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Video access to class meetings or course material will be critical for student success during a semester when some courses may be held in-person, others with a mix of in-person and remote learning, and others still with an entirely remote audience on the spectrum between synchronous and asynchronous formats. All of these options can be confusing, either because they're unfamiliar or because they seem to overlap and confound our sense of a "best" choice. As a starting point, use the options below to narrow the field and make informed decisions.

Installing Zoom LTI Pro in Canvas Course Navigation

In order to schedule Zoom Lectures in Canvas, you must first add the Zoom LTI into your course Navigation. This will only have to be done once per course.

  1. Login to Canvas and navigate to the course where you would like to add Zoom.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Navigation.
  4. Drag Zoom from the hidden items to the place where you would like it to appear in the Navigation.
  5. Click Save.

Live-Stream Class Meetings from Campus

For courses that will meet at least partially on campus, but with a number of students who at any given time must take part remotely, an instructor may choose to broadcast class meetings live for remote students to watch and participate. Note that all options here include the ability to record the video for instructors to link/embed via Canvas for later viewing. This video format may work best for courses that:

  • rely on "front of room" instructor presence, presentation, or lecture
  • rely on the live (synchronous) class meeting for content delivery and/or student engagement
  • mix synchronous attendance and participation among both remote and in-person students
  • do not have challenges with time zones or competing schedules for remote students

Tip

Models and timelines for class sessions using live-streaming as a form of HyFlex can be found in the TLC's HyFlex Course Design Examples document. 


Live-streaming a course involves hosting a videoconference (e.g., via Zoom or Google Hangout) via either a laptop or the classroom's built-in computer. 

  • Place the laptop where the instructor can access it comfortably while also giving a clear view of the front of the room
  • Connect directly to a power source to avoid accidental battery drain/shutdown
  • Close out of unnecessary applications that compete for processing and memory bandwidth
  • Peripherals can enhance this setup in the way of (1) an external webcam that frees the laptop itself and is positioned to catch a wider view of the classroom (thus allowing for more instructor mobility), and (2) an external microphone such as a lapel mic that, again, allows for instructor mobility and more clarity/quality of sound (with a reduction in the ambient noise that a laptop microphone detects).
  • Student questions and comments will likely need to be repeated if remote participants are to hear them clearly. 

To live-stream using Zoom: 

  • Before class begins, click Zoom in your course navigation menu (after following the Zoom Installation instructions at the top of this page)
  • Click Schedule a New Meeting 
  • Set up information for your in-person class, using the Recurring meeting option in Time Zone. 
  • Set your preferences for these sessions. We recommend enabling "Mute participants upon entry" and "Only authenticated users can join," at a minimum.
  • Save.
  • During class time, go to Zoom in your course navigation menu. Click Join next to your recurring class meeting. 
  • FOR STUDENTS: go to Zoom in the course navigation menu. Click Start next to the class meeting.

Record Class Meetings from Campus for Later Viewing

For courses that will meet at least partially on campus, an instructor may choose to record in-person class meetings for students to view and review remotely. This video format may work best for courses (or portions of class meetings) that:

  • rely on "front of room" instructor presence, presentation, or lecture
  • rely on live (synchronous) class meetings for content delivery, but do not require remote participation or engagement during synchronous meetings
  • benefit from students being able to review class meetings (e.g., for an exam, for missed class meetings)
  • involve students in different times zones, with scheduling difficulties, or who encounter barriers to attending class meetings in person

Recording a class meeting involves recording an empty videoconference session (e.g., via Zoom or Google Hangout) on a laptop.

  • Place the laptop where the instructor can access it comfortably while also giving a clear view of the front of the room
  • Connect directly to a power source to avoid accidental battery drain/shutdown
  • Close out of unnecessary applications that compete for processing and memory bandwidth
  • Peripherals can enhance this setup in the way of (1) an external webcam that frees the laptop itself and is positioned to catch a wider view of the classroom (thus allowing for more instructor mobility), and (2) an external microphone such as a lapel mic that, again, allows for instructor mobility and more clarity/quality of sound (with a reduction in the ambient noise that a laptop microphone detects).
  • Student questions and comments will likely need to be repeated if future viewers are to hear them clearly. 

To record using Zoom, follow the instructions for live-streaming above. 

  • Be sure to select the option to "Record the meeting automatically on the local computer" when you set up the recurring meeting. 
  • Once class is finished, follow the instructions on Uploading PowerPoint Presentations to YouTube for Captioning to add captions and share your Zoom recording with remote students. 

Alternatives to Recording In-Class Video

Some courses may not translate well to in-class video capture. For these courses, consider a variety of ways to continue to keep remote students engaged, even as on-campus classes continue to meet.

Alternative options for remote participation may work best for courses (or portions of class meetings) that:

  • rely on discussion, collaboration, and group work
  • rely on multiple speakers or presenters in a session
  • rely on moving physically around a space
  • include demonstrations, lab work, or other hands-on activities

Options for remote student participation might include: 

  • collaborative course notes – designate a new Google Doc for each session, or keep a running Google Doc for the semester. Ask in-person and remote students to add notes, comments, questions, and additional resources as appropriate. 
  • Twitter or other social media "backchannel" – determine a hashtag for the course and ask students to contribute to it during and after class time
  • a Canvas discussion forum space for remote students to hold similar conversations as in-class students over a designated time
  • ask students to locate existing resources (videos, blog posts, online articles, etc.) that help demonstrate or illustrate a course concept, and evaluate them for their effectiveness
  • blended group activities that involve contributions from in-class and remote learners
  • a TA or other in-class support person dedicated to remote learners during class time

Student Engagement and Class Management

For larger classes, it may make more sense to use the text-based chat feature exclusively for remote student engagement given the complexities of managing audio/video channels. These sorts of expectations ought to be explained clearly in the syllabus and at regular intervals during the semester. Smaller classes may elect to use both text and audio/video channels given that students have been prepared for structured ways of interacting. For example, the expectation might be set that an instructor will cue opportunities for verbal questions/comments, and manage the discussion using the "raise hand" feature in the participant list.

The instructor can take pauses at regular intervals to check the chat for questions and participant list for raised hands. If the course has a TA, the TA can monitor the chat and list, perhaps responding to some text-based questions in the moment without instructor intervention and bringing other questions to the group's attention during the appropriate times. If the course has no TA, consider establishing a system of rotating responsibility for monitoring the chat and participant list, either by individual students or in small groups, as part of class participation. Either way, encouraging students to respond to each other in the chat (as a sort of public backchannel) and to think of themselves as each other's advocates can bolster engagement and community in the class.

Broadcast and Record Class Content Remotely

For courses that do not meet on campus, instructors can broadcast and record class content. For any of these you will need the following equipment:

  • Device with good internet connection (laptop. tablet, smartphone)
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional)
  • Microphone (if possible; a separate microphone can be better than your device's build-in mic)
  • Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)

Zoom

Every Geneseo faculty, staff member, and student has a Zoom for Higher Education video conferencing account. This can be used independently or integrated into Canvas. For more information about how to set up and use your Zoom account, visit Zoom for Higher Education at Geneseo.

Canvas Chat

The Canvas Chat tool can be used for real-time conversation with course users. Any user in the course can participate in a chat conversation and view all chat content. For more information, visit this Canvas Chat Guide.

YouTube

YouTube allows you upload video recorded on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet and upload it directly to the video-sharing platform. You can opt to make your video public (accessible to anyone), private (only accessible to you), or unlisted (accessible to anyone who has the link).

Faculty should upload course-related content, such as lectures, to YouTube as unlisted. Users can control the availability of their YouTube uploads at their YouTube Studio dashboard. To share the recording with your students, you can embed the video in a Canvas page.

YouTube support link: "How to upload a video to YouTube" (from multiple platforms)

If you must upload videos longer than 15 minutes you will need to verify your account. This is a simple process (taking less than 30 seconds in most cases)

PowerPoint

If the content of your lecture is exclusively in PowerPoint, and you would like to be able to add, delete, or edit slides after your initial recording—or perhaps change the voice-over for one slide—you may want to consider the most recent version of PowerPoint.

This option is best for longer recordings, or for ones that you would like to be able to refine in the future. Unlike YouTube recordings, PowerPoint recordings can be changed in small ways, like editing a typo in a slide, without losing access to the audio that you previously made. This is also helpful if you decide to delete selected content, or add slides with new audio, at some point in the future.

The following articles provide information for creating video from PowerPoint:

Camtasia

Camtasia is a screen recorder and video editor. Faculty can schedule time to make use of the Newton Recording Studio to use Camtasia at go.geneseo.edu/Newton122 There is a free version that places a watermark on your videos. Get started with these Camtasia Tutorials

Other (free) Options

Principles to keep in mind when creating Online Lectures

  • Record in small chunks: Even the best online speakers keep it brief; think of the brevity of TED talks. We learn better with breaks to process and apply new information. To aid student learning, record any lectures in shorter (5-10 minute) chunks, and intersperse them with small activities that give students opportunities to process the new knowledge, make connections to other concepts, apply an idea, or make some notes in response to prompts. Smaller chunks also lead to smaller files, especially when using voiced-over PowerPoint presentations.

  • Be flexible with live video: Lecturing live with Zoom or Microsoft Teams is certainly possible, and it best approximates a classroom setting, since students can ask questions. However, a crisis might mean some students won't have access to fast internet connections, and others may have their schedules disrupted. So, record these live sessions, and be flexible about how students can attend and participate.

  • It's not just about content: If a crisis is disrupting classes, lectures can mean more than just providing course content; they also establish a sense of normalcy and a personal connection. In online courses, we talk about the importance of "instructor presence", and that's just as true during short-term online stints. So, consider ways that you can use lectures to make students feel connected and cared about: acknowledgement of current challenges, praise for good work, and reminders about the class being a community. This affective work can help their learning during a difficult time.

A final note

"Videoconferencing Alternatives" by Daniel Stanford offers a metric for thinking about low-bandwidth options for remote teaching. Read his post for more about this visual:



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More Help

For questions, contact the CIT HelpDesk by calling (585) 245-5588, or visiting our online service desk.