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Keep Teaching


Welcome Online, Faculty!

get teaching
KEEP TEACHING  is redesigned to help you build a complete online course. We encourage you to start with the end in mind as you design your course for online delivery. Doing so will ensure you maximize the learner experience; leverage technology for greater engagement and efficiencies; and limit complexity for both course instructors and students.

To optimize KEEP TEACHING, we encourage you to use eCampus. In the spirit of backwards design, the best practices contained within this guide will be the same best practices you will employ as you begin to design and facilitate your courses in Canvas. 

 

KEEP TEACHING - At a Glance

  1. Discover best practices for online teaching and learning.

  2. Design a quality online course with our easy-to-use tools and checklists.

  3. Integrate strategies to help you facilitate your online course once the semester starts.

  4. Create a cohesive communication plan to help your students navigate the online learning environment.

  5. Select learning technologies that complement your course design.


If online course design and facilitation is new to you, start with the “Quick Start” video in each section below. We also integrate time-saving sample content that we encourage you to modify to meet your needs.



Learning Technologies

We encourage you to use the step-by-step guides below to learn the mechanics of the learning technologies Texas A&M University supports. In time and with practice, the learning technologies we use for online teaching and learning can fade into the background. Texas A&M University supports and encourages the use of the following learning technologies:  


Additional Learning Technologies Supported at Texas A&M

Texas A&M University currently supports the following learning technologies. The Office for Academic Innovation promotes learning technologies that integrate into Texas A&M University’s Learning Management System as a way to optimize the teaching and learning experience for both course instructors and students. 



Accessibility & Learning Technologies

Learning technologies can support academic accessibility in an online learning environment.
 


Guide to Teaching with Zoom

Teaching with Zoom


 

Five New Zoom Features to Enhance Teaching & Learning at Texas A&M


PowerPoint or Keynote as Virtual Background 
Meeting hosts and participants can select a PowerPoint or Keynote file to use as a virtual background and move through the slides with the left and right arrows. 
  • FIND THIS FEATURE under Share Screen in the advanced options (Windows and macOS).
  • Learn more here.



Custom Gallery View
Meeting hosts can customize a virtual class seating arrangement. This feature locks the gallery into a fixed configuration that will not shift when a new person speaks or enters the meeting. As host you can choose to deploy the custom gallery view to all meeting participants.
 
  • FIND THIS FEATURE by clicking and dragging any participant video to the location on screen you want. As the host select View, then Follow Host's Video Order to deploy your custom view to all participants.
  • Learn more here.



Spotlight a Video
Meeting hosts can spotlight up to nine participants for the entire meeting, creating a custom, focused group view that is visible to the entire class. This feature is ideal for a group of students to present to the entire class or to spotlight guest speakers.
 
  • FIND THIS FEATURE by hovering over the video of the participant you want to spotlight and select and select Spotlight for Everyone. Spotlight additional participants by repeating and selecting Add Spotlight.
  • Learn more here



Pin a Video
To keep a participant's video from disappearing, meeting hosts and participants can pin a participant’s video. This is a useful feature if a participant needs to focus on a particular participant who may not always be speaking. 
 
  • FIND THIS FEATURE by hovering over the video of the participant you want to pin, select  and select Pin Video. Pin additional participants by repeating.
  • Learn more here.



Improved Background Noise Supression
Remove distracting noises that can be picked up by participants' microphones by adjusting background noise suppressions by choosing to enable Low, Medium, High, or Automatic background noise suppression.
 
  • FIND THIS FEATURE selecting Settings under your Zoom profile, select the Audio tab, and select the drop-down menu next to Suppress Background Noise to change the setting.
  • Learn more here.


 


Guide to Teaching with eCampus

Teaching with eCampus

Creating a Module in Ecampus



Additional Online Resources

 

Classroom Technologies


First Look at Fall 2020 Classrooms


Getting Ready for Fall Classes

step 1 pre-schedule synchronous class

Step 1: Pre-Schedule Synchronous Classes in Zoom (before class)

ZOOM integrates into Canvas and eCampus and allows for real-time engagement between students and content; students and professors; and among students. We encourage you to use ZOOM in your preferred LMS  to improve the student experience in your online course. You and your students can easily access ZOOM from within any course in Canvas or eCampus from the course navigation on the left-hand side of your screen
 
    
Schedule Zoom Meetings in Canvas    Schedule Zoom Meetings in eCampus 
(5 min)   (5 min)


step 2 know your classroom space

Step 2: Know Your Classroom Space (before class)

  1. Become acquainted with the technology in your classroom by attending one of the Faculty Open Houses.
  2. Practice with the technology so that you feel comfortable navigating the in-room resources and equipment settings.
Available equipment will include (but not be limited to) cameras and microphones in all traditional and non-traditional spaces. Settings for monitors, screens, whiteboarding, and lecture recording may be different across campus faciliites. There will be A/V staff available at all classroom facilities as well as Instructional Media Service (IMS) staff available to answer your questions. The contact information will be visible on the cover of the resource binder located at each lecturn. 
 
view of classroom from faculty / instructor perspective  view of classroom from student perspective
   


step 3 Login to Open Access (OAL) computer with your Net ID.

Step 3 (in class)

Login to Open Access (OAL) computer with your Net ID.

**If You Are Using eCampus/Canvas**

Login to your respective Learning Management System (LMS). Once you are within the LMS, meeting links to join Zoom sessions and live content being recorded via Zoom in the classroom will be available within your course in either eCampus or Canvas.


step 4 launch zoom

Step 4 (in class)

Launch Zoom.
Hit "Record" before lecturing.
After lecture, clicking on "End Meeting" to end the recording and archive it. This link to this recording will be accessible on the "Cloud Recordings" tab.  
 
          
Accessing Zoom Recordings in Canvas   
(2 min)    
 

**If You Are Using eCampus/Canvas**

Everyone enrolled in the course can access ZOOM cloud recordings from the ZOOM link in eCampus or Canvas. Links will include anything that was recorded, including any shared screen content, presenters and an audio transcript. The transcript is automatically embedded within the video and accessed by clicking on the Closed Captioning (CC) button on the video player.

Best Practices in Instructional Design

for Online Teaching and Learning


Below are 5 best practices for online teaching and learning. You will find these best practices integrated into the tools we provide throughout KEEP TEACHING. We encourage you to take these into consideration to optimize the online learning environment for you and your students. 

Canvas Connection

Canvas Connection

The following 5 best practices are agnostic of the learning management system and technology. Gains you can make now will carry over as you transition to Canvas and be supported by its tools and features.  
 


 

   Design an Online Course


Designing an online course creates an opportunity for you to plan what you want your learners to experience. This section will provide resources to help you:
  1. Map your online course so that you create alignment between course objectives, assessments, and instructional materials.
  2. Organize your course content into modules.
  3. Utilize a Course Design Checklist to guide you through the course design process. 

Course Mapping 

Course mapping is a helpful exercise to outline alignment between a course’s learning objectives, instructional material, and assessments. Course mapping assists with project management as you design your online course; reveals gaps in your course design; and allows you to apply learning technologies that augment your course design. Download the course mapping tool to guide your online course design. 

 

Organizing Content into Modules  

A module is a sequenced collection of subject-related materials designed to teach a topic or skill. Modules are the building blocks of an online course. Modules are most often associated with time (one week), although they can also be organized by book chapter, theme, or any other organizing principle you wish to apply to your online course. 

 

5 Step Guide to Creating an Online Module

Course Design Checklist

checklist

Now that you have considered the nine steps to quality course design, created a course map, and organized your content into modules, we suggest you apply the Course Design Checklist to ensure you are optimizing the online teaching and learning experience for you and your students. 


The Course Design Checklist contains nine foundational items (think of this list as your quick start), Universal Design for Learning principles, and applies pedagogical best practices to help you elevate the quality of your online course.

 


   Facilitate an Online Course


The way you design your online course will determine the role you play once the course goes live. This section will provide resources to help you:
  1. Hear what students had to say about Keep Teaching at Texas A&M University during Spring 2020.
  2. Learn how to transform your learning activities into opportunities for online engagement.
  3. Plan for the time commitment facilitating an online course will take you (as motivation to design your online course prior to the semester starting!). 
 

Transform your Learning Activities into Opportunities for Online Engagement 

A well-designed online course creates both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for learning and engagement to occur. Synchronous teaching affords the chance for real-time learning encounters in which students, course instructor(s), content, and technology come together in a single place for a single purpose of instruction. 

We recommend you utilize Zoom to create formal and informal opportunities for real-time interactions with your students.
  • Formal: Try lecturing synchronously via Zoom, using the Share Screen feature to show your slides.
  • Informal: Hold online office hours via Zoom to provide a time and space for students to ask you questions and receive feedback in real time.

 

 

Plan your Time Commitments as you Facilitate your Online Course 

While your physical presence in a course adds richness and value to the student experience, you will want to pace your visible presence to ensure you can balance engaging with students with other time constraints placed on you as you teach online.

    Communicate

 

Planning your communication strategy and aligning this strategy with the tools in eCampus will build in efficiencies while transforming student learning and your students’ overall experience in your class.  This section will provide resources to help you:
 

  1. Prepare your students for online learning by communicating expectations.
  2. Transform communication challenges into opportunities for a more robust online learning experience. 
  3. Discover communication tools and modify the sample communication to use in your online course. 
  4. Communicating effectively in the classroom while wearing a mask. 

Preparing your Students for Online Learning

Your communication strategy not only keeps students in the know during the course; but if properly planned, you can encourage positive behaviors. Clearly articulating your expectations will help you facilitate and your students engage in your online course. 

Communication Tools

Your communication strategy not only keeps students in the know during the course; but if properly planned, you can encourage positive behaviors. Clearly articulating your expectations will help you facilitate and your students engage in your online course.

 

Sample Email Templates

The sample email templates can be modified and used as a tool to quickly communicate information, particularly when you find yourself receiving multiple inquiries around the same topic.   
 

 

Communicating about Zoom and Zoom as a Communication Tool 

We encourage you to use the Zoom tool integrated into eCampus / Canvas to set up your reoccurring class meeting time. This will create one centralized place for students to find the Zoom connect URL.


Sample Communication about Class Meeting via Zoom: This course will be meeting via Zoom. Take the time to familiarize yourself with it by thoroughly reading all of the materials and the step-by-step instructions found here.  You may also choose to use Zoom on your mobile device (phone or tablet). We encourage you to use your camera so that we can foster a sense of community in class. 

Canvas Connection
Zoom Meetings can be scheduled from within a Canvas course. Both course instructors and students will access the Zoom for Canvas tool from the left-side navigation for the course. The landing page shows information on upcoming meetings and previous meetings, as well as a list of cloud recordings, which will help students stay organized.
 

eCampus Communication Tools
eCampus has several communication tools. These include Email, Announcements, and Zoom. Discussions can also be used as part of your communication strategy. We recommend that you use the communication tools in eCampus as a way to centralize information for your students.

Announcements can be used to notify students about important events, course logistics, assignment due dates, and up-coming exams. Announcements are retained in eCampus and can be emailed directly to students.

Online Exam Proctoring

Texas A&M University is working to support four avenues to promote academic integrity when administering online exams: 



Proctoring with Respondus Tools


Proctoring with Honorlock's Automated + Live Pop-In Tool


Faculty- Supported Live Online Proctoring with Zoom


Zoom Proctoring Center - Coming Soon!



You are also encouraged to consider alternative assessment strategies where applicable.
 

Please note that the options provided below are in lieu of alternative live proctoring services.
 

TAMU Online Proctoring at a Glance

 
  respondus.png
Type of Proctoring Restriction of
Software on Computer
Record and Review Automated with
Live Proctor Pop-In
Live Proctoring Live Proctoring
Requires Exam
be in LMS
Yes Yes Yes No Coming Soon!
Canvas Training
Resources
Coming Soon! Step-by-Step Guide (PDF) Proctoring with
Honorlock Canvas
 
(Video)
Proctoring with Zoom
PDF Guide
 (No LMS)
Coming Soon!
eCampus Training Resources Coming Soon! Step-by-Step Guide (PDF) Proctoring with
Honorlock eCampus
 
(Video)
Coming Soon!


*Does not work on a Chromebook
 



Getting Started

Online Proctoring Options

Online Exam Proctoring with Respondus Tools

Texas A&M has enabled Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor in Canvas and eCampus.

 


Online Exam Proctoring with Honorlock

Honorlock’s Live Proctor Pop-In is the industry’s first hybrid between automated and live proctoring. 

For a comprehensive list of student FAQs, please visit Keep Learning where these are being curated. 

How Honorlock Works:
  • With the Live Pop-In feature, artificial intelligence (ai) runs in the background and notifies Honorlock’s proctors of any suspicious activity or noted inconsistencies with the testing guidelines.
  • Live proctors then enter an analysis window where they view the student taking the exam in a one-to-one setting and determine if this warrants interrupting the student’s session. 
  • Once in the student’s exam session, the live proctor can further assess the situation and speak directly with the student. The proctor works with the student to correct the deficiency.
    • If academic dishonesty is suspected or apparent, the proctor requires the student to immediately stop that activity, and the course instructor is contacted directly via email with the student’s name, timestamp of the incident, and a brief description of what occurred at that time.
    • For all other violations, the student’s session is marked with an indicator that a pop-in occurred. In situations in which the ai raises a false flag, the proctor dismisses the notification and does not disturb the student.

By performing these functions, Honorlock helps to save course instructors time by reducing the number of false flags that need to review once students complete the exam.  This can also prevent the student from having future incidents within the exam and guide the student to take the exam within the parameters and guidelines set forth by the course instructor.

Honorlock in Canvas

Honorlock in Canvas

 

Canvas - Proctoring With Honorlock

 

Canvas Training with Honorlock 

 

 












 

Honorlock in eCampus

Honorlock in eCampus

 

Blackboard Training with Honorlock 

 

eCampus - Proctoring With Honorlock




















 

Known Limitations of eCampus + Honorlock 




Zoom Online Proctoring at Texas A&M

Getting Started Proctoring with Zoom

Zoom is a tool that can assist in live proctoring exams. Below is a step-by-step guide that includes best practices and recommended settings for using Zoom to live proctor an exam. Please take note that best practices are based on One-Device and Two-Device options.  (See also PDF download of Proctoring with Zoom)
 

Zoom Proctoring Advice from TAMU Faculty



For another comprehensive look at best practices used at Texas A&M, watch How to Proctor Exams in Zoom - A Texas A&M Faculty Panel Discussion on Best Practices

 


Best Practices in Ensuring Academic Integrity when Creating an Exam in LMS

There are several recommended best practices available within Canvas and eCampus that can assist with academic integrity. These best practices apply to creating an exam with or without the proctoring solutions provided above.

The Canvas Quizzes tool and eCampus Test tool allow for random question and answer choice distribution to minimize cheating.
 


 

Guide to Alternative Assessments 

Alternative assessments aim to assess what students know and how they can apply that knowledge. Rather than focusing on a correct answer, alternative assessments explore the process and reasoning behind the response. Alternative assessments are also called "authentic assessments" because they provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world applications of their knowledge and skills.