Getting Started

Kent State University is committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy. This guide will help you facilitate your classroom at a distance.

A variety of tools, resources, and strategies are provided here to aid you in serving our students during a challenging time. 

Setting Expectations

During remote instruction, we recommend that class instructors conceptualize this endeavor as finding the most practical approach to finish delivering your class at a distance, rather than envisioning creating a fully online course built to our high-quality standards. When converting a course to a new delivery modality, practicality and simplicity are key. 

  • Visit the How Do I…? page for simple tips on delivering your class at a distance and instructions for using the appropriate tools. 
  • Visit the Teaching Strategies page to determine the best approach for class delivery. 
  • Visit the Faculty FAQs page for addtional information on remote instruction, policy, guidelines, and more. 
  • Visit the Webinars page for help with specific tools. 

Just as this is a major disruption for instructors, students will be equally nervous and inconvenienced. This will be a time when flexibility and understanding will be critical.

The demands on internet capacity and cloud-based tools and software are unprecedented. Please remember and remind your students that there are moments that things my run slowly or stop working for a short time. 

Working Together

To help us better serve you and to allow for collaboration, instructors should use Kent State’s suite of tools for delivering their class.

The learning management system (LMS), Blackboard (Bb) will be the central platform enabling you to communicate with your students.

A template will be added to any empty Bb course shells with instructions for use. If you already have content in your Bb course, no change will be made to your course.

The primary tools we anticipate faculty using to interact with their students are:

  • Learning platform for course delivery – Blackboard (learn.kent.edu)
  • Conducting a real-time lecture or class discussion – Collaborate (a link will be added to all Blackboard courses)
  • Recording and posting presentation - Kaltura
  • Sharing Classroom materials - Blackboard
  • Assignments and Assessment - Blackboard, Proctorio, email, etc. 

Instructions for all of these tools can be found on the   How Do I…?   page.

Keep Informed

When the campus is closed, you and your students should receive official notification through Kent State Advisory Updates. Also, make sure to sign up to receive Flash Alerts, Kent State's official emergency text notification system. 

Follow departmental plans

Check with your department for details about expectations for how classes should be conducted. Instructions for handling out-of-classroom settings, such as clinicals or placements in the field will come from the Chair of your department. 

For Faculty or Students residing out of the country

Your students should be able to access Blackboard from any country. Countries may block some URL’s. For instance, YouTube and Facebook are blocked in China, so some of the links in courses might need to be changed. Students should use direct links to Blackboard (learn.kent.edu) and Flashline to avoid search engine filtering. 

  • Cell phone connections sometimes work better than wifi. You might suggest the use of the Blackboard mobile app.
  • Download a VPN to computers before for secure access from abroad.