Classes, studios and labs
Note: Because of the unpredictability of the pandemic, faculty should be prepared to move to remote instruction at any point in the semester.
Faculty: Answers to your questions
How should I decide which course delivery type to use?
One way to think about this decision is location. Where you want to be and where you want your students to be? If you want to teach remotely, consider online or online live. If you want to see all of your students face-to-face on a regular basis, consider in person or hybrid-groups (in person). If you want your students to have a choice about whether to come to campus or not, consider dual delivery or hybrid-groups (in person and online live). If you have a large lecture class where instruction can be delivered online but you want to see your students face-to-face for testing, consider hybrid-testing.
What’s the difference between “online” and “online live”?
Online, is one that is not scheduled on a specific day or time and does not require any face-to-face (or “live”) instruction. Instead, students register for a “WWW” section of the class, with the meeting time specified as N/A. The content of the course (recorded lectures, powerpoint presentations, links to outside resources) and course activities (discussion posts; assignment submissions) are housed in (or launched through) Brightspace and are made available to students for designated periods of time. Like any class, an online class requires regular participation and engagement by both students and the instructor; however, the online format allows students more flexibility in terms of their time management within the course.
In contrast, an online live class includes “face-to-face” interaction, albeit from remote locations. This type of class is scheduled for a specific time period. For example, students might register for a “WWW” class on TuTh 7:20-8:35 am. The class would then “meet” at this time through WebEx or Microsoft Teams (the videoconferencing software currently supported by UA), with students and the instructor joining (via computer or phone) from locations outside of a designated classroom. The instructor of an online live class will be able to present materials and engage with students in real time. He/she will also use Brightspace to house supporting materials, present and collect assignments, and engage students in group work and online discussion postings as necessary. These live class sessions will also be recorded and posted on Brightspace for students to review at their own convenience. Given the difficulties students may have maintaining their connections (and/or schedules) during this challenging time, class recordings will be an important component of the online live class.
If I offer my MWF class as an “online live” class, do I have to have a WebEx or Teams meeting during every scheduled meeting time?
Not necessarily. Screen fatigue is a real thing, so you might decide that it’s best to shorten whole-class lectures, to devote some classes to meetings with smaller groups of students, and to record short lectures on occasion for students to view independently. Keep in mind, though, that students who signed up for online live classes are expecting to interact with their instructors in real time on a regular basis throughout the semester.
What is the difference between dual delivery and hybrid?
Dual delivery streams face-to-face class meetings via WebEx or Teams, so instruction is simultaneously in person and online live. Students sign up for in-person or online-live subsections, and all assessments are given online. Dual delivery is the most responsive to pandemic conditions, as students can move to remote instruction at any time if they become ill or must quarantine.
Hybrid courses provide some instruction online and some instruction face-to-face. Students must come to campus for hybrid classes. (There is one exception: instructors may create an online-live subsection in hybrid-groups delivery).
What technology will I need to use to teach a dual delivery class?
To make the dual delivery class work, you will need to connect your laptop to the A/V setup in the classroom via a VGA or HDMI cord and an audio cord. (While these cords will be provided in the classrooms, those using Macs or other Apple products will need to provide their own adaptors.) Once everything is connected, you will turn the projector on, check the audio connection, and open up your “room” on WebEx (or Microsoft Teams) so students attending remotely can join. When you are ready to begin class, you will hit “record” and share your computer screen in order to make your course content visible to your students (both on the front screen in the classroom and on WebEx/Teams for those attending remotely). ITL will offer training sessions in July, and all technology equipment will be provided. Contact Jenny Hebert (email@example.com) for more information.
How will students be enrolled into the subsections of dual delivery and hybrid-groups?
This will be handled by the Registrar’s Office, with input from faculty. Faculty may divide the class into group themselves, or allow for student choice. Here is an example of how the process might work in a dual delivery class:
3750:100-001 with enrollment of 60 meeting T/Th would be divided into these subsections:
- 3750:100-001T, Face-to-face, Cap 20
- 3750:100-001R, Face-to-face, Cap 20
- 3750:100-001ONL, Online live
Once the schedule is finalized, the registrar will create the subsections, with the currently enrolled students in the online live subsections. Students will be able to swap to the face-to-face subsection they prefer, as enrollment caps allow.
Can a student choose to take a class remotely if they have underlying conditions that make them at-risk for COVID-19?
In these cases, students will need to sign up for courses with a delivery modality that allows for fully remote completion. These include: online, online live, dual delivery, and hybrid-groups with an online live subsection. All faculty need to be prepared to accommodate students who become ill or need to quarantine, but students who need 100% remote instruction should not take a course with required face-to-face elements.
What if I sign up to teach an online live class but then decide I want to meet with my students on campus. Will I be able to switch at any point?
No. Unfortunately, you will not be able to switch from online live to face-to-face teaching during the semester. Due to social distancing protocol, our classroom space will be limited and we will be unable to meet students on campus as readily as we have in the past.
What if I sign up to teach a dual delivery class but find that I am unable to come to campus (due to the need for quarantine, child-care arrangements, etc.)? Will I be able to switch to a different mode of delivery at that point?
Safety and flexibility will be our guiding principles this semester. If that happens, instructors will need to work with their chairs to determine the best course of action.
I want to teach my class in real time, but I don’t want to come onto campus. Which option would work best for me?
The online live option allows instructors to connect with students via WebEx or other video-conferencing software without actually meeting in person. This class is “live” because class meetings will be held on the days and time for which the course is scheduled (and for which students register).
I want to present my materials and recorded lectures online but meet with students in small groups on campus for discussion and review sessions. Which option should I choose?
The hybrid option is designed for just this situation. This method allows instructors to deliver the course content primarily online but also to bring students on to campus under limited circumstances. For example, some instructors might wish to have small group meetings each week in order to work through problems, answer questions, or review the assigned materials. Students would then sign up for a controlled-enrollment section when they register for the class and plan to attend in person as specified (A group on Tuesdays; B group on Thursdays, for example).
I only want my students to come onto campus to take their midterms and final exam. Which option should I choose?
The hybrid option would work best in this situation. Though course content could be delivered online, students would still register for a specified class time (MWF 9:40-10:30, for example). Specified course dates, then, could be used to bring students on to campus for scheduled in-person exams. To take advantage of this opportunity, instructors would need to work with the register to schedule a room that accommodates the necessary number of socially-distanced students during the assigned class (and/or final exam) time on specified dates. In other words, you need to determine now when you will be giving your exams so that the registrar can work to fulfill your request.
What if I want to give proctored exams but I don’t want to bring students on campus?
There will be options for proctored online exams available for these situations.
What happens if I’ve arranged for my students to take their tests on campus, but we end up going “remote” again?
Once again, flexibility will be key. We should all be prepared to adjust our plans as necessary in the months ahead. In this situation, then, you might consider using the available proctoring software, or you might instead develop alternative methods of assessment that do not require the same levels of supervision in order to ensure integrity.
I’ve never taught a fully online class before. If this option works best for my class, what can I do now to prepare?
Visit the Keep Teaching community site in Brightspace for details about how to develop and deliver an online class. Also, watch for upcoming ITL sessions and tutorials on Best Practices in the online classroom. DDS will also be offering several training sessions for online classes in June and July.
I had difficulty engaging students in my “remote” classes during the spring. What can I do to get them more involved when I’m teaching--in part or in full--via WebEx?
There are many “tricks of the trade” that those teaching through distance learning have learned throughout the years. ITL will be sharing these “best practices” in forthcoming workshops and tutorials.
What if a student who signed up for the on-campus section of a dual delivery class is not able to attend in person?
Regardless of which mode of delivery is being used, flexibility will be key throughout the semester. For this reason, we recommend that ALL classes with a “live” component (online live, dual delivery) be recorded (on WebEx or Teams) and made available to all students, so that those who miss a live session can “attend” class on their own time when necessary. We have to remember that students, like many of us, may be negotiating multiple challenges once again; therefore, the more opportunities we can make available to them the better.
If an instructor is scheduled to teach a synchronous online, hybrid, or dual delivery course, will they be required to provide an asynchronous option to accommodate students who are unable to attend, e.g., due to a medical condition or residing in a significantly different time zone?
If your class includes/is based on a synchronous component in which all students may participate simultaneously (online live or face-to-face), you should still record your classes and post them on Brightspace for students to view on their own time. Some instructors may even choose to run their courses as both asynchronous and synchronous sessions simultaneously (to better accommodate the needs of students). Whatever you decide to do with your “real time” class, remember that flexibility will be key in the months ahead, especially since we all may continue to struggle with connections, changing schedules, unavoidable absences, etc. During our summer workshops, we will discuss ways of using class recordings to foster the “attendance”--and engagement--of students who are not able to participate in live sessions.
Is it possible to offer testing on the weekends?
Weekend testing may be an option (depending on class availability and ability of faculty to cover all rooms involved). However, weekend testing dates would, like other on-campus attendance dates, need to be scheduled in advance and included with registration.
Faculty: Testing options
Given social distancing guidelines, everyone should be aware of the following constraints for testing space:
- The Computer Based Assessment and Evaluation Center (Schrank Hall North 152) and the Counseling and Testing Center (Simmons 304) will only be used for individually scheduled exams, prioritizing students requiring accommodations and other urgent testing needs.
- Physical Facilities Operations Center (PFOC) is working to secure as many spaces on campus as possible to accommodate 40-50 students at a time but space is limited. The registrar will try to accommodate as much on campus testing as possible for those that request it.
- Scantron exam scanning may be available at CBAE but will have at least a three-day processing delay after drop-off in order to maintain the safety of those processing them.
Consider the following options available based on the course modality chosen.
- Tests given during regularly scheduled class meetings.
- For those using the hybrid-groups modality, faculty may need to consider giving multiple versions of the test since they will not be meeting with all students on the same day.
Online testing information
- Give online exams using best practices. Check out this video for Increasing Test Integrity in Brightspace / Evaluating Student Learning.
- Use the proctoring software Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor when appropriate.
- Consider proctoring online exams using WebEx, Teams or Zoom. You may also train TA’s to proctor if you have them available in your department.
- Online tests can be scheduled on specific days and times but must be predetermined so students see it in their schedule.
- Only use proctoring for high stakes exams, not quizzes.
Whole class - on-campus testing information:
- Faculty should select specific dates when tests will be given and be aware that these dates cannot be changed once they are set.
- Testing space is limited. The registrar will try to accommodate these requests but may ask you to revise your request based on spacing capacity.
- If you have colleagues or TA’s in your department that can help proctor, then consider splitting your class into smaller groups in separate rooms at the given test date/time.
Options for testing based on modality
|Modality||Classroom testing||Online testing||Whole class - On-campus testing|
|Hybrid - whole class||X||X|
|Hybrid - groups (in person)||X||X||X|
|Hybrid - on-campus testing||X|
|Hybrid - groups (online and in person)||X|
|Online or Online Live||X|