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Faculty Guide to Academic Instruction

Peabody faculty have access to a variety of tools to accomplish their learning goals in their academic courses. Start with the Faculty Guide to Flexible Course Design to help with defining your goals, then explore the areas below.

Primary Academic Technology Resources

Blackboard Learning Management System

The primary enterprise system for teaching and learning and Johns Hopkins University is the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). Available at https://blackboard.jhu.edu, the Blackboard LMS is our central hub for announcements, discussion, grading, and resource sharing. More than just an alternative to the physical classroom, Blackboard is used by many faculty even when teaching face-to-face courses. The possibilities multiply in the online format.

Using Blackboard, faculty can:

  • Create announcements that are emailed to each class’ students (without having to find all of their email addresses) and, critically, documented in the course site
  • Post course materials (PDFs, PPT decks, music files, web links, embedded media)
  • Receive and submit assignments, using the inline grading tool to grade submissions with annotation features on a computer or using a stylus on a tablet device.
  • Post self-made videos and presentations (using a tool called Panopto).
  • Access a number of other tools, including VoiceThread (asynchronous video conversations and annotations), Noteflight (composition, sharing, and grading of music scores), and Hypothes.is (collaborative annotation of web content and articles).

Get Blackboard Support

Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams is a complementary platform to Blackboard. In Teams, faculty and students can:

  • Have informal, collaborative threaded discussions
  • Create and work concurrently on Microsoft Office 365 documents and other file types
  • Work collaboratively on shared notebooks
  • Access a number of integrated tools, including Polly (inline polling), Microsoft Forms (surveys), and Microsoft Planner (project management and tasks).

Microsoft Teams sites can be created from the Student Information System (SIS), just like your Blackboard sections, and enrollments will be automatically handled by the system so faculty don’t have to worry about whether the right students have access.

Request a Team for Your Class or Get Teams Support

Zoom Videoconferencing

Zoom is Peabody’s video conferencing solution. For comprehensive information on Zoom, please visit the Faculty Guide to Zoom.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is an online file storage service (cloud file sharing service) that can help keep your files secure and easily sharable with your colleagues, whether affiliated with JHU or not. Through JHU’s Office 365 license, every Johns Hopkins affiliate has access to 5 terabytes of storage. It is a great way to share large files too big for emailing. You can also work collaboratively with colleagues on files stored in OneDrive.

(Note: “JHOneDrive” is the JHU branded instance of Microsoft’s OneDrive for business made available through JHU’s Microsoft license.)

For instructions on how to get started, please visit: https://cer.jhu.edu/tools-and-tech/onedrive

Access to These Resources

Students can access all the tools on this page with their JHED, and many are already familiar with multiple tools. As these tools gain greater adoption, faculty need not gather email addresses, invite students, troubleshoot access, teach a new tool, etc. Faculty and students are automatically enrolled in courses via a SIS integration. All of these tools are also accessibility-compliant for students with a variety of learning needs. The more faculty use these tools, the more familiar they become for everyone, and the less the technology gets in the way of teaching and learning. Faculty and students are 100% supported in their use of these tools by IT@Peabody and AT&ID team.

Assessments and Final Exams

You will need to revise the format of your assessments so students can submit them remotely. Several tools are available to deliver and receive assessments: Blackboard, email, and OneDrive.

Using Blackboard for Assessments

Blackboard offers several options for assessments:

  • Collect assignments where students can submit their work. Using this option, faculty are able to grade submissions using the inline grading tool, moving the work of collecting, grading, and returning written assignments to the LMS.
  • Create tests with multiple choice, fill in the blank, short essay options, and other question types. Tests can be imported from Word documents or from publisher resources.
  • Submit student videos with VoiceThread or Panopto. Contact AT&ID for support.

Direct, synchronous supervision of assessments and exams is difficult and/or cost-prohibitive in a remote teaching environment. Another option is to use a timed, open book format that makes it difficult for students to cheat.  

Blackboard allows you to schedule exams to release at a specific time and for a limited amount of time. Be mindful of student bandwidth issues and time zone differences when using time limits. Please remember that student accommodations are still in effect.

Other Tools for Exams

Email. Email students a written test to complete and return via email.

OneDrive. Outlined above, OneDrive could also work as an easy way to share files, especially large projects. For instructions on how to get started, please visit: https://cer.jhu.edu/tools-and-tech/onedrive

Additional Resources for Assessment

Additional strategies and suggestions can be found here, https://cer.jhu.edu/teaching/assessing-students-remotely

Blackboard FAQ

Here are the most frequent questions we get about Blackboard, organized in order of functions that require increasing effort to learn and use:

  • How do I access Blackboard? https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/pAdXAw 
  • How do I make my course available in Blackboard? Students cannot see a course until it is made available.  https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/0AdXAw
  • Why use Blackboard instead of another tool? It’s tempting to use a tool that is comfortable and familiar, but there are a number of benefits to Blackboard. First, it is the system of record for academic coursework and student artifacts. Blackboard is fully supported by IT@Peabody and the AT&ID team. Faculty and students are automatically enrolled in courses via a SIS integration. Blackboard is also accessibility-compliant for students with a variety of needs. Students already know how to use Blackboard and have access through their JHED – no gathering email addresses, inviting, troubleshooting access, etc. The more faculty use Blackboard, the more familiar it gets for everyone and the less the technology gets in the way of teaching and learning.
  • How do I post an announcement in my course that emails my students? Post a course announcement in Blackboard. Select the option to email to all students to ensure they receive messages quickly. https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/rYCsBg
  • How can I share course materials using Blackboard? Lecture notes, slides, detailed assignment instructions, and other course materials can be uploaded into Blackboard. https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/toCsBg
  • How can I collect assignments using Blackboard? Students can upload assignments through the assignment submission tool in Blackboard. To learn how to create an assignment in Blackboard, visit https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/uoCsBg
  • I want to do more. Where can I find more resources? There are a number of places to continue exploring. Here are a few:

Zoom FAQ

Please visit the Zoom FAQ on the Faculty Guide to Zoom page.