- Hybrid Classrooms equipped with web camera to videoconference your face2face class to a few remote students.
- E-learning built on the moodle platform with online resources, assignments, discussions, and automatically graded quizzes.
- Videoconferencing via Zoom as the only officially supported app at UNYP.
- Microsoft Office 365 portal with all the offered apps for file sharing, collaboration and communication.
- Online whiteboards shared with all students used with mouse and keyboard or a tablet.
- In Fall 2020/2021 all classes should be by default ready to switch to online mode anytime during the semester if the situation requires it. Therefore, having a strong elearning content and knowing the videoconferencing and other tools is critical. Here are our tips on the five main pillars you can use:
Hybrid Classrooms + Zoom
Classrooms at UNYP are equipped with high-quality web cams and microphones so that you can teach some students face2face and have others on Zoom video call at the same time. Please check this recording of our training session on how to use Zoom + hybrid classroom: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/729vOq6JVuw0yIX7IGFbPI-u9MhCsiC-bju3b72XfMzLVFPXIgjA4TmKaddyV6FR.Yhvg3hEFPO-c6a1S?startTime=1599055295000
THINGS TO DO IN ADVANCE:
- Create your official UNYP Zoom account – by following the instructions in the email invitation you received from Zoom (or request that we resend the invitation if it expired). This account is licensed and will provide the best features, video quality, cloud storage space and no time limits.
- Schedule your class meetings via the https://zoom.us website after logging in with your UNYP account. Use the recurrent meeting to get one link for all weeks of the course. Or use the Personal Meeting ID (PMI) for all your courses and meetings to have just one link for everything.
- Share the meeting join link with students on eLearning – “Add resource” > “URL” in the first section of your moodle course page.
- Download and install the latest Zoom desktop client app to your computer to ensure you can use all the features and reach a good video quality. Our classrooms already have Zoom preinstalled, so no need to do it there.
HOW TO START EACH HYBRID CLASS MEETING:
- Open the pre-installed Zoom desktop app.
- Start your class meeting - if you scheduled it in advance, it will be offered under “upcoming meetings”.
- Check video settings – enable “Enable HD” and disable “Mirror my video” at least.
- Check audio settings – “Logitech MeetUp Camera Speakerphone” should be selected as the microphone and “Speakers 2 – High definition audio device” should be selected as speakers.
- Ask remote students to open your video in full screen which switches the video stream into the best quality.
- Start recording to cloud when appropriate – “Pause” the recording for breaks, discussions or other parts that are not suitable for recording.
- AFTER THE CLASS: Share the resulting recording link (you will receive an email notification about it) with students on eLearning! The cloud recordings are deleted after 7+ calendar days.
GENERAL HYBRID CLASS TIPS:
- Sufficient lighting and balance - the more light you can get on the whiteboard the better but balance is also important. At times of direct sunlight, you might need to shut the window blinds in order to prevent "overexposed" areas that would make the rest of the camera image too dark. Turning on all the artificial lights is usually a good idea.
- Switch between projector and whiteboard/flipchart - because of how bright the projector image is, it makes the whiteboard around it appear too dark and hardly readable. If you know you need to use whiteboard, plan your lecture in a way that at some point you can just turn the projector off to get better whiteboard visibility. Flipchart generally has even better visibility than whiteboard because it is not glossy and has better contrast so it can save the situation if needed.
- Use full thick markers of black color - those have the best visibility on camera (red/yellow/green color is the worst for camera).
- Type slightly larger than usual - for better visibility on camera, we recommend increasing the size of your writing/drawing.
- Control the camera - using the remote control you can pan/tilt and zoom. Use this to optimize the image seen by remote students. Use preset camera positions: "Home" - default position capturing the whole scene, "1" – teacher’s desk zoomed in, "2" - whiteboard zoomed in.
- Control which video/window Zoom participants see - use the "Spotlight" feature to set your own video to always show as the main speaker (thus in a large window and good quality). Alternatively, ask the participants to use the "Pin" feature which pins your video only in their Zoom.
- Control what is recorded - as most classes will probably be recorded, you should also control the Zoom windows in a way that the right things are recorded.
- Share screen - if the main content of the class is projected via projector you might want to share the screen, it will always look better than the projector image recorded by camera. Sharing screen can also save the situation if the Zoom video quality decreases for some reason and the remote students are unable to read what you write - the shared screen always has reasonable quality.
- Switch between “Duplicate” and “Extend” display settings by pressing WIN+P keyboard shortcut – Duplicate is easier to manage, but Extend gives more options on what to who to students and what only you see.
- Mind the sensitivity of microphones - the mics are quite sensitive and they will capture even lower-voice conversations or noise from the classroom. So it is essential to ensure that only one person speaks at a time and the rest of class is quiet.
E-LEARNINGThis is an overview of the tools we think are the best choice when building an online class in elarning. Our elearning runs on the moodle platform version 3.9 (https://docs.moodle.org/39/en/Main_page).
MS TEAMS & Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 UNYP portal offers a very comprehensive infrastructure to build a great online class using the set of apps listed below. There is also a great online training center with all the video guides.
Online whiteboards generally allow you to freely draw or write using mouse and keyboard or even better, using graphics tablet with a pen. There are many free products on the market, we think the following are some good examples:
- Microsoft Whiteboard - a free product, either as a part of the online Office 365 portal (possibly used with MS Teams) or as a downloadable Windows 10 app from Microsoft Store (or iOS app). The online version is very simple, the downloadable app has more features. All versions support easy sharing with students (the advantage is that all students already have an account on Office 365).
- Bitpaper - a free and very easy to use purely online solution, supports sharing via link, export etc.
- iDroo - a free purely online educational whiteboard; it supports mathematical formulas and various symbols
- Ziteboard - free or paid version if want more features
- Scribblar - paid only with a large set of additional features