7 Helpful Online Learning Resources for Going Back to School

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Back to school plans are changing quickly as every institution, school and district grapples with the best decision for their community. Earlier this year, educators got a crash course on remote learning as COVID-19 forced institutions online and required instructors to replicate their typical face-to-face teaching model. To educators around the globe, we at Blackboard say, “thank you!” Thank you for your flexibility, empathy, and courage. Your flexibility and ingenuity proved that distance and remote teaching is a powerful and effective stopgap solution for face-to-face instruction in the midst of a crisis.  

We even saw some new and innovative ways of keeping teams and learners connected. The Washington State Cougars Football Team proved that they could push the boundaries of learning in a creative way. 

For approximately three months, the Cougars have repurposed Blackboard to teach a course every player on the roster is wholly invested in: football. As far as they know, they’ve been the only FBS program in America to use Blackboard, or any other learning management system like it, to inform players and communicate during the pandemic.

For Washington State, virtual learning has taken precedent in an unprecedented manner

While remote teaching at the beginning of the pandemic demonstrated the education community’s commitment to identifying and addressing emergent challenges, sustained educational success in our new normal requires new levels of flexibility. Effective online teaching and learning necessitate advance planning, flexibility, accessibility, engagement and inclusion from course design to course materials. As you continue to evaluate your course materials, strategies, plans, and navigate these uncertain times, we’re right here planning with you. We want you to have the most successful Fall possible, so we’ve compiled a list of online learning best practices via guides, tips, checklists, and webinars to support your back to school plan and to advance learning together. 

We recommend the session titled, “Guide to Building Mobile Content” in particular. This past Spring we saw the number of learners accessing course content from mobile devices increase by over 30% as learners moved to learning from home.  

Webinars

1. Instructor Preparedness Webinars: a webinar series designed for instructors who are getting started with Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate. Key sessions include:
  • Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate
  • Guide to Building Mobile Content (Original & Ultra)
2. K-12 Teacher Training Webinar Series: this webinar series is designed for K-12 teachers who are just getting started with using Blackboard Learn Ultra and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Key sessions include:
  • Blackboard Learn Ultra meets Google Tools
  • Blackboard Learn Ultra meets Microsoft Teams

Online Learning Best Practices

3. Accessibility Checklist: A quick-start reference guide to creating more accessible course content.
4. 3 ways to stay connected when going remote: Strategies and resources to ensure your online course contributes to promote an inclusive learning experience for all.
5. Student Engagement: 5 Strategies to Motivate the Online Learner: Helpful strategies to motivate online learners and ensure active engagement.
6. Inclusive Education Pack: A free resource to help you author more accessible content, integrate UDL principles into your online course design and improve the learning experience for all students.
7. Blackboard Ally File Transformer: Allows you to make files more accessible—giving you and your students the ability to personalize their learning experience to fit their needs.

For more online learning tips, follow @Blackboard on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.