Cheat Sheets and Quick Starts and Guides, Oh My!

Sometimes, you just need a quick reference or a quick answer. Even from a distance, we’ve got you covered!

Faculty can jump into our help/support session any time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. today to ask about Zoom, Moodle, and just about anything else related to remote learning.

If you’re comfortable trying out technology on your own, here’s a list of quick start guides and cheat sheets for our most popular technologies. (You can bookmark this post if you think you might try any of these later).

Quick list of quick guides:

We have more help available on the Teaching Continuity Plan page.

And just remember…

https://twitter.com/derektmuller/status/1238830995039805440

Help students who don’t have a computer keep up with remote learning

How do I make assignments for students if…

They don’t have a computer at home?

Many Moodle options will work through a smartphone if a student has a data plan. YouTube videos and audio recordings are all accessible over a phone. Readings that are posted in Google Docs or in the Moodle page resource format well on a phone; PDF files can be a little harder to read. Online textbooks really vary in how they work on a phone screen.

Writing assignments are more difficult to complete without a keyboard, but students can use the voice typing option on Google Docs to dictate their paper on a phone. Students can also hand-write their assignments and upload a photo or PDF of their work. Microsoft Office Lens is a free app for smartphones that lets you snap a picture of any document and quickly turn it into a PDF or even a Word Document (through Optical Character Recognition).

Moodle will accept photo uploads into assignments. If students are accessing Moodle over their phone, they can attach a photo to any assignment that you’ve set up to allow file submissions, including assignments and forums. When they click “Choose file,” they’ll see the option to turn on their camera. You’ll then receive a photo of their work.

They don’t have wifi/Internet at home?

If the student has a device (computer, tablet, phone) but no internet connection:

If they have somewhere (like Lane’s campus) where they can access the Internet once a week, you can outline a plan where they can download as much media as possible while on campus and turn things in during that single-access window as well. For example, readings and videos can often be saved for later viewing. If you need help making sure your files are downloadable, let the ATC know!

Tip: If you’re offering Zoom sessions, make sure you record these and post the link for where people can view them later. 

If the student will have no internet connection for most of the time:

If possible, provide class materials (textbook, handouts, syllabus) as a printed packet in advance or by mail. (Check with your department for information on whether this is a covered expense). Students can submit work by mail to your department or by telephone. An oral report or read-out of work over the phone could get someone through for a week or three until face-to-face class can reconvene.

You can also ask students to track their own work in a journal or log during our remote time/closure, and then evaluate that work with them when they return. This is not the ideal teaching situation, clearly, but for a temporary closure it might be enough to help a student stay in class. 

Get Ready Now: Collect homework remotely

If you pick up papers, workbooks, assignments, or other physical materials in class, make a plan for how to receive that work before a campus closure.

Need to gather up assignments, but not sure how to do it (or how to help students)? It’s never too early to try a practice run at collecting assignments virtually! Here are a few ways you can get student work without making students come to campus:

  1. Use a Moodle assignment. These allow for uploads of multiple files, and many kinds of files, in a secure way that’s attached to your online gradebook. As a bonus, you’ll have all of your grading in one place!
  2. Create a shared Drive folder. If it’s OK for students to see other students’ work, you can create a shared Drive folder and ask students to upload work there.
  3. Have students share/send individual files or folders with you through Google Drive.
  4. Receive files by email, either as attachments or as in-body text. 
  5. Ask students to send photos of their work: If you need to see hand-written work (like a workbook or drawing assignment), asking students to use their phones to capture it may be a good solution. Images can be emailed or uploaded to Moodle.
  6. Ask students to share short videos of their work where it’s productive — all students have access to a YouTube account through their Lane Google account. They can also share videos through Drive if they don’t want to post to the open web.
  7. Take work by phone: If you have an oral report due, consider whether a voicemail might suffice. You can collect your office voice mail from anywhere.

Tips:

  • If you’re taking assignments by email, ask students to include your course number in the subject line.
  • Ask students to save files with their name and the assignment as the file name. 
  • If you receive a file you can’t open, contact the ATC for help in converting the file, or try opening it in Google Drive. 
  • Keep student work confidential – make sure students review the privacy settings on anything they post to YouTube.

Get Ready Now: Instructor-provided resources

Even though this an evolving situation, best practices and practical supports can guide our work. The ATC and SHeD can only provide support for applications that have been adopted by the college officially.

These technologies include Moodle (our learning management system), Zoom (our web conferencing solution), and to a limited extent, Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail.

I’ve seen about a dozen great tips and recommendations come through this week so far, and I’d love it if more faculty felt willing to share what they’re doing to get ready for a potential pause in teaching/need to go remote. You can comment below or post to this collaborative Google Doc with advice, links to the guidance from your professional associations, or other tips that you want to share!

Get Ready Now: Check with your neighbors

Talk with colleagues near and far to get the best ideas of what’s already happening and what you can borrow for remote learning.

Do you have great tools or ideas about remote learning? Comment with them below, or e-mail us to add to tomorrow’s Crowd-Sourced Resources Post.

Individual disciplines may have different challenges in preparing for remote teaching. While an essay may be a natural fit to collect online or by email, a lab exercise can be a challenge to duplicate. Your ATC colleagues are ready to help untangle these challenges – but you may find solutions already exist even closer by!

Check in with department and discipline colleagues to find out if anyone has solutions you can try. Students, too, may be a good resource here: What technology have they used in other classes, or to supplement studying, that could be shared online with others? If there’s a video series, lab workbook, simulation, or app that could smooth the way, now’s the time to discover.

Check in with your professional organizations, as well. Many teaching-oriented groups have current special interest groups around online learning or pedagogy that might offer tips. You can also observe what technology is in use for virtual meetings.

Finally, if you regularly use online networks or social media for professional purposes, look for groups or hashtags where educators are sharing ideas, best practices, or recent good technology finds. These often pop up regionally when weather or health emergencies are incoming.

Tip

  • Remember to vet any software before using and certainly before suggesting a download to students. Consult the ATC if you have questions!

Get Ready Now: Practice Virtual Meetings with Zoom

Need to meet with your students virtually? Zoom Video Conferencing is a powerful tool you can use to meet synchronously and asynchronously. Zoom will let you share your screen, chat, and even record your meetings to be shared in real-time or uploaded later. Use these tips and tricks to practice using Zoom today.

What devices can I use Zoom on? 

  • Laptop/computer (PC/Mac) 
  • Tablet (Apple iOS, Android)
  • Smartphone (Apple iOS, Android)

Preparing for a Zoom Meeting 

  1. Download and install the Zoom Client Software (PC/Mac) or the Zoom app (iOS/Android) in advance. 
  2. Review Zoom instructions online: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362033-Getting-Started-on-Windows-and-Mac 
  3. Start or join a Zoom Meeting to test your computer or device’s capabilities. 
  4. Contact the ATC for training or to resolve any technical issues encountered during testing. 

Tips and Tricks 

  • Find a quiet space with strong WiFi that is free of distractions.
  • Test your headphones, microphone, and camera to make sure the class can hear and see you. More info on testing here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362283-How-Do-I-Join-or-Test-My-Computer-Audio-
  • You may need to give Zoom permission to access your camera and microphone beforehand. Typically the request for permission will appear in a pop-up window the first time you open a Zoom Meeting. 
  • Close any windows or programs open on your device that are unrelated to your meeting. This focuses  your device’s power to provide the best Zoom meeting experience possible.  
  • If you can’t use video, upload a profile image to your Zoom account, give your students something to look at while you speak. 

We’ve also got Zoom training/practice available from 12-1 on Wednesday 3/11 and Thursday 3/12 in Center 219 (ATC computer lab). Drop by!

Zoom training incoming!

Want to get up to speed (or go from 0 to ready) with Zoom? We’ve got you covered this week:

Zoom Training: 

The ATC will be offering drop-in Zoom Video Conferencing training this week. We encourage any staff or faculty member to attend the session. We will cover simple topics like how to sign in and create meetings, to advanced features like screen sharing and cloud recording. All sessions will be held in the ATC Classroom located in the Center Building, Room 219 from 12-1pm on the following days:

  • Tuesday, March 10th
  • Wednesday, March 11th
  • Thursday, March 12th

Contact the ATC (atc@lanecc.edu) if you have any questions.

Get Ready Now: Communicate your remote teaching plans!

As soon as possible in advance of a potential remote day, clearly communicate with your students your plan for a break in classes. 

Most faculty have a “back pocket” plan for when something goes wrong and class can’t meet for a day. When a college closure decision seems imminent – because of snow forecasts, wildfires, or health emergencies – there’s a chance to brace your students for the potential impact by sharing your plan. That allows students start making plans, too!

We can’t predict what might happen. State a policy that’s true for what you know and would like to do. 

Example messages for students:

  • In the event that campus is not accessible due to weather or health emergencies, I will post all class reading materials, lecture notes, and brief supplementary videos to Moodle. If there are major deadlines during the time when classes can’t meet, I will accept papers by e-mail or through a link on Moodle. If you need to reach me during this time, I will make every effort to check my e-mail at least twice a day.
  • If we can’t meet for a one or two class periods, keep up with the readings! We’ll regroup when classes meet again and adjust our exam schedule as needed. If we can’t meet for more than a week, we’ll have to figure out another plan. Please sign up now to receive text or e-mail messages from me in an emergency…

Tips:

  • Don’t over promise: If you’ve never done a video lecture before, trying to do one now may be more than you want to tackle! Instead, focus on what’s possible in the short term, and start seeking training now for the long term.
  • Think of what you’ve done before: Most instructors have had to cancel a class or two due to illness or personal emergency before. How did you recover? 
  • Think of what you’ve done before, part 2: Lane’s main campus has been closed for nearly a full week twice in the past few years. What did you do to stay on track then? What could you duplicate at a moment’s notice?
  • Plan ahead: If you promise you’ll be in touch through e-mail, Moodle, text, or another message, test that method in advance.
  • Ask for help: The ATC and your Instructional Design team are happy to assist with figuring out what’s possible and what’s useful. Drop us a line!

LaneOnline Course Development Orientation

New opportunity to learn about how to apply for funding (up to 80 hours) and support for online course development!  You must attend an orientation in order to apply for funding.  If you are not able to make a scheduled orientation please contact us at idservices@lanecc.edu to discuss options.

Current Spring Term Orientations:

Week 7: Friday, May 17 3pm in ATC Classroom (CEN/219)

Week 7 Registration: Please complete (10second) registration so we can anticipate participation.

Week 8: Friday, May 24 1pm in ATC Classroom (CEN/219)

Week 9: TBD

Let’s Talk (& Read About) Online Teaching and Learning

Academic Technology and Instructional Design Services are happy to sponsor a series of discussion group meetings for online and online-interested faculty this term, discussing big questions and issues in online teaching and learning.

Instructors who attend at least 3 (out of 6) online pedagogy in-person discussions and/or virtual sessions during Spring term can receive 1 item for permanent loan (you can keep it for the length of your employment) from the AT prize cabinet, which includes a collection of useful-for-online-teaching materials, e.g.:

  • A webcam
  • A computer microphone
  • A software purchase 
  • Wireless keyboard/mouse combination
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Headphones or headset
  • eReader
  • Relevant book about online learning
  • One-year individual membership to relevant online learning group
  • etc.

(Some technology is subject to approval by IT/AT, but attendees will be able to choose something useful and relevant to their online work). Items are given for long-term loan without expectation of return/check in unless the instructor is no longer teaching for LCC.

In addition, anyone attending/participating in a session will be entered into a drawing to win a specific upgraded piece of technology for the next year/term (example: MacBook Air laptop or new iPad) or travel to a nearby eLearning conference. Attendees would earn one entry per session attended (in-person or online). This technology would be college owned but given out for long-term loan with no expectation of return until faculty are no longer teaching online for LCC and/or no longer need the computer. Drawing would be held at the end of Spring term, and the order would take place after that in consultation with the winner.

But wait, there’s more

In-person sessions will also have, by popular demand, snacks and coffee!

How do I sign up?

Use the form below to sign up in advance for these sessions. You’ll receive a reminder two weeks and one week in advance, along with a suggested/recommended reading that will guide our discussion.

Session Contents and Enrollment Size:

In-person sessions are limited to 15 participants and will be conducted as round table discussions, with prompting questions but no presentation. Virtual sessions are week-long discussions run on Moodle, with an optional synchronous piece or experimental technology when relevant.

Discussions will cover a broad range of relevant and thought-provoking topics related specifically to community college education online. Suggested topics are below:

  • Week 4 (10-11, 4/26): When, how, and whether to expand online at community colleges
  • Week 5 (online): Meeting online students where they are: Strategies for improving student success
  • Week 7 (online): Does online learning help or harm student progress?
  • Week 8 (10-11, 5/24): Creating close community while learning/teaching at a distance
  • Week 9: Data, data, data (online): What do the numbers show (and mean) what do we need to know?
  • Week 10 (10-11, 6/7): Do online classes need an instructor? The importance of online teaching presence

Sign up here!