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.
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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.
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:
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.
To live-stream using Zoom:
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:
Recording a class meeting involves recording an empty videoconference session (e.g., via Zoom or Google Hangout) on a laptop.
To record using Zoom, follow the instructions for live-streaming above.
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:
Options for remote student participation might include:
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.
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:
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.
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 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)
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 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.
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.
"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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