Record or stream your class meetings
To ensure students unable to attend in-person do not miss out, consider recording or streaming the content of your classroom meetings. UBC Okanagan now has every classroom equipped with a room microphone and the webcam installed at the back of the classroom. In the small classrooms you need to bring and use your laptop, but in the large classrooms there are more options for presenting and recording with the lectern PC.
You will not want to record every class meeting; instead, wherever possible get students to advise you in advance that they will be absent. When in the classroom, if you notice someone is missing, it is possible to switch to recording locally, but to switch to livestreaming at the beginning of a class meeting is technologically challenging if you have not planned, or you don’t have an assistant and have not practiced with this setup.
Depending on whether you have advanced notice of absences, and have rehearsed with classroom technology and Zoom (see Classroom Technology link), there are several scenarios and options you should consider from simplest to most technically challenging:
- Record locally
- Student group recording and livestreaming
- Recording and livestreaming in a small classroom
- Recording and livestreaming from a lectern PC
- Teaching and recording remotely
- Recording or livestreaming from laboratories
If you taught the same course remotely and recorded those virtual class presentations, you could make those recordings available in your current Canvas course should students report being unable to attend.
B. Record locally
If your class meeting consists mostly of content presentations you can record the class meeting audio and what you display on your computer desktop using Zoom or Kaltura. Instead of using your laptop webcam, connect to the webcam which is installed at the back of the classroom. Using this webcam will provide a recording that shows you (the instructor) at the front of the classroom and the whiteboards or screen projections. If students ask questions, they can be heard on the room microphone in the small classrooms, but in the large classrooms you will need to repeat their question or hand the students a microphone so that it is audible in the recording.
C. Student group recording and livestreaming
If your classroom meeting consists mostly of student group work, the room webcam will not record the video of any activity beyond the front of the classroom. One option would be to put students into groups in Canvas with their own Zoom session each in advance of the class meeting. When these groups work in the classroom and a peer is remote, one of the group members in the classroom can open a Zoom session on a laptop where the remote student can join in on that group’s classroom activity. If a group member is absent, the group can record the group’s activity using Zoom or Kaltura, to share with the absent student later.
D. Recording and livestreaming in a small classroom
If students are joining remotely to your small classroom, you can run Zoom on your laptop using the room webcam, and microphone, and record either to your laptop hard drive or to Zoom cloud. If you record to your laptop make sure you have enough hard drive space for recording and remember to upload the recording later to Canvas using Kaltura. If recording to Zoom cloud make sure you have a good Internet connection and after the classroom meeting, download the recording to your computer to secure a local copy for edits, and upload it to Canvas with Kaltura.
The room microphone will pick up all audio but the webcam at the back of the classroom will not capture activity that is not at the front of the classroom. For livestreaming, the remote student will be on your laptop desktop. You can project your PowerPoint and/or the remote student to the classroom projection screens. Teaching both to a live audience of students in the classroom and including the remote student in the classroom activity will be very challenging without someone else to help you.
E. Recording and livestreaming from a lectern PC
Avoid livestreaming unless you have someone to monitor the remote student on your laptop or on the lectern PC. This is because you will likely not be glued to the podium, you may be juggling more presentation devices, and you have many more students in your audience to pay attention to. Try getting a TA to monitor the livestream or consider whether the remote student will benefit more from a recording.
In large classrooms with a lectern PC, you can run Zoom on your laptop if you are just presenting with web camera and PowerPoint. If you are going to use several devices such as the document camera, iClicker Cloud, and air media, then it will be simpler to do everything on the lectern PC. However, on the lectern PC you need to add your PowerPoint file with a USB memory stick, record Zoom to cloud, log into iClicker Cloud and Canvas to use those, and remember to logout of these applications before leaving the classroom.
F. Teaching and recording remotely
If you have to self-isolate and have no other option (no alternate instructor, contingent lesson materials, or all students individually joining the Zoom session, you could arrange for a TA to set up a Zoom session on a laptop in a small classroom or on the lectern PC in a large classroom and project you to the screens. This is something you definitely should rehearse in advance. If you are in the classroom and have a remote guest speaker, you can project them to the classroom.
G. Recording or livestreaming from labs
Laboratories and other learning spaces may not accommodate students but if you have a classroom lectern PC, you can activate Air Media, connect with a device (laptop, iPad, smartphone) and walk over to the laboratory and project live what your device captures to the classroom projection screens.
Tip: Promote an equitable learning space
There are different teaching techniques that not only allow you to support remote students, but also help you to create a more equitable learning experience for them. For example, if you expect students to collaboratively develop a document or presentation, you could use a learning tool such as UBC OneDrive where students can collaboratively annotate documents in real time, regardless of their location. You can also use tools like iClicker Cloud to provide active learning opportunities for both on-campus and remote students at the same time.
Dr. Derek Bruff from Vanderbilt University, discusses a variety of ways of engaging students both remotely and in the classroom in the podcast “Active Learning in Socially Distanced Classrooms and Online Courses.”
Tip: Encourage ‘peer mentor’ opportunities
Students often learn best by helping their peers. Consider ways you can connect your on-campus and remote students so that they can share resources such as class notes. This could be as easy as setting up a discussion forum for students to share resources and discuss key points or common misunderstandings.
Tip: Connect with your remote students
Your on-campus students have the opportunity to stop by your office (or your TA’s) to ask questions during office hours. Consider holding regular Zoom office hours to support remote students. This is a great way to connect with your remote students, even if you’re not able to stream or record class meetings.
Tip: Observe and adjust
Even though you may have experience with online and in-person teaching, having students who are both on campus and remote at the same time is probably a new experience. Observe how your on campus students respond to your teaching and pay close attention to student engagement. Also, reach out to your temporarily remote students via email or a brief survey for feedback. Where possible, make adjustments and integrate their suggestions. More information about mid-course feedback is available for instructors.