bb course in the announcements or Questions discussion forum.   

 

Faculty Planning Tools – Making the Shift to Online

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The Coulter Faculty Commons has developed a planning organizer for faculty use for the remaining spring 2020 term.

The simple Word document contains weekly dates and boxes for each week remaining in the term. Faculty can use the document to notate “before” activities and “now” activities–to help them reflect on prior activities and chart a path forward, now that instruction is moving online.

Faculty can download the documents below. It comes in two forms–for a single course, and for a five-load course.

Single Course Template

5 Course Planning Template