Close Menu

University Covid-19 Teaching Resources: Google Meet and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra instructions and tutorials, accessing the Illinois Tech VPN, and more at https://ots.iit.edu/covid-19.

Illinois Tech Office of Technology ServicesóWorking and Learning Remotely https://ots.iit.edu/covid-19.

Thoughts on Teaching Only Online from ITM Associate Professor Karl Stolley, who gave this whole moving online thing some real thought which we can all read at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mZZZSmz2UGt6lHvhp6y09rknJnKfandQtDnlZcunTmI/.

Office Hours: Please establish online office hours using Google Hangout, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a Google Voice number, or a service that you are comfortable with and works for you. Please have your TAs hold online office hours in a similar manner, and for consistency sake, we suggest they consider holding those at their already established office hour time.

Meeting With/Advising Students: Avoid live meetings as far as possible. Please meet with students only virtually by teleconference, Skype, or Google Meet.

Your Teaching Plan: As requested by the Provost, please communicate to the students in your current classes the plan for completing your course for this semester no later than close of business on Wednesday, March 18. The plan does not have to be final but please give your students a level of comfort as to how they can complete your course remotely. Please consider how best to use your TAs to help you with office hours, student advising, and any questions students may have. Also, if you plan to offer your course synchronously (in real time), please do so at your normal class hours.

Recording Lectures: If you are going to record your lectures, the following free resources allow screen capture:

SnagIt and Video Review from TechSmith: http://bit.ly/2IGELQF

Screencast-o-matic; integrates with Blackboard, GD, Youtube Video and a plethora of other platforms: https://screencast-o-matic.com/education

Camstudio; WIN only and produces only AVI output files but files can be converted with VLC or Format Factory: https://camstudio.org/

If you plan on posting recorded lectures we suggest you verify your Google Account (instructions at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/71673?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en) which will then allow you to upload videos up to 12 hours in length. Then when you upload your video, do it as an unlisted video. As such, it is not searchable or indexed, and people only have access to it when you give them the URL. You can then create or activate an "Instructor Video" link in the Blackboard menu and either embed or create a link to each lecture as you post it. In multiple attempts, we have never succeeded in uploading a video to Blackboard, even though in theory it supports this.

You can also use the delivery tools to record lectures delivered with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Google Meet.

Live (Synchronous) Course Delivery: You should be able to conduct classes live should you choose to do so, using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Google Meet. Classes should always meet at the scheduled course time if you will provide real-time streaming. Both Collaborate Ultra and Google Meet allow you to record your lectures.

Other free live conferencing services are listed below:

Cicsco Webex: https://help.webex.com/en-us/n80v1rcb/Cisco-Webex-Available-Free-in-These-Countries-COVID-19-Response and https://www.webex.com/go-covid19.html

Zoom Meeting free version (limits meetings to 40 minutes but limit may be removed for free account using .edu email): https://zoom.us/pricing

Avaya Spaces: https://news.avaya.com/cp-spaces-coronavirus-response-reg?CTA=20US2-UC-DG-SPCOR-BLG&TAC=20US2-UC-DG-SPCOR-BLG

Microsoft Teams (free with Office 365 Education; Illinois Tech students and faculty receive a free A3 account although it is unsupported for students): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office

If you are going to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Google Meet for synchronous course delivery, rehearse!

To rehearse for Blackboard, you can use your own course; we each have a Blackboard course with our own name to use as a sandbox for just these purposes. Log into your course in Blackboard on a second computer and click the eye icon in the upper right corner to enter student preview mode. Create and start the Collaborate Ultra session on the computer you will use for your session as instructor, and then enter the session on the second computer as the student preview user. Collaborate Ultra is available from Tools on the right-hand menu if you have it enabled, or you can add it to the menu as a choice by using add --> Tool Link.

Collaborate Ultra has a built in tutorial that you can access from the menu on your instructor screen, and we still have online training sessions offered by the Office of Digital Learning Wednesday March 18 at 1pm and Thursday March 19 at 6pm; you can sign up at https://forms.gle/yf9JeYQZdW4hbzD1A. Please encourage your TAs to sign up for and attend a session as well. The Office of Digital Learning will also post a recording which we will link to here.

It's not at all obvious how to create a Google Meet. The easiest way is to create a calendar entry on your IIT Google Calendar and add conferencing (it won't work in your personal Google account). This will be a Google Meet conference and will provide a URL and a dial-up phone number with a PIN after you have saved the entry. The code to log into the Meet using the iOS or Android App is the last 10-letter part of the URL without the dashes. You can then invite your class by copying and pasting their email addresses into the Calendar entry. Once the link is created, it can be used anytime; we have set up a Meet, launched it, and then logged in using two other computers to test and it works well.
Meet training and help is at https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9282720 and how to record your Meet is at https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9308681?&ref_topic=9545472. Other Google Tools to help in Covid-19 response are at https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/distancelearning-covid19.

Online Texts and Course Materials: If you are using a Wiley, Pearson, or Cengage book for your course, you may be able to make all online resources from the publisher available for your students for free for the rest of the term:

Cengage: https://www.cengage.com/covid-19-support/

Pearson: https://www.pearson.com/news-and-research/working-learning-online-during-pandemic.html

Wiley: https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/all-corporate-news/wiley-opens-access-support-educators-researchers-professionals-amid and https://www.wiley.com/network/instructors-students/covid-19-info-for-instructors

Digital textbooks from VitalSource: https://get.vitalsource.com/vitalsource-helps

Remote Teaching Resources for Business Continuity: Huge spreadsheet with links to resource pages posted by over 370 colleges and universities as well as some companies: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VT9oiNYPyiEsGHBoDKlwLlWAsWP58sGV7A3oIuEUG3k/htmlview?sle=true#

Teaching Online Tools: Spreadsheet of open source and commercial online learning resources being made available for free to help us get through this. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1skxI8D70Ed34x6cjjVxCGzIZro64efQRTZXOdEt_7eg/htmlview

Educause Higher Education Resource pages: From the primary higher education technology association.
COVID-19 Resources: https://library.educause.edu/topics/information-technology-management-and-leadership/covid-19
Online Teching: https://library.educause.edu/topics/teaching-and-learning/online-learning

Online Learning Consortium: OLC Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/about/continuity-planning-emergency-preparedness-resources/

Bleeping Computer: List of Free Software and Services During Coronavirus Outbreak https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/list-of-free-software-and-services-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

Codio COVID-19 Educator Support Package: https://www.codio.com/coronavirus?utm_campaign=COVID-19&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=84992954&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9Qck-E9dd5-X3gRy-kS82OP0lygioo-yygdaK19pAu4XXB1zohf4tB5rjOPgpu3esoVYfLnIHD1hLikJ4NQmG00ou_Tg&_hsmi=84992954

Making remote learning effective and engaging with Microsoft Education resources: Resource page from Microsoft's Education Blog: https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us/2020/03/making-remote-learning-effective-and-engaging-with-microsoft-education-resources/

Office of Digital Learning: We have already informed these folks as to what faculty members will be using their scheduled time slots and classroom to record their lecture. The fact that most of us can produce and post our own lectures is a great benefit to the university as it allows the Office of Digital Learning to free up resources for faculty members who do not normally teach online. We sent the Ofice of Digital Learning a spreadsheet listing who will be posting their own materials and who will need their support so they know what timeslots and rooms we have freed up.

Teaching Lab: All teaching labs and studios are on hiatus with no students in them at least until April 6. Further guidance will be forthcoming.

Teaching Assistants: Will be addressed later.

Exams and Quizzes: Will be addressed later.