Psychology Department Online Teaching Resources Guidebook

The Psychology Department wishes to provide this set of teaching resources to help all Psychology courses switch to an online format, as campus shuts down due to COVID-19. We must emphasize that no one considers any of this ideal, but the goal is to at least inform and prepare instructors as best we can during this very trying time.

Following are tips and resources for handling certain teaching practices in our Psychology courses that will necessarily be impacted by the move to online teaching. Bear in mind that one of the most important elements here will be your communication with students, so do be sure to communicate with them about changes to the course and how the course will be offered going forward as clearly and consistently as possible.

We will continue to update this webpage as we go forward, so please email any teaching technologies that you come across to

UIC Technology Contacts

The Academic Computing and Communications Center (ACCC), which oversees all of UIC’s technology infrastructure, has provided useful, recently updated sections on their website with resources for Instructors, Students, and Staff. They’ve tried to gather materials as succinctly (as with this handy Teaching with Technology cheat sheet on their website) as this departmental guide is attempting to do, so you can always refer to the ACCC website,, for more detailed instructions.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) published additional information regarding Remote Online Teaching Resources: Fall 2020 geared toward LAS guidelines and recommendations.

The Learning Environment and Technologies Support (LTS) is the division of ACCC that directly handles instructional technologies and oversees Blackboard and all its tools.

LTS Support Office (we do not know how long they will be open for walk-ins, so please call or email ahead)

Lecture Center E Room E112
806 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
Phone: 312-413-0003 option 1

Technical Troubleshooting

A 2-page document of Troubleshooting Tips was created to help faculty and students to troubleshoot possible technical problems of on Blackboard, Webex, and Zoom.

Office / Drop-in Hours

While you’ll no doubt be emailing students frequently (as always), once you migrate online, we encourage you to hold individual or group office hours at the same times you ordinarily would during a regular workweek. Please announce these online office hours to your students and encourage them to conference with you by real-time back-and-forth interaction.

Drop-in hours can still be very effective via a remote course.

  • Blackboard Collaborate: Real-time videoconferencing tool for holding synchronous online conversations with students.
  • WebEx: Every UIC instructor has access to WebEx, a videoconferencing tool, and can set up their own “Personal Room” for hosting meetings with invited attendees. You could use WebEx to hold virtual individual or group meetings with students. Or, use Webex to schedule meetings separate from your ‘Personal Room’ for added host functionality.
  • Zoom: An additional platform that enables scheduled meetings but typically used for instructional delivery.

Also, built in to our gmail.uic accounts are two functions that make conferencing easy and manageable.

Instructional Delivery

The following are some of the tools UIC provides for conducting synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous instruction. You may need to test these out to see which technologies work best for your own approach to teaching, as some of these tools only allow you to record lectures and instructions without real-time interaction:

  • Blackboard Collaborate: Lets you conduct synchronous full-class sessions via videoconferencing. Lets you record lectures and instructor-led presentations such as PowerPoint slideshows with voice commentary
  • Panopto: Available through Blackboard, Panopto lets you record and post video lectures.
  • Flashback: Flashback is an easy to use screen recording software. Flashback Express (a free version) offers basic trimming and cutting.
  • Zoom: Popular remote teaching platform that is now integrated with Blackboard as of 3/23. Has all Collaborate moderation options along with ability to create ‘breakout rooms’ for discussions.
  • WebEx: Available to all UIC instructors, WebEx is a videoconferencing tool that can be used to hold online classes for students who connect in real-time.
  • VoiceThread: Interactive discussion tool for asynchronous discussion -- students can participate in tasks and respond to prompts you give them on their own time, but without real-time interaction.
  • Echo360: Allows you to record lectures that you post to Blackboard, but doesn’t allow real-time interaction.
  • Google Hangouts Meet. A live streaming function provided with your gmail.uic account. Offering live video via your webcam, this allows to meet with your students one on one, as a group or as a class. Follow this link on how to set this up:


There are numerous ways to provide opportunities for synchronous conversation and asynchronous written responses among students.

Feedback (Instructor and Peer)

  • Jing: A screen-capture tool that captures video display and audio output. Allows you to record voice commentary recorded over screen-capture video, though only for 5-minute videos. Available for Windows and MacOS. Free download.
  • Snagit: A screen-capture tool that captures video display and audio output. Allows you to record voice commentary recorded over screen-capture video. Available for Windows and MacOS. Requires a one-time payment of $49.95, though with a free 15-day trial period.
  • Camtasia: Screen recording and video-editing software that allows you to record video display, screenshots, and voice commentary. Used for professional video-recording, so might be overkill for course feedback purposes. Requires a one-time payment of $249, though with a free 30-day trial period.
  • UIC Writing Center: The Writing Center offers online tutoring sessions that students can request through their online appointment scheduler. Though not all tutors are yet equipped to offer online sessions, the Writing Center is preparing to switch to all-online sessions if need be.

Tests and Accommodations

The Blackboard Test and Survey Options explains creating tests in Blackboard and the different setting options you can choose from. You can also set accommodations for specific students (e.g., give them more time, set a different due date).

Access to Specialized Software through Windows Virtual Desktop

Some students need to utilize specialized software (typically only available at a cost or in UIC computer labs) to complete their coursework. While these labs are closed until further notice, specialized software is now available to students through Windows Virtual Desktop.

Software now accessible remotely includes Mathematica, R Studio, Adobe Acrobat, SPSS and more. For a complete list, visit:

For questions, or if you are interested in testing the Windows Virtual Desktop environment for any specialized software you expect students to use, please fill out this request form:

Statistical Software for Download

Students can download the following statistical software from the WebStore:

Access to A Laptop and/or Hotspot

If you learn of students who do not have computer access at home, please direct them here, where they can log in and then fill out a form with ACCC and receive a laptop and/or Wi-Fi hotspot in the mail.

Last updated on 4/7/2020