Remote Teaching

This page combines resources from the Center for Transformative Teaching's Keep Teaching website and resources developed by the Engineering and Computing Education Core. This page includes College-specific resources to meet the needs of the Engineering faculty to be able to teach remotely.

Get Support from the ECEC

The ECEC is available to help faculty in the College of Engineering move your courses to a remote teaching mode. We have established three support methods highlighted below to simplify the process. 

ECEC Support Channels

  1. Email Support: Send an email to the ECEC director requesting support at tareq.daher@unl.edu, send an email to the ECEC email at engr-ecec@unl.edu, or contact any member of the ECEC to schedule a consultation at https://engineering.unl.edu/ecec/staff/.

  2. Discord: Discord is a chat program much like Slack, Teams, and Skype. On the ECEC Discord server, you can find ECEC team members, resources, and discussions. You can create your account and join the server via this link.
  3. For the College of Engineering IT support regarding Learning Spaces, Duo Authentication, Zoom recording and other IT related services please visit https://engineering.unl.edu/it/. For specific resources on the use of Zoom and to help with simple video editing (eliminating unnecessary video at the beginning and end of the presentation or unwanted segments during the video) you can visit https://engineering.unl.edu/it/coe-zoom-support . Norm Schaeffer and Christopher Steffen are leading this support channel. 

Faculty peers and mentors

The following Faculty have volunteered to provide support to faculty in need of support when moving their courses to remote teaching:

  1. Jena Asgargpoor: Delivering Canvas content, assess students' learning, Canvas to communicate with students, VidGrid, Zoom, & Canvas grading. Here is a video that Dr. Asgargpoor shared to help you create content in Canvas
  2. Steven Bowen: Delivering Canvas content, assess students' learning, & Canvas to communicate with students, Microsoft Teams, & Slack.
  3. Chris Bohn: Delivering Canvas content, assess students' learning, Canvas to communicate with students, VidGrid, Zoom, document scanning, & Piazza.
  4. Kevin Cole: Canvas to communicate with students, VidGrid, Zoom, document scanning, & CATME.
  5. Daniel Linzell: Delivering Canvas content, assess students' learning, Canvas to communicate with students, VidGrid, and Zoom.

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University resources

Faculty on the UNL campus have been sharing resources, asking and answering questions, and engaging in discussions on best practices of remote teaching. Learn more at the Teaching at UNL Canvas course.

The Center for Transformative Teaching created a Keep Teaching site as a quick start guide for remote teaching, along with a general assessment guide and assessment guide for hands-on learning that provided guidance to assess students' learning remotely. 

Libraries Covid response resources

Library services have created a resource page to assist in the endeavors of both students and faculty. This includes, but is not limited to, research support, electronic materials, personal appointments with a librarian, and free access to databases. For more information please visit the Libraries and COVID-19 page.

College-specific resources

In addition to the quick start guide provided by the Center of Transformative Teaching via Keep Teaching website. We have identified a set of additional tools and resources to address the specific teaching needs of faculty in our college.

Record your lecture in one of our Learning Spaces

(Due to the closure of all campuses, currently, this is service is not available)

The COE IT team is providing remote support for faculty interested in using the Learning and Collaboration Spaces for recording their lectures. The College of Engineering supports a number of rooms for local and remote teaching and collaboration. Most rooms are equipped with computers, whiteboards, conferencing equipment, document cameras and wireless video. Currently, these rooms can be scheduled for recording lectures during the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester in both Omaha and Lincoln (subject to change). 

Before reserving a room, please review the following information: 

1) All support for recording your lecture will be remote with no technical support onsite, the IT team will be available to assist faculty by logging into Zoom or you can reach them by phone. 

2) The instructor camera will be set to a medium shot of the desk. The floors in these classrooms are marked with camera limits, so instructors know if they’ve stepped out of frame.

3) The COE IT team will be able to remotely start and stop the room systems – make the connection to Zoom and enter meeting ID.

4)  Faculty must schedule their Zoom meetings and provide the Zoom meeting ID to the IT team. 

5) We encourage faculty to reserve the rooms at least 24 hours in advance. 

Reserve a Room

Please reserve a room at least 24 hours in advance

Rooms managed by the Dean's Office may be scheduled through the CoE Room Reservation System - Lincoln Reservations | Scott Campus Reservations (PKI rooms are prefered unless all rooms at PKI are not available) 

Full details about the rooms please visit Room Details

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Announcements

We recommend you contact your class prior to the reconvening of classes to communicate about the shift to remote teaching. Clear and regular communication can help dispel much of the uncertainty students are experiencing. A checklist of important topics to address and a template for an announcement is available to view.

Virtual Office Hours

While teaching remotely, continuously providing office hours for students to ask questions, discuss their concerns, and seek advice from you is essential. There are two different types of virtual office hours:

Real-time office hours

You and your student will meet online at the same time and discuss the student’s needs. If you would like to provide this type of office hours, you will need to determine a time that you will be available online, and then communicate this information to students, as well as technology that will be used to hold your office hours.

Zoom can be used to set up virtual office hours. For information on how to use Zoom, please visit Keep Teaching website.  

Asynchronous office hours

You can use the Canvas Discussions tool to host asynchronous office hours. It can facilitate ongoing dialogue that potentially could benefit the entire class, and cut down emails from students to ask repeated questions. Here is the instruction that tells you how to use Discussions in Canvas.

No matter what type of virtual office hours you will implement in your remote teaching, you need to communicate your expectations and information regarding the technology to your students. For sample message that you can send to your students, please visit the Checklist for Class Announcement about Shift to Remote Teaching.

PDF Annotation

A lot of times, instructors would like to annotate on a document to write out ideas, visualize concepts, demonstrate equation solving, etc. It provides the opportunity for students to follow along, and be actively engaged with the content. There are different tools that can facilitate this type of activity while teaching remotely.

Microsoft OneNote

Drawboard PDF

Assignments, Quizzes, and Exams

The Keep Teaching website has information on using Canvas for assessments. Below we offer a solution for handwritten assignments.

Handwritten assignments

Did you know your students can submit their handwritten assignments on Canvas? Using a smartphone, students can scan their written assignments and submit them to Canvas. You can download Genius Scan to your mobile devices, and scan your assignment and then submit online. 

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Screen Capture Tools

For information on using the UNL-supported tool, VidGrid, visit the Keep Teaching website

Recording Videos on a Microsoft Surface

When using a Windows Surface computer, there is an option that needs to be changed for VidGrid to work properly. If you try to use VidGrid without changing the Scale and Layout options you may find that VidGrid only records a bit of the screen. To avoid that please follow these directions.

1.)  Right-click on the desktop background.

2.) Click on “Display Settings.”

3.) Scroll down to where it says “Change the size of text, apps, and other items" and it should say 200% by default.

4.) Change to 100%.

5.)  This is going to change the icons. If you have an issue with the size, select different resolutions (the recommended will always say recommended if you forget).

There may be specialized issues that you may experience as you learn to use VidGrid and the Microsoft Surface PCs. For any help, tips, or comments please contact us at the ECEC.

Back-Up Screen Capture Tools

Should VidGrid be overwhelmed or down, here are some options for video screen capture that are not UNL-supported.

Camtasia: This software can be used to record your screen or from your webcam (Mac and PC compatible). The free version is a 30-day trial. The paid version can be purchased as an annual license or for a higher one-time fee. More information and download links can be found at the company's website

 Screencast-omatic: This software can be used to record your screen or from your webcam (Mac and PC compatible). The free version has fewer features than the paid versions, and limits your video length to 15 minutes. The program can be used online without installing a program to your computer or can be downloaded for offline use (both access options available on this webpage). Information about features and pricing for the different levels can be found on this webpage.

Hosting a Live Session

For full information on hosting a live session via Zoom,  please visit the Keep Teaching website. If Zoom reaches its capacity and/or any other incidents prevent Zoom from running smoothly, there are a few alternative tools that you can consider using to host a live session.

Canvas conferences

Canvas Conferences are primarily used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and student groups. Conferences can accommodate as many users as needed, though the recommended guideline is a limit of 100 users.

  1. Create a conference room in a Canvas course
  2. Use Conferences to present the content

You may share the student guide on how to use Conference in Canvas, and the video tutorials on how to participate in an online session

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a Microsoft collaboration app that has various features to help your team/class stay organized and have conversations. It can host a team of 5000. We will use the Meetings feature to help host live sessions if Zoom was not available.

  1. Sign in Microsoft Team with your UNL credential through this link.
  2. Create a Team for a class
  3. Schedule a meeting
  4. Share your screen during a meeting. If you would like to show your PowerPoint slides, participants can navigate through the slides without interrupting the presenter.

You may share this link with your students to learn how to join a Microsoft Teams meeting.

Important Note: Currently, Microsoft Teams are only available to students who have huskers emails. Omaha-based students can claim their huskers email address to use Microsoft Teams. If you have any problems to gain your @huskers.unl.edu email, please contact the Huskertech Help Center at 402-472-3970 or support@nebraska.edu.

Discord

Discord is communication application that was designed and developed for adaptive communities and resources. Discord has also noted the challenge of faculty teaching remotely and is working diligently to support this as noted here. Discord allows you to create a server where your students can discuss concepts, collaborate, share resources, and share screens to up to 50 individuals per channel.

  1. Sign up for Discord and connect directly to our personal ECEC server with this link: https://discord.gg/SR7FxdR.
  2. Discord Quick Guide.
  3. General Support from Discord.

More guides will be created for this resource. Feel free to join the ECEC server with the link above to try out the resource and ask questions directly in the server.

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Department Support

Readiness Surveys

For College of Engineering departments interested in surveying their students and/or faculty about their level of preparedness for a shift to remote instruction, the following surveys are available for use. Dr. Markeya Peteranetz (email: peteranetz@unl.edu) is available and ready to administer the survey for you through the Qualtrics platform, or you can create your own versions in Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, or another survey platform.

Student Readiness Survey:
pdf for viewing questions or Qualtrics survey file for direct import into Qualtrics

Faculty Readiness Survey:
pdf for viewing questions or Qualtrics survey file for direct import into Qualtrics

Course Survey:
pdf for viewing questions. This survey is for individual instructors to send students to determine what remote teaching options are most viable for that class. 

ECE Virtual Resource Room

The Electrical & Computer Engineering Virtual Resource Room provides opportunities for undergraduate students to reach out to graduate students virtually for help with their homework and regular course work. For more information, please visit the ECE website

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Scott Campus Resources

Distance Classroom 

If you would like to use a distance classroom at Peter Kiewit Institute to record lectures, please contact Christopher Steffen for assistance. For more information, please visit the College of Engineering IT Support website.

Transforming Activities to Remote Teaching 

Transforming face-to-face class activities to remote teaching could be challenging because of the absence of direct social interactions, but with technologies, we can mitigate the physical distance.

We are compiling a list of activities that are commonly adopted in classroom teaching, and provide technological solutions that can help you move to a remoting teaching environment. Please visit Transforming Activities for Remote Teaching page for more information. If you couldn’t find the activities that you use in your class and would like to transform those to suit remote teaching, please contact us. We will get back to you with more information and share the solutions with the community.

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