Brightspace Continuity

PEDAGOGY FOR CONTINUITY

Springfield College recognizes that there are times when we have disruptions to the day to day activities of our institution. Given that our strongest commitment is to students and their education, we are committed to providing opportunities for learning to continue during times of disruption in ways that do not hinder the process that we know is so valuable for our students. 

However, teaching during times of disruption requires creative and flexible thinking about how instructors support students in achieving essential learning outcomes of any course. This page is designed to offer suggestions for instructors at Springfield College to continue a student-centered learning experience in an online learning environment.

For many faculty who have little or no experience with online teaching the process will no doubt feel unfamiliar and at times possibly frustrating. There may be hiccups, but times of disruption are, by their nature, disruptive, and everyone, students, faculty, administrators, expect that. Be willing to experiment, and try different approaches if something isn’t working. However, above all else, stay focused on making sure students are comfortable, and always teach with an eye on your learning objectives.  There’s a good chance you might not be able to teach exactly the way you would prefer. However, if you are meeting the needs of students in ways that enhance learning, and in ways that are supportive, encouraging and flexible, you are doing all that you can.

To help with faculty in case of a disruption of our traditional educational practices, the Office of Information Technology, and Academic Technologist Leslie Rotondo, have teamed up with the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship and the Instructional Design Team to develop this page to support faculty in situations in which our traditional method of teaching is disrupted and we need to consider alternative means of education.

Below, we provide a series of resources designed to help you as you work to continue your courses in times of disruption. The first set of resources is “just in time” materials (screen captioned videos) that guide you through basic processes that will allow you to continue your course. These videos include strategies for creating announcements, administering quizzes, constructing discussion prompts, etc. These resources will allow you to continue communication with your students and allow you to deliver content in ways that make sense for your course material. The first set of resources are basic and should help most faculty do things that will keep the course going, albeit differently than you might have imagined, but in ways that will support students. 

The second group of resources is designed to help faculty who want to try other forms of online pedagogy. These resources have more advanced Brightspace techniques for folks who are more comfortable with online education. 

The goal is not to turn everyone into an expert in online teaching, but to ensure that all students get the Springfield education that they deserve. We want faculty to be prepared, and we want to provide sufficient resources to do so. And we want to provide resources that are pedagogically sound and that will help our students achieve the educational outcomes we value so much. 

To that end, we are available for consultation and support, both in workshops (dates) and via email and phone. Our team is: Chris Hakala (CETLS), Leslie Rotondo (Academic Technologist), Kim Colangelo (Instructional Design Team Leader).  

Contact Us and Quick Links

Contact information:

Chris Hakala: chakala@springfield.edu, 413 441-4452
Leslie Rotondo: lrotondo@springfield.edu, 413 748-3460
Kim Colangelo: kcolangelo@springfield.edu, 413 748-3983

Brightspace FAQs

Just-in-time Videos: These videos are designed to help you begin to get familiar with some of the more popular features in Brightspace and that will help you deliver your content in ways that will allow for continuity of instruction. These videos are supplemented with additional resources that give further detailed information on how to do higher-level online instructional processes. 

Announcements: Announcement Tool in Brightspace

In this video, we show how to make announcements to your class to advise them of upcoming activities, assignments, etc.

Chat: Chat Tool in Brightspace
In this video, we show how to use the chat function in Brightspace to hold virtual office hours, or to be available for just-in-time teaching for students who might need some guidance.

Quizzing: Quiz from scratch Brightspace
This first video shows how to create a quiz in Brightspace, with step by step instructions on how to add questions, release the quiz, etc.
Creating a Quiz with Question Bank This second video shows how to create a quiz with previously existing questions from a test bank.

Discussion Board: Discussion Tool in Brightspace
This video shows how to construct and respond to discussion board prompts.

Gradebook: Initial Grade Book in Brightspace
In this longer video, we go through how to construct and use the gradebook. This video, and this feature, is one that is more challenging, so additional resources are available in the “Additional Resources” link to help with this process. 

Video Notes: Video Note Tool
Here, we show how to construct a video note to give feedback to students.

Virtual Classroom: Creating a Virtual Class Meeting

This video will illustrate how to create a virtual classroom meeting in Brightspace.

To exit the virtual classroom: Exit Virtual Classroom in Brightspace

Share with your students how to access the virtual classroom: Join Virtual Classroom in Brightspace

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: These resources are here so faculty can view other resources, in case they need additional guidance or they want to see other strategies for engaging in teaching. We plan to continue to curate new resources and make them available. 

Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship PrideNet Page: A message for how to move a course online in times of uncertainty, along with advice on similarities between online pedagogy and in-person pedagogy. 

Quick Solutions in Brightspace

Primer for Moving from Face to Face to Online