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Course Design or Redesign

How a course is organized and how interactive tools and features are utilized makes a difference in how well students engage and interact with course material.

The IDEA team can assist with the design and delivery of your course materials and course activities.

Below you will find examples of how technology helped solve some common face-to-face, hybrid and online classroom challenges.


Have a challenge of your own? See something you want to try? Feel free to reach out and begin a conversation.
Contact the IDEA Team to get

Using discussion boards to "jump start" a classroom discussion

  • Use the Blackboard discussion boards as a starter location for classroom topic discussions. Have students post initial responses to your prompts based on their readings and other out of class activities. Get the conversation started prior to your class meeting so that you can have a deeper discussion in class.

Using video lectures to free up classroom time for Active Learning

  • Also thought of as “flipped” classroom.
  • Use Panopto to create video lectures of material that you think students can learn and review on their own.  Assign the watching of videos before the next classroom meeting.
  • Use your classroom time for discussion or practice of learning activities.

Have students create online presentations rather than presenting in class

  • If you have an assignment that requires students to present in class but find that takes too much of your classroom time, use recorded presentations to gain valuable class time back.
  • Use Panopto video, Voicethread, or Zoom as a recording tool, depending on your needs.
  • Students can watch all presentations prior to class and discussions about presentations can happen during class.

I teach online - do I have to give up my student presentation assignment?

  • If you are teaching online, you can still have students present their ideas individually.
  • Use Panopto video, Voicethread, or Zoom as a recording tool, depending on your needs.
  • In an online course, use the Blackboard discussion board, or Voicethread to have the conversations about the presentations.

How can I tell if my students are watching my video lectures?

  • If your video lectures are streamed from Panopto, Panopto keeps a viewing history.

I want to tailor my lecture based on what students have learned previously, how can I do that?

  • Use a Blackboard quiz to test student understanding of previously taught concepts.
  • Make the quiz due the night before your lecture.
  • Use the test statistics to determine how well students understand each concept and teach based on concepts in which they score poorly.
  • The quiz can be graded or ungraded!

I ask my students if they have any questions at the end of each lecture, but no one ever responds. I am sure that they have questions....what can I do differently?

Students may not want to speak up in class to ask questions.

Use a Blackboard quiz or survey to test them on concepts that they should have picked up.

  • Be sure to provide appropriate feedback for incorrect answers so that they can enhance their learning.
  • Review the statistics to see how well students did.
  • This quiz can be graded or ungraded.


Use a Blackboard journal to have students submit their “muddiest point” after a lecture or series of lectures on a topic.

  • Be sure to read through the journal entries before the next class to see how students responded.
  • Be sure to use the information learned from your query to help students understand the material in your next classroom period.