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Instructional Technology Tools & Topics

OIT Academic Computing’s Faculty Support group is dedicated to helping instructors on campus use technology to meet their instructional goals. The following is a partial list of all the topics and tools that we can address. If you don’t see what you need here, or don’t get enough information from these pages, contact the Instructional Media Lab at for help.

Grading for Instructors
At the end of the semester, final grades must be entered into SPIRE. Faculty and instructors have a number of options for managing grades throughout the semester and entering into SPIRE at the end of the semester. For more, see Grading for Instructors.

Accounts for Instructors
Instructors can request additional OIT Accounts for a number of purposes. These accounts can be associated with a specific course, research project or program, and can be used to place materials online. For more, see Accounts for Instructors.

Blogs can be used by instructors for any number of applications, including course sites and publishing individual academic activities. Faculty and other instructors receive an individual blog, and can request additional accounts for creating other blogs. For more, see Blogs for Instructors.

Course Web Sites
Web sites for courses can be created in a variety of ways. Most instructors use an LMS such as Moodle to post materials and host activities. It is also possible to create a course site as a Blog or with standard Web-editing tools. For more, see Course Sites for Instructors. For more, see Course Web Sites for Instructors.

Moodle Learning Management System (LMS)
Moodle is an LMS that allows instructors to post materials, host online activities (such as discussions, quizzes, and assignment collection), and manage student data and grades. For more, see Moodle for Instructors.

Classroom Audience Response System (ARS) aka "Clickers"
Instructors use audience response systems (clickers) to engage students and promote interaction in large classes. As of Fall 2011, UMass Amherst now supports i>clicker for use in the classroom (replacing PRS). For more, see Classroom Audience Response Systems for Instructors.

Copyright & Fair Use
Instructors who wish to use other people's work in their course materials have special rights and responsibilities under US Copyright Law. Figuring out what you can and can't do depends on the nature of the work and how you intend to use it. For more, see Copyright & Fair Use for Instructors.

Presentation Design
Showing slides in class has become a standard method for lecturing in higher education, but is it effective? For more, see Presentation Design for Instructors.

Video & Audio
Creating video or audio can be a great way to create instructional or research materials. For more, see Video and Audio for Instructors.

PDF Creation
No matter what software you use to create your handouts and presentations, saving them as PDF files ensures that your students and colleagues will be able to see them on any platform. For more, see PDF Creation for Instructors.

Scanning & Digital Images
If you are capturing images on a scanner or with a digital camera, there are simple things you need to know to be sure that you get the quality you need without creating files that are too large to be shared or printed. For more, see Scanning & Digital Images for Instructors.

Lecture Capture & Screencasting
Capturing yourself giving a lecture in your classroom, in a recording room, or on your own computer is becoming a very effective way to help students review material. It can also be used to time shift lectures outside of class time so that the classroom can become a more effective space for discussion, projects and other face-to-face activities. For more, see Lecture Capture & Screencasting for Instructors.

Wikis & Collaborative Tools
Online tools such as wikis and GoogleDocs are making it possible for groups of students and academics to more easily collaborate on the production of documents, resources, and Web sites. The technologies are easy to use, the biggest challenge is often managing the people processes and expectations for the project. For more, see Wikis & Collaborative Tools for Instructors.

Sharing Files
If all you need to do is share files with students or colleagues, the UDrive system provides a Web-based interface to an online file storage and sharing system. For more, see UDrive for Instructors.


Last Updated: Jan. 04, 2013