FAQS for instruction

These are some of the frequently asked questions we have received so far related to fall 2020 instruction.

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General questions

  • How will I know what modality my course will take?

    Fall 2020 courses will be taught in various modalities: fully online, in a mixed-delivery (AKA HyFlex) format, or fully face-to-face. Most labs will be offered in a face to face format. Courses over with over 200 enrolled will be fully online. The delivery format for other courses will be determined by the state recovery phase (i.e. phase 2 or 3). More information will be provided by the Provost’s Office once NSHE has approved reopening plans.

  • If I am teaching a mixed-delivery course, how will I determine my class in-person attendance schedule?

    The Provost’s office has provided guidance on how class splits should work for mixed-delivery/HyFlex courses, following the assumption that we will be operating in Phase 3 of returning to campus. Instructors should split their class alphabetically, with the first half of the class comprising Group 1 and the second half comprising Group 2. This split will vary slightly from course to course, but the approximate split would be “A-M” for Group 1 and “N-Z” for Group 2. All mixed-delivery/HyFlex courses should use this methodology for splitting their courses: if all courses/instructors follow the same process, it will enable the University to do its best to limit student density on campus.

    Note: Students may request to attend class fully online or fully F2F. If you have any students that fit into either one of these categories, you will receive notification prior to the start of the semester.

  • What kind of classroom technology can I expect in my mixed-delivery class?

    For fall 2020 classrooms have been updated to allow for mixed-delivery.

    Audio

    For rooms with existing lavaliere microphones, those will be routed to the PC and will be audible to students attending in the synchronous Zoom session. The lavaliere mic will also serve as volume reinforcement for students attending in the classroom.

    For other rooms we will be adding a USB omnidirectional mic. This will allow the instructor to be heard by the remote students up to ~10-12' from the podium without much audio degradation.

    In-class students may not be audible to students attending remotely. It is recommended that the instructor repeat questions or comments made by in-class students, so that remote students may also hear.

    Webcam

    Each classroom will also be equipped with a webcam based at the podium. Instructors should test the amount of space that will be caught by the webcam, and plan movement within the classroom based on this allotted space.

    While it is not required that instructors be in the webcam frame for the entire class, instructors will want to keep their remote students in mind if they move off screen.

    Document camera

    The last addition is the integration of the document cameras with the PCs. This will allow the document camera picture to be used as a Zoom source while simultaneously displaying on the projector for the students attending in the classroom.

    This will make it possible for instructors to work out problems, draw diagrams or show three-dimensional objects that can be viewed by both in-class and remote students.

    More information about how to use the technology is available on the Classroom Support page.

  • Is there a central location for students to ask questions about the course material?

    Yes, WebCampus discussion boards are great for this. You can have threads related to specific topics or a general thread for all course questions. The discussion boards provide some measure of flexibility that allows you to set them up based on what works best for your class and materials.

  • Is training available for Zoom or WebCampus?

    Yes, during this transition to remote instruction, we will also provide remote training and consultation. If you would like to request a training or consultation, please email idt@unr.edu.

  • Do I still need to hold office hours?

    Yes. Please hold virtual office hours. Potential virtual options include: Zoom, email and/or phone calls.

    Conducting office hours with Zoom

 

Zoom

  • Does everyone have a Zoom Pro license now?

    Yes, the University has purchased a site license for Zoom. All faculty, staff and students have access to Zoom accounts.

  • How do I activate my Zoom account/license?

    Please visit the Zoom activation page to activate your account. Please activate your account before trying to set up in WebCampus.

  • What are the technical requirements for Zoom?

    The Zoom technical requirements are available on the Zoom website.

  • Are there any hardware recommendations to use with Zoom?

    Webcams: In most cases, the integrated webcam on your device should work fine. If you do not have a webcam on your PC, an external USB webcam such as the Logitech 920S is recommended but not required.

    Microphone/Speakers: A USB headset, such as a Logitech H390, or handsfree device, such as a Jabra Speak 410, is recommended. These devices have built-in echo cancellation that help to ensure you do not get feedback loops (these are bad). If you are connecting with a mobile device, the use of an external mic/earbuds/headset is strongly recommended.

  • Does Zoom have enough bandwidth/capacity to handle all of our courses?

    Yes, Zoom is a cloud-based service that can scale to meet user needs. It is not dependent on University infrastructure to support the bandwidth needed.

  • How do I use Zoom with large classes?

    Here are some best practices:

    • Set up your Zoom meetings with all participants muted on entry.
    • Have a strategy for dealing with student questions.
    • WebCampus discussion boards can be very useful for this. Leverage any GTAs for classroom management.
  • What is the best way to deal with student questions in Zoom?

    For classes with 20+ students, we have two recommendations for how best to deal with student questions:

    • For each lecture have an accompanying WebCampus discussion board where student can post their questions. This will allow you to reply asynchronously after class.
    • For larger courses with GTAs available, you can have students submit questions via chat and have the GTA either respond to the questions via chat or relay them to the instructor.

    For smaller discussion-based classes it is usually feasible to allow for normal discussion. However, if someone is having audio issues, be prepared to mute the student as needed.

  • My lectures require me to write on the whiteboard. How do I replicate a whiteboard function in Zoom?

    There are a few options:

    • Zoom has an internal whiteboard function that may be useful.
    • Laptops with pen functionality can share their notes application via Zoom.
    • iPads with Apple Pens can use their pens with the Zoom whiteboard function to provide improved functionality.
    • While not ideal, a webcam can be directed at a sheet of white paper or a personal whiteboard to capture content that might otherwise be put on a whiteboard or document camera.
  • Is Zoom FERPA compliant?

    Zoom is FERPA compliant if used in a FERPA complaint manner. If conducting a meeting directly with one student, then it would be no different than an in-person meeting. In this usage case, you want to make sure recording was not utilized.

  • Do I need to record my Zoom Class Session?

    We strongly recommend that you use the cloud-recording function record all of your Zoom Class Sessions. The recording will provide some measure of flexibility for those students who may not be able to easily attend class at the normally scheduled time and will mediate the effect of any technical difficulties experienced by any one student. Additionally, this is will ensure a captioned version is automatically created of your session.

 

WebCampus

  • I have never used WebCampus before, where do I start?

    We can provide WebCampus training via Zoom. If you have not used WebCampus before you can request training or consultation by emailing idt@unr.edu. We also have resources available on our website. The Canvas website also has a wide variety of resources available.

  • Do I need to request a WebCampus course?

    No, except for individual study courses, all other courses automatically have a course shell created each semester. If you have not used it yet, the course shell is ready for you to post materials and publish your course. If you are teaching an individual study course and need a course shell created, please contact idt@unr.edu.

 

Video in WebCampus

  • When I want to use a video for multiple courses, do I need to upload once for every course?

    No. Upload the video to the MyMedia area in any course one time and you can publish the video to any course, either at the time of upload or at any point through MyMedia - or you can add anywhere in your course where you can access the full text editor (e.g. quizzes, discussion boards, pages). There’s no need to upload any time you need to reuse the video, it will be available in to publish through My Media.

  • I’ve uploaded a video into MyMedia in WebCampus, but I do not see it.

    Media added to your MyMedia (Kaltura) area in WebCampus, is first uploaded and then re-encoded for optimized web delivery. It can take longer than the actual play-length of the video to process, so it might not show up in your video list in MyMedia immediately. For longer videos, it’s best to check back later and confirm that it’s ready for use. You can upload multiple videos at a time; you do not need to wait for one to complete to upload others.

 

Testing and exams

  • How should high stakes assessments and exams be handled?

    Fully online classes

    For one high stake assessments, such as a Final Exam, you can use the Proctorio online proctoring tool. Proctorio is available in WebCampus.

    All other assessments should be set up without using Proctorio. See the question below for tips on exam design to deter cheating.

    Mixed-delivery classes

    Instructors teaching mixed-delivery classes may choose to host exams in the face-to-face classroom, by scheduling exams on multiple days of a given exam week (e.g., group A tests on Tuesday, group B tests on Thursday). The instructor will need to work with any students who have arranged to only participate in the course remotely.

    Instructors may opt to host exams entirely online, as opposed to using face-to-face class time. In this case, instructors will not be able to use Proctorio, and will instead want to use exam design principles to deter cheating. Please see TLT’s Remote Exams page for more information on exam design.

    The University Testing Center is in the process of scaling up to accommodate tests on campus. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

  • How should routine quizzes be handled?
    • Shuffle Answers: This will randomize the order in which answers to multiple choice question appear.
    • Limit quiz completion time: This will limit the amount of time the student has to look up answers
    • Deliver one question at a time: This will help prevent students from sharing the quiz and can limit the students’ ability to look up answers.
    • Use a question bank (if possible): This will randomly select questions from a bank of questions so the quizzes will have similar content but not the same questions.
  • How do I access Proctorio?

    Proctorio can be accessed through WebCampus and can be enabled through your course settings. More information is available on our Proctorio webpage. If you need help setting up your exam through Proctorio, please contact idt@unr.edu and someone can assist you.