FAQs

 

What should I do to ease my students’ transition to remote teaching and learning?

Provide a way for students to share their experiences of the first few online sessions. Consider creating a Google form to collect their feedback. Then send a message to the whole class that summarizes key ideas in the responses. Or consider adding a discussion board thread for students to share experiences during the disruption.

 

How can I set up the videoconferencing technology I will be using for class?

  • BlueJeans: As the instructor, you will be the moderator for the session. Follow these instructions to schedule the session from your BlueJeans account. Be sure to share the link for your session with students in advance.
  • Google Hangouts: Schedule the session following these instructions. Be sure to share the link for your session with students in advance.

How can I help students become familiar with the videoconferencing technology we will be using?

Share guides with students in advance of the session (BlueJeans and Google Hangouts). Consider starting the session before your regularly scheduled class time to give students extra time to join the session and practice using the software. You may even explain it may take some time for the class to become familiar with these tools and it is a learning process for everyone.

 

How can I be aware of students’ status when I lead live sessions through Blue Jeans or Google Hangouts?

Always have the text chat box open and near your line of vision. Ask students to alert you if they are having technical difficulties, such as not being able to hear you. Consider creating a short-cut system for students to indicate their status, such as “1” means “I can hear you” or “2” means I cannot hear you. When the text chat box is visible, you will be aware of potential technical difficulties.

 

How can I record my lectures in advance of our class session?

You can use Kaltura to pre-record lecture content. Kaltura will enable you to capture your screen (or portion of your screen) to record a slide presentation. Consider choosing to capture your screen and use your built-in camera so that students can view the slide presentation and your face as you present. See the Kaltura Capture Screen Recording software support page for details.

 

What other options are available for facilitating large group interactions?

The Echo360 system, developed at the University of Michigan, is designed for larger courses and has tools so an instructor can broadcast from the classroom, desktop, or laptop in synchronous and asynchronous mode. In all modes, the instructor can share slides, pose formative assessment questions and review student responses. Students can likewise pose questions and indicate when they do not understand the material. Echo360 has made the Active Learning Platform available for all U-M faculty to use at no additional cost to the University for the rest of the semester. To make this work for your classroom, see the Echo360 instruction details.

 

How can I facilitate small group discussions or student group project work?

You can use BlueJeans to move between large group discussions and small breakout groups. This will allow you to structure a series of small and large discussions in the same session. Consider starting with a whole group segment, splitting into groups, and then coming back to whole group discussion to provide additional structure. See the Blue Jeans support page for details.

 

How do I set up small breakout groups in BlueJeans?

You cannot set up groups in advance, so if group membership is not important, consider using the “randomize” group feature. If group membership is important, you will have to create groups and add students manually to each group. Once you launch the “break out” feature during a session, you can adjust group membership by editing the break out session: unassign and then reassign the student. To ensure accuracy and efficiency, consider preparing a list of group names and group members in advance if you do not plan to randomize group membership.

 

How else can students collaborate remotely to complete project work?

Suggest that students use Google products for collaborative work, such as Google docs, presentations, and sheets. Ask that students share edit access to their group files and folders with you so that you can provide comments when helpful.

 

How do I grade participation when my class is meeting online?

Communicate to students that you will be adjusting how you will be grading participation now that the class is meeting online. Provide options for how students can demonstrate that they are actively participating, such as by joining video conferencing sessions, posting and replying on discussion boards, or submitting a written reflection on a discussion board after engaging in lecture or reading materials.

In Bluejeans, you can see which students entered a meeting room by viewing the Meeting History. While not a perfect measure of attendance, you will be able to see who engaged with the room at some point.

 

How do I grade participation when my class is meeting online?

You can use video conferencing software such as Bluejeans to view the work that students are doing. Ask students to point their webcams at the work that they are doing. Provide comments and suggestions verbally or using the chat feature of the tool. Afterward, compile a summary of the session and send it to students.

 

How do I grade participation when my class is meeting online?

You can use video conferencing software such as Bluejeans to view the work that students are doing. Ask students to point their webcams at the work that they are doing. Provide comments and suggestions verbally or using the chat feature of the tool. Afterward, compile a summary of the session and send it to students.

 

How can I teach a large-group ensemble course online?

Consider providing students alternative online assignments related to current performance selections. Alternatives might include reflecting on performances by other ensembles, score analysis, or research related to selections. Consider creating discussion forums where you and your students can interact and share thoughts.

How can students submit projects and papers (end-of-term and otherwise)?

Create an assignment in Canvas and ask students to upload a digital version of their term project or paper, such as PowerPoint files, Google Presentation links, and Word documents. If students are working in groups, you can ask each student to upload a copy of their group’s assignment. Then evaluate each group’s submission and assign a grade  to each student in the group. It is up to you whether to give a group score or an individual score to group projects.

What options do students have for presenting final projects (group or individual) online?

One option is for students to create a digital presentation and upload these files to Canvas. Options include PowerPoint files, Google Presentation links, and Word documents. For presentations, you could ask students to add text in the speaker notes section of each slide to share what they might have shared verbally. Alternatively, you could ask students to present their final projects by setting up a BlueJeans session and screen sharing their presentations.

How do I administer a high-stakes exam online?

Consider alternative forms of assessment, such as written reflections, case study responses, or open book exams. If this is not an option for you, there are exam proctoring services that you can look into. More information about proctoring services is available here.

Do I still need to provide accommodations for students?

Instructors must continue to provide academic accommodations as approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), although at times specific accommodations may not be applicable or compatible with online instruction. Contact SSD if a student or instructor has questions related to a specific accommodation.

Can students update their accommodation(s)?

Yes. Accommodations arranged for residential courses may not be applicable or compatible with instruction occurring in an online environment. Students having difficulty accessing course content due to the change in format should contact their SSD Coordinator for additional support.

Can students register a disability if they haven’t previously?

Yes. Some students with disabilities may have elected to not register their disability previously with SSD, and may wish to do so at this time. Encourage students to reach out to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to register a disability and request accommodations if needed.

How should I be thinking about support if students in my class require academic accommodations?

Consider the following four areas: 1) accommodations that you can request from the University, 2) accessibility of the University-supported applications and resources, 3) available external support, and 4) tips to conduct synchronous/asynchronous class meetings. The access to emergency remote instruction for students and faculty with disabilities document provides more details on these four areas.

As a faculty member with a disability, what should I do if I need support to teach remotely?

The access to emergency remote instruction for students and faculty with disabilities document provides guidelines for faculty, including accommodations that the University can provide and available external support.

What should I be considering when putting course content online?

In the rush to move course content online very rapidly, it may be easy to overlook that some individuals face challenges accessing online materials. Where possible, follow U-M’s tips for getting started with Making Content Accessible, as well as Instructional Accessibility Tips. Additional information for creating accessible content is available on the U-M Accessibility Creating Accessible Content page.

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Please also reach out to your school, college, or unit’s IT professionals for additional information or questions that are specific to your department.

 

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