If an emergency situation causes a campus closure or prevents you from coming to campus, please note there are a variety of tools and resources available to you and your students to continue your classes online.  If you have any questions about any of these please reach out to our office: Kathy Hogan or Kim Johnson

If you have technical issues please reach out to JBU's IT help desk at 479-524-7256.

Training schedules - Go to Eaglenet/IT Portal for the latest schedule.

Here is a link to tutorials for Blackboard, VidGrid, and Zoom.   Also some strategies for synchronous learning.  Software Resources

Here is a link to resources for accessibility. Mapping Access: Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19

Example Scenarios and possible online solutions:  Click on links below for tutorials. Click here for FAQ.

JBU Parking Lot Wifi Map  - If you need better WiFi than what you have personally, feel free to come to campus, remain in your vehicle, and use the JBU_Wireless network. 


Communicating with your students

Blackboard Announcement

Email through Blackboard

Make documents, readings, files available to students


Blackboard - adding content


Collect student assignments

Blackboard assignments

Email (you can have students email your assignments if you choose not to use Blackboard assignments, or it doesn't work for your type of assignment.

Class Discussion

Blackboard Discussion Forum

Zoom - can be used for synchronous discussion

FlipGrid - can be used for asynchronous video discussions (Initially, the instructor must go to and create educator account using work Microsoft account. Then go to Eaglenet/Office 365 for instructor access after that.)


VidGrid - can be used to record a lecture, capture PowerPoint, on screen tutorials.

Zoom - can connect with your students synchronously


Blackboard Tests   

Blackboard Tests recording of a training session held March 2020

Grading and Feedback

Blackboard Grade Center



Communicating with your students:

  • Send announcements regularly keeping students up to date with assignments.  Students will receive an email of all announcements you add to Blackboard. 
  • Encourage your students to check Blackboard multiple times a week as well as their JBU email accounts.

Sharing Documents:

  • Be sure to make your syllabus available on Blackboard.
  • You might consider organizing your files into a folder by week or module to make them easier for students to find.  

Collecting Student Assignments:

  • Be sure to give students a deadline for turning in the assignment (i.e. Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m.)
  • Be very specific in your instructions on your expectations for the assignment.  If it's a pretty in-depth assignment you might consider creating a short video with VidGrid.  Post examples of previous assignments.

Class Discussion:

  • Set up a Blackboard Discussion Forum. 
    • Give clear expectations for students.   Provide details on length of post (number of words), content expectations, expectations on responses to other students.
    • Be present in the discussions to keep students on topic and provide feedback.
    • Create discussions that require complex thought and application of ideas rather than those with just one right answer.
    • Encourage students to write long discussion posts in a Word document, then copy and paste to Blackboard.   This could avoid students losing work in the event of a technical glitch.
  • Use Zoom for synchronous discussion.
    • Set up a time in Zoom (see link in the above table).
    • Encourage students to test their equipment prior to the session.  If they do have technical issues have the contact the JBU IT help desk.



  • Use Zoom for synchronous session.
  • Synchronous Session Tips
    • At the beginning of your PowerPoint slides for each class session, insert a "Welcome" slide. Perhaps with the title of the session or a bell ringer or a brief message. Include a reminder for students to test their speakers and mic each time they log in, and include the Help Desk phone number on the welcome slide. Open your Zoom session early and share your "Welcome" screen. Then when students log in, they will see the welcome slide and test their equipment and have an opportunity to problem-solve before class starts. (You can mute your mic and camera until you're ready to begin.)
    • Ask students to log in to class ten minutes early if possible to solve any connectivity problems. 
    • Include a note on the welcome screen to keep mics muted except when talking. This will help with background noise issues.
    • Test everything before using it in class. Schedule a session with an instructional designer or colleague to try things out. 
    • Make use of the chat to get everyone participating in a discussion. Pose a question - ask everyone to answer, and tell them to not hit enter until you give the word. That way everyone can answer before they see others' answers. Zoom saves the chat as a PDF for future use.
    • Once you're comfortable using Zoom, try using breakout rooms for small group discussions - group projects - turn and talk. breakout rooms can be created in any number, can be renamed, and have all tools available for students. You can assign students to groups or have Zoom do it automatically. Give instructions before you send them out to their rooms. There is an announcement feature where you can type an announcement to send to all groups. Students can share their screens and thus their work with each other in the rooms. They can work on a collaborative document. Breakout rooms are not recorded. Everyone sees the chat, but everything else in the breakout room is private.The instructor can move between the rooms to listen or join in the conversation. When you're ready, click the button to bring everyone back in the Main Room to share or debrief. Breakout rooms are also good for assessments. Send the students out to individual rooms, and they can work on their assignment there. Stop in and give help or feedback. 
    • You can show videos in Zoom. Click the box to make sound a better experience. 
  • Tips for an Engaging Synchronous Sessions
    • Good planning
    • Interactive
    • Frequent checks for attention
    • Engaging visuals
    • Use chat and breakout rooms 

 Software list and resources