IMPACT Insights

April 2021

Tired of Talking to Blank Squares?

Zoom meeting showing a video grid with four student participants. Students do not have their webcams turned on, so the video feeds show four blank squares with the word
There seems to be general agreement that we shouldn’t require students to turn on their webcams during live remote classes. But it can be really tiring and difficult to talk to a screen full of black squares and it seems unlikely that video conference classes will be going away. So what’s the solution if you are wanting to see student’s faces in those boxes during class?
We thought this essay shared a great middle ground approach: be honest and forthcoming with your students about the impact it has on you when no one has their webcam turned on.

Quality Matters Summer Session

Good news for faculty and program directors! We are offering the introductory Quality Matters training, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR), late this summer. The Quality Matters Rubric is a set of research-based design standards for asynchronous online courses. Many institutions use the rubric for quality assurance.
This training is ideal for anyone developing new courses or revising existing ones to meet accreditation standards for online programs. The session lasts two weeks and is conducted online asynchronously by certified facilitators, Laurie Lyons and Alison McGuire. Spaces are limited, so send Laurie an email at to reserve your spot. We will poll all interested parties before finalizing dates, to find a time that best meets everyones’ schedules.

When Youtube says:
“An error occurred, please try again later”

The IMPACT team has noticed an uptick in this error. Considering that many courses have Youtube videos embedded, we thought we would share this article with troubleshooting tips.“YouTube video loading errors most of the time appear due to poor Internet connection or browser issues.” We’ve had some success with clearing the browser cache and cookies, and allowing cookies for Youtube and Blackboard.
If all else fails, refresh the page and before you get an error, click on the video title in the upper right corner.  Then you/your students can watch the video on Youtube, rather than within Blackboard.
Embedded YouTube video with black screen and an error message. Click on the video title at the top to play the video directly in YouTube.
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