This kit is focused on live streaming your class sessions, and is designed especially for those who have very recently transitioned their campus-based class to a remote setting, or who are new to remote teaching and/or remote streaming. In general, we recommend Zoom as a virtual classroom option. Zoom is a virtual meeting software that is already integrated into your D2L course shell. (See how to get started with Zoom via D2L.) It offers a white board, screen sharing, and other functionalities for real-time meetings. See our suggestions for accommodating a range of unique classroom setups if you’re worried streaming off campus won’t work for you.

Consider the fact that some students may not have adequate technology or Internet access to meet via Zoom on a regular basis. Let your students know whether you expect live attendance in sessions, or if unable, they can watch the recording later and email comments. We recommend planning optional synchronous Zoom sessions with regular office hours held via Zoom, email, phone, or whatever mode works best for students.

Suggested Practices for Remote Class Sessions

Run a practice meeting before the first class.

  • Practice using the Zoom controls. Take a look at this Zoom Cheet Sheet for a quick reference.
  • Check to see that you are clearly visible.
  • Avoid sitting with your back to a strong light source, such as a window. If possible, place lighting in front of you and above/behind the computer screen.
  • Check your meeting plan and activate any tools and resources that you plan to use in the session.
  • Learn how to mute and unmute students, when needed, and let students know if you have expectations about muting.
  • At the beginning of your first session with students, make sure everyone can hear and see you.

Set expectations for remote participation.

Let students know if they should:

  • Chat their comments/questions or chime in verbally using their microphone.
  • Use the “Raise Hand” button in the “Participants” section to alert you to a question.
  • Dialogue with peers in chat during a session.
  • Keep their audio and video muted until it’s time to talk.

Give students specific instructions on how you expect them to use Zoom communication tools.

For example:

  • “I will be presenting some slides. Please wait until I ask for questions before speaking.”
  • “If you have a question, use the ‘raise hand’ button so that everyone can get their questions answered.”
  • “Following my comments, we will have a discussion on the course material for today. If you have a comment, please make a note in chat so we can give you the floor.”
  • “Please mute your microphone when not speaking and mute your audio and video any time you are away from the computer.”

Communicate the goals of the session to students.

  • Post the goals and/or outline of the session on D2L, so that students can stay on track.
  • Begin each session by briefly going over the agenda. You can do this by screen sharing a document or slide on your desktop.
  • Consider giving a quick Zoom Poll at the beginning of the session to gauge how students are doing or to ask a few low-risk questions about the topic of the day.

Structure your presentations.

  • If you plan to give a presentation, build in plenty of time for students to ask questions or respond.
  • Prepare students for these occasions during an initial orientation or introductions. For example, during introductions students can practice muting, unmuting and using the “raise hand” function.

Wrapping up.

As you might do in a campus classroom, summarize the key points of the session and prepare students for what they will need to do before the next session, leaving time for questions. We strongly recommend including this information in writing on D2L, as it will assist remote students and save you time in answering questions.

Suggestions for Engaging Students During Remote Sessions

Consider polling students.

  • Before the session, you might create a quick Google Form Survey and send it to students via email with 1-3 questions about students’ experiences relevant to the topic, or their reaction to a portion of what they had read. For example, “What transportation challenges most impact you on a daily basis?” or “What do your readings suggest are the three most important research areas in transportation and supply logistics?” “What supply logistic management issues do you see as most relevant to the covid-19 situation?”
  • During the session, you can use the Zoom Polling feature to gather information from your students.

Incorporate students’ responses into the session.

You can summarize, either in writing or verbally, what you learned from student polls. Students are often very interested in and learn much from how others respond. If possible, you might incorporate students’ responses as you move through related topics in the session.

If possible, share visuals during the session and make files available directly to students.

Slides, websites, graphics or brief videos can illustrate and underscore the goals of your session, and can provide a springboard for discussion with students. Give students access to the files you’ll be using during your remote session whenever possible so they can review and reference as needed. This can be shared in D2L prior to the session or during the session using Zoom’s Screen Share feature.

Try to keep it active.

There are several manageable ways to engage students during live remote sessions: involving students in testing or applying ideas, generating examples, or reflecting on course activities, among other options. OAI’s Active Remote Learning Kit contains additional strategies for involving students in live streaming sessions.

Pro Tips

OAI Tried-and-True Suggestions

As we’re all learning to work remotely, the OAI staff have developed some tips to ease common challenges in streaming from home.

  • If you can, plug your computer into your modem. If you can’t, set up your workspace close to it.
  • Ask others in your location to take an internet break, if possible, or at least a gaming break to ease the system load during your session.
  • Restart your computer before the session. This will clear the memory and help the computer to run Zoom more efficiently.
  • Do a test session to make sure your camera and microphone are working and test the feature you want to use.
  • If you experience glitches during the session, ask yourself “how much will this impact class?” Little things may not be worth worrying over.
  • “Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?” You would be surprised how often refreshing the page/stopping and restarting the screenshare/leaving and re-entering the meeting will fix things.
  • “Have you tried unplugging and plugging it back in?” Likewise, an errant headphone connection or video signal can often be cleared up by reseating the cable!

If glitches happen…

Some unexpected technology or other slips may occur during class meetings. Your students and you are embarking on a new experience together, and they will be forgiving. Develop a backup plan just in case things go awry. For example, will you be able to temporarily phone into your class until you can restart your computer and get back on wifi? Can you move to a back up discussion in D2L if something in Zoom does not work? Student feedback data shows that audio is key to student understanding and participation. A back-up plan for audio is a must. Most of all … be kind to yourself! Your first face-to-face teaching session probably wasn’t perfect either!

This article was last updated on Nov 12, 2020 @ 3:49 pm.

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