Technologies for Teaching in Case of a Flu Outbreak, Fall 2009

SAS faculty can use a variety to technologies for teaching to minimize distruptions caused by an influenza outbreak at Penn.

For more information about Penn's response to the threat of influenza in 2009, please visit and


The Blackboard course management system is the easiest way for you to manage your course online.  When you create a Blackboard site for your course, you and your students will have access to a wide variety of useful tools.

Stay in touch with your class

There are easy ways you can get messages to your students

Distribute course materials

Blackboard makes it easy to put documents online, including your syllabus, readings, powerpoint files, etc.

Conduct online discussions 

Discussion boards allow you and your students to post and reply to questions.  It's also a useful way to engage students in review & comment on each other's work.  

  • Use  the discussion board feature in Blackboard to facilitate asynchronous, written discussion. Discussion boards can be configured for a variety of uses, including to allow anonymous posts.
  • Use Wimba voiceboards for asynchronous oral discussion.  Voiceboards work much like text-based discussion boards, but allow users to post voice recordings.  This is especially helpful for language instruction, but can also be useful for activities such as public speaking practice.
  • The Blackboard virtual classroom can be used as a simple chat room to conduct "office hours" or review sessios online
Collect assignments from your students

Help your students  work with each other

You can configure your Blackboard site with features that will             help your students contact each other and work together

Pre-record lectures or demonstrations

It's possible to record some of the material you would ordinarily present in a lecture.  You can then post these recordings to Blackboard and make them available to your students.  

  • Record voice narration to go with your Powerpoint slides
  • Use "screencast" software to make a recording of your voice along with any activity on your computer screen.
See our page about options for how you can record lectures or computer demonstrations outside of the classroom.