Fall Plan and Blended Learning

The simple answer is yes. For most sections of most courses, students will return to campus, though on a modified schedule designed to reduce the number of students in a classroom at once, providing social distancing for those in attendance. For details on which students will attend when, please see the Fall Plan details here.
No. Course sections previously scheduled for online will remain online as planned.
The central requirement for successful teaching using the blended learning model is to have all course materials available online in iCollege, and to use the online elements as the basis for the face to face sessions. What should you then do in person in class if all of your material is online? There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach and the in-person parts of the model are flexible. They will depend on your personality as an instructor, your discipline, course schedule, course student learning outcomes, assessments and assignments, and the kinds of activities you like to use when you teach. In-class activities can range from simple-but-effective engagement strategies such as class discussions, physically-distanced group work, or working through homework and problem sets with the class. Other organized activities such as simulations, games, student presentations, or case studies also fit the model.

If you are planning on using the discussion boards in your iCollege course you can respond to the posted discussion comments in class with your students and allow them to respond and revise their answers. You can also administer tests, quizzes, and assessments during the in-person class time. You may want to consider including a High Impact Practice (or HIP) in your course. Many Georgia State faculty use HIPs such as International Virtual Exchange, Reacting to the Past, POGIL (process oriented guided inquiry learning), PBL (problem-based learning), student research projects, or WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) plus many others in their courses. HIPs work can be flipped allowing you to fold the “out of class” work into face to face class sessions.

As you can see, the only requirements for the blended learning model are having an online course that is enhanced by the elements of classroom instruction that best happen in face to face sessions and that support student growth and learning.

Online Teaching Resources

While you may be unfamiliar with iCollege, it’s very likely your students are. Our goal is to provide a consistent experience for our students. The steps provided here will get you up and running in iCollege in no time. We included instructions on all the basics so you can share your lectures, presentations and assess your students’ progress.
iCollege, Webex, Kaltura, Respondus and the other tools Georgia State provides for online teaching and learning are all hosted in the cloud by their respective vendors. We’ve reached out to each company and have been assured that all of them are taking extra efforts to ensure continuity of service even under increased demand.CETL’s learning technology team will continue to monitor each and will update status.gsu.edu if we experience any issues with service availability.  Be sure to subscribe to status.gsu.edu to receive alerts regarding services.
No. Our goal in sharing the recommended methods for content creation is to give our faculty a common, supportable solution that provides easy-to-view content for our students. If you’ve already created content, or have a preferred method of creating content for your students, please continue. Always keep in mind the need to make your content accessible through captioning and easily downloadable by students using smart phones or lower-speed internet connections, all supported in our recommended method.
Videos hosted in the Kaltura platform can be machined captioned for free.
Each iCollege course has a demo student that can be used to test course materials from a student's point of view.
While we prefer that you use a university-supported tool, we recognize that this is not always possible or the best fit for your instructional situation.  If you choose to use a non-university supported tool, we recommend that you act as a student’s first line of support.  We strongly encourage you to use iCollege as the central “hub” for your online activities so that students receive a consistent message on where to go to access instructions, content, activities and assessments.
While, we encourage you to focus on asynchronous activities delivered via iCollege first, if you find it necessary to add synchronous activities we encourage you to use university- supported and iCollege integrated tools such as Webex.  Our help staff are well-versed in Webex and other university-supported tools.  If you choose to use non-supported tools, please be prepared to assist your students.
Using the Classlist tool in iCollege, you can enroll an employee with the "role" of  "instructor" or "teaching assistant" into your iCollege course.  This is a change to the normal enrollment processes governed by the University Registrar.  In response to the evolving situation, the University Registrar has rolled back the process for adding users to courses through the end of spring semester 2020.
Ensuring that students have access to necessary technology is a top priority. We know that 95% of our students have a smart device, and that the methodologies we will be using will work with those devices. In addition, GSU has hundreds of iPads and some laptops that can be loaned out to students who have no access in the event we need to do so. Information on device and Internet options for students can be found here.
As unlikely as it seems, this is a possibility you should prepare for. Each faculty member should identify a back-up instructor who could take over their class in case of an unforeseen illness. We recommend that departments develop a simple plan to identify who could step in in case the primary instructor is incapacitated due to illness. Co-developing modules for your course, and sharing them with colleagues can facilitate this process should the need arise.
You can create and conduct quizzes and other assignments using the tools within iCollege. You may find instructions for the quiz tool and assignment tools in our knowledge base.

Many publishers provide test banks that can be imported into iCollege.

Check with your publisher for “import-able” test banks and then contact help@gsu.edu to request assistance with adding the test bank to iCollege.


  • Create your own questions using online image databases and textbook image banks for questions that need images.


The current recommendation is to prioritize the use of recorded presentations over live, synchronous sessions via Webex.

The use of Webex can be considered if you are skilled at hosting Webex sessions and have a pedagogical need to deliver live lectures over recorded lectures.

Recorded lectures can be consumed by students on a variety of devices and internet connections.

If you need to administer a virtual lab practical consider these options:
  • Using various online databases and/or textbooks image banks to create questions. The images can be labeled to create questions.
  • For questions about using lab equipment--take pictures of the lab equipment as soon as possible and then include pictures and readings from the actual equipment on the virtual practical. While the students won't be able to manipulate the equipment but they can still discuss the use of the equipment and/or discuss set readings or manipulations.
  • Consider replacing a question or assignment with a case study that can be completed either individually or in groups in iCollege.

Consider using case studies to encourage student collaboration or group work.

    1. Panels/guest speakers can be included in your iCollege class using Webex. Webex meeting links can be sent to the panels/guests speakers and they can join the session without the need to login to iCollege.
    2. Panels/guest speakers can also be included in your course without using collaboration technologies.
      1. Give the panelists a questionnaire to complete and share the responses with the class via the iCollege Discussion Tool.
      2. Then have students submit questions via the iCollege Discussion Tool
      3. Share the questions with the panelists for them to answer offline.
      4. Then share all of the student questions and panelist answers using the iCollege Discussion Tool.

Many local Internet providers are offering no cost or low cost options for students who need to take their classes online and are lifting data caps. Some of these offers are being extended to faculty. Information on local options for Internet access can be found on this page.

Additionally, the content you upload into iCollege, for the most part, is available for viewing and interaction on smart devices, as well as on computers. If your students don’t have access to high-speed internet connections at home, they can consider using their smart device, if available. Recorded lectures, quizzes, etc., should work fine on their devices, when recorded using recommended procedures, although some content might not be perfectly displayed on smaller screens.

Many local Internet providers are offering no cost or low cost options for students who need to take their classes online and are lifting data caps. Some of these offers are being extended to faculty. You may want to contact your preferred provider for options. Information on local options for Internet access can be found on this page.

Webex provides a personal room, which acts as an online space that you can use to host meetings at any time you choose. To ensure your personal room cannot be interrupted when you are holding a meeting, you can set your settings to lock, so that anyone arriving to enter your online meeting room will see an online waiting room message until you choose to let them enter.
Set up your personal room to lock until you allow in a guest >
Meet in your personal room >

The virtual private network (VPN) provides a way to securely connect from off campus to systems that limit access to the university's network. As the university is experiencing this period of online work, users have reported slowed access to systems through the VPN, particularly during peak work times.

The VPN has temporarily been expanded using additional connection addresses. The standard connection address for the VPN is secureaccess.gsu.edu. If experiencing an issue at the standard address, users can try inputting the following addresses in the connection address field of the Anyconnect VPN client to attempt a faster connection:

Additionally, the following software and software access systems no longer require the VPN for access – SPSSSTATA and vLab. In general, students should not need the VPN to reach resources for their online coursework. Note that WebExMicrosoft TeamsOneDriveiCollege, and Office 365 Email are all available from off-campus via the web and do not require the VPN, as is the case with most online systems.

For the purposes of the instructions on this site, you may need the VPN to download and install software on a university-managed computer, access department and home drives from off-campus and when accessing the Self-Care Portal to forward your university telephone number to a land or cell number. You will only need the VPN for a short period to perform these tasks. When not actively in need of the VPN, please sign off in order to improve the service experience. Additionally, if you are doing process-intensive work and have the option, you may wish to try again during off-peak work hours.

A short list of items used university-wide that use the VPN is here. If you are having trouble reaching a resource from off-campus or have a question about which resources require the VPN, the IIT Service Desk can help identify whether a system requires the VPN.

We continue to expand the software available to the university as we undergo the transition to online coursework. Information on all available software can be found at the Software Download page.

Note that Adobe Creative Cloud is now available for Georgia State students to download and use from their personal devices. The free license has been extended to August 15, 2020 but Adobe will not extend it further. Instructions for Download >

Yes. Completely online courses and meetings may result in adjustments to accommodations or requests for new accommodations. Visit the Access & Accommodations Center (AACE) for additional information, or contact AACE with any questions or concerns about accommodations.

Please include information for your students in your communications regarding accessibility. Recommended syllabus statements on accommodations and special needs are included in this sample GSU syllabus.

Note: Before emailing students using the class roll in PAWS, your computer’s default mail client must be set to Microsoft Outlook.
Instructions for Windows | Instructions for Mac

If you are unable to set your default mail client, contact the IIT Service Desk.

To email students in PAWS:

  1. Log on to PAWS.
  2. Click on the View Class Roll link from the Faculty Menu.
  3. Select a term and Click Submit.
  4. Select the desired course from the drop-down box and Submit to view class roll.
  5. Click on Email Class link at the bottom of the class roll page to email students.
    Note: Due to technical limitations, if the class has more than 50 students, there will be multiple “Email Class” links with up to 50 students for each link.

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