LMS Governance Committee Recommends Avoiding Online Proctoring Solutions

The LMS Team have had several requests to launch online proctoring tools.  We researched the issue and presented the options to the LMS Governance Committee.  The committee, after consideration of the market leader, Respondus, put forward the following recommendations related to proctoring tools.

 After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these products and remote proctoring at large, the LMS Governance Committee voted unanimously to not adopt the Respondus Lock-down Browser and Respondus Monitor with the following justification: 

Respondus Lock-Down Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within a learning management system.  It is used for securing online exams in classrooms and proctored environments.  

Analysis and Conclusions

  • Not an appropriate solution for online exams given at a distance as it only locks down the browser on one device. 
  • Does not prevent using multiple devices to look up information and collaborate with others using another device. 
  • Does not encourage authentic assessment. 

Respondus Monitor uses a student’s webcam to video them taking the exam.  

Analysis and Conclusions

  • More resource-intensive to implement – The LMS team will not be able to have this in place immediately. 
  • Will create duplicative work – will need to pay for the continued license and will have to go through the implementation again with the new LMS. 
  • Student privacy concerns – Students did not ask to go online or agree to video themselves. There are ethical concerns about student privacy.
  • Bandwidth resources concerns – We are already hearing of students having bandwidth issues and issues of exams being submitted as incomplete when students are using their phones to take exams in Blackboard; this will increase when they are also recording themselves. 
  • No budget to extend usageRespondus is offering their tools for free only through July of 2020. 
  • Ignores Academic Integrity Task Force recommendation. 
  • Does not encourage authentic assessment.

The LMS Governance Committee also voted unanimously on March 27, 2020 to deliver the following message concerning any type of video remote proctoring: 

 The LMS Governance Committee strongly advises all faculty to NOT require that any students record themselves taking any assessment.  This includes not using Zoom, Panopto, Youtube or Blackboard Collaborate for recording. The Coulter Faculty Commons is assembling resources on how to create alternative assessments that can be used in various disciplines. 

LMS Governance Committee 

Jonathan Wade – Senior Educational Technologist, Chair
Amy Davis – LMS Analyst
Annette Littrell – Associate Chief Information Officer / Academic Engagement & IT Governance
Eli Collins-Brown – Director, Coulter Faculty Commons
Jon Marvel – School Director EMPM/Professor
Kenneth Chapman – Tech Support Specialist
Lee Nickels – Director Assessment & Instruction Technology, CEAP
Scott Barlowe – Associate Professor
Siham Lekchiri – Assistant Professor 

Faculty Planning Tools – Making the Shift to Online

Organize Graphic with Colorful Tiles






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

The PLEA for using just-in-time over in-real-time teaching modes!

It is easy to just assume that you will be able to have live class sessions online using Zoom or Collaborate at the same time and day they have been scheduled, but that will not produce a good learning experience for the students, nor will it be pleasant for you as the instructor.  We gathered a couple of really good posts that align with our approach to moving online quickly.

Do This, Not That

~Alison Wang, Online Teaching Do This Not That

Click on image to download the PDF. Creative Commons License Attribute No Derivative, No CommericalShared through Creative Commons, Attribute, No Derivative, No Commercial Purpose.


Do This, Not That Graphic

This has been flying around social media, but it’s one of the good ones. She refers to particular systems and programs but her advice is right on.

Please do a bad job of putting your courses online

What? Did I hear you correctly? YES!

As Rebecca Barrett-Fox says “You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.” ~https://anygoodthing.com/2020/03/12/please-do-a-bad-job-of-putting-your-courses-online/ 

And we like her list of 10 considerations:

  1. Your students know less about technology than you think. Many of them know less than you. Yes, even if they are digital natives and younger than you.
  2. They will be accessing the internet on their phones. They have limited data. They need to reserve it for things more important than online lectures.
  3. Students who did not sign up for an online course have no obligation to have a computer, high-speed wifi, a printer/scanner, or a camera. Do not even survey them to ask if they have it. Even if they do, they are not required to tell you this. And if they do now, that doesn’t mean that they will when something breaks and they can’t afford to fix it because they just lost their job at the ski resort or off-campus bookstore.
  4. Students will be sharing their technology with other household members. They may have LESS time to do their schoolwork, not more.
  5. Many will be working MORE, not fewer, hours. Nurses, prison guards, firefighters, and police officers have to go to work no matter what. As healthcare demand increases but healthcare workers get sick, there will be more and more stress on those who remain.
  6. Some of your students will get sick. Others will be caring for people who are ill.
  7. Many will be parenting.
  8. Social isolation contributes to mental health problems.
  9. Social isolation contributes to domestic violence.
  10. Students will be losing their jobs, especially those in tourism and hospitality.

Other recommendations she puts forward that we promote as well:

  • “Don’t do too much. Right now, your students don’t need it. They need time to do the other things they need to do.”
  • Make all assignments due at 11:59 pm on the same day of the week. Make them due on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. instead of Friday so that they use the evenings and week-end to get work done.
  • Allow students to take every exam or quiz twice so that if there is a technical problem (such as getting kicked out of Blackboard), they will have another opportunity to complete the exam.
  • Record lectures only if you need to.  But use the TED talk method: no longer than 18 minutes and focused on one concept, big question or idea.
  • Don’t fuss over videos.  Don’t worry about your ums and ers. It helps if you write a script (also provides a transcript for ADA purposes) and read through it a few times.  Then practice 5 times just the first few sentences or first few slides. That will get you into the recording without the jumpstarts we do at the start.
  • Do NOT require synchronous work!  Students’ life and schedules have been turned upside-down as well. A good use of Zoom or Bb Collaborate is to use it for office hours or tutoring sessions. But make it optional.
  • Do not use proctoring or ask students to record themselves when taking a test.  This is a violation of their privacy and they did not sign up for an online course.
  • Remind them of due dates. This is not hand-holding!!  They need contact from you and as we said before, their lives have been turned upside down.  Be kind to them and kind to yourself.  Be supportive and encouraging, Be a mentor and coach!
  • Respond to them when they ask for help.  These are anxious times and they will need encouragement.

We will continue to share quick tips and helpful resources over the next few weeks!


Assess Your Students’ Changing Needs – A Survey Template

Student needs are changing during this move to offering alternative modes of instruction. Faculty who want to find out what challenges students are facing can utilize a new web form created in Office365. 

The form can be modified by faculty prior to sending out. The survey should take students 5 minutes to complete, and asks for the following types of information:

  • whether students expect to have reliable Internet access
  • times of day students expect to do online work
  • preferences for asynchronous or synchronous activity
  • accessibility requests (content in different formats, for example)
  • basic psychological and physiological needs

The survey form is available below. Note the options for modifying the survey questions, collecting data, and sending out the link (the Settings icon can be found top-right of your screen, to the right of the Share button).

Open the Form

A heartfelt thank you to our colleague Dr. Mae Claxton, Professor of English, for reaching out to the CFC with this idea.

Assistance to all Faculty – Including Adjuncts – This Week

Assistance to all Faculty – Including Adjuncts – This Week

Virtual Open Sessions


The CFC is hosting multiple open sessions for all instructors to learn how to access Blackboard and its general suite of tools. Due to new social distancing guidelines set forth by Human Resources established on March 16, we will be offering these sessions through the following video-conferencing link:


Dates and times are as follows:


Monday, March 16 – March 20
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.





The library has Free and Discounted Distance Education Resources During COVID-19 – 






Blackboard Logo

Blackboard Collaborate Training


We already had three Collaborative Training sessions scheduled for Wednesday, March 18.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 9 am – 11 pm


Module 1: Collaborate Essentials


This module is designed to give participants a solid foundation, enabling them to successfully deliver live, interactive Collaborate sessions. Participants will learn about the key features and core functions of the Collaborate user interface. They will learn about session roles and how to effectively manage the communication tools, understand audio indicators, manage session and participant interaction, display the whiteboard and PowerPoint content, and record a session.


  • Identify key features and core functions of the user interface
  • Understand the communication tools
  • Utilize the whiteboard and display PowerPoint content
  • Use the recording features
  • Recognize best practices and use cases


Guest Link: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/ed44ccd7dab349688a66992db8e8d6d2


Please Login 10 minutes before the event to check audio.




Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 11:15 am – 1:15 pm 


Module 2: Creating Engagement using Collaborate Web Conferencing


In this module, participants will build upon what they learned in the Essentials session.  They will learn about the advanced Collaborate features and how to use them to support dynamic, interactive learning.


  • Review essential Collaborate tools
  • Discover the reasons for engaging the virtual learner
  • Recognize how to use the timer and utilize it to facilitate sessions and breakout groups
  • Understand breakout groups and how to facilitate small group collaboration
  • Utilize the polling tool to engage participants
  • Access session administration reporting tools
  • Identify key accessibility features
  • Identify best practices for engaging participants


Guest Link: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/ed44ccd7dab349688a66992db8e8d6d2


Please Login 10 minutes before the event to check audio.






 Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 1:30 – 3:30 pm


Module 3: Increasing Web Conferencing Success


Ever wonder why some sessions seem to be effortless, while in others there are difficulties entering the session and getting participants to interact?  In this session, moderators will learn best practices for creating interactive, problem-free Collaborate sessions. In addition, there will be an open Q&A forum designed to answer your questions on how to accomplish specific activities in your Collaborate sessions.


  • Differentiate between the Collaborate Original and Ultra experiences and effectively switch between the two
  • Understand the importance of using the best web browser to deliver successful sessions
  • Access Collaborate from a LMS or from the Collaborate server
  • Implement best practices for delivering problem free sessions
  • Develop interactive sessions to engage participants into active learning
  • Locate resources for moderators and participants




Please Login 10 minutes before the event to check audio.




Available at any time


Blackboard Tools for Western Carolina Live Session I


    1. Forums, Blogs, and Journals
    2. Create, Manage, and Grade
    3. Advanced Discussion Settings
    4. Group Discussions
    5. My Blackboard Posts


Join link: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/bc2c7428a59a45e3a5be62621dfdc6c2




Blackboard Tools for Western Carolina Live Session II


    1. Create Tests and Surveys (6)
    2. Question Types: Auto Graded and Instructor Graded (7)
    3. Reuse Questions: Pools, Random Blocks, and Question Sets (8)
    4. Advanced Test Creation Settings (9)
    5. Deploy Tests and Student Exceptions (10)
    6. Due Date Exceptions (11)
    7. View Assessment Item Analysis Statistics (12)


Join Link: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/bc2c7428a59a45e3a5be62621dfdc6c2






Blackboard Tools for Western Carolina Live Session: Grade Center Intensive


    1. Columns and Manual Grade Entry (13)
    2. Configure Default Total or Weighted Total Columns  (14)
    3. Column Options and Organization (15)
    4. Grading Periods and Smart Views (16)
    5. Letter Schemas (17)
    6. Add Additional Calculated Columns  (18)









What’s new in Blackboard for 2019?

What’s new in Blackboard for 2019?

Panopto Updates in Blackboard include:

  • Student assignment recording – Dramatically simplified the process of recording and submitting student assignments through Panopto in your Blackboard courses with grade center integration.
  • Blackboard Grade Center integration – Panopto sessions can now be added as assignments in Blackboard, and students’ scores on Panopto quizzes within the session will be reported as the grades to the Blackboard Gradebook.
  • Embed player (including quizzing) – Play Panopto videos directly in course areas, discussions, Wikis, etc. Panopto’s video quizzes now appear in the embedded player, accessible on mobile devices or desktop browsers.
    • 180 and 360-degree video supported (for streams that have been marked as supporting those playback styles using the stream properties settings in the editor)

Panopto Notes & Pitfalls:

 For additional information about using new Panopto functions in your course CLICK HERE

Pitfall Warning:

The new quiz function is a fantastic way to make sure your students remain engaged throughout your Panopto video, however, please be aware of these important notes & pitfalls.


  • If you use the Panopto video Mashup (available in the text tool) to embed a Panopto video with a quiz, the quiz results will not push to the grade center in Blackboard. **It is recommended that you follow the instructions in the instruction sheets to ensure proper quiz function to the Blackboard Grade Center. 
  • Student quiz results remain in Panopto with the linked quiz video as well as in your course Blackboard Grade Center. **It is recommended you keep a “clean” copy of the video with the quiz in your “My Folder” as a baseline and copy the video (with quiz) to the course folder each semester you would like to use it before deploying it as a quiz to your class. 


Attendance Tool in Blackboard include:

  • For Instructors – Through the Attendance tool an instructor for each class meeting, can mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused.
    • Attendance data may be exported from your courses as a CSV file to import to another system.
    • Attendance data is included with other student data in course archives.
    • Find additional information here about the Blackboard Attendance feature.
  • Blackboard Grade Center integration – Easily use attendance as part of calculating grades just as they can for an assignment grade column. The attendance records for each student appear in a single averaged column next to other graded columns in the grade center.
  • For Students – Attendance is viewable through “My Grades”. The attendance grade appears on the All and Graded tabs.

 For additional information about using Attendance in your course click here

Pitfall Warning:

The Attendance tool in Blackboard courses is inactive by default, to use the attendance tool contact the CFC for instructions to enable Attendance in your course.

  • DO NOT copy attendance content into an existing course if an attendance column appears in the existing course. You’ll add another attendance column to the course’s Grade Center.

Inline Grading using Box:

  • Supported File Types – Supports over 100 file types, such as image files, PowerPoint files, Rich Text Files, and more. This means that the document will appear in Blackboard and you will not need to download it but can comment right in Blackboard.
  • Annotations – File types supported for annotation are PDF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, PPT, PPTX and ODP. Point-based annotations available for AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF file formats:
    • Instructors (or the person grading on your behalf) must enter a grade before the student can view the annotations. This allows for the students to only view feedback when you are finished.
    • Annotation sessions expire after an hour. If an instructor takes longer than an hour to annotate a document, annotations made after that session expiration are not saved and all work is lost.
    • Students can’t annotate documents.
  • Print & Download – Users can print or download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or an annotated PDF version that includes the annotations.
Click here for instructions on how to download Annotated Comments from your graded Blackboard assignments

Pitfall Warning:


  • Students can’t annotate documents.
  • Inline grading doesn’t work with SafeAssign, Self & Peer Assessment, Discussions, or the Content Collection.
  • The New Box View inline viewer interface is displayed only in English at this time.
  • Annotation sessions expire after an hour. If an instructor takes longer than an hour to annotate a document, annotations made after that session expiration may not be saved. (Remember to “Save” often)