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Technology tips from OIT for the fall semester

Published: August 18, 2021 Author: Staff reports

The following message was sent to University faculty by the Office of Information Technology on August 17, 2021.

Welcome back, faculty! 

Below you will find general updates and announcements from OIT's Service Teams, as well as academic technology tools that support both face-to-face and hybrid instruction.


All courses will automatically have a corresponding space created in Blackboard. Check out the Getting Started page to learn how to set up and enable your Blackboard courses.

Digital Accessibility
OIT has integrated a new free tool, File transformer, which can be found in the left-hand menu under Assist in Blackboard. This integration allows students, faculty, and staff the ability to transform files that could cause barriers into more accessible file types. 

In an effort to move towards a more inclusive campus, we encourage faculty to review the OIT Digital Accessibility checklist for online courses and make improvements so that all digital tools become more usable for all students regardless of disability status. 

Join our Blackboard Ultra preview group
Learn more and sign up now to join the Blackboard Ultra preview group. Blackboard Ultra is the next generation learning management system experience, and includes Teams class integration, streamlined assessment options, and a modern look and feel.

Members of the preview group will receive a consultation with an expert from OIT to get Ultra courses set up and be the first to learn of new integrations.
Sign Up Now!


Student fees for online proctoring have been reinstated for fall semester with the return of face-to-face instruction. Automated proctoring is $5 per student, per test, and live proctoring is $8 per student, per test. As always, onboarding exams to register students in the system remain free of charge.


Microsoft Teams has released new enhancements and undergone several changes over the summer.


VoiceThread’s new assignments features improve interactive student discussion and feedback. These updates streamline and improve assignment creation, sharing, and review. You may want to provide your students the updated instructions for submitting new assignments.

Free Workshops

Sign up for one of our upcoming workshop events.

Our workshops are designed to introduce you and your team to some of the tools and services we offer in our Service Catalog

All Workshops

5 Tech Tips for Fall Semester

1. Update your computer. Updates make your device more useful and secure. Prior to the first day of classes, give yourself an hour or two to download and install updates on your University-owned and personal devices.

      → How to update Windows devices
      → How to update Mac device
      → Keep your personal device secure

2. Open and update software. Many of OHIO’s most popular tools, such as Teams and Panopto, received updates over the summer. Open the tools you plan to use and, if prompted, run any updates.

3. Take things for a test drive. Even if you’ve used a particular technology in the past, make sure you test it out before it’s showtime. Doing this will give you time to develop a plan and get help. Note that you may access many popular software titles, such as Python and R, using Virtual Desktops.

4. Browse our Tech Ready site. Tech Ready (techready.ohio.edu) has quick guides on our most common semester-start tech topics—give them a look to make sure you’re not forgetting anything! There is also a Tech Ready page for students too.

5. Get help. The Technology Help Center (help.ohio.edu), launched in July 2021, allows you to open and track your help tickets online. Read more about our new Tech Help Center or follow our Twitter account, @OhioIT, for regular updates and tips.

Learning Spaces
OHIO classrooms and all other learning spaces are marked to observe safe COVID distances. For building status please check the Facilities webpage.

Classroom technology is set up for both in-person and hybrid instruction with Microsoft Teams as the main video conferencing software. See what technology is available in your assigned teaching space, and visit our classrooms help page to review help information for each type of classroom technology.

Book a Large Classroom Technology workshop to learn more about spaces that accommodate face-to-face and hybrid classroom spaces with a 99+ learner capacity. 

Has it been a while since you’ve taught in a physical classroom? Schedule an in-person Learning Spaces Hardware consultation to try out classroom tech, such as microphones and document cameras, before your first class session.

Technology Finder

Advisory Communities

OHIO IT recognizes the importance of maintaining open communication and collaboration with the entire University community. Advisory communities provide an opportunity for service owners to share updates on technology initiatives and to solicit feedback from you. Please join an IT Advisory Community to be a part of the conversation around current and future OHIO technology advances. 
Join Today!

Be secure.

Phishing is the most frequent information security attack on higher education and businesses, responsible for more than 90 percent of security breaches. Phishing emails often mirror official communication to get you to click harmful links or attachments. If you receive an email that you suspect may be a phishing attempt, visit the OIT Phish Bowl to confirm the legitimacy of a message or report suspected attacks

Keep your data safe.
Review the second group of Information Security Standards, approved by IT Governance, to ensure you're keeping both your own personal information and the University's data safe. 

Store files safely.
Cloud storage has made remote work and file access easier. Learn more about storing files securely.

Still need help?

Our Technology Help Center (help.ohio.edu) is your first stop for any technology help. You may also find inspiration from our Digital Toolboxes, which can help you choose the right tool for your student learning goals, or by attending an introductory tool workshop

Need more hands-on help? Schedule a consultation with an OIT expert.

Best wishes for a great fall semester!
Office of Information Technology