Technology Resources for Faculty


Click through for more information on accessibility and creating accessible course materials.

Blackboard LMS

Blackboard is St. Thomas' Learning Management System (LMS). How each faculty member chooses to use Blackboard is up to the individual and the particular course. Every class at St. Thomas has Blackboard class site automatically created and all enrolled student accounts are automatically brought in to the class sites. Blackboard relies on our student record system (Banner) and on our authentication system (username, the same used for UST email). This means that if the class is not entered or a student is not enrolled in the student information system (Banner), then the Blackboard resources for that class will not be available for students or faculty. Additionally, if students or new faculty do not use their UST username and password they will be unable to log in to Blackboard.

Information Resources and Technologies (IRT) manages UST's BLackboard LMS; visit IRT's Blackboard page for professional development opportunities and online tutorials, how to access Blackboard from a mobile device, how to request a student access/guest account and a pre-production course site, and Blackboard policies

For questions about Blackboard contact the IRT Tech Desk at or (651) 962-6230.  

Clickers (Classroom Response Systems)

Classroom Response Systems (CRS), also known as “clickers,” to create an interactive environment and encourage participation in their classes. Using small, handheld devices, students generate responses to questions presented by their instructor. A USB receiver connected to the classroom computer collects the responses, and the results can be displayed to the class for immediate feedback. IRT has partnered with ACTC schools to standardize on Turning Technologies as our CRS vendor. More information about clickers at UST...

Ask Meaningful Questions

Asking meaningful questions that permit students to utilize critical thinking or reveal interesting results will not only keep students attention, but will also encourage interactive, collaboration and communication.  Download the full list of suggested Question Types.

Enhance Effective Teaching Methods

  • Assessment FOR Learning
  • Peer Instruction
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Agile Teaching

Download the complete Learning Theory overview.

Resources from Turning Technologies

Videos, case studies and webinars


Turning Technologies is committed to serving the disabled community. Our dedicated team is currently developing new, accessible solutions that will be usable by all learners. We regularly hold usability and accessibility testing sessions to understand the needs of all users and how our products can be enhanced accordingly. Visit Turning Technologies' accessibility web page for more information.

Library Resources

By integrating library resources into Blackboard, you can enhance your courses by linking to relevant Library Research Guides, online journal articles or e-books, streaming video or audio, and electronic databases to support course research assignments.

You can also provide students with an opportunity to make contact with a librarian when a research question or need for help arises. Each UST department is assigned a subject liaison librarian. This professional can help choose appropriate library resources, assist with the integration of research into courses or particular assignments, and provide in-class instruction in these matters. You might even wish to add a librarian to your Blackboard course. Visit the Faculty & Staff Services web page for additional resources. 

Qualtrics for web-based surveys and web forms

Qualtrics is cloud-based software for creating and hosting online surveys and web forms. It's available to all UST faculty and can be used to gather data for a variety of situations such as research, student feedback, satisfaction surveys, event registration, and more. To get started with Qualtrics or learn more about it visit IRT's Qualtrics web page, contact at 651-962-6248, or email the IRT TechDesk to open a support request with IRT.

Request Video Captioning

Why provide closed captioning?

For anyone with a hearing-impaired student in class, it is required for ensuring that learning material is accessible. In addition there are many good reasons for making closed-captioning a regular feature as you incorporate videos and similar online learning materials into your courses:

  • Learning is enhanced for all students when material is presented in multiple modalities (e.g., both visual and auditory)
  • Students with invisible disabilities or undiagnosed learning problems will benefit from having captions available
  • You may have a student with a hearing disability next semester and proactive captioning will benefit you as you prepare for that eventuality

How to request captioning for your videos.

A special fund has been established within IRT to absorb the cost for captioning instructional videos. IRT's captioning request form can be used to request captioning for a YouTube video or for video hosted on St. Thomas' Ensemble video server. You will need to provide information on where the video can be found (e.g. the YouTube link or EnsembleVideo link). Caption requests for videos hosted elsewhere can also be made via the captioning request form.  

To request captioning log in to IRT's captioning request form using your St. Thomas username and password.

  • YouTube - If you are requesting captioning for a YouTube video you will need to provide the URL of the video. Faculty seeking to add closed captioning to a video (or to correct inaccurate captions generated by You Tube) should allow a 4 day turnaround after supplying the necessary information via the captioning request form.  For YouTube videos, you will receive a special link that should be shared with your students in lieu of the YouTube link.
  • Ensemble - you will need the title of the video and the URL of the video. For videos hosted in Ensemble, the captions will be automatically added to your video. 
  • Other videos - Caption requests for videos hosted elsewhere can also be made via the captioning request form.  You will need to provide the URL of the video or the web site link where the video can be found. 

Scantron Scoring (Bubble Sheets)

IRT has two Scantron Test Scoring and Optical Mark Read (OMR) scanners. One is in the OSF Library in St. Paul and the other is in Keffer Library in Minneapolis. The scanners can read, mark and score “bubble” test answer forms to assist instructors in quickly grading exams. These machines can also record the answers from the forms into Remark software, to provide raw data or statistical reports to instructors on a broad range of results.Instructions for the two types of scanning are provided at the machine locations. In order to obtain the correct answer sheets for our Scantrons, the forms can be purchased at the Bookstore.

Compare the functionality and pedagogical advantages of standard Blackboard tools via this guide from Fresno State