A variety of circumstances might necessitate the need to temporarily move courses online with minimal notice for academic continuity (a campus closure due to matters of natural and man-made hazards; public health; occupational and environmental safety as well as security; or an instructor’s absence, etc).  The academic continuity page will provide instructional resources and information for rapid remote deployment and engagement. It will also provide faculty with resources and guides designed to minimize disruption to campus-based courses.  

As a general rule, all active courses should have a corresponding Blackboard shell even if the course is scheduled to meet on campus. In addition, all faculty and students should have access to Blackboard using the college’s SSO credentials. This foundation facilitates a college’s ability to transition an on campus class into remote delivery.

Online Strategies

A campus closure can initiate the need to bring more traditional on campus instruction into the online environment. The resources below are designed to help prepare instructors for those types of classroom activities in a digital format.

  • Several online tools in Blackboard Crosswalk that can be used to maintain communication with students. Select tools that students can come to expect as the means of relaying information.
  •  Tell students where to locate course information in Blackboard and provide detailed instructions for assignments, online meetings, and tools used to substitute in-class time.
    • We recommend adding this information to your syllabus or in a course folder entitled, “Start Here.”
  •  Post your syllabus in Blackboard and update it with course changes.
    • Did you know? It is an institutional best practice to upload the syllabi in Blackboard, to including on campus courses.
  • For a list of communication tools and functions, visit the Blackboard Interact with Students page (Check with your institution for the tools used locally.)
  • Follow best practices to build community and hold online discussions by Seth Anderson, Duke University.

Deliver lectures and presentations in Blackboard either synchronously or asynchronously. 

  • Synchronous Options: 
    • Meet virtually over Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to hold online real-time, interactive classes and office hours.  This allows the option to share the screen, poll students, live-chat, and open breakout rooms for smaller discussions. Sessions can also be recorded for those that cannot attend a synchronous class.
    • Use WebEx, the college web conferencing service. 
    • Host phone-based audio conferences for small classes. Use call-in numbers provided by either Blackboard Collaborate or WebEx. 
  • Asynchronous Options: 
    • Record a narrated presentation (narrated PowerPoint) and embed in the course.  
      • Recording full lectures can be cumbersome for instructors and students, so consider how to redesign them by Faculty Focus.
    • Video lectures can be recorded and streamed in Blackboard using a webcam and a microphone. Most laptops have integrated webcams and mics.  Video files can be stored on college provided storage. 
    • Ahead of a crisis, consider recording lectures. 
      • We recommend recording lectures for use outside of a crisis scenario. Digitizing in-class instructions can provide opportunities for easier ADA compliance (transcripts, captions), provide a backup of the work, and used as a substitute for students when the instructor is out. 
  • Other things you can upload/link to in Blackboard: 
    • PowerPoint Presentations
    • Podcasts and downloadable audio files
    • Case Studies
    • Images
    • Charts & Graphs
  • “Hand-out” course materials within Blackboard courses.
  • Files that can be uploaded to Blackboard, including DOC, DOCX, HTM, HTML, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, RTF, TXT, ZIP, and most image types.
  • Links can be provided to anywhere on the internet, including case studies, videos, websites, etc. 
  • Use the Blackboard Assignment tool to collect, grade, and return assignments electronically
  • Track student grades in the Blackboard Grade Center
  • Consider how alternative course materials and adapted assignments can could be incorporated for online learning in case of an extended emergency




Online Tools

GVTC offers a variety of tools available to assist instructors in teaching online. Blackboard tools such as Assignments, Discussions and Tests provide opportunities for students to submit assignments, interact with each other, and complete tests online. Some other tools to be considered are listed below. Most of these can be accessed from within Blackboard.

Virtual Labs, Simulations, or Interactive Learning Objects

  • Document Resource List - This document contains resources for virtual labs, simulations, or interactive learning objects. These resources may be open resources, paid resources, and/or paid resources with the fee waived during the COVID-19 crisis.

Online Resources

GVTC Training Events

Blackboard Training Events

Blackboard Academy Catalog

Instructor Training Series

Respondus Training Events

Lockdown Webinars

Monitor Webinars

GVTC Rapid Deployment Webinar Recordings

When transitioning to teaching online, instructors may have to use tools that you are not yet familiar with. Fortunately, there are resources already available to help you learn to use some of these tools, that will provide guidance during this transition. Resources that are available include:

Teaching Remotely (Blackboard Learn Basics)
In response to growing concerns on the spread of the coronavirus, and institutions moving to fully online teaching, this webinar is designed to provide you easy step-by-step instructions on how to upload course content, create discussion boards for students to communicate, and provide an overview on the types of online assessments available in Blackboard Learn.

Getting Started with Teaching a Virtual Class (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) 
Moving from in-classroom instruction to the online classroom does not have to be difficult or stressful. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a communication tool that will allow you to continue to engage with your students in a synchronous manner, or record sessions for students to watch at a later time. In this 30-minute session, we will review the Collaborate interface and tools available to use while teaching online.

Guide to Building Mobile Content 
In this urgent response to moving from in-person instruction to online instruction, instructors should prepare for students to access course information on the go. In this 30-minute session, we provide you with basic fundamentals for preparing online course content for mobile delivery. Additionally, we will review Blackboard mobile apps and provide you with a helpful worksheet on mobile content development.



These resources are located in the TCSG Blackboard environment. Upon login, locate the Organizations module and select TCSG Resources. Upon access to the TCSG Resources homepage, select Teaching & Learning Resources from the course menu on the left.

Select the link below to go directly to TCSG Blackboard. Your username and password is your employee ID number (this is your HR number).

TCSG Blackboard