Exams/Midterms/Quizzes Planning & Support

If you would like the LTID team's assistance in setting up your exams/midterms/quizzes, please submit your request as soon as possible via our exam support request form. If you would like further information about how you can design your online final, our team is available to assist you via email at ltid@acadiau.ca.

When you are ready to enter your students' final grades in Colleague, you can find instructions in this HUB article.

Teaching Tips & Toolbox

Below is a collection of useful tips and resources that can help you prepare for and succeed in the coming year. Click on each heading to see the related information.

This year, in particular, it is critical that you have a backup strategy and clear communication plan to share with your students should there be any technical issues.

Planning for your first day of Class
  • Log in to review your class lists at https://collss.acadiau.ca.
  • You can also view your students in your ACORN courses in the left-hand menu under Participants.
  • Class list Excel files can be generated from your ACORN courses by following these instructions.
  • If your class size exceeds your classroom capacity, you will need to decide how to best accommodate everyone. Here are some possibilities to consider:
    • Divide students into groups based on classroom capacity. Rotate the groups through your class schedule, giving each group an opportunity to be there in person while the others are attending/completing work virtually/asynchronously.
    • Poll your students at the beginning of the term and ask what their preferences for the fall are with regards to being in person, or attending online. Further decisions about how to accommodate everyone can be made once you have the results of the poll.

Note: Prior to your first class, we strongly recommend scheduling a practice session with your students.

Adapting Your Course for Remote Delivery

The LTID Team has created an online course called Adapting Your Course For Remote Delivery. Available to all Acadia faculty, this is a comprehensive course containing information about all aspects of course development, from creating a remote delivery syllabus, all the way down to recommendations on how to create dynamic online summative assessments. The course is full of Acadia specific advice on how to best use ACORN and Teams to your advantage in the upcoming term. If you are not already enrolled in the course and would like to be, please email ltid@acadiau.ca to request access.

Key Information about Classroom Technologies

Below is a summary of information regarding some of the technology you might use during the fall term.

Making your ACORN courses visible

All courses in ACORN are hidden from students until you Show them. You can find instructions on this page under Making A Course Visible.

Contacting Students via ACORN

There are two main ways to contact your students through ACORN:

  1. Each course has the Quickmail block. Messages sent from here go out through email and responses come back to your email address as set up in ACORN. Details on using Quickmail can be found on this page. Points to ponder:
    • Messages sent through Quickmail will come from noreply@acadiau.ca. This is a side-effect of a recent change to help protect the privacy of students. Please include your email address in your messages so that students will be able to reply to you.
    • Messages sent through Quickmail will be saved, including related information such as recipients, date, and time.
  2. Each course has a Forum called Announcements (previously called News forum). Because all course participants are automatically subscribed to this Forum, each post gets sent to everyone by email. Points to ponder:
    • Announcements posted when the course is HIDDEN will NOT be emailed to students.
    • Posts to Announcements will remain in the Forum, allowing students to go back and read them again.
Setting up your ACORN Courses

If you need assistance setting up your courses in ACORN, please contact us at acornhelp@acadiau.ca. There are also many useful resources at https://acornhelp.acadiau.ca.

Microsoft Teams

If you are planning on using Microsoft Teams in your teaching, please contact ltid@acadiau.ca for assistance.

Online Assessments and Examinations

It is important that you let us know when you have online assessments, especially midterms and final examinations, so we can monitor the system and be ready to provide support. For final exams, We can assist you in setting up your online midterms and final exams, but we need you to make the request well in advance of the test date.

To beat the rush, please complete this form as soon as your assessments are ready and we can assist you.

Information on creating and administering assessments online is available in Adapting Your Course for Remote Delivery. If you are not already enrolled, please email ltid@acadiau.ca to request access.

Develop your backup plan and communicate it to your students

This year, it is critical to have a backup strategy and clear communication plan to share with your students should you or they experience technical issues during a live session. You may want to share the Independent Troubleshooting for Students guide with your students.

We recommend using the Announcements forum in your ACORN course or your Class Team general channel to notify students of issues. Let your students know in your syllabus how and when to reach out for help. Ideally, recording your class sessions will enable you to provide any students having technical issues with an option to review the class when they have resolved their issues.  Please refer to the Technical success with Teams article. Feel free to share this link with your students.

Lecture Recording and Privacy Policy

Acadia has developed a Lecture Recording and Privacy Policy (uploaded September 16, 2020). Key highlights for consideration are provided below:

  • Lectures may be recorded by an instructor only if a declaration has been made advising those in attendance, whether physically or virtually, that a recording is being made.
  • Students may not record any portion of a lecture without the prior and explicit permission of the instructor. Students requiring accommodation should contact their instructor and the students’ identities should not be disclosed. Students requiring accommodations must make arrangements with Accessible Learning Services by email at access@acadiau.ca, or by phone at (902) 585-1291, (902) 585-1605, or (902) 585-1823.
  • You are encouraged to include a statement regarding the recording of lectures in your course outline and to explain the policy during the first class.
  • Instructors should also communicate to their students how the recorded lecture material may be used or distributed.
  • Students must be given the option to opt out of the recorded lectures without penalty. This can be achieved by designating an area of the teaching space that will not be visible on the recording, and by providing students who do not wish to be seen or their voice to be recorded an alternative means of participating and asking questions (e.g. turning off their video, asking questions by email, during office hours, or through a private chat with the instructor.
  • Draft statements for your consideration will be included in the policy document.

Questions about adhering to privacy guidelines in a specific context may be directed to the University’s Privacy Officer (902) 585-1142.


Teaching and Technology Related Support

As the fall term quickly approaches, we thought we would provide a brief update on some of the teaching and technology-related considerations we’ve been engaging with faculty about over the summer.

To view Acadia’s key fall term dates, please see the Registrar's Office website.

For technical support, Learning Technologies & Instructional Design (LTID) and Technology Services (TS) are available for consultation:

  • If you’re having issues with ACORN, email acornhelp@acadiau.ca. If you have questions regarding pedagogy, please email ltid@acadiau.ca
  • If you are having issues with your device, any Office 365 applications, or other software, please contact TS:
    • Live chat (for students and faculty). For an overview of TS Support, please see the following HUB article: TS Support Protocol
    • If you’re teaching a face-to-face class in a classroom and experience technical difficulties, the phone in the classroom will be functioning. Simply pick it up and you will be connected with someone in TS.

If students experience technical issues during class time, it will not likely be possible to assist them at that time. Please make sure your students know how to contact Technology Services for initial triage of any issues they might be having. You may also want to consider providing your students with independent troubleshooting instructions in case things do not go as planned. Feel free to use our Independent Troubleshooting Guide for Students.

The Writing Centre & ASK

The Writing Centre offers free help to students wanting to improve their writing skills. You can sign up online today:

  • To book a one-to-one appointment with a trained writing tutor, click on this link.
  • To see which helpful presentations and workshops you’ll want to attend this year, click on this link.

Please also consider using the resource developed with colleagues in the Library – the “ASK” referral service, which you can access from your ACORN course page – it lets you refer a student to get the help they need.

The Coordinator also offers individual appointments for thesis students (honours or graduate) throughout the year and consultations for faculty members seeking advice on topics such as designing course assignments that have a writing component or writing effective grant applications.  The Coordinator is also available to visit a number of classes each term to lecture on various aspects of effective academic writing and research.

Please note: the Writing Centre will be a virtual resource this year. For more information on how that will work, visit the website using this link.  

Here’s to a happy and productive term!

View our Teaching Strategies Page for further information regarding tools and techniques relating to communication, content delivery and assessment. This page also provides tutorials and support resources including how to use Moodle (ACORN) and Microsoft Teams to support your course delivery.

There are also several how-to articles related to Teams and its functionality in the Technology Services HUB Portal.