August 2016 CFC Update

August 2016

Coulter Faculty Commons Update

Welcome New Faculty

The Coulter Faculty Commons welcomes new faculty to campus and all other faculty as they return to campus.  We look forward to working with you in the coming months. 

We will be sending a series of informational updates to you through the course of the year.  We try to balance brevity and complexity, so we hope you will take time to review and click through when appropriate.

We are so happy to share in this good work with all of you.

Martha Diede, PhD
Director of the Coulter Faculty Commons


Launch 2016!

A guided faculty workday to prepare for the

Fall 2016 semester

 Tuesday, August 16th

Coulter Faculty Commons – HL 156

9am to 3 pm

Whether you are creating a new course, re-using previous content, teaching online, or face-to-face we all need to be ready for the first day of the semester.  Spend the day getting ready for the Fall 2016 semester.  Bring your course materials and your computer to the CFC (HL156) on August 16th.  The CFC will guide you to complete some of the necessary tasks we all need to get done before the semester starts. 

We will work with you on:

  • Your syllabus
  • Blackboard format and frameworks
  • Planning Day 1 / Week 1
  • Grading plans
  • Welcome letter/announcement

For More Information Click Here

Fall 2016
Sample Syllabus

The syllabus and schedule samples are now available on the Coulter Faculty Commons website. 

Blackboard News

Improved Blackboard Support

To improve the Blackboard Learn experience for WCU faculty and students, we are modifying how assistance is delivered to provide more responsive and caring Blackboard support. After analyzing the data of the calls placed to Blackboard Student services and finding that a vast majority of the calls were being routed back to WCU for resolution, a new model has been put into place starting on July 1, 2016 and includes the following support features:

  • A Knowledge Base to provide self-help resources for our faculty and students.
  • A system where users are able to submit their own support requests which will be responded to within 24 hours or on the next business day.
  • Help from the WCU IT Help Desk via phone or online chat, and walk-up support at the Technology Commons.
  • A triage system that will ensure that system-wide issues are dealt with in a timely manner.
  • The LMS Team in the Coulter Faculty Commons (CFC) is available to assist with issues or complex requests.

Please go to for the support information for faculty, staff and students. Please incorporate this information into your courses or refer your students to the Academic Toolbox in the left sidebar of your courses.

We are excited about being able to assist our Blackboard users with our IT and CFC staff that truly care about the success of our faculty and students.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the LMS Team at or call us at 828-227-2930 or the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487.

Additional Faculty Resources


Communities of Practice

Communities of Practice (CoP) arrive this Fall 

Interested in connecting with your WCU colleagues?

Hoping to meet others with similar teaching, learning, scholarship, or engagement interests? 


Hosting and Streaming Your Content

Panopto is the best solution for hosting and streaming your content. To learn how to embed video into your Blackboard Courses, click here.

Finding Video Content for Your Courses

If you are looking to add other video resources to your online or hybrid course, the CFC is working to document the need for services and would appreciate feedback.  In the meantime, we have put together a list of some of the internal and external resources you can use to legally add content to your courses.

Want more information about streaming video resources?

Thanks to those of you who participated in the video streaming survey.  We'd like to hear from more faculty members before we announce the results.

If you haven't participated yet and would like to give us immediate feedback about steaming video we have a 2 minute survey by clicking the button below. 

Panopto Maintenance Outage

The Panopto video capture and streaming application will be upgraded by Panopto and will be unavailable during the following time period:

Saturday, August 13, 2016
From 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. ESD

The work is being done to implement a new version of the application before the start of the Fall semester, and it is scheduled after normal business hours to minimize inconvenience.

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or concerns at or 227-7487 (local) or 866-928-7487 (toll free)

Required Processes for Early Access for New Faculty to WCU Systems

The CFC has been asked to convey the following message to those who work with, hire, or depend on new faculty members:

IT Access for new Faculty

Per Policy #95, all newly hired faculty, including adjunct faculty, are granted IT access on the effective date of their contract provided that complete and accurate employment compliance documents have been received by HR.  Early access may be granted to a newly hired faculty member who needs IT access prior to the effective date of their contract.  The newly hired faculty member must complete and provide accurate employment compliance documents to HR. Early access may be granted for up to 90 days prior to the effective date, if all compliance documents are received by HR.  The department need not submit additional paperwork. A Dean or Vice Chancellor must request an exception, pursuant to Policy #95, in writing to the CIO. 


Free Teaching and Learning Conference

August 18, 2016

Elon University

The 13th Annual Elon Teaching & Learning Conference will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2016. You can register for the conference and view the program by clicking here.

This year’s conference theme, Evidence of Learning, is reflected in sessions that explore various approaches for creating learning experiences that produce significant and lasting impact.

Trends in Educational Technology

Whether it is virtual reality, augmented reality, or the use of social media tools, there is always a new angle and a new product making claims about how it will revolutionize or disrupt education.  At the CFC, we don't pretend to have all the answers, but if you'd like to subscribe to a curated weekly newsletter that links to the most interesting articles the educational technology staff have been reading, feel free to take a look and, if you like what you see, subscribe to Educational Technology This Week: