Lessons Learned from Week 1 Remote Instruction

Lessons Learned from Week 1

About

A review of key lessons learned and recommendations from UCI's first full week of teaching and learning remotely in spring, 2020.

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Intellectual Property and Privacy Concerns

  • All instructors retain the copyright and ownership of all materials they produce during this remote instruction period, including recording of lectures.
  • Student privacy and rights are important to consider during remote instruction, especially when it comes to the video presence of students in Zoom, and recording of lectures.
  • A number of faculty have discussed the challenge of balancing privacy concerns with recording lectures for accessibility purposes (for students that for valid reasons can not attend a  synchronous lecture). Depending on the course/material, here are some suggestions. Please note, these will not work for everyone, and we encourage faculty to continue to collaborate to find appropriate solutions to any local challenges.
    • Use this moment to explicitly discuss the security and privacy protections in place with your students before beginning your recording.
    • Record the bulk of the session, but as appropriate, do not record particularly sensitive moments. Then, record a separate “summary video” that protects individual identities, but provides students that could not attend with a sense of the conversation and points that were made.

Virus Surge Planning

  • It is important to plan for the worst case scenario where you, as the instructor, are sick for an extended period of time and unable to access your course.
    • One recommendation that many units are following is to have every instructor grant a colleague full rights to their course/Canvas space. This individual could then provide access to a substitute instructor if needed.
  • It is equally important to realize that most students will likely miss part of the course due to the virus. In a world where absences are the norm and not the exception, many of our standard policies and practices only increase workload and stress from both the instructor and student perspective.
    • It is a good time to double-check policies from these perspectives and adjust as needed. Note that this supports the importance of videotaping lectures so that they can be supplied to those who miss classes for virus-related reasons.

Assessment Planning

  • When planning assessments, it is worth thinking carefully about alternate assessment modes and creative proctoring solutions.
  • When considering remote proctoring, make sure to take the following steps:
    • TEST ALL TECHNOLOGY WELL IN ADVANCE WITH THE CLASS - this is true of all the technology you plan to use!
      • Do a test run with all of your students to ensure they can access the tools and resources you will be using.
    • For remote proctoring, only Examity and Respondus are approved for use at this time based on privacy issues and data sharing agreements.
      • Be aware, there are some known issues. At this time, Examity is unable to provide live proctors, and neither works with Chromebooks. Keep this in mind if you plan to use either software.
      • The use of ProctorU at UCI is limited to UCOP ILTI courses and not available to other courses.
    • Zoom is a potential option for remote proctoring. However, it is critical to follow protocols to protect student privacy, as with remote lectures. This may mean it is not a viable solution for all students in your class. Please test ahead of time.

Technology Issues

  • Tip from a faculty colleague: When recording videos, test your microphone set-up for sound quality on your video output. Depending on your location, the standard microphone in your computer may not be sufficient, whereas simple earbud microphones may improve audio quality.
  • Please make sure to review the security recommendations for Zoom that address Zoom Bombing and privacy. With the rapid increase in Zoom usage, there has been press around security concerns, much of which we have proactively addressed as a campus. Be sure to update your Zoom app for security updates.
  • There were some technical issues with YuJa this week, all of which were resolved rapidly when the help desks were made aware. Please be sure to double check our help page and fully utilize the support we are providing.
    • Note: if you are still having trouble with YuJa videos, it is most likely that your frame-rate and/or video resolution is too high for your computer to process. Lowering one or both of these should help. YuJa is fixing this.
  • Canvas recognizes that there were service issues with so many new users, and have increased capacity.
  • VPN capacity has been increased to meet higher demand. Please be aware that for many web-based applications VPN access is not needed. Only use as required.
  • As a reminder, for teaching purposes instructors are still allowed to use their office space for zoom and other remote teaching activities. This can help if your home internet is an issue. Even if the building has “closed signs posted”, as long as it is for remote teaching, you may access your office until further notice.