Ohio University

OIT Welcomes Instructors for the Fall Semester

Fall 2020 will be a semester unlike any other. The Office of Information Technology has been busy preparing for the fall and is committed to ensuring that OHIO faculty have the technology and tools they need for a successful semester.

We have compiled some of our most important updates and improvements for the fall semester below. If you’d like further information or have questions, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Updates & Improvements

Teaching and Learning Tools

  • Blackboard:
    • Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation is set to launch on August 20, 2020, after Summer semester grades are submitted. Video tutorials for both students and faculty will be available by mid-August to support fall preparation activities.
    • Blackboard portfolio, a free ePortfolio tool, will be enabled on August 20, 2020 for faculty and students. If you would like to explore or utilize this technology, please contact the IT Service Desk.  
    • A sample online course outline is now available in Blackboard under "Sample Course 1". Instructors can explore the sample course and apply it to their personal Blackboard courses.
  • Top Hat: Top Hat, OHIO's preferred student response system, is launching a new online course experience called Top Hat Pro. We expect this feature to be available for OIT to test by mid-August. We will communicate additional updates to the campus community as we receive them. 

Testing and Proctoring

  • In-person testing provided by the Testing Center (located in Bromley Hall) is scheduled to remain closed during Phase I of the Athens Campus: Multi-Phased Return Plan.
    • Once open, the Testing Center will be limited to approximately 50% of its current capacity (21 testers at a time) to adhere to CDC guidelines. OIT recommends that instructors consider using online proctoring for all high-stakes mid-terms and quizzes.
  • Online proctoring: 
    • OHIO will continue to cover automated online proctoring student fees for Fall 2020 semester.
    • OIT recently conducted a survey to understand faculty and student feedback of OHIO’s preferred online proctoring tool, Proctortrack, and the findings have been published. Using this valuable feedback, OIT will continue working with the vendor to improve this service offering.

Collaboration Tools

  • Microsoft Teams: All teaching faculty and active students have access, at no cost, to Microsoft Teams for video meetings, chat, and document sharing and collaboration. 
    • Faculty can set up their own Teams for the Classroom in Microsoft Teams using the automated process outlined on our website. 
    • Microsoft Teams Meetings have several features that were not available during Spring Semester, including the ability to see up to 49 participants on the screen, raise your hand, and get attendance reports. Additional enhancements are coming soon. 
    • Microsoft Teams Meetings now have more meeting options to set participant permissions. The most important addition is the ability for the meeting organizer to make all participants (except themselves) wait in a virtual lobby to be let in.  
    • Microsoft is planning to release Teams Meeting breakout rooms in early September. 
    • OIT is continuing to offer workshops and consultations to faculty wanting to learn more about Teams. View the options on the right side of the our Microsoft Teams Help and Resources page
  • Microsoft Bookings: Setting up a Microsoft Bookings account will make it easy for students to schedule online office hours and consultations with you at a time that works for you both. This tool can also be used to let clients schedule a service that may be provided by multiple staff members, such as tutoring—or OIT Consultations!

Learning Spaces

Each classroom has been upgraded with additional audio–visual hardware based on the size of the space. This upgrade enables faculty to teach using different modalities with existing OHIO classroom technology. 

  • Upgraded classroom technology: Explore upgraded learning spaces before Fall by registering to visit demo classroom spaces. Demo visits follow all OHIO protocols for in-person meetings and are capped at certain capacity levels. 
    • Use the Technology Finder for OHIO Learning Spaces to learn what technology is in each classroom.
    • OHIO classroom technology is set up with Microsoft Teams as the default video conferencing tool for teaching in a hybrid environment.  
  • Consistent student experience: 

Virtual Desktop & Software

  • Virtual Desktops:
    • Virtual Desktops (VDI) provide remote access to a full Windows desktop environment from any Mac, PC, iOS, or Android device. 
    • The list of available applications highlights software faculty, staff, and students can use in the VDI environment.
      • If you require software that is not listed, please contact the IT Service Desk for further assistance.  
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Due to licensing restrictions, Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) apps are no longer available in VDI.  For instructions on how to purchase and download Adobe CC, please visit the OIT Software website

Want to learn more?

Digital Toolboxes

In collaboration with the Office of Instructional Innovation, we have created several Digital Toolboxes to help you make informed technology selections by comparing tools on a variety of topics.

Tech Ready website

techready.ohio.edu gives students, instructors, staff, and families guidance on the hardware, software, websites, and platforms you'll need to be ready for the semester.

Training, workshops, and consultations

OIT will continue to offer self-training, workshops, and consultations that cover a variety of technology topics that can be utilized for both in-person and remote instruction.

All Help & Resources

Our All Help & Resources page compiles all of our help and resources material into a neat, searchable table.


As any questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk at servicedesk@ohio.edu or 740-593-1222.