Synchronous Classrooms & Office Hours

Updated August 21, 2020

On March 11, 2020 the university announced that it was ordering faculty to move all instruction to an online platform due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In order to continue to safeguard the health of my students and their families I have elected to continue online instruction for the Fall 2020 term. Here’s how to gain access to our synchronous classroom and office hours, in seven easy steps:

1 Students can use computer labs on campus, which have been set up for social distancing. You must use a headset or a normal set of earbuds.

2 It takes a couple minutes to gain access to the the virtual classroom and office hours. Please know that you can log into our class sessions up to fifteen minutes before the class starts. I’d like to have everyone already logged in and ready to go the moment class starts. Okay?

3 Remember that Blackboard works most efficiently on Firefox and Google browsers. If you’re using your own computer and you haven’t been using one of these browsers, I strongly suggest downloading one of them right this very minute.

4 Try to find a reasonably quiet place for our online class sessions. Close any open windows or doors. If you have a lot of noise around you, the ambient sound entering your computer’s microphone will make it hard for me and your classmates to hear each other.

5 Right before class time (US EST) log on to Blackboard like normal, and then click on the Synchronous Classroom & Office Hours link that has been added to the menu. Blackboard Collaborate will then ask you to test the microphone and video camera on your computer.

6 Once you have completed your audio and video tests, you will finally arrive at the Blackboard Collaborate page. Click into that day’s session. You can also dial into the session via the phone number listed in the session.

7 If you want to ask a question or make a comment, click on the icon of the little guy with the raised hand and I’ll call on you. To speak, unmute your microphone so everyone can hear you. If you have to talk to someone locally, mute your mic first so you don’t disturb the rest of the class. Whether you make your video feed available is up to you.

Virtual Office Hours. If you need to meet me outside of class for any reason, email me and we’ll set up a time to meet virtually. You click into office hours just like you click into a class session, and you can also dial into an office hours session via the phone number listed in the session.

If for whatever reason you miss a class session, please know that you can view and listen to a recording of the class by clicking as indicated on the screenshot to the right.

© D. R. Koukal