Lectures and Materials

You can convey what you want to teach students online in myriad ways, but two of the most common are typing out the lecture and recording a screencast – a video of your screen activity. Screencasts are commonly used to record narrated PowerPoint presentations.

Organization is paramount. Create folders in the “Course Materials” area in the Bb course space to keep your content organized.

Provide Video Lectures
Options How To
PowerPoint with Audio?
NOT Recommended!
Reasons we discourage this:

  1. If students are on a different platform than yours (Windows or Mac), or using a mobile device, they may not be able to hear the audio.
  2. PowerPoint makes huge files which will be prohibitive for students with limited bandwidth, and it will also make your Blackboard course so large that it will be difficult to copy or export.
  3. Finally, it is difficult to caption this media, and captioning is required for all audio and video files used for teaching.

Alternative: If you don’t have time (understandably!) to learn Screencasting or Audio recording tools, it would be better if you typed your lectures and shared them on Blackboard.

Record a screencast

A screencast is a video capture of the activity on a computer screen with audio narration. Faculty may download a 6-month license for Screencast-0-Matic: Follow these detailed installation instructions for Screencast-O-Matic.

The Screencast-O-Matic licenses are only available to faculty. If you are a staff member teaching a class remotely, please contact the CTL for more information. Students and other staff may use the free version available of Screencast-O-Matic available on the web for basic recordings.

Follow the instructions to get started with Screencast-O-Matic, which include two options for adding required captions to your screencasts.

NOTE: A new policy from the Student Accessibility Services is that all videos in any course are eligible for captioning. It’s no longer necessary to have a Letter of Accommodation to be eligible for this service. Submit the captioning request(s) to SAS.

To do your own captioning while recording in Screencast-O-Matic, see spontaneous speech-to-text captioning (PDF).

Publishing Your Screencast
Please do not upload video files to Blackboard! Large media files can create problems. Instead, upload media to: UVM Streaming Media.
CTL: Instructions for UVM Streaming Media (The instructions pages include linking or embedding media in Blackboard – Step 8)

NOTE: If you’ve received a Letter of Accommodation from SAS stating that all media in your course must be captioned, you can get help from them. Submit the captioning request(s) to SAS.

Do you have more questions about this? » Open a ticket by emailing the CTL (email link)
Provide Text Lectures
Options How To
Write lectures in Word. Save (or Export) .docx files as PDFs to ensure that students who don’t own MS Office can read them. Feel free to add images, but be sure to create captions or alt text for them. When you export your file as a PDF from Word, choose the option for “best for electronic distribution and accessibility.”

Blackboard’s instructions for adding content folders, items, and attaching files.

Do you have more questions about this? » Open a ticket by emailing the CTL (email link)
Share Files and Resources with Students
Options How To
Blackboard : You can add any file type to your course (except video and audio: see UVM Streaming Media).

For readings, syllabus and course schedules, we suggest using PDF file format. PDFs are easier to read on phones, which may be students’ only way to access them.

UVM Libraries: Library materials, such as online articles, reserve readings, and streaming videos, can be integrated into your Blackboard course.

Online multimedia resources are available on the UVM Library website.

Save Word and PowerPoint documents as PDFs. If your version of Office allows, use the export format, and choose the option for “best for electronic distribution and accessibility.”

UVM Knowledge Base
Create folders, add content, e.g. files, text boxes (“items”), website links, etc.

Do you have more questions about this? » Open a ticket by emailing the CTL (email link)

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