Blackboard is the learning management system for the campus. Most faculty teaching online classes or classes with online components will use Blackboard to post course materials, create assignment submission areas, assign online quizzes and tests, and house other types of online learning activities (discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis, etc). Staff members may also use Blackboard if they are assigned to a community site for trainings or committee sites.
Blackboard Ally is an accessibility checking tool that is integrated into Blackboard. As documents and images are posted, Ally checks the accessibility of the content and gives it a score. If accessibility issues are detected, Ally will provide information on how the content can be remediated to improve accessibility. To learn more about Blackboard Ally, you can open the “Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit” from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Accessing Adobe Creative Cloud at Home
If you have been granted a campus named user Adobe account, you have the option to access Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device. Follow the instructions in the Accessing Adobe Creative Cloud at Home article to enable your account on a personal device.
Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit
The Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit is a resource community on Blackboard. This community contains information on creating and using accessible content in your courses, as well as remediating inaccessible content. All faculty and staff have access to this community on Blackboard. You can open the “Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit” from here if you are logged into Blackboard.
Blackboard Ally Alternative Formats
Blackboard Ally creates alternative formats of the original content instructors add to their courses. These formats are made available with the original file so everything is in one convenient location. Students can download these alternative formats directly from a course.
An Accessible Syllabus Template is provided for faculty use though the collaboration of the Provost’s Office and the Office of Instructional Technology. This syllabus template provides the information and notices required by the Provost’s Office and other campus departments and is structured in an accessible way to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
After you have created folders in Blackboard, you can begin adding content to the proper folder. There are many different types of content that can be added to Blackboard including documents, audio and video (linked from an external video platform like Knowmia), links, and images. Additionally, you can also create some content in Blackboard through tools like “items.”
Module 5 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course” discusses the main ways of adding content to Blackboard through four lessons. You can open Module 5 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Learn more about creating accessible content [link to Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit]
Adobe Creative Cloud License
Temporary Adobe Creative Cloud Licenses can be requested by students on a per-semester basis based on eligibility. To learn more about the requirements for qualifying for a temporary license, visit the Adobe Creative Cloud License Request page for information and to submit a request.
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Acrobat Pro is a PDF reader and editor that can be used to check and correct the accessibility of a PDF Document. Adobe Acrobat Pro should already be installed on all campus office computers; if it is not currently installed on your office computer or if you are using on a personal computer while working remotely due to the pandemic, Adobe Acrobat Pro can be installed by request.
Banner/Argos Remote Access
For campus users who have access to Banner and are working remotely, you must access Banner and/or Argos securely using VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Follow the instructions in the Banner/Argos Remote Access article to learn how to access these systems.
Best Practices for Recording Lectures
Learn best practices for recording lectures. This includes pedagogical best practices for planning the lecture, as well as technical tips and suggestions for producing high-quality, accessible content.
From: “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course” You can open Module 4, Lesson 3 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Best Practices for Written Content
There are many types of written content that can enhance your course. Read through suggestions of different types of written content and learn how to make this content accessible so it is available and useful to all learners.
From: “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course” You can open Module 4, Lesson 2 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Blackboard Assignments (Bb Annotate) and Turnitin
Blackboard offers two ways to create assignments: Blackboard Assignments and Turnitin, which is a plagiarism detection tool.
Learn more in Module 7 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 7: Creating Assessments from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a web-conferencing platform that is integrated within the Blackboard Learning Management system. Users who have either an “instructor” or “leader” role in Blackboard can initiate Collaborate Ultra sessions, which can then be used by all “students” or “participants” in the course. If a session is recorded, the recording will also be stored in the Collaborate Ultra area of the Blackboard Course.
Blackboard Content Editor (or Text Editor)
Many parts of Blackboard contain the Content Editor, also known as the Text Editor. This editor can be used to add content directly to Blackboard or to provide contextual information when attaching a file, creating a weblink, or adding documents.
Learn more about the Content/Text Editor in “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 5, Lesson 1 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Blended Learning Training
The course “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course” is an eight module, asynchronous training course for faculty who want to learn more about developing courses with online modalities. It covers the planning, design, and building phases of the course development process. Faculty who are new to online teaching are encouraged to go through the course in its entirety, but it can also be used as a reference guide for more experienced faculty looking to build or improve certain skills.
Career Resource Center
The Career Resource Center offers unique services, programs, and resources, to both current students and alumni of all majors, to assist with their career development. Whether you are deciding on a major, applying to graduate school, seeking volunteer experience, or searching for an internship or full-time position after graduation we offer guidance. To schedule an appointment, visit drop-in hours, see upcoming events and our resources, please visit, https://newpaltz.edu/careers/.
Staying in regular contact with students throughout the semester is an important way to engage them and to ensure that they feel connected to the class, as well as to you, as the faculty member. Learn more about using various means of communication in online classes to improve the sense of community in your classes in “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 3: Communicating Effectively from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
The Office of Instructional Technology has complied a playlist of LinkedIn Learning tutorial videos highlighting important computer skills that are valuable for faculty, staff, and students, alike. If you need to build some new computer skills or polish some rusty skills, this is a great place to start. But, don’t stop with these videos – browse LinkedIn Learning to search for other video titles related to school or work-related training; health and wellness topics; or to learn a new personal skill or hobby. Access to LinkedIn Learning requires your campus username and password.
Connect to Classroom Computers Remotely
This service allows students and faculty to access campus computers (and most campus owned software) remotely, from their own computers. Please note, since you are connecting to a physical computer on-campus, if all lab computers enabled for remote access are currently being used, you will be unable to connect until one becomes free.
Connect to Network Drives
If you are working remotely and need to connect to campus network drives, you will need to follow the instructions based on the operating system you are using:
Course Planner Template
For faculty planning courses with online asynchronous components AND synchronous components, either online or seated, it is important to plan for those segments of the class to intersect for greatest effectiveness. “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course” covers course planning and provides a downloadable Course Planner Template. You can open Module 1, Lesson 2: Planning Your Curriculum from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Creating a folder structure for the content, assignments, and assessments in your course provides your students with a clear framework for the course. If students know that everything they need for a unit or module of the course is in one folder, it greatly reduces their need to look in other parts of the course or to fear they are missing something.
You can learn more about Adding Content Folders and how to create them in Module 2, Lesson 2 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 2, Lesson 2 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
The Sojourner Truth Library is pleased to start offering curbside pickup to access physical items in the library. This service is currently available for students, faculty and staff with an active campus ID. Detailed instructions are available here.
When linking to articles in the library databases from Blackboard, it is important to make sure the link will bring your user directly to the resource without having to login again. You can ensure this is the case by checking for the Library Proxy script at the beginning of the link. To learn more about creating effective links to library resources, see the “Permalink” article on the Library website.
Information about library Permalinks is also included in “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 4, Lesson 4: Library Resources from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Default Main Menu (Blackboard)
One of the critical elements of maintaining consistent course design is using the default main menu in Blackboard. This sets the structure for the rest of the class and reduces the amount of time students need to take relearning the course environment of every individual course. The Default Main Menu is covered in Module 2, Lesson 1 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning course,” including why a consistent menu is important; a layout of the default structure; and a video orientation showing the purpose of each section. You can open Module 2, Lesson 1 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Disability Resource Center
The DRC is committed to leveling the playing field for students with disabilities through services and accommodations. Students new to the DRC will need to make an intake meeting appointment with a DRC staff member to discuss the need for accommodations and determine academic accommodations. Please visit the DRC website for more information about services and how to schedule an intake meeting.
E-Resources for Online Learning
Learn more about accessing e-resources at the Sojourner Truth Library with the research guide. The guide covers the following topics:
- Search Our Library
- Finding E-Books
- Finding Articles
- Finding Streaming Video
- Requesting Articles from Interlibrary Loan
- Ask a Librarian
Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program is “a comprehensive worksite-based program to assist faculty and staff in the prevention, early intervention and resolution of problems that may impact job performance. These include but are not limited to: emotional, family, work stress, legal, financial, grief, change, marital/relationship, alcohol/drug or domestic violence.” Learn more on the Employee Assistance Program website.
Ensemble is our legacy multimedia storage platform. It has been utilized for a number of years to house faculty and staff audio and video content. Though Ensemble is still available, any faculty or staff member looking to store their multimedia content is encouraged to make use of Knowmia [insert link to Knowmia entry], instead. Ensemble is not as robust as Knowmia and does not offer any recording functionality. Ensemble also lacks the automated closed captioning feature, which is an essential first step in creating accessible content.
Faculty Contemplative Group
The SUNY New Paltz Faculty/Staff Contemplative Group (FSCG) invites employees to semi-monthly gatherings to explore and discuss contemplative approaches to education. For over nine years, the FSCG has created a safe, supportive and mindful space for the college’s community to learn, share and grow both professionally and personally.
Using materials developed in the group, the FSCG has hosted faculty retreats, co-facilitated several campus departmental staff trainings, and presented at conferences. If you’re interested in a contemplative workshop or attending the group, you’re welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Guide to the Remote Library
The Sojourner Truth Library has provided information on how to easily navigate the library remotely. To learn more about these resources, please check the Faculty Guide to Remote Library on the library website. Updated information will be posted here, as it becomes available.
The faculty mentor program piloted in Fall 2020 and will continue into Spring 2021. Faculty mentors are experienced online instructors who have gotten additional training in available instructional technologies and who will hold office hours and schedule appointments to assist other faculty. Each school has at least one mentor, though it is fine to reach out to mentors in other schools, as well, for new perspectives.
Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Education (also known as Hawkmail at SUNY New Paltz) are available to all students who were enrolled prior to December 2020. Google Apps for Education includes access to a number of productivity tools, which are accessible via any supported web browser and via apps on mobile devices.
As of December 2020, new students will no longer have Hawkmail accounts created for them and will instead have Office 365 accounts created. However, if a class requires access to Google Apps (primarily in the School of Education), Hawkmail accounts can be created by request.
Faculty, staff, and alumni can also have Hawkmail accounts created by request.
Grades and Grade Center
Planning for, building, and maintaining an up-to-date Grade Center provides transparency in any course, but is especially useful in online modalities because it allows students to be more self-sufficient in monitoring their grades. Once you have built your courses, including all assignments and assessments, it is not difficult to put together a grade center that will be easy to maintain throughout the semester.
From “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 8 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
View Grade Center articles for Faculty on support.newpaltz.edu
Prior to December 2020, “Hawkmail” (our local name for the New Paltz domain on Google's GSuite for Education) was the official email system for all SUNY New Paltz students. Starting in December 2020, we have started the process to make Outlook, which is part of Office 365, the default system for all campus users by only creating Office 365 accounts for new students. You can learn more about the migration from Hawkmail to Outlook on our IT Support Site and also see Frequently Asked Questions regarding student email change.
“Hawksites” is the New Paltz branding for our campus WordPress integration (through an educational platform called CampusPress). All faculty, staff, and students can create their own Hawksites for course or professional purposes. To get started with Hawksites, go to hawksites.newpaltz.edu and login with your New Paltz username and password.
JSTOR: Free Access Extension
JSTOR full archive expanded access programs will continue through June 30, 2021:
- Full archive expanded access program (all Arts & Science Collections, Thematic Collections, Primary Source Collections not currently licensed by your institution are available at no additional charge).
- Browser Pairing
- Freely accessible Public Health journals newly added in March 2020
- Freely accessible coronavirus related books and journal articles
- Free online reading expanded to 100 articles/month
Knowmia is a multimedia platform that offers webcam and screen capture; recording via a mobile app for smartphones and tablets; a video storage library; basic video editing tools; and engagement tools like quizzes and conversations. This service is available to all current faculty, staff, and students and can be accessed by going to newpaltz.knowmia.com and logging in with your New Paltz username and password.
In Blackboard, the term “learning tools” refers to the four primary asynchronous tools that can be used in any course: Discussion Board, Blogs, Journals, and Wikis. One or more of these tools can be used in a course and it is important to understand their applications, benefits, and potential drawbacks as they relate to different assignments. A tool which works well for one type of assignment, may not be ideal for another.
Learn more in Module 6 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 6 from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) is a video tutorial platform with thousands of videos on topics ranging from technology to business to customer service to health and wellness. This service is available to all current faculty, staff, and students and can be accessed by logging in to my.newpaltz.edu.
Manage Main Menu
Though we strongly recommend not editing the default main menu in your Blackboard course, in some instances it is appropriate to make specific and judicious changes. For example, if you are running a synchronous online course, it is beneficial to put the link to the web-conference service on the main menu since that is something students will need to access regularly throughout the semester.
If you would like to add a tool link, you can learn how through the article How to Add a Tool Link to the Main Menu. You do, however, want to make sure the new menu item is added to the right section [see the Default Main Menu section] to keep the menu as consistent as possible.
Mathematica Download and Install
Mathematica can be downloaded remotely by faculty and staff, by request. Follow the instructions in the article Mathematica Download and Install to create an account (new users only) and request access for the product on your personal computer.
Mental Health QPR crisis intervention training
SUNY is encouraging all students, faculty and staff to learn three steps – Question, Persuade, Refer – that could help save the life of someone at risk of suicide. You don’t need to be a professional to know how to react — but you do need to be prepared. The training takes less than an hour. Get more info and sign up here.
Microsoft Teams is available through the campus Office 365 license, however this product is not currently fully supported by IT Support. If you have a specific need for this product (i.e. web-conferencing with enhanced security (ex. HIPPA compliance)) you can request a Teams site through support.newpaltz.edu.
Tutorials for Teams are available through LinkedIn Learning.
New Paltz Default Blackboard Shell
The New Paltz Default Shell is a course template in Blackboard that is pre-built with features that take into consideration course design best practices and also follow the SUNY Course Quality Rubric (OSCQR)
Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) Events
View upcoming workshops and training offerings on the OIT Events Calendar.
Online or Hybrid Development
To learn more about becoming fully certified to teach online or hybrid courses you can review the procedure document or application document [Link Needed], which are both also available in my.newpaltz.edu.
Application for full certification is only appropriate for faculty who are planning on continuing to teach online or hybrid modalities beyond the period of the transition to remote learning due to COVID-19. Be sure to check application deadlines to ensure that you are considered for the desired semester.
An archive of recorded training and workshop webinars offered by the Office of Instructional Technology can be found on the ITS Support Site. These recordings cover most major aspects of Blackboard, as well as other instructional technology tools offered by the campus.
Office 365 is a suite of tools for productivity and collaboration that is available to all campus faculty, staff, and students. The campus email platform, Outlook, is available through Office 365. Members of the campus have the option to download Office 365 on up to five personal devices. You can learn more about using Office 365 apps and tools on the IT Support Site.
OneDrive is SUNY New Paltz’s official cloud storage solution and is available to all faculty, staff, and students through our subscription to Office 365. Files saved to OneDrive are available at home, in the classroom, and even on your smartphone.
- See also: “Switching from using the “F” Drive to OneDrive” Faculty STAFF https://newpaltz.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1905/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=45591&SIDs=6079
Online Research Help and Library Instruction
Research help and library instruction remain online only. Librarians will coordinate access to resources, information literacy, management instruction and research help as needed, using chat, email, web conferencing and other tools. Library instruction will be delivered online as either synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the structure and needs of the course.
Feel free to reach out any time but we’ll be able to respond the quickest during our Research Help Remote Hours.
Open Source or Third Party Software
If you are working remotely and would like to forward calls from your office phone to a different campus phone or external phone number, you can follow the steps in the instructional video: Forwarding All Calls to Another Phone.
Alternatively, you can use the Jabber app to make and receive calls as if you were at your desk on campus. This software connects to the campus telephone system and enables you to operated your office phone from your computer or mobile device. Learn more about using Jabber on our IT Support Site.
Psychological Counseling Center
The Psychological Counseling Center (PCC) provides preventative and clinical services to the diverse SUNY New Paltz community. The PCC promotes retention of students through interventions designed to enhance their psychological, emotional, social, and intellectual well-being. The PCC assists students to participate fully in the college experience through interventions which include time-limited individual psychotherapy, group counseling, referrals, outreach programming and training, consultation, and crisis intervention.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help. Call 1-844-863-9314 to speak with someone.
Students can also utilize the New York State/Office of Mental Health Crisis Text Line. Text GOT5 to 741741 for assistance.
Required Reading Assistance (Physical Course Reserves Not Available)
Physical Course Reserves are currently unavailable due to safety protocols requiring that all library materials must be quarantined for a minimum of 3 days each time they are loaned, which makes traditional short-term loans impractical.
Instead we are working to provide electronic access for many of the requests we receive. For materials that aren’t available online, librarians will work with instructors to find alternatives.
Please note: staffing constraints - and the limits of Fair Use – prevent us from providing a comprehensive scanning service for all materials on reserve. However, if you have an instructional need that cannot be met by any other means, let us know via Ask A Librarian. We will support limited on-demand scanning where there is unmet instructional need.
You may also choose to borrow physical items and digitize portions for online delivery. We strongly encourage you to remember Fair Use guidelines and the campus Accessibility policy (in the Blackboard community "Accessible Classroom: Faculty and Staff Toolkit" - you must be logged in to Blackboard to use this link). Although the Library does not advise on copyright questions, we can point you toward several useful resources.
Reserve Seating in the Library
The Main Floor is open, providing access to printing, scanning, desktop PCs and quiet seating. For everyone’s safety, you must reserve seating in advance. Guidelines and a link to reserve space are available on the Library Access Booking page.
Student Health Services
Student Health Service provides non-emergency primary medical care for problems that occur while college is in session. SHS provides care with an emphasis on preventative health care.
Student Online Learning Orientation
The Student Online Learning Orientation is a self-paced, six-module course in Blackboard to help prepare students for taking online courses or working on Blackboard. Students can work through the entire course, which includes self-assessment modules to check understanding of each module, or they can use it as a resource to learn more about specific areas of online learning or Blackboard tools.
You can jump to the Student Online Learning Orientation from here, if you are already logged into Blackboard.
Support Your Mental Health During Challenging Times
In this learning path from LinkedIn Learning, learn science-based skills to support your mental health during challenging times. These courses cover topics such as building resilience, minding your mind while working from home, avoiding burnout, managing difficult feelings, and managing your emotions.
Go to the learning path: “Support your Mental Health During Challenging Times”
Tests and Surveys
Blackboard provides faculty with the ability to create and deploy tests and surveys. Tests and surveys can use many different question types and these types can be blended together into one assessment.
Learn more in Module 7 of “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 7: Creating Assessments from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
It is also possible to create video content with embedded quiz questions in Knowmia, which is a great way to assess student engagement with video content. If you import a Knowmia video into Blackboard the quiz grade will sync with the Blackboard grade center.
EquatIO is a campus licensed screen-reading software for equations. Users can download EquatIO to any device, including home or personal devices (using a campus username and password), and use the targeting tools to have any equation read out loud. EquatIO can also be used by faculty to create accessible equations for documents and the web. EquatIO is designed for users who benefit from having documents or websites read aloud, but it does require the user to have some vision in order to select and target the equations to be read.
TextHelp Read & Write
Read & Write is a campus licensed screen-reading software that is available to all current campus users. Read & Write is designed for users who benefit from having documents or websites read aloud, but it does require the user to have some vision in order to select and target the text to be read. This license can be downloaded to any device, including home or personal devices using a campus username and password.
Time on Task
Understanding Time on Task will help faculty figure out how much time students should be spending on the course each week and, if the course is not fully asynchronous, how to distribute these hours between the synchronous or in-person portions of the course and the asynchronous environment.
Learn more in “Training: Developing a Blended Learning Course.” You can open Module 1, Lesson 1: Time on Task from here if you are already logged into Blackboard.
VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a service that allows users to remotely access a variety of software programs provided by the college. To utilize VDI, the user will need to install a program (a “client”) on their preferred device(s). VDI is supported on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, through Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV).
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure network connection that allows authorized users to connect to the campus network while off-campus. Using a VPN connect prevents others from viewing any information you are transmitting and also provides access to campus services that are only available on the campus network. To use VPN, you must first install the Cisco AnyConnect program on your device.
Webex is a web-conferencing platform that is available to all current faculty, staff, and students. There are two versions of Webex available: Webex Meetings is the most commonly used version for meetings and class sessions, while Webex Events can be an option for large-scale events, especially if registration is required. Faculty using Webex for class sessions can use the Webex integration in Blackboard to schedule meetings and automatically have recordings sent to the Blackboard course.
In this learning path the Office of Instructional Technology has curated a number of videos and courses that may help users successfully find a Work/Life Balance.
Go to the learning path: “Work Life Balance”
Working from Home
Optimize working remotely in this set of online courses from LinkedIn Learning—whether you’re new to remote work or not, and whether you’re leading a team or part of a team involving distributed team members. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.
Go to the learning path: “Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success”
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