Services and Support
IDEAS is here to help guide you through the exploration of new technology, leveraging it for teaching and learning, and helping your students engage with everything from Blackboard to emerging technologies and digital innovations.
From one-on-one consults and faculty development workshops, to programs and services like multimodal course design and lunch and learns, IDEAS is here to help you present the best and most flexible versions of your educational programs to reach students everywhere.
Come to the Instructional Media Lab and get help with your instructional technology needs from some of the most knowledgeable (and patient) people you will ever meet.
- Explore technologies: If you have a new tool in mind, we will help you learn the basics and figure out how best to use it to meet your goals. If you have a goal in mind, but aren't sure if there is a tool that can help, we'll review the options with you and see if there is something out there that can help.
- Build confidence: Not everyone loves fiddling with technology. If you get stuck, or aren't sure how best to use a tool, we're here to help. Our goal is to build your confidence and get you to a place where you can use a tool and have it help, not hinder, your work as a teacher.
- Discover emerging technologies: Learn about the latest tools being explored for teaching. We'll help you review what the tool can do and if it will help you meet your goals.
Appointments are available in up to 2-hour blocks most weekdays. Drop-ins are welcome on a space-available basis. Schedule a consultation by sending an email to @email with three timeslots where you are available.
We can help you with:
- Assistance with course sites: Get introduced to Moodle for an easy-to-make course site that can include sophisticated communications tools, or use the Blogs at UMass Amherst service to build a public course website that is easy to create and update.
- Audience Response Systems (ARS): Instructors can learn to use i>clicker, the audience response system supported by UMass Amherst IT, to engage students and promote interaction in large classes.
- Media capture and editing: Learn how to capture, edit, and deliver video or audio for your students over the Web or on disc media (CD & DVD burners available). Take advantage of our sensitive microphones and cameras to capture audio and video for instructional uses. Use our video conversion rack to capture clips or convert from one media to another (VHS/PAL or NTSC, miniDV, Hi8, DVD, Blu-Ray).
- Lecture capture: Learn how to use the Echo360 system for recording lectures in equipped classrooms or use Echo360 Personal Capture or Camtasia to record tutorials or screencasts of lectures.
- File conversions: Learn how to convert Word and PowerPoint documents to PDF, save images in Web-friendly formats, and optimize video for posting online.
- Scanning images & text: Learn how to get the best results when scanning images and text documents, without creating unwieldy, gargantuan files. Scanners available: slide scanner (35mm), flatbed, and sheet-fed document scanner (8.5x11) with character recognition for creating accessible course materials.
As with face-to-face courses, quality online courses require careful planning and sound pedagogy. It can be challenging to know where to begin and how much is enough. Instructors (and their students) sometimes struggle with too much course content and activities, since it’s so easy to link to rich, wonderful, interesting online resources.
Are you just beginning to explore teaching online? Have you been asked to transition your course online or assist in this process? Or are you looking for new ideas and strategies? Whatever your current role, our Instructional Designers can help you.
Course building, much like research and writing, is an iterative process. To ensure the end result is what you expect, you’ll want to review it before students begin working in it. How do you review it? At UMass, we have created the University Quality Standards for Fully Online Courses. These standards contain the hallmarks of a flexible and responsive course designed to maximize student learning and engagement.
To review your course for Fall20 to see if it meets the University Quality Standards and Best Practices Complete the University Quality Standards Self-Assessment.
This link will bring you to the Self-Assessment form. When you have completed the assessment, you will see a display of your scores, and you will receive an email with the results as well.
Click https://umassamherst.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cXVrU4sLcoTaSuF link to open resource.
The IDEAS Team at UMass is offering webinars throughout the summer to help you with online teaching technologies and instructional design. We're covering the basics of teaching tools, creating engaging content, advanced features of your LMS, and many more. We look forward to working with you soon!
Instructional Technologists provide assistance with user and course administration, as well as system tools and integration inquiries.
- Assistance with Blackboard course shell requests and creation.
- Content management inquires, including course archive retrieval and restoration.
- Deployment and testing of online course tools and LMS integrations.
- Systems monitoring, reporting, and feature updates.
Please contact @email or 413-545-9583 with any questions.
Please contact @email with any questions