All University classrooms are now equipped so that students and faculty can participate in classroom sessions remotely, in-person, or in combination. Watch this short video demonstration of the new “remote ready” features of University classrooms or this video demonstration of the entire teaching station for more information.
In addition to the permanent multimedia in 116 rooms, 12 portable OWL systems provide portable remote, hybrid or in-person videoconferencing for smaller seminar room areas and other rooms where permanent fixtures are less practical. Four audio, conferencing and video setups offer complete remote system setups for alternative spaces not normally considered as classrooms, such as large meeting rooms or even some protected spaces out-of-doors.
Several options exist at Furman for effectively delivering content in hybrid flexible environments. Instructional technology and learning management systems can be utilized to engage students collaboratively, regardless of their specific mode of course engagement. For specific ideas about how to utilize many of these resources in your classroom, check out the information available here.
Below is an overview of some of the instructional technology that we recommend you utilize for your FurmanFlex instruction, ordered by the level of enterprise-level support provided by our ITS colleagues. As you consider the technology best suited for your needs, please remember:
At Furman, every student is automatically enrolled in Moodle courses and each faculty member is encouraged to utilize the learning management system as a “hub” of online course material. In Moodle, you can ask students to:
One of the best options for holding virtual synchronous class sessions is to utilize Zoom. As of July 2020 Furman has a site license for Zoom, which means that all Furman faculty, staff, and students have access to a Furman Zoom Professional account. If you do not yet have a Zoom account, please contact Susan Dunnavant to obtain one.
The Zoom interface, for example, includes video conferencing, a chat window, screen sharing, and whiteboard features that make virtual learning highly interactive. Students join via a link you provide. For a comprehensive guide to educating through zoom, including tips on how to get started, instructions on setting up remote class sessions, and information about how to record videos or class sessions and utilize interactive features like small group breakout rooms, visit here. Professor of Classics Chris Blackwell has these tips for utilizing multiple devices to facilitate FurmanFlex instruction through Zoom. A full list of Zoom video tutorials and frequently asked questions is available online and don’t forget to consider how to make your Zoom sessions more inclusive.
Zoom Operation Notes:
Upload course readings, create collaborative work space, and invite students (or student teams) to annotate documents with questions, connections, or links to resources that provide more detail in Box. These documents can be directly linked in Moodle. In Box, you can set up folders for specific purposes (e.g. in-class group work), and then share that folder with all the members of your class (or post a link to the folder in your Moodle course). If you’ve shared the folder (or the link to an openly accessible folder), any of your students can create and edit shared documents in that folder. There are both word processing (word) and spreadsheet (excel) options within Box. Box also has features allowing for collaboration on documents via Microsoft Office 365. For more information about how to use Box at Furman, click here.
Integrated into your Microsoft system, Microsoft Teams allows you to chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in one place, no matter where you are. Resources for exploring and utilizing this resource are available here, including a recorded workshop overview of the platform and a “Quick Start” guide.
Once a team is created (you can create teams for each of your courses), you can allow members to collaborate on group projects, set up video class meetings with up to 250 people and access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real time. Teams also has a Real Simple with Pictures feature that allows you to play video with virtual meetings, or the Stream app can be used to show longer films and videos that can be shared with specific groups. A host of end-user tutorials for Teams are available here. To access Teams from your Outlook web browser, click on the grid in the top left-hand corner of your browser that says “App launcher” and select Teams. From your desktop Window menu, click Start. > Microsoft Teams.
Email can be an interactive and effective low-tech tool for online learning when needed. You might, for example, invite students to email you a non-conventional reading response that is short and non-replicable. For instance you could ask students to:
If certain types of synchronous interaction aren’t available because of increased demand or if internet access is limited altogether, you may want to have email distribution lists developed for each of your courses as a back-up.
The Furman Lightboard Studio is a resource for faculty and students, which provides a space for creating instructional videos and supplemental materials for class. Lecture capture, student project support, screencasting help, and other requests are supported. The Lightboard allows lecturers to write on a board while facing their students. It significantly improves lecture capture by eliminating the problem of the whiteboard, which requires instructors to turn away from their students to write. There is also little to no post-production, so the process is quick. Watch the short video below for a quick Lightboard demonstration.
With a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, OneNote for Education is another free learning platform with numerous options for asynchronous interaction. Furman faculty have access to OneNote for free, but you will have to manually add students and set up rosters. For more information about OneNote, contact Jenny Colvin.
A simple and easy way to record lecture material for online access involves the development of recorded presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint. Narration can be recorded for each individual slide, you can advance slides to correspond directly with the pace of your lecture, and students can start and stop recorded lectures as necessary for review. For step-by-step instructions about how to record and save PowerPoint presentations, visit here.
Please note that if you have users with Chromebooks, you should save your narrated PowerPoint slides as MP4 files, not as “powerpoint show” files or a regular PowerPoint file as students with Chromebooks will not be able to open the narrations if they aren’t MP4 files.
Camtasia is a software suite for creating video tutorials and presentations directly via screencast, or via a direct recording plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint. The software is pre-installed on several computers in the Duke Library. For assistance with Camtasia, please contact Jean Schwab.
If you’d like to facilitate small group interactions in a digital environment, Whatsapp and Marco Polo both allows students to create group chats where they can send and listen to short recordings using their cell phones. Small groups of students could create a group chat that includes the instructor, and then use the recording feature to have a conversation with each other. The instructor can listen to the conversation and then record feedback if desired. For questions, consult the Marco Polo FAQ or the Whatsapp FAQ.
The Duke Library has a podcasting room where there is some audio recording equipment (and soundproofed walls!) that can be reserved here. Choose “Audio Recording Studio” in your reservation. The room is to the left of the IT Service Center. The Duke Library also offers many additional instructional services, including Scan and Deliver and resource digitization to support your online learning practices as copyright law allows. For more about these services, click here.
WordPress is a free and open source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL that allows the user to create a professional blog with ease. Confluence wikis allow you to develop a website that facilitates collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users. For more about WordPress features click here and for details about getting started with a Confluence wiki click here. If you’d like more information about these technologies, contact Susan Dunnavant.
Sometimes you don’t need to create a full lecture or instructional video, but just want to put together a short video clip. In those instances, several tools like ScreenCast-O-Matic, Snagit, or Vimeo might support your instructional needs.
For a comprehensive database of specific technology, online platforms, or applications, visit here. Some of our favorites include (click on icons for a direct link):
Primary Use: Asynchronous virtual collaborative document annotation. Click here for information about using Perusall in Moodle.
Primary Use: Real-time virtual collaborative group work Click here for a Beginner’s Guide to Using Padlet.
Primary Use: Real-time virtual polling, quizzes, or live group response. Click here for a quick instructional guide for Mentimeter.
Primary Use: Virtual concept mapping. Click here for information on how to get started with MindMeister.
Primary Use: Online video message boards. Click here for details about how to get started with Flipgrid.
Primary Use: Create and display interactive text, maps, and multi-media. For a brief tutorial on StoryMaps visit here or contact Mike Winiski.
Primary Use: Virtual whiteboard that allows you to share, download, and create whiteboard groups for digital real-time collaboration.. Click here for details about how to get started with Whiteboard.fi.
Have other resources you’d like to share with your colleagues? Please send us a brief message here!