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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains many of the Frequently Asked Questions around both alternate delivery and assessment. Please check here before you call or submit a support ticket (to help reduce the volume of tickets and calls). We will continue to add to the content of this page, so check back often.

 

Protection of Privacy

The personal information requested in this Zoom lecture is collected under the authority of Section 33 (c) of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“Act”) and will be protected under Part 2 of the Act. The information is collected for the purpose of [state specific uses for which the information is collected].  If you have any inquiries in regards to the collection of your personal information, please direct those inquiries to:  FOIP Coordinator, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Dr. West, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4, telephone: 403-332-4620, email: foip@uleth.ca.

Information from Harold Jansen: 

The University not mandating one or the other, but we encourage you to think through the pros and cons of these two different forms of delivery and decide what is appropriate for your course, your students and for you. Many students prefer asynchronous delivery, as it gives them some flexibility about when and how they interact with the course. Async can also work well for students who don’t have great Internet access or who have family or other responsibilities that might interfere with their ability to be available at particular times of day. It can also more easily allow for the use of a variety of different teaching materials, enabling the incorporation of readings, video, pictures, maps, etc. It may also facilitate participation from some of your more reticent students: it can allow them time to consider what to say as not all students think quickly on their feet. Async courses can also more easily accommodate students in multiple time zones, particularly international students. For the faculty member, it can have some advantages, too. Having the ability to prepare much of the course ahead of time takes some of the pressure off for Fall, particularly if Faculty members are also facing challenges such as poor Internet or if you’re worried about children or other distractions making it difficult to teach at a particular time on particular days.

Asynchronous teaching has disadvantages, too. Because students are not together with their instructors at a given time, even virtually, a class doesn’t feel the same. It takes more work and conscious attention to build that sense of community and interactivity that makes a class come alive. It takes more deliberate effort to make yourself “present” in the class. Without that, it can feel like your class is just interacting with content, rather than with you. Asynchronous teaching also requires more advance preparation than synchronous teaching.

The main advantage of synchronous teaching is that it can feel the most like a “real” classroom, in that you’re interacting with students in real time. Students have the ability to interact with you and ask questions when they don’t understand something. It can build more of a sense of community between you and the students, which is an important part of creating a support learning environment. It can also help to build accountability for students as it is much harder for them to disengage when they need to check in at a particular time each week. It can take less preparation time – you don’t need to pre-record video or develop other content. It can be a bit disconcerting, if you’re used to a lecture style class setting. It’s much harder to “read the room” in a video lecture as many students will have their cameras off and even for those who do have their cameras on, their facial expressions are much harder to read over video. Synchronous delivery is probably most effective when there is real opportunity for discussion and interaction.

The choice doesn’t need to be all or nothing. An effective strategy is to use asynchronous delivery for the parts of the course that are going to consist of students listening while you talk and reserve synchronous sessions for things like question and answer periods, discussion, or other active learning activities, where students have an opportunity to participate.

A good resource to read more: https://www.niagaracollege.ca/cae/eddev/teaching-resources/online-teaching/design/synchronous-online-teaching/ 

This is one question a lot of students are asking, especially first year students! If your class is synchronous, you will have a set first class meeting, and you need to let students know ahead of time when that is and how to find it (Zoom link). In your course is asynchronous, you still need to reach out to students to let them know where to find course materials, etc., and how things will work. Don’t assume they will find you on Moodle – it is more important than ever to reach out ahead of time this year! One of the best ways to do this is by a Moodle forum post. This gets emailed to all students currently registered in the course, and students who sign up later will be to see those past messages once Moodle is open.

Yes, absolutely! It will be important to address workload, expectations, Zoom etiquette, FOIP rules for recording classes, how office hours will work, etc. For example, students may assume that an asynchronous course is less work, as they will not have to attend classes, just do the regular out-of-class work; is this going to be true of your course? It is also important to set expectations for communication: how should students contact you with questions, how will you contact them (email? Via Moodle?), what turn-around time is reasonable, etc. Don’t assume that students have any natural skills in this environment: we need to teach them how to succeed, and address these kinds of issues openly and early on.

CONNECTION is more essential than ever this fall, especially for first year students. We can often put our content in various easily-accessible packages for students, but effective learning is enhanced by building connection between students and profs and between the students themselves. Formats like Zoom offer ways to do this, through break-out rooms and chats. Here are a few good suggestions I’ve come across:  Give students the responsibility to bring other students into the conversation; in the 1st week do a scavenger hunt of the Moodle site and course outline, including at least one group; give at least one specific task in the first week that requires some group action.

From Harold Jansen:  The philosophy guiding these is the same as the rest of our course delivery this Fall: if it can be offered online, it should be offered online. However, some of these experiences require access to equipment in labs or other specialized facilities, and cannot be done online. The RCC (formerly the EOC) is working out a process for approval for these, but these will be able to happen in the Fall. There may be an additional level of approval for campus access for your student, but that process hasn’t been worked out yet. 

The Assessment of Student Learning Policies (https://www.uleth.ca/policy/resources/assessment-student-learning-policy-and-procedures-undergraduate-student) continue to apply, even for online teaching. In particular, if you are thinking about final assessments, please read Section 3 of the policy, which places restrictions on what can be done in the final two weeks of classes and on due dates for final essays or take home examinations.

Note that the Testing Centre will not be open, and you may need to consider other ways of evaluating students this semester.

Accommodations such as extra time will apply to the on-line content as well. If you are offering alternate forms of evaluation like assignments or presentations, extended time would also apply in these instances. The ALC is  unable to set up accommodations for exams and instructors must arrange extensions themselves, which you will have to do individually within Moodle. Please advise the Teaching Centre as to any students who require additional time as per their Accommodation Letter, and staff can help you with modifying exams.

Some accommodated students will require recordings and/or transcripts of video and audio lectures so that they can be successful in an on-line environment.  We may later add captioning.  Fortunately, many platforms have settings to do this automatically, including Zoom, and require minimal work for the user. See: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115004794983-Automatically-Transcribe-Cloud-Recordings-

Note that for Text to Speech (Kurzweil), you should provide access to course materials ahead of class and convert documents to PDF format to ensure compatibility with Kurzweil.

For more information go to www.uleth.ca/ALC

Information from Harold Jansen, Associate Dean of A&S:

The university has committed to moving Moodle from physical servers on campus to a cloud-based solution. This should improve the reliability of Moodle significantly, at a time when we need to be able to count on it working. This will happen over the summer. In addition, the university will be acquiring the Yuja video platform, which integrates into Moodle, in order to allow for better hosting and streaming of video content right within Moodle. You won’t need to host videos on a platform like YouTube once this is in place. Yuja also brings in the ability to embed quizzes within your videos. Finally, the assignment submission and management system Crowdmark will be back for Fall.

The University is still investigating exam invigilation software for final examinations. The software generally has problems, doesn’t support all platforms, can be difficult to use, and has privacy concerns. No final decision has been made on this yet.

IT is exploring options to make specialized class software available and from the last I’ve heard have settled on a solution. I don’t have details yet about how this will work and will communicate these once I hear something.

Professors and students can email their entire class with only one email address, which looks like 202001anth2070a@uleth.ca. During the semester, you don’t need the first 6 digits that specify year and term. You can also send a message via the Moodle forum for your course, which automatically emails the whole class.

If you have questions about Moodle, please check our resources regarding Moodle. An answer to your question may already be available. You can go through tutorials step by step, or use one of the help forms to submit a request to support staff.
 https://moodleanswwers.com 

Requests can also be made by emailing teachingsupport@uleth.ca.

Submitting a request using the methods mentioned above will contact all available staff. 

Creating a transcript of your Zoom class/tutorial session can be extremely helpful for many students when they view the recording at a later day/time - but can be especially important for students who require this accommodation. Turning on Audio Transcription in Zoom is quite simple and some instructions can be found here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115004794983-Automatically-Transcribe-Cloud-Recordings-?mobile_site=true#enableaccount

YouTube has the ability to automatically generate closed captioning. This feature is fantastic from an accessibility standpoint, but can be helpful for all students. Here is a tutorial on how to utilize this feature: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6373554?hl=en

E519

Two teaching spaces have been set up in E519 on campus. These spaces are isolated, clean and has essential equipment to help you teach with alternative delivery methods. You can book one of these spaces using the link below.
Book E519 Teaching Spaces

Lightboard

The Teaching Centre has a Lightboard set up on campus. Our Lightboard is a 4’ x 8’ clear glass board, framed with LED lights. The instructor stands behind the glass and uses fluorescent markers to write on it the same way you would on a whiteboard.
For more information or to book the Lightboard

Office hours will be more important than ever in online courses. You can schedule office hours via Zoom, to set up specific times. The Scheduler module within Moodle can also help you to schedule one-on-one appointments with all your students: you pick the times you are available for appointments and the students then book themselves into one of the available timeslots. 

See https://docs.moodle.org/38/en/Scheduler_module

The Bookstore is channeling all course material and supply orders through one of two online shopping experiences for our students, Textbook Reservations and Online Store. Contactless pick-up and delivery options will be available for BOTH services.

Textbook Reservations 

The textbook Reservation Program is open now until August 10, at https://www.uleth.ca/bookstore/textfinder/reservation

Online Store.

 After the Online Store will be open for orders at https://bookstore.uleth.ca for the rest of the term.

If you want a chance to talk about the challenges you’re facing in your courses with others who are facing similar situations, we encourage you to check out the Communities of Practice that have been created through the Teaching Centre. These sessions are open to anyone and give you a chance to ask your colleagues questions, share your ideas, and learn from others.

 

·       Large Online courses - Sean Fitzpatrick

·       Team-Based Learning - Jan Newberry

·       Seminar Courses - Ran Barley 

·       Active Learning Course  Group work in an online environment - Glenda Bonifacio

·       Social Science and Humanities Courses – Sheila McManus

·       Science Courses  - Ute Kothe

·       Computer Lab-based Courses (Comp. Sci, New Med.,)Ryan Harper Brown 

·       Fine Arts Courses (Studio, etc.) –  Leane Elias

·       Science Labs -   Jenny Burke

·       Assessment of Learning / Academic Integrity –  Richelle Marynowski

·       The Inclusive Classroom & supporting Indigenous students and students in rural and remote locations -Michelle Hogue 

·       Student Technology Needs - Sean Fitzpatrick

 

More about Communities of Practice such as live sessions can be found here:
https://www.uleth.ca/teachingcentre/communities-practice

The University of Lethbridge has secured access to a product called Crowdmark. This tool has a number of features that streamline marking but one of the main features is the ability to have students submit scanned work or to take pictures of their work easily.

Thank you to Sean Fitzpatrick for these resources

Crowdmark has some great resources on their site; below are a few that may help you get started.

Distributing an assessment at a scheduled time