GW Instructional Core Update

Dear Deans and Department Chairs,

The mission of the GW Libraries and Academic Innovation Instructional Core for Advocacy, Research, and Excellence (ICare) in Teaching and Learning is to support the instructional and learning enterprise of George Washington University.

You are receiving this email because you are designated as a key stakeholder in the Libraries and Academic Innovation Instructional Core’s COVID-19 Instructional Continuity Plan.

In this update we are providing:

  1. General UPDATES regarding Instructional Core Workshops and Training (based on the Remote Work Guidance
  2. NEW Resources for Instructors
    • Reading Material about online learning
    • Easy Collaborate Live User’s Guide
    • ICare Quick Reference Guide and Technology Matric
    • Remote Test Proctoring Tools
    • Peer-to-Peer Online Faculty Support
  3. ONGOING key materials, resources and opportunities

General UPDATES regarding Workshops and Training

The Instructional Core is committed to continue to be a guiding force in the process of transitioning from face-2-face learning to online delivery. This stated, we will continue our plan of training and assistance outlined below. At any time you can reach the Instructional Core at [email protected]


In addition, we will move ALL regularly scheduled trainings to Collaborate Live. This guidance has resources available so that all instructors can access these trainings. 


**If you have arranged a special departmental or school training event originally intended for face-2-face delivery in the coming weeks, the Instructional Core staff will be in contact with you about making that event available through telecommunications. 

NEW Resource for Instructors 

Reading Material
Easy Collaborate Live User Guides
ICare Quick Reference Guide and Technology Matrix

Quick Reference Guide and Technology Matrix

Remote Test Proctoring Tools: Respondus LockDown Browser (Free)

What is it? 

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom Web browser. It works by locking down the testing environment within a Blackboard course. Instructors can choose to require the LockDown Browser for any existing deployed test in their course. When a student uses Respondus LockDown Browser, they are unable to print, copy, go to another website, or access other applications on their computer. When an assessment is started, students are locked into the test until it is submitted for grading. Respondus Monitor is an addon video monitoring service that uses the Respondus Lockdown Browser. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students.  After a student has taken an exam, instructors can review sessions to check for any suspect behavior. Respondus Monitor is suitable for low or medium-stakes exams that require student monitoring. Students can use either an internal or external webcam with Respondus Monitor. 


How it works:

  1. First, exams are created on Blackboard and deployed using the Respondus LockDown setting (see tutorials below)
  2. Students can test on their own devices by pre-downloading Respondus LockDown widget using a unique link listed on Student Resources page (see below)


Instructor’s Guide

To get started:

  • Instructor Training Webinars on LockDown Browser
  • Quick Start Guides for LockDown Browser
  • Instructor Resources for LockDown Browser
  • Support and Knowledge Base for technical questions

 Technical Support

  • All support requests from faculty and students should initially be directed to the instructor. If the instructor cannot resolve a problem, students should submit a ticket at
  • GW Instructional Technology Lab will assist with the Respondus Monitor in Blackboard


Policy Elements to include for Students using the software 

  • Students must download the LockDown Browser from the unique to GW link at
  • Respondus LockDown browser only works on PCs, Macs, and iPads (chrome books and others are not supported)
  • Students should ensure that portable computers are charged sufficiently and can last up to 3 hours on a battery charge during exam use.


Training is absolutely critical for instructors to be successful in using LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. Training videos and resources are provided in the application itself, but we strongly encourage institutions to direct instructors to the training sessions provided by Respondus. During the month of March, these are being offered daily:

Peer-to-Peer Online Faculty Support

The Instructional Core has compiled a team of expert GW online teaching faculty from around the university. These faculty are available for one-on-one consultation by appointment to assist faculty new to online learning. The Peer-to-Peer expert group can share best practices, discuss pedagogical approaches, novel ideas to ensure high quality active learning, and share experiences and tips especially geared to online learning. Instructors interested in pairing with a peer should email [email protected] and request a contact. The Faculty Development Department will facilitate introductions with our Peer-to-Peer Team Members. 


ONGOING Key Materials and Resources

Instructional Continuity Website

We recommend that faculty are made aware of this resource that has information and checklists for both students and faculty about how to transition with little effort to online learning utilizing simple tools available within Blackboard and supported by the Instructional Core. (

Instructional Core email

Direct access to ICare dispatch can be gained by using [email protected]. Faculty questions will be answered within the business day and dispatched to any number of Instructional Core professionals who will provide swift support as needed. 


Instructional Core departments.The departments and the services of the Instructional Core can be found on the LAI face page: (

Blackboard Support. Blackboard is supported 24/7 through the Instructional Core team as well as through our vendor. Access to this support can be gained through calling 202-994-4948 in addition to using [email protected].

Resources and Opportunities 

We continue to provide several opportunities for training and preparation:

Collaborate Live Training Sessions

Our general training schedule can be found here.

In addition to our regularly scheduled training portfolio, a special two/three-part series on instructional continuity has been designed that if utilized by instructors, we believe transitions to online learning will be fully achievable. Register here

Teleconferenced School Training Sessions (Upon Request)

We invite requests to provide face-to-face training sessions in your school. Special requests should be made through [email protected].One of our professionals will arrange for a session that suits your needs and schedule.


Walk-In Gelman Consultations for Faculty (Discontinued until further notice)


Registration is required for all webinars. You can register here


Monday, March 16 12:30 – 1:30pm

(Webinar) INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Wednesday, March 18 11am – 12pm

(Webinar)INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Friday, March 20 12:30 – 1:30pm

(Webinar) INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Monday, March 23 3:00 – 4:00pm

(Webinar)INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Tuesday, March 24 3 – 4pm

(Webinar) INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Walk-In School Consultation (Discontinued)

Collaborate Live After hours Training Sessions

We have created an after hours training schedule to accommodate those who require it. We recommend suggesting adjunct faculty who may not be able to meet during the day to access these resources. You can register here 


Wednesday, March 25 6 – 7pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Thursday, April 2 6 – 7pm

(Webinar) INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Expanded Schedules for maximum participation

We have expanded the general training portfolio of the Instructional Core. Consult our online schedule to access training times and locations. 

Workshops Location: Collaborate Live (All scheduled face-to-face workshops will be delivered online in the event of a closure)


Monday, March 16  3 – 4pm



Wednesday, March 18 2 – 3pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Thursday, March 19 11am – 12pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Thursday, March 19 12 – 1pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Monday, March 23 11am – 12pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Tuesday, March 24 12 – 1pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Wednesday, March 25 12 – 1pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Monday, March 30 10 – 11am

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Getting Started with Blackboard


Tuesday, March 31 12 – 1pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Thursday, April 2 11am – 12pm

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY: Creating Online Lectures and Live Virtual Classroom


Ongoing technical and pedagogical support

As always the Instructional Core provides technological and pedagogical support to instructors working in BOTH face-to-face and online settings. Assistance can be gained by contacting [email protected]

Self help Guides

We provide a variety of helpful self-help guides that faculty have found useful. These step-by-step guides cover a wide variety of functions that lead to ease in constructing online activities. 

We encourage faculty to take advantage of these opportunities, so they are prepared to move instruction online, should that become necessary. At anytime you can contact the Instructional Core at [email protected] or if needed feel free to contact Gaetano R. Lotrecchiano, EdD, PhD,  Associate Dean for Innovative and Collaborative Pedagogy at [email protected]