Engage Students in Summer Courses

We invite you to use explore course preparation resources and leverage lessons learned from Spring remote teaching to prepare your summer courses to maximize student success!  Explore WIT Online Learning Hub Faculty Resources and the Academic Technology Toolkit create a consistent and engaging student experience by centralizing content, assignments, and assessments in Blackboard Learn. Use the Online Faculty Course Readiness Checklist to guide your preparations.

Lessons from Spring Remote Teaching:

  • Students consensus is to reproduce the on-campus experience of lectures and meetings as much as possible with live classes and virtual office hours.
      • Hold live lectures and office hours in Zoom, use raise your hand, chat, and breakout rooms.
  • Use asynchronous communication methodssuch as prerecorded lectures and email communication, to supplement to synchronous classes, not a replacement. 
      • Record Zoom lectures and post recordings in your Blackboard Course, here’s how
  • Students prefer lectures from the instructor themselves and not simply rely on lectures created by others that are available on YouTube, etc.  Create your own mini-lectures and make them interactive.
  • Create a clear and easy to understand organizational structure for course material, LIT can help! 
  • Communicate clear expectations for:
    • When can students connect live to instructors
    • When can students connect live with other students
    • What communication, deadlines, etc. are you using to keep students motivated. Have clear deadlines for assignments.
    • Engaging students who are in different time zones
    • Managing connectivity issues (lagging internet, technical challenges. Student tips and resources are on the Academic Resources Tab in Blackboard.

 Reach out to LIT at lit@wit.edu to consult with an instructional designer. 


Kickoff Summer 2020 Programming

LIT and WIT Online look forward to cross-disciplinary conversations and sharing in the workshops to kickoff the Summer 2020 term:

Contact Learning Innovation & Technology at lit@wit.edu 8:00am-5:30pm Monday through Friday for support getting your courses ready:

  • Accessible syllabus template and new accessibility features in your Bb course
  • Course copy, merge, and readiness checklist
  • Academic Technology Toolkit and time-saving strategies
  • Course pain points or areas you get a lot of student questions we may be able to help minimize

Security updates to prevent Zoom Bombing

As a result of several “Zoom Bombing” incidents, DTS has reviewed the security settings in Zoom and implemented some settings to improve meeting security early in the morning of April 28th.

The changes include:

  • Join before host will be turned off as a default. This setting will send participants to a waiting room. Hosts have the option to turn this on to allow participants to enter the meeting before they arrive.
  • Only authenticated users will be allowed to join meetings. This setting will be locked and hosts will not be able to change it. This setting requires that all participants have a Zoom account, this may be a Wentworth account (use the sign in with SSO option), an account associated with another business or academic institution, or a free account. More on how to log into restricted meetings.
  • All meetings will require a password. This setting will also be locked to prevent uninvited visitors from guessing the meeting ID and entering a meeting.
  • Passwords will be embedded in the meeting links. This can be overridden by the Host if they fear someone will share the link outside the participant list. If turned off, users will be required to enter the password for the meeting.
  • Participants will enter a waiting room first, by default. Hosts can override this setting if they wish. We are also implementing a rule that sends all users with non-WIT accounts into a waiting room. This should allow hosts to review users before admitting them to the meeting.
  • Participants who have been removed from a meeting will not be able to rejoin. If by some chance someone does enter a meeting and engages in inappropriate behavior, they can be removed and the host can be confident they will not return.

DTS will continue to monitor the security of our virtual meeting system and will review additional changes if they are needed. Zoom has placed security as a priority and has opted to delay feature development in favor of providing a more secure environment. As new controls become available, we will review them and notify the community if we will be implementing changes that will impact their meeting experience.


Remote Assessment Strategies

LIT invites you to consider a wide variety of remote assessment strategies.  Here are resources you can tap into. Check out the session slides from Remote Assessment Information Sessions and be sure to look at the notes view to access additional resources! Additional quick links are also below. Educause conducts COVID19 quick polls, here’s the recent poll on grading and proctoring.

Remote Assessment Notes/Additional Resources:

Things to Keep in Mind if you go the LockDown Browser or Monitor route:

  • Learn More in Lynn Cooke’s blog: Respondus Monitor for Remote Exams LIT Blog
  • LockDown Browser (video) is a special application that runs on a student’s computer that locks them into a Blackboard test. The student can’t browse other websites, other parts of Blackboard, use other applications on their computer, print the exam, or copy and paste the questions into email to send to other students.
  • Respondus Monitor (video), used in tandem with LockDown Browser adding use of the web camera, is not the same as a live remote proctoring solution. The system uses the web camera to record the student’s test session and uses AI to analyze it. If suspicious activity is detected, the instructor is alerted in the Monitor dashboard for the assessment. Any decisions about whether the student’s behavior was in violation of the academic honesty policy is, at least initially, made by the instructor.

Respondus Resources to Explore:

As always, partner with Learning Innovation & Technology instructional designers to help you consider and choose the right assessment strategies to assess your course goals. Email lit@wit.edu.

Beware the Party Crashers!

Updated 4/10/2020

With more schools opting to shift instruction to remote delivery, there has been a surge in remote conferencing usage. With that surge has been a new phenomenon, Zoom Bombing. Zoom Bombing is the entry into a Zoom session by individuals who have not been invited and the unwanted sharing of screen content.

Zoom Bombing occurs when a link to a Zoom session with no password is shared publicly, often on social media or the host does not set a password and the “bomber” guesses the 9 digit meeting ID. There are ways to protect your sessions by careful attention to your settings. Zoom has written about how to protect your sessions from unwanted guests and unwanted content during your sessions. Zoom has posted a follow-up blog with best practices for securing your meetings.

It appears that GoToMeeting is also susceptible to this type of activity. The advice for GoToMeeting is similar to Zoom. Set a password for your meeting (there is a tab for setting a password in the meeting schedule window), use a unique meeting ID for each meeting or set of recurring meetings, lock the room once attendees have arrived to prevent other uninvited guests from entering the room, and ejecting uninvited guests if they somehow get into your session. More on GoToMeeting best practices can be found on their blog.

A couple of simple steps to protect your sessions is to post your links to Zoom or GoToMeeting sessions in Blackboard, not on any social media, and limit screen sharing to the session host. The blog posts linked above provide additional settings to protect your session.