This training is designed to help Eastman School of Music Faculty prepare their Fall courses for hybrid and online teaching formats. This course will be hosted in Blackboard itself and consist of video instruction, tutorials, readings, step-by-step guides and additional resources. All information and resources are provided by faculty and staff from the Warner School of Education, Eastman School of Music, and other educational music institutions. The material is divided up into three main modules:

Module 1: Principles of Online Learning & Course Design

  1. Topic:  Best Practices of Online Course Design
  2. Audience: Faculty teaching “academic” courses 
  3. (all faculty are welcome!)

Module 2: How to Use Tools in Blackboard for Online Teaching

  1. Topic: Instruction for Using Online Teaching Tools
  2. Audience: Faculty teaching “academic” courses
  3. (all faculty are welcome!)

Module 3: Applied Studio Teaching & Other Performance Classes

  1. Topic:  Strategies and Tools for Teaching Applied Lessons and Studio Classes Online
  2. Audience: Faculty Teaching Lessons, Studio Classes, Small Ensembles
  3. (all faculty welcome)

To access the course:

  • Go to Blackboard
  • Log in using your NetID and password
  • Under the Main menu, scroll down to “UR Courses Online”
  • Under the “Continuous” sub section, select the course titled “Getting Started with Online Teaching for ESM – Summer 2020”

View Live Q&A Panel Session Recordings:

We will be pairing the asynchronous videos and resources with three virtual, live Q&A sessions. These panels will consist of ESM faculty and staff who have received training or have experience in these areas and are willing to help clarify some of the topics and instructions from the Modules.

Following-up with questions that were asked in the Q&A sessions that we had did not know the answers to:

  1. Is orientation including training for students on how to use Blackboard and some of its important tools (like VoiceThread, Discussion Forums, submitting assignments, etc.)?
    No. Students in orientation are not receiving any training on how to use Blackboard. However, students ARE using Blackboard for orientation topics, so they are becoming familiar with the tools.
  2. What will the process and timeframe be for faculty advising of first-year students?
    Any questions revolving around faculty advising for first-years, whether it is scheduling, online courses, or using UR Student, should be directed to John Hain
  3. Will the spring policy stated by the university that allows faculty to record their class sessions without seeking individual permission from students continue?
    Yes, this policy will continue
  4. Has communication be sent to students about what to do if they do not have access to a computer or internet, including potential support from the school and university?
    Eastman is sending out communication that lays out a minimum for the equipment we expect students to have this fall. As always, if students need support they can contact the Office of Academic Affairs. There is support available for students who meet certain thresholds for financial need.
  5. Are polls and surveys in Blackboard anonymous?
    Polls are not anonymous, you can see the results and how each individual student responded. Surveys are anonymous, you can see if the student completed it, but not their responses.

Spring 2020 Guidance for Emergency Transitions to Online 

Presentations and Handouts from Online Learning Support Sessions for Eastman Faculty

In addition to the following, please visit the University’s page, Teaching During Times of Disruption, which offers a wealth of quick how-to instruction for faculty and instructors using University supported tools such as Blackboard, Box, and Zoom.

  1. ZOOM Classes – Holding live class sessions, lectures, and class discussions
    Video | Slides  | Handout
  2. ZOOM Lessons – Teaching applied lessons
    Video | Slides
  3. BOX – Share and receive documents with students through BOX
    Video | Handout
  4. Teaching During Times of Disruption – University Presentation covering a wide range of important online skills
    Video | Slides
  5. BLACKBOARD Tools – Provide content to students, Record lectures with Panopto, Administer and grade quizzes and assignments
    Video | Slides
  6. Online Teacher Training for Summer Session Faculty


Policy on Notifying Students of Recording Synchronous Zoom Sessions University counsel has issued guidance that instructors should notify students that synchronous Zoom sessions are being recorded using one or more of the following methods:

  • Syllabus statement (sample: “Please note, all online classes will be recorded.”)
  • Verbal statement at outset of first several class sessions
  • One-time email to all students

***Please note that Zoom permits students to turn off their cameras and/or mute as needed.

Additional Information and Advice about Online Tools

  • Always use the Panopto tool to load recordings and videos of any kind into Blackboard.  Embedding recordings directly into Blackboard itself destabilizes Blackboard.
  • Zoom recordings stay with the main room when students are in breakout rooms.
  • The default settings in Zoom allow students to chat privately with each other.  This is visible to the instructor in certain circumstances.  You can disable this feature in your Zoom settings and should warn students that you can see private chats if you do not disable it.
  • Turning off UR VPN when teaching remotely can improve the stability of Zoom.  Zoom also allows computer video and telephone audio, a combination that might be useful if your students report that your audio quality is muddy.
  • You can designate a co-host in Zoom to monitor the chat box, spot students using the “raised hand” feature, mute microphones, track time, and so on.  This is an excellent option for instructors with a TA who has stable internet and the ability to attend class.
  • Please note specifically the new video tutorial on “What if there are issues with my live Zoom session?” as a resource.
  • University guidance on Privacy in Zoom (pdf)