Resources for Working Remotely
Having access to the right technology tools and resources is an important aspect of working from home. Faculty and staff may visit the Resources for Working Remotely page to find general information about things like accessing email, installing software, taking work phone calls at home, video conferencing, antivirus, and more.
Information to Assist Faculty with Remote Teaching
There are a variety of reasons that may require you to temporarily offer your course online, including inclement weather, illness, a family emergency, or a university closure. The information below provides you with a list of resources and tools that you can utilize to continue course instruction when meeting in person is not possible.
Communicate with Your Students
Effectively communicating with students is always an important aspect of teaching. This becomes even more important when changes to class schedules or modifications to the class format are required.
All Ball State courses have a Canvas course associated with them. Even if you don’t use Canvas to deliver course content, you simply need to publish the Canvas course and then you will be able to use the Canvas Announcements feature to share information with your students. This is a great way to let them know about changes to course schedules, the addition of new course content, and other course-related information. Review the Canvas Announcement FAQ to learn more.
Ball State Email
Log into your Ball State email account from anywhere by visiting www.bsu.edu/webmail.
Deliver Course Content and Manage Assignments via Canvas
Even if you don’t regularly use Canvas for your on-campus courses, there is a Canvas course associated with each class you teach. In order to utilize that course, you will need to access Canvas, click on your course, and then publish the Canvas course. Once it has been published, you can add content to the course.
Share Files with your Students
Adding PowerPoint presentations, class handouts, or reading materials to Canvas is a quick way to share course content with your students. Once you have logged into Canvas, you will need to follow the following steps to add your file to Canvas and then provide your students with a link to access it.
Step 1: If you have not created a Module in Canvas, you will need to Create a Canvas Module so that you have a place to add a link to your file.
Step 2: Upload the file to Canvas.
Step 3: Create a link to the file from within a Canvas Module
Start a Discussion
Canvas provides the Discussions tool, which gives you the ability to create a Discussion to facilitate interactive communications within your class. As the instructor, you can start a discussion with a posting and then invite students to share their ideas as well as post responses to information added by other students.
When you add an Assignment in Canvas, you are able to provide information about the assignment and give students a way to submit their work online. A column will automatically be added to the Canvas Gradebook for your Assignment.
Grade an Assignment Submitted via Canvas
The SpeedGrader function of Canvas is a great tool to use to grade an Assignment that students have submitted via Canvas. It also provides a means to provide feedback to each student. Grades entered via SpeedGrader automatically show-up in the Canvas Gradebook.
Add Grades to the Canvas Gradebook for Assignments not Submitted via Canvas
You can manually create columns in the Canvas Gradebook to record grades for assignments not submitted to Canvas.
Record Course Lectures with Mediasite
Request a MyMediasite account (if you don't have one), use Mediasite to record class lectures that you can post in Canvas, and then learn how to enable Mediasite within Canvas.
Visit the Faculty Canvas Community
For additional assistance learning about Canvas and utilizing it in your classes, the Division of Online and Strategic Learning has created a Canvas Community for faculty, that includes brief instructions on communicating with students, some sample templates and modules, how to videos and instructions, and sample prompts for critical thinking/reflective exercises for both assignments and discussion boards.
Excellence in Remote Teaching and Learning
As experts in online education, we've provided resources to help our faculty maintain excellence in their classes while transitioning to remote teaching and learning environments. Learn more.
Administer Student Exams Remotely Utilizing Respondus Monitor (for Faculty)
Respondus Monitor adds the flexibility of giving Canvas exams outside of the Testing Labs by using a student’s webcam and facial detection software to deter cheating. It works in conjunction with Respondus Lockdown Browser and a webcam to record and analyze each exam session. After the exam sessions are recorded and analyzed, faculty have the opportunity to review the analysis and can watch the recorded exam sessions.
Taking Exams Remotely Utilizing Respondus Monitor (for Students)
All Testing Labs are now Closed
Faculty are encouraged to work with the Division of Online and Strategic Learning on alternative evaluation methods, which may include using Repondus Monitor for remote testing.
Share Large Files with Box
Box is Ball State's cloud storage solution for storing and sharing files. If you need to share large files with others, those over 100 MB, you should share the file from Box and not load it into Canvas. Access the Technology HelpDesk Knowledge Base to learn how to use Box.
Conduct Class Virtually with WebEx
When meeting in person is not an option, faculty may choose to use WebEx to facilitate hosting class. Up to 200 people can participate in a WebEx. Attendees can dial-in via a standard telephone for an audio only connection. Anyone with a PC, Mac, or Smartphone can join for a complete audio, video, and collaboration experience. Be sure to record your WebEx and add a link to it in Canvas, so that students who cannot participate in the WebEx can view it later.
Connect Your Students to Online Library Resources
Even if you and your students cannot visit the University Libraries, we provide online access to a wide range of library resources and services, available 24/7/365. You can always access research databases, full-text articles, e-books, reading lists/course reserves, streaming video, and more. You can receive virtual research assistance from library professionals, and online document delivery and interlibrary loan services are also available. Get started here.
Additional Important Resources
Reliable internet access is critical for online teaching and learning. Many Internet service providers, including AT&T, Comcast, Sprint and T-Mobile are offering free or reduced-cost options at this time. Learn more about specific Internet offers that are currently available.
Ball State University offers the full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud Applications to its full-time faculty and staff, who may download Adobe applications on your work computer and may also install Adobe applications for work-at-home purposes on a personally-owned computer. Currently enrolled Ball State students have the opportunity to purchase an Adobe Create Cloud subscription for $50 per year. Learn more about acquiring Adobe Creative Cloud.
Learn a new skill or expand your knowledge on a wide-range of topics using LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com). LinkedIn Learning is an e-learning platform that provides self-paced training modules that cover business, technology and creative topics. Ball State students and employees have free access to LinkedIn Learning.
LinkedIn Learning modules can be used by faculty to supplement course content. They also provide an effective way for supervisors to help employees expand their skill set. Learn more about LinkedIn Learning.
IBM is granting free access to SPSS for home use for the duration of our current agreement, anyone needing SPSS for work, research, or study can obtain SPSS for home use, free of charge.
Special Considerations for Working Remotely
Information Technology Requirements for Working Remotely
If you are a Ball State employee who is planning to work remotely, review the information technology requirements document. It provides information about approved computer equipment, taking Ball State equipment home, a list of essential skills for remote work, as well as information about how to get technology assistance.
Security Tips for Remote Workers
There are things we can all do to protect ourselves from cyber criminals. Everyone that is working remotely is encouraged to carefully review the Security Tips for Remote Workers to learn more.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Some Ball State computing resources will require you to utilize Ball State’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) to gain access when you are not on campus. Learn what systems require VPN for off-campus access. If you need to use VPN, you may review the Ball State VPN FAQ to view step-by-step instructions for installing and using VPN on your computer.
Access your Ball State Phone with Cisco Jabber
Using Cisco Jabber on your laptop/macbook is a great way make and receive calls from your Ball State number, over the internet, when working away from campus. If you have a telephone and number assigned to you on campus, you can download and install Jabber at any time. You can also use Jabber as an instant messaging tool to communicate with your co-workers who may also be on or off campus.
If you’d like to use Jabber on your smartphone or tablet, request Cisco Jabber be setup for your device. Be sure to include your Ball State number (285-xxxx) and the type of device (tablet, iPhone or Android smartphone). Once the appropriate Jabber profile has been created for your mobile device, simply download Cisco Jabber from your device’s app store. The app is free, and any calls made to/from your device will utilize WiFi when connected or your mobile data plan.
The Division of Online and Strategic Learning
Faculty who would like assistance with online course delivery in Canvas may also contact the Division of Online and Strategic Learning to collaborate with one of their experienced instructional consultants.
The Accessible Technology Lab
The Accessible Technology Lab (ACT Lab) provides a variety of resources to all members of the Ball State community, living with disabilities, to accomplish career objectives and coursework. Lab support will be available through remote support only. Please contact the ACT Lab by phone at 765-285-8275 or send an email to email@example.com.