ACT IV: Teach Your Class

Facilitate classroom and other campus-based activities, such as lectures, student questions, discussion, homework turn-in and exams, with these technology tool options.

arrowGetting Started

The most important first step is to get to know your instructional support staff!  Remember that some faculties and department have Instructional Support Staff (ISS) to assist and support them using WebCT Vista. Check this list to locate your support person in your department.

Post an Audio or Video Recording of Your Lectures Online (WebCT Vista, iTunesU, dept website)

Podcasting has taken the online teaching world by storm, and it is now one of the definitive ways that digital natives will consume information in the 21st century. It does not take a professional to create a podcast! Podcasts can be played outside or inside a WebCT Vista course page. If a student subscribes to the podcast feed, the episodes can be played in a podcatcher or on an mp3 player – like an iPod. There are many different ways to create a podcast, here are some options:

Teleconference, Videoconference or Web-conference Your Lectures in Real-Time

To conduct real-time lectures from a remote location, use teleconferencing and videoconferencing to communicate with your students and Web-conferencing to display class materials:

  • Blackboard Collaborate is a video conferencing tool that enables to facilitate virtual classrooms and share presentations with your students.
  • UBC IT Creative Services provides various presentation capture, webcasting and teleconferencing options.
  • Skype allows you to conduct a teleconference call with up to 25 people, though it does not allow video chat between more than 2 people.
  • Livestream allows you to make live broadcasts from a Web site you create. Your students, TAs and colleagues simply have to log in to the Web site to gain access.

Teach Your Class Using Email and Instant Messaging Services

Email is one way to send lecture notes to your students. There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Use the Email tool in Connect
  • Use the Mail tool in your WebCT Vista course
  • Use the distribution list you set up for your class in the FSC
  • Use your personal email

Conduct lectures in real-time using the chat tools

UBC-Supported Tools:

  • Blackboard Instant Messaging – an instant messaging tool that can be used in conjunction with your Connectcourse.
  • Blackboard Collaborate – a video conferencing tool that can be used within and independently from your Connect course to facilitate virtual classrooms and presentations.
  • Who’s Online feature in WebCT Vista – You can view how many students are logged into your courses at the same time you are logged in, and you can request a chat with individual students within this tool.
  • YammerYammer is a microblogging service similar to Twitter.

External Tools:

Facilitate Class Discussions

Enable your students to communicate with you and each other online by creating an online discussion in either your Connect or WebCT Vista course. Create multiple discussion areas to organize conversation topics in your discussion area. Add your TAs and colleagues as moderators or administrators, allowing them to facilitate discussions or manage discussion settings.

For more information:

Offer Students Online Tools for Group Work

Connect and WebCT Vista allows students to easily work on group projects together. They can download a file, make changes, and then upload the new version.

You can create groups and assign a discussion topic and/or chat room that is only available for members of a specific group or the entire class. You can also assign a ‘group assignment’ where one submission is required on behalf of the group.

Continuing Lab Courses

Arrange alternate activities in place of the lab. For example, you may want to locate virtual labs online for students to complete.

Collect Assignments and Homework

Gather homework, provide feedback, and return assignments to students online.


Students can submit work to assignments you create in your Connect course.

WebCT Vista

All files submitted to the Assignment Dropbox are time-stamped and organized by assignment and participant. Set open, due, and close dates for assignments and see at-a-glance which submissions are on time, and which submissions are late. The Assignment Dropbox can also provide space for collaborative group projects that can be published for public viewing by the entire class.

Give your TAs or colleagues access as commentators or administrators so they can view and comment on students’ work, or help you edit and manage your dropbox.

Assess Student Learning

Both Connect and WebCT have robust assessment tools that can support you in gauging student learning.

Tests (Connect) and Quiz (WebCT Vista) tools provide you with a quick and reliable way to build and administer online surveys or quizze. Create a wide variety of questions on your survey or quiz: multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, true/false and more.

You can also set up gradable discussions in both systems.  You can grade student discussion postings right in the Discussions Area, as well as view their overall participation within different topics.

Track and Submit Student Grades

Easily record student scores, track student progress, calculate final grades Connect‘s Grade Center or WebCT Vista’s Gradebook.  You can easily download a file from the Gradebook and submit grades to the FSC. Provide secure access to co-instructors and TAs to view and edit student grades. Publish scores for students to view securely online without any extra work.



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