Arkansas Tech University has a robust online presence already, with a sufficient amount of supporting resources for delivering content and communications.
The question might be, what is the right approach of delivery for each instructor and what is the standard delivery method for the university going to be.
To help in making this determination, the following is a list of services currently operating and accessible for online and remote computer access, communication, and course delivery.
This page will be updated with new resources periodically. Check back often for more resources.
Blackboard Learn is our Learning Management System (LMS) for online delivery of course materials. It is fully integrated with the student information system, Banner.
All courses are already set up with the instructors and students enrolled and are ready for instructors to begin delivering content through Blackboard Learn.
Approximately 40% of face-to-face courses currently use Blackboard Learn to supplement in-class instruction.
Instructors who are not already familiar with Blackboard Learn may need additional training to help them deliver online content effectively. Training sessions with the Course Management Systems team can be scheduled, and Blackboard’s YouTube channel offers many short videos that cover course design, communication, collaboration, and assessment.
98% of students currently access a Blackboard course of some kind and are not likely going to require much training, but communication will be essential.
The College of eTech has training resources for faculty available in their Transitioning to Teaching online Blackboard course.
Broadband internet access from a desktop or laptop computer is recommended when accessing Blackboard, especially for test-taking. Mobile apps are available, but with limited functionality.
Blackboard Community has created a Continuity of Education group to learn about and share resources on how institutions manage and prepare for continuity of education when a crisis, natural disaster, or pandemic arises. Both Blackboard and clients will share information, updates, and resources here. Registration to the site is required.
The Office of Information Systems (OIS) maintains a set of Blackboard Learn solution articles containing solutions and answers to many of the common questions concerning course delivery.
The College of eTech also offers more resources for students and instructors on their website.
Kaltura is a video management platform in which students, faculty, and staff can easily create, upload, edit, manage, publish, discover, and deliver high-quality video to any device. Kaltura has provided a quick overview video that introduces you to the product.
The Kaltura platform includes several applications:
- MediaSpace – Our MediaSpace portal is at http://video.atu.edu
- Public and private video portal (does not include BbLearn course content videos)
- Access to the Capture Suite and your “My Media” repository from outside the LMS
- Log in with OneTech credentials
- Express Capture – uses only your webcam and microphone to record a message directly through your web browser.
- Kaltura Capture – is a small program downloaded to the local machine that allows you to record from up to 3 input sources, including screen capture from your monitor.
- KMS Go App – a mobile app available for Apple and AndroidView recordings using your mobile device
- Create recordings directly to your My Media repository for publishing in the LMS.
- Log in using video.atu.edu and your OneTech credentials
- LMS Plugin – The Blackboard Learn integration allowing most features of each application to be utilized directly within Blackboard Learn. Access the Capture Suite
- Access your “My Media” repository
- Media Gallery – A course level gallery of videos (BbLearn course content videos)
- Embed recordings as content items (BbLearn course content videos)
- Create and assign Interactive Video Quizzes
- Students can also record and submit responses to content delivered through Blackboard Learn (i.e., discussion boards, intro videos, video assignments).
- Recording of OIS Workshop – Intro to Kaltura
- A quick video about Adding Kaltura Media to Blackboard
- OIS Solution Articles on Kaltura.
Broadband internet access is required to view and publish content on Kaltura. A webcam and microphone are required to create content.
For live delivery of a lecture to your class in a synchronous fashion, we recommend using Webex Meetings (see below). You can collaborate live together yet still record and post the session for asynchronous viewing later by those that missed it.
Cisco Webex is the suggested primary resource to use for collaboration with your students and colleagues. Webex provides a useful set of collaboration tools that enable communication anytime, from anywhere, and from any device. All students, faculty, and staff have a Cisco Webex account. Instructions for getting started are available in this Webex Onboarding solution article.
Webex Teams is a cloud-based app for desktops and mobile that enables continuous interpersonal teamwork with videoconferencing, meetings, group messaging, file sharing, and whiteboarding. It is important to note that Webex Teams is a different product from Microsoft Teams that is available in our Office 365 subscription. More information on Webex Teams can be found on Cisco’s Webex Teams help page. If a video conference with individuals beyond the team is desired, Webex Meetings should be used instead.
Integration with Blackboard Learn is coming soon.
Check out these Getting Started resources from Webex:
- Webex Meetings Best Practices
- Get started with Webex Meetings
- Get started with Webex Teams
- Setting up your home office
- Tips for working from home
- Tips for hosting a meeting
- Low bandwidth and troubleshooting
- Video: Virtual Classroom: Getting Started
- Live and Recorded Webex Training from Webex
- How to – Webex Meetings YouTube Playlist
- Transition to virtual learning
Blackboard Collaborate (Ultra) is a robust web conferencing platform that is heavily integrated with Blackboard Learn and provides audio, video, recording capabilities, private and public chat, a whiteboard, and application sharing, much like Webex. More information on Blackboard Collaborate can be found on Blackboard’s Collaborate help page.
File Access (T and U Drives, OneDrive)
For online delivery, we suggest that Blackboard Learn be the primary resource for the delivery of content, lecture capture, testing, and other class requirements. This will help with consistent delivery to the students and support from OIS. However, we understand there may be resources that require different access, or that may not be associated with a Blackboard Learn course.
OIS has several Solution Articles for remotely accessing file storage systems:
- How do I access the T Drive from off-campus?
- How do I access my faculty/staff U-drive from off-campus?
- Accessing OneDrive
Computer and Software Access
Many faculty and staff may desire to access their individual computers remotely. To access your desktop computer remotely, you’ll need to know the name of your computer. The following solutions articles provide instructions for remotely accessing your office computer.
- How do I determine my computer’s name?
- How do I connect to the VPN?
- How do I connect to my office computer from off-campus?
For faculty and staff with Linux or Mac systems, VNC and other products are available for Linux and macOS. Still, OIS does not recommend any specific product at this time due to the individual use of these systems. Please contact Campus Support for assistance in implementing a product if you do not already have a means of access installed.
OIS also provides access to vDesktops, a pool of virtual computer systems for online access by students, faculty, or staff. vDesktops Solutions Articles offer detailed instructions for getting connected.
Remote access to software packages
Arkansas Tech offers many different software packages that are available to be installed on your home computer or accessed remotely via a web browser. Here are some solutions articles on a few of the most popular applications.
- Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign, etc.)
- Remote Applications (SAS, SPSS, Stata, Veera, Project, Visio, etc.)
- QuestionPro (Online Surveys)
Email is still the primary notification and communication method for faculty to reach students. The email functionality in each Blackboard course simplifies the process of communicating with students via email.
As the university has continued migrating to the Cisco phone system, many staff and faculty have been using Cisco Jabber for some time. Recently, we have begun to switch to Webex Teams to help move towards a Unified Communications Platform (Integrated Phone, Instant Messaging, and Video Conferencing). Not everyone has been migrated to the Cisco phone systems yet, but Webex Teams and Meetings are already available to all members of the university.
Communicating with Support Services
The Campus Support Portal is the primary resource for contacting the Campus Support Center to request support. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call locally 479-968-0646 or toll-free 1-866-400-8022.
The Office of Information Systems also publishes relevant communications about IT related items on the OIS website. You can receive notifications of our announcements via email or SMS by subscribing to our website. You’ll also find information about who we are and how we serve the university there.
Remote Work Telephony
If you are on the Cisco phone system, you can make and receive calls using your desk extension remotely by downloading the Webex Teams app.
If you are still on an analog Windstream phone, you can forward your desk phone to another number by following these instructions for forwarding your Windstream phone.
The university utilizes the RAVE Alert system, ATU Alert, for communicating time-sensitive critical and emergency information. Please make sure you are enrolled in the ATU Alert system through OneTech. For more information on emergencies, please contact the ATU Office of Emergency Management.
VPN Access (Remote access to the University Network)
Arkansas Tech University supports the connection of a Virtual Private Network, or “VPN,” on multiple client devices using the Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN client. A VPN allows a user at a remote location to securely connect to campus and access the same network resources and services they’d have access to generally while on campus. Reasons to connect to and use the VPN connectivity may include, but aren’t limited to:
- Staff and faculty access to Remote Desktop connectivity to office computers
You do not need to connect to the VPN for the following services:
- Office 365
- Blackboard Learn
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- ATU Websites:
The GlobalProtect VPN client is freely available to faculty, staff, and students and can be obtained by following the instructions below.
If you have not yet installed the ATU GlobalProtect VPN client or need help in connecting, please view the VPN solutions articles on our support portal.
If you have questions about any of these resources or need assistance, please submit a ticket through our support portal, via email at email@example.com, or by phone at 479.968.0646