Strategies + Tools

Here is a comprehensive list of strategies and tools available throughout this website, and we are adding/editing every day. Please note that some information may be repeated as it is applicable to multiple categories. 

Click on the strategies below for information, links to resources, and training videos that you may need to implement the strategies.

If you still need support, join one of our live video trainings or submit a request for support.

NOTE: It is a good idea to download student email addresses (in case you need to communicate with them outside iLearn). To access student email addresses follow these the step-by-step instructions.

Prepare My Class in Case of a Campus Disruption

  • Connect With Your Department

    Department administrators may have instructions or resources to guide your approach to continuity of teaching. Begin your preparation by checking for guidelines provided by your department or college leadership. This is especially important if you have unique circumstances that would not be adequately addressed by implementing remote instruction (e.g. laboratory, performance studio or field course). Consultation with colleagues also is encouraged, especially those who already have experience with many of the remote instruction technologies.

  • Post Required Materials to iLearn

    Good news! You may have already made your course content available on iLearn. If you have not, take some time to make sure your iLearn site is clear and organized and the required resources (i.e., PDFs, links to materials, etc.) are accessible.

    Keep in mind that many students may only have access to the course site on their phone or tablet, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats, and keep the file size small.

  • Practice Recording and Uploading Lectures and Hosting Synchronous Meetings

    To prepare for campus disruptions which result in face-to-face lectures being suspended, it is recommended instructors get comfortable using the technologies required to record and upload lectures and host synchronous meetings. This will help mitigate technical difficulties in the event that an instructor is required to use these technologies during a campus disruption. 

    Review the previous tab "Create a Zoom Account" or read "Offering Synchronous Lectures or Virtual Office Hours" to learn more about holding live video meetings.
    Review the "Pre-record Lecture Video" tab to learn more about recording and uploading lecture videos. 

  • Reevaluate your Expectations

    Students who are prevented from attending class due to circumstances beyond their control may not have access to campus tools or resources. Be prepared to make exceptions for these students, or to adjust your expectations or course requirements. Remaining flexible and adaptable can ease the discomfort of any course interruptions.

Teach My Class Remotely During a Campus Disruption

  • Distribute Materials and Assignments

    Good news! You may have already made your course content available on iLearn. If you have not, take some time to make sure your iLearn site is clear and organized and the required resources (i.e., PDFs, links to materials, etc.) are accessible.

    Keep in mind that many students may only have access to the course site on their phone or tablet, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats, PDFs being the most common. Consider saving other files (for example, PowerPoint presentations) to PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets, and keep the file size small.

    NOTE: Unlimited access to Ebook central holdings

    ProQuest has partnered with more than 50 publishers to support libraries in providing unlimited access to Ebook Central holdings for all patrons – at no extra charge. See a list of participating publishers here – and check back regularly, as the list is constantly growing.

     

  • Offer Synchronous Sessions or Virtual Office Hours
    Zoom

    Zoom is UCR's web-conferencing solution that offers recording, screensharing, annotation, breakout rooms, polling, and more. It will accommodate up to 300 video participants in a given session.

    Zoom Pro licenses are available through UCR, and should be adequate for instructors teaching classes of up to 300 students. See the resources linked below for how to request a Pro license.

    For classes with more than 300 students, additional webinar licenses would be needed. Each user needing to host a meeting will need to have either a Pro license assigned (if meetings will consistently have under 300 attendees) or a webinar license assigned (if meetings will have between 300 and 500 attendees).

    *See more about using Zoom to pre-record lecture videos below.

    Alternative web conferencing tools include Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, which is included with Office 365.  

    Google Meet
    Microsoft Teams
  • Pre-record Lecture Videos

    *Do not upload your videos to iLearn. You should store them in a cloud storage site and provide the link to your students via iLearn. You should also (ideally) caption your video to make it ADA compliant. There are many ways to do this, but we've provided instructions for a few solutions here.

    *You must chunk your lectures into smaller videos. You will encounter problems trying to upload large files. Remember, you don't have to use recorded lectures! There are many low-tech ways to engage your class. If you do, though, remember to chunk the information and keep the videos short. See this webinar by Prof. Annie Ditta for 5 tips for effective video lectures.

    *If you are hosting live lectures via Zoom, we recommend you post the recording for students who could not attend or had internet connectivity issues. Make sure you inform students that they are being recorded (read the Guidance on Protecting Privacy and Data During Remote Teaching Using Zoom).

    Below you will find instructions for:

    1. Recording your video
    2. Storing your video
    3. Captioning your video  

     

    1. Recording Your Video

    Using Zoom

    Before you begin
    • Make sure you have checked the option to receive an audio transcript (as this is not the default option). Log in to ucr.zoom.us and click Settings, then choose Recording on the top menu. Under Cloud Recording, make sure Audio Transcript is checked.

    • Open any documents, presentations, or websites you plan you show in your lecture. 

    Recording a session
    • Start a new Zoom meeting (with only yourself). Go to ucr.zoom.us and login with you UCR NetID. In the upper right corner, click Host a Meeting and choose With Video On from the dropdown. Once you start your session, the camera will display, along with a menu on the bottom of the screen.
    • Click the Share Screen button in the middle of the bottom menu bar (with the green arrow).

    • Applications you previously opened on your computer will display here. Click the application (e.g. PowerPoint) you want to display and then the blue Share button at the bottom right.

    • Push the Record icon on the menu bar to begin recording. NOTE: in your settings you can choose to store your recordings locally on your computer or to the Cloud. If you've already started, you can click the caret next to the Record icon to select Record on this Computer or Record to the Cloud*. (NOTE: you will only receive an audio transcript if you record to the cloud.

    • The red light appears at the upper left of the screen indicates you are recording; begin your lecture.
    • To stop sharing your screen, click the red Stop Share button.
    • When you are finished, you will click End Meeting (in red) on the lower right corner of your menu bar. You will need to wait while your video finishes rendering.

    *We recommend that you Record to the Cloud then, for captioning and/or long-term storage, download that recording from the cloud to your hard drive. You can then upload that video file to Google Drive (for storage) and use your Zoom transcript (once the VTT file is converted to an SRT file) to generate captions.

    Other Video Recording Alternatives

    There are alternatives to recording a video using Zoom. But whatever you use you must make sure that 1) the sound quality is acceptable and 2) that you upload your video to a cloud storage site so you can share that link in iLearn. 

    • Screencast-o-matic or similar tools. This is a very simple and user-friendly option that uploads directly to YouTube. See this instructional video by UCR Prof. Annie Ditta from the Department of Psychology. 
    • Camtasia or other screen recording/video editing software. If you have these tools, you can use them.
    • PowerPoint (Office 365, 2016, and 2013 versions). You can record a narrated presentation in the application itself and save to your computer. You can then upload the file to Google Drive or YouTube to share. More information on this option can be found here.  NOTE: If you choose this option, please be aware that the video/audio quality of your recording may not be optimal; it is best to record a small (1-2 mins.) sample to upload to iLearn and then play the recording to personally gauge the quality for yourself.
    • Google Meet is a Zoom-like alternative that auto-captions (captioning would still need to be reviewed and edited for ADA compliance). Please note that recording lectures in Meet is only available through July 1, 2020 and not turned on by default; place a work ticket with ITS to get this feature activated.  

     

    2) Storing Your Video

    Zoom's Cloud

    If you've saved your recording to Zoom's Cloud, you can simply share that link with students in iLearn (NOTE: it will not be captioned, but you can also share the audio transcript). 

    Note that Zoom will save your recording for only 6 months (and even that might not be guaranteed during this busy time). If this is a video you don't want to save long-term (i.e., a live Zoom recording that you are providing for students who could not attend), then this will probably work for you. If it is a lecture video that you plan to use in future courses, go ahead and download the video and store it somewhere else (e.g., Google Drive).

    Google Drive

    If your video file exists on your computer (or if you've downloaded the recording from Zoom's Cloud), you can then upload your file to Google Drive. This is our recommendation.

    1. Go to drive.google.com (make sure you are signed in with your UCR account information).
    2. At the top left, click New -> File Upload.
    3. Choose the video file you want to store. 
    4. When you're ready to share your video, don't forgot to choose "only those with link can view" (see more detailed instructions here).

    YouTube

    NOTE: You can also use YouTube for storage and captioning, but you must be mindful of both copyright and accessibility issues with that option. While we officially recommend Google Drive, here are some YouTube instructions as well.

    Create a personal channel for teaching with UCR account

    1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or using the mobile site with your UCR R’Mail account (make sure that you’re not signed in with your personal Google account).
    2. Create a Channel: Try any action that requires a channel, such as uploading a video, and if you don't yet have a channel, you'll see a prompt to create a channel.
    3. Upload video: Check the details (with your Google Account name and photo) and confirm to create your new channel. At the top right, select Create a video or post.  
    4. Select the file you’d like to upload.
    5. You can now share that link with your students. 

     

    3) Captioning your Video

    Library Staff Service (PREFERRED) 

    ​​​​If you need captioning for videos of 20 minutes in length or less, please upload your videos through our campus captioning request form (you will need to be logged in with your Net ID). We will prioritize videos for courses that have students with document accommodations, but will strive to caption as many videos as possible, given staffing levels. Please expect a week turnaround time, but it will depend on demand. To do it yourself, look below at the following options.

    CLICK HERE TO ORDER CAPTIONS

    Other Options:

    Google Drive

    If you used Zoom to record to the Cloud and hope to manually caption your video, you can use Zoom's audio transcript to do so using Google Drive. 

    1. Log into your Zoom account, find Recordings on the left vertical menu, and find your Cloud recording.
    2. To the right, under the File Size column, you'll be able to click on the files for that recording. Download the video file and the audio transcript to your hard drive.
    3. Now upload the video to Google Drive.
    4. Finally, you must convert that audio transcript file (a VTT) into an SRT file. Use this tool.
    5. Back in Google Drive, choose the video you want to caption (double click to open).
    6. Choose More Actions in the upper right corner (three vertical dots), and click Manage Caption Tracks.
    7. Click Add New Caption Tracks and select the SRT file you just create with this tool.
    8. Choose the language for the captions and a name for the track and click Upload.

    YouTube

    If you upload your video to YouTube, they will be captioned automatically. These captions, however, are not ADA compliant. You'll want to edit the captions. To do so:

    1. Go to your Video Manager.
    2. Next to the video you want to edit captions for, click the drop-down next to "EditSubtitles/CC.
    3. Click the caption track you want to edit.
    4. To change the timing, click Edit above the video, then drag the bars on the caption track.
    5. Click Publish edits.

    You can also create your own captions in YouTube.

       

      Audio only recording (Audacity)

      Alternatively, you may choose to record only the audio of a lecture.  This can be done using free software from Audacity.  Then, you can upload the audio file to iLearn.

      • Instructions for using your computer’s built-in microphone, or via a microphone/headset with a 3.5 mm audio jack.
      • Instructions for using a USB headset.

      If you want embed a link to an audio file created in Audacity rather than uploading a file to iLearn, you would need an additional service called SoundCloud to make this happen; follow these steps:

      • Create an account in SoundCloud (or log into an existing account you possess)
      • In Audacity: Export your audio file as an MP3
      • Upload the mp3 file to your SoundCloud account
      • Copy the link created by SoundCloud of your newly uploaded audio file
      • Paste/embed the link into iLearn where desired.

      Sharing your materials in iLearn

      Remember, you cannot upload your video files directly to iLearn. To give your students access to your video or audio recordings, paste the link into the appropriate content area in iLearn.

      •  
       
    1. Run Lab Activities

      As you plan to move your instruction online, remember to start by connecting with your department. Because of the uniqueness of each discipline, departments and colleges will be the best place to start. Similarly, check in with your colleagues at other institutions and share ideas, tips, and tools. While your course will certainly look much different, it can still provide a valuable experience for students.

      UCR XCITE-led Trainings 

      The XCITE team is providing instructors and TAs with Zoom and iLearn training to assist in delivering labs/arts online (see the webinar schedule and recordings). XCTIE is also available for one-on-one consultations to brainstorm solutions and provide training (email us at XCITE@ucr.edu or submit a support request). Options include:

      • Record a lab demonstration by faculty/TAs
      • Simulate/demonstrate the data-gathering experience
      • Analyze data from previous labs in previous quarters/build repositories of data from past iterations of course, or use data from literature
      • Contact your textbook vendors to see if they provide virtual labs for your course and post in iLearn
      • Students can use cameras/phones to document activities or performances and share in iLearn
      JoVE

      The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), is a video platform featuring videos that teach fundamental concepts and techniques for the lab. Via JoVE, researchers and students can view the intricate details of cutting-edge experiments rather than read them in text articles. The UCR library has added two collections of JoVE offerings: JoVE Science Education Chemistry & Advanced Biology and JOVE Immunology and Infection.

      Henry Stewart Talks: Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection

      HSTalks provides animated lectures, seminar-style talks, and case studies. Editors and lecturers are leading world experts and practitioners, including Nobel Laureates, drawn from academia research institutes, commerce, industry, the professions and government.

      For more tools and information, see: 

      Virtual Labs
      Museum Collections
      Other Considerations
      • Be clear in your instructions and expectations. Students are going to need more detailed instructions and clear expectations for assignments. Keep in mind that students may require more flexibility and understanding during this time.
      • Access to software. Identify which software your students might need, and what they have access to.
      • Ask students for feedback along the way. Check in with students to find out how these new activities and methods are working for them.
      • Hold live sessions in Zoom. You can record lectures as well as hold live sessions (or have TAs hold sections) via Zoom.

      Thanks to Indiana University, Middlebury, Harvard University, and Princeton University for help in creating this post.

    2. Assess Student Learning in iLearn
    3. Collect and Grade Assignments

      Much like posting course materials, you've likely created assignments in iLearn. If you have not, take some time to make sure your have created a place for students to turn in their assignments in iLearn. Include specific requirements, expectations, and due dates.

      Make sure to continue offering your students timely and effective feedback via iLearn. 

      Assignments
      Grading
      Grade Center
    4. Share Grades

      Use iLearn's Grade Center to organize scores and calculate totals using columns. Instructors can use iLearn's integrated tools, including "Assignments" and "Assessments," to grade and provide feedback directly through iLearn so that students can easily find out how well they are doing. 

      Grade Center
    5. Online Proctoring for High-Stakes Exams

      Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and multiple university closures, there is a rising demand for online proctoring solutions that may create an unusual strain on online proctoring service providers (e.g., ProctorU, Examity). The rising demand nationwide may result in a delay of service times over the next few weeks. For example, the creation of new instructor accounts by an online proctoring service can take up to 48-72 hours under normal, non-emergency conditions. Moreover, the current scheduling time for an online exam for a course, typically about three days after the initial request is made, may now be extended by an additional week or more. Furthermore, proctoring services incur a student “course materials” cost and students pay for exams delivered via online proctoring. Student costs can also increase through additional fees for late or urgent scheduling requests. Since additional course fees must be disclosed to students at the start of a term, we recommend not using an online proctoring service for your final exam unless the service provider and the student cost was already part of the course plan/syllabus from the start of the quarter. 
       
      It is our recommendation that UCR faculty seek different final exam delivery solutions rather than utilizing an online proctoring service. We recommend that instructors consider how to deliver their final exams and tests using the iLearn online platform or provide an authentic alternative for a final exam, such as a final paper or a final presentation. If you adopt iLearn as your testing solution, there is no wait time to administer your final exam. Your students will not need to coordinate with a third party online proctoring service.


      There are many options for administering secure and timely exams using the iLearn platform, including:

      • Password protection
      • Question and/or answer randomization
      • Timed exams
      • Force completion for students who navigate away from the exam in their browsers
      • Display one question at a time and prohibiting backtracking

      Instructors are encouraged to submit a BearHelp ticket with requests for assistance to address issues or problems you may encounter during finals week.
       
      Finally, If you still feel you need an online proctoring tools for your particular course needs, please submit a proctoring request and we will try to find a solution. 

    Communicate with Students

    • Communicate with Students (Faculty:Student)

      Communicating with your students regularly, just as you do in a face-to-face setting, will be imperative if the course is moved online for a period of time. Use the following methods to keep your students engaged and up-to-date.

      To communicate with the whole class at once, use

      To communicate with individual students, use

      NOTE: While both "Course Messages" and "Send Email" functions accomplish the same task, they are somewhat different in that correspondence sent via Course Messages remain in the "Course Messages" section of iLearn, essentially preserving a record of communication. If you use Course Messages, you are able to CC yourself to ensure a message gets sent, as evidenced by a notification email generated through iLearn. 

    • Foster Communication and Collaboration Among Students (Student:Student)

      Take advantage of the asynchronous tools in iLearn to encourage student interaction with you and with each other. Discussion boards, forums, and even social media are good ways to keep the conversation going outside class. Students can collaborate on assignments using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. You can also use Zoom for virtual office hours, student discussions, and breakout groups. 

      iLearn

      Use iLearn "groups" for student collaboration on assignments.


      Google Apps

      Zoom

      Zoom is UCR's web-conferencing solution that offers recording, screensharing, annotation, breakout rooms, polling, and more. It will accommodate up to 300 video participants in a given session.

      Zoom "breakout rooms" are multiple "spaces" within a single Zoom meeting managed by the meeting host to accommodate small group collaboration online. Students can be manually or randomly assigned to collaborate via live video while sharing screens or annotating using Zoom's whiteboard feature. 

      NOTE: While Zoom meeting hosts can assign "co-host" privileges for assistance with meeting logistics and moderation, co-hosts do not have privileges to initiate breakout rooms within Zoom.

    Other Resources and Information