Service Summary

ITS offers several online learning support services.

Service Offerings

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an interactive web conferencing and virtual classroom environment designed for teaching and learning and real-time collaboration. It is available in all myMason Organizations and Blackboard Courses. Instructors can use Collaborate to set up virtual conferencing for their classes while students can participate in chat and discussion sessions from anywhere. Instructors can also share PowerPoint presentations and other content using a virtual whiteboard.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

Blackboard Courses

Blackboard Courses provides a secure login system and tools to create and administer face-to-face and online courses. Some of these tools include discussion forums, student group areas, text-based and real-time chat, a gradebook for securely distributing grades to enrolled students, and assessment tools for administering quizzes and exams.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

Kaltura

Kaltura is a video management tool that allows faculty and students to create, host, and share video and audio inside the Blackboard Courses environment. Users upload audio and video directly to Blackboard using the Kaltura Media Mashup tool. Media uploaded resides in the users My Media Library (a personal cloud-based storage area). In the My Media library, users can choose to manage their media across all their courses, create screen recordings, or capture webcam video.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

LinkedIn Learning

Mason has partnered with LinkedIn Learning (LIL) (formerly lynda.com) to provide free and unlimited online training to Mason students, faculty, and staff. An online subscription library, LIL offers more than 2,000 videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, music and video editing and production, animation, and web design and development. New courses are added weekly. Access the LIL library 24/7—even from your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or mobile phone—using your Mason NetID and Patriot Pass password.

> Log in to LinkedIn Learning

Mobile Mason

Mobile Mason provides you with up-to-date information about Mason at your fingertips. See Additional Information for more information.

myMason

All users see the same information including the Home, Libraries, Organizations, Life@Mason, and the Help tabs. Users with a faculty and/or student role will see the Courses and Content tabs. Access to the Courses and Content tabs is for faculty and students enrolled in courses through Patriot Web.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu.

PBWorks Wiki

PBworks Wiki is a Mason-sponsored, commercially hosted service based on a campus edition license arrangement with PBworks.com. Wikis are digital documents or complete websites that enable collaborative editing which is controlled by assigning author roles. Wikipedia is an example of this technology.

> Log in to PBWorks

Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard/Courses. Instructors can choose to require the Respondus LockDown browser for any existing deployed test in their course. When a student uses Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another website, or access other applications on their computer. When an assessment is started, students are locked into the test until submitted for grading.

Respondus Monitor is an additional option that records webcam audio and video of the student taking the test. This ensures student identity and that the instructor's requirements such as a closed book or working alone are followed. By default, Respondus Monitor will record both video and ambient sound. Instructors can review the video after the test is complete.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

Respondus Test Creation Application

Respondus is used to create quizzes, surveys, and self-tests external to Blackboard. You can create documents to convert to text files and upload them directly to your Blackboard folder.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

SafeAssign

SafeAssign is a plagiarism education and prevention service available through Blackboard to all faculty, students, and staff. It supports a multi-faceted approach to teaching and learning about plagiarism.

> Log in via mymason.gmu.edu

Scantron

A Scantron machine is available for use in the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB). The Scantron test grading machine examines test forms and marks incorrect responses, corrects answers, and produces a result score. The machine is easily operated and can reduce grading time. The scantron machine is available for walk-in use. However; all users must sign in upon arrival. Should assistance be needed, CLUB lab assistants are available to walk you through the operation of the machine.

Zoom

Note: In response to COVID-19, this tool is being released on an accelerated timeline. Some configurations may still be changed to bring this tool in full compliance at Mason as we return to normal operations.

Zoom is a cloud-based web conferencing tool for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. Zoom allows you to meet face-to-face using HD video conferencing; share your desktop, documents, or individual applications with everyone in the meeting. It provides collaboration with people within and outside Mason. Mason-branded Zoom virtual backgrounds are available. Zoom is available via web browser, desktop application, and mobile app.

> Log in via gmu.zoom.us/signin.

Blackboard Mobile Apps

intro

Blackboard Mobile Instructor App

The Blackboard Instructor app offers a native environment to access your course content; however, some features may be limited depending on the mobile device being used. The mobile app is not a replacement for a computer browser but it is a way to access and view your course content on the go. Key features include:

  • Course Management: View a list of all courses for available terms and get a summary of each course. Relevant features are categorized and grouped in the Course Overview so that instructors can quickly and easily access due dates, announcements, course content, and discussions.
  • Discussions: View course discussion boards and respond to students on the go. Create threads within existing discussions to further the conversation and engage students.
  • Announcements: Create, review, and send out announcements to students. Students will be alerted with a notification in the Blackboard app Activity Stream.
  • Content and Assessment Preview: Review course content and assessments created in Blackboard Learn on mobile to ensure content is accurate and mobile-friendly.
  • Collaborate: The Blackboard app includes Blackboard Collaborate Ultra experience—a synchronous web conferencing solution for high-quality virtual classes and meetings. Instructors can share files and video while interacting with the class. You don't have to install anything extra to join a session.

Blackboard Mobile Learn

The Blackboard app is designed especially for students to view content and participate in courses. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices. The following areas are available on the app:

  • Announcements: Students have instant, on-the-go access to the latest announcements, and instructors can post announcements anywhere, anytime.
  • Grades: Students are able to access their grades for tests and homework assignments.
  • Blogs: Read blog posts and interact with classmates by posting comments and uploading media as attachments on blogs (Android and iOS), as well as uploading non-media files (Android).
  • Journals: Students can read their own journal posts and those of their classmates. Both students and instructors can comment on journal posts.
  • Discussions: Instructors and students can review and post to threaded discussions, as well as create new threads. Additionally, students can upload media files (Android and iOS) as well as other file types (Android) to discussions.
  • Media: Students can access music, videos, and images uploaded by their instructors and experience directly from their mobile devices using the appropriate media-specific software.
  • Tasks: Students can track and manage the progress of various tasks, from turning in homework assignments to reminders to pick up a midterm or purchase a textbook.
  • Roster: Students can quickly see full class lists, making organizing study groups easier.

Blackboard Mobile Student App

The Blackboard app offers a native environment to access your course content; however, some features can be limited depending on the mobile device being used. The mobile app is not a replacement for a computer browser but it is a way to access and view your course content on the go.

The following features will not function properly and should only be used in a full browser on a computer. Students will not be able to:

  • participate in groups, blogs, and journals
  • take some tests, quizzes, or surveys
  • format text or upload files in discussions

Features include:

  • Activity Stream: See an up-to-the-minute list of important course activity including new content, announcements, and grades. The activity stream automatically prioritizes the items to help you focus on the tasks that you want to take care of right away. Your activity stream lets you know when new course content, assignments, and tests are available and when work is due.
  • Assignments: Receive notifications on your mobile device when new grades are posted or to remind you about upcoming and past due tests. Complete and submit assignments on the go by entering text on your mobile device or by uploading files from Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Blackboard App even allows you to upload photos from your mobile device.
  • Discussions: Swipe right to access Discussions and engage with fellow students. You can view available Discussion Boards in your course and start new threads or reply to other students. You might see a link to discussions on the Course Content screen in the app, which will display the desktop web browser view. For the best experience in the Blackboard app, we recommend you access discussions by swiping right to use the app's built-in discussion tool.
  • Grades: View a list of all courses for available terms and get a summary of each course including upcoming assignments, announcements, discussions, and more.
  • Collaborate: The Blackboard app includes Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience—a synchronous web conferencing solution for high-quality virtual classes and meetings. Instructors can share files and video while interacting with the class. You don't have to install anything extra to join a session.
  • Tests: You can take tests and submit assignments in the Blackboard app. Any test that includes compatible question types (Multiple Choice, True/False, Either/Or, Short Answer, or Essay) can be taken from within the Blackboard App interface. If a test contains question types that are not mobile compatible, you will be directed to a browser view of the test. It's best to take these types of tests on a web browser instead of the app.