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Advice & Tips

Reducing cheating in online exams (GWU): https://smhs.gwu.edu/impact/sites/impact/files/Firmani_OCEPs.pdf

How to be a better online teacher (Chronicles of Higher Ed): https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/advice-online-teaching

How to quickly adapt to online teaching (Harvard Business Publishing Education): https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/how-to-quickly-adapt-to-teaching-online 

Best practices in online pedagogy (Harvard University): https://teachremotely.harvard.edu/best-practices

Prepare to move online in a hurry (2U/Inside Higher Ed): https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/03/10/prepare-move-online-continuity-planning-coronavirus-and-beyond-opinion

Keep calm and keep teaching (Inside Higher Ed): https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/03/17/shifting-unexpectedly-remote-instruction-requires-many-human-solutions-tech

Running a discussion board (Wharton): https://www.dropbox.com/s/kwprgmcvzgsg35r/Running%20a%20Discussion%20Board.pdf?dl=0

Some tools for student-to-content engagement (iSchool): Student-to-Content Engagement

Keeping uninvited guests out Zoom (Zoom): https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-uninvited-guests-out-of-your-zoom-event/

How to be more inclusive in your Zoom teaching (ChronicleVitae): https://chroniclevitae.com/news/2333-8-ways-to-be-more-inclusive-in-your-zoom-teaching?cid=VTEVPMSED1

Mastering case teaching (Harvard): https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/mastering-case-teaching-in-online-classes

Energizing online group work (Harvard): https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/energize-your-online-course-with-group-work

How to engage students in an online classroom (Chronicles): https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-to-Engage-Students-in-a/249143

Synchronous strategies (Faculty focus): https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/synchronous-strategies-for-the-new-normal/

Suggested tips for online teaching  -  best practice online teaching.docx

Faculty Created Videos and Tutorials

Anna Chernobai (annac@syr.edu) and Kivanç Avrenli (kaavrenl@syr.edu) have kindly offered to help any faculty members with using Blackboard Collaborate, testing, and other tools.

How to use BLACKBOARD’S COLLABORATE ULTRA (by Anna Chernobai):   https://ensemble.syr.edu/Watch/Xx36CpSz

How to use ENSEMBLE to record videos (by Anna Chernobai):   https://ensemble.syr.edu/Watch/g7KHb6t5

How to create an online automatically graded TEST ON BLACKBOARD (by Kivanc Avrenli):   https://ensemble.syr.edu/Playlist/Rs75FfKi

How to automatically grade tests on Blackboard (by Anna Chernobai):

              Blackboard testing (by Anna Chernobai).pdf

Blackboard Collaborate Tools Tutorials

User Interface Tour - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W4sGpVmJaY&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=2&t=0s

Breakout Groups - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4dudLGevhw&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=3&t=0s

Closed Captioning - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7nhAEAQ2SY&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=4&t=0s

Sharing Powerpoint Files - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H3R-E_pgEY&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=5&t=0s

Session Settings - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-R6kmVI44U&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=6&t=0s

Private Chat - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvOuyj_vROw&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=7&t=0s

Polling - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK7390n-VN0&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=8&t=0s

Share files to Breakout Groups - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf5AlhIOFzs&list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD&index=9&t=0s

Software Resources

Zoom -  Visit zoom.syr.edu to learn more about the zoom implementation at Syracuse University.   

Collaborate and Anthem training recording: https://ensemble.syr.edu/Playlist/Mm85Agy3

Blackboard Collaborate: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate allows you to conduct a fully live online virtual class through Blackboard.

How to turn on camera and microphone in Collaborate: https://ensemble.syr.edu/Watch/r5FZg42Y

Collaborate Video Walk Through:  http://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLontYaReEU1thrYkZR4tynKpyvuTB_dkD

Lecture Capture in Kaltura - Kaltura at Syracuse University

Guide to use Library Resources:  https://researchguides.library.syr.edu/c.php?g=1008598&p=7317778

Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams

Primary uses include file sharing, editing and collaboration, video, voice and text chatting.

Microsoft Office 365: Office 365 at Syracuse University

Microsoft's complete Office suite is available online through a web browser. Open, edit, store, share files with your colleagues.

Whitman Remote Desktop: Whitman Remote Desktop

Whitman Remote Desktop offers a complete online virtual PC through a web browser. It negates the need to install University licensed software locally, connect to a VPN, and even eliminates the need of a Whitman issued computer. You can access your files, H and G drives through WRD.


How do I share my recorded videos?  Upload to Blackboard?

Whether it be a lecture capture using Kaltura Capture /Camtasia or a Zoom recording we recommend uploading all video content to video.syr.edu and creating a playlist that can be linked to via Blackboard. Kaltura in Blackboard - If you need assistance please reach out to wsmhelp@syr.edu

How can an individual or a group of students record a presentation?

Now that Zoom has been licensed for faculty, students and staff, we recommend using this program for ‘live’ sessions. Please instruct students to login to Zoom using zoom.syr.edu.  

Individual presentations: We recommend having the student join their personal meeting room.  Once in the room, they can record the meeting and save it to the cloud.  The student will be able to share a PPT and narrate over the video.  Once the recording is ended, an email is sent to the student to alert them that the recording is available to share.

Group presentations: Have the student groups invite their teammates to a Zoom meeting. When they are ready, record the meeting to the cloud. Once the recording is ended, an email is sent to the student to alert them that the recording is available to share.

How do I access Zoom?

Visit zoom.syr.edu to learn how to login to zoom and use it for your class, office hours, or student presentations.   

Do I need to meet my classes all 80 minutes twice a week?

No. Think about creating a balance between asynchronous (pre-recorded) materials and synchronous (live sessions). These two approaches, combined, should replace the number of contact hours for a normal week (typically 160 minutes/week). But you don’t need to use the full time of every session to physically meet.

When should my live sessions meet?

This should follow your ‘normal’ teaching schedule for the semester to minimize the number of scheduling conflicts and confusion.

What should we do about students in different time zones?

You may have students who have returned home to different parts of the US and potentially internationally. They should still be expected to attend any live sessions, but please communicate with your students to understand any challenges they might face during this transition and adjust accordingly.

Can I still hold office hours?

Yes. Being accessible to students will be increasingly important during this transition as student anxiety and uncertainty is likely to be higher. Please consider increasing your availability and provide multiple meeting options. There are technological platforms that can help with ‘drop-in’ hours, but also scheduled meetings using phone, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc. can also be effective.

What should I do about exams?

Now that SU will be offering online teaching for the rest of the semester, it is prudent to think ahead about how you will run your exam. The Whitman IT team is currently looking at ‘proctor’-type software to monitor written exams via Blackboard. Group presentations should still be possible using the current Blackboard Collaborate software. Please consider options such as a ‘take-home’ exam, an online exam using Blackboard tools, or creating an equivalent but different assignment to capture students’ knowledge and learning.  Review the Blackboard test and exam videos by Anna Chernobai (annac@syr.edu) and Kivanç Avrenli (kaavrenl@syr.edu)  linked to above. Here are some tips on reducing cheating in online exams (https://smhs.gwu.edu/impact/sites/impact/files/Firmani_OCEPs.pdf)

Will international students have access to Blackboard?

Yes. Reports from IT at SU are that international students are not currently facing firewall issues for Blackboard Collaborate. However, there are some differences based on browser (Chrome is preferable, but not always available. Firefox is the next best option) and connection speed (China Unicorn and China Mobile are reportedly running better than China Telecom, for instance). There are additional tips here: Helpful Tips for Sessions in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

My students and I are having some distortions in audio/video. What can we do about it?

This variability can be caused by a few things. Here are some of the most common solutions. 1) Use a headset, which helps the microphone reduce background noise (ideally a USB headset or high-quality Bluetooth headset); 2) Be hardwired into an Ethernet connection rather than rely on WiFi; 3) Chop up any longer recordings into shorter segments (more bite-sized for students, but also reduces computing needs for one video); 4) Remove a number of different programs running in the background (if you're not using it, keep the program closed).

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