Email sent om 8/14/2020
To accommodate the need for a hy-flex teaching environment this semester the IT department equipped all classroom computers with Zoom and a USB webcam. This allows faculty to stream class live as well as record it for future review by students.
Last week the IT and Online Learning teams tested out the classrooms and compiled the following tips to help faculty teaching in the hy-flex model. We hope you find them helpful.
- Review Classroom Technology
While each classroom will at minimum have Zoom and a USB webcam, some classrooms have additional technology (document cameras, Cynap, etc.). Faculty are encouraged to review the “Classroom & Lab Overview – Fall 2020 Edition” list compiled by the IT staff. It will list the different technology available in each classroom.
- Fall 2020 Instructional Continuity Course
As a reminder, the Fall 2020 Instructional Continuity Course is available in Canvas and has documentation and training materials on all centrally-supported technology.
- Add Lecture Recording Information to Syllabi
If you will be recording live classrooms via Zoom, we encourage adding a statement in your syllabi informing students. Faculty may want to highlight the benefits of offering recorded lectures such as the ability to review material if forced to miss class due to unforeseen circumstances.Due to privacy concerns, recorded sessions should only be made available to students within their section. Please do not distribute the link to anyone outside of the course section. Additionally, the “allow downloads” option should be turned off. We created the following short video explaining how to do both things:
- Webcam Microphone Range
We recently tested out the microphone range of the webcams in the classrooms. Both in-room and Zoom participants could reasonably hold a conversation within 15-20ft radius of the computer podium. This was with both in-person participants wearing masks. Below are a few items we noticed:
- If you point the webcam at the person speaking, the Zoom participants will be able to hear better. There are limitations. It may not work if the student is in the back of the room.
- You may want to assign one student to monitor the Zoom chat and build breaks in lectures every 10-15 minutes to review the chat monitor and answer questions.
- If an in-room student asks a question, it’s a good idea to repeat the question for the Zoom audience prior to answering
- Showing Videos/Multimedia
If you need to show a video (YouTube clip) in class, it’s probably best to copy/paste the link into the Zoom chat window and ask the students to watch it on their own computer. Playing YouTube video through Zoom can be choppy and poor quality for the remote students.
As always, the Online and IT teams can meet with you to test alternative scenarios that best adjust to your class instruction methodology and course objectives goals. Below is a link to our upcoming workshop sessions.
Jeremiah Grabowski, PhD
Dean of Online Learning