Notice: Important information about COVID-19 here.

Remote Teaching

Remote Teaching

The current situation with COVID-19 has necessitated a move to remote learning.

Unforeseen issues related to facilities, infrastructure, weather, or health risks can result in course cancellations and adapting teaching techniques. The following information will help the University Academic community continue teaching during these interruptions.

This site will guide you for getting started and includes:

  • Alternative options for course delivery.
  • Technology-enhanced strategies.
  • Communicating with students.
  • Distributing course materials.
  • Assignments.
  • Meeting online.
  • Where to go for extra help.

Many low tech approaches can be used, such as everyday tools like email, which are reliable and sufficient to accomplish your educational goals. Many in-person teaching practices have comparable online alternatives.

First Steps

Determining your approach to teaching at a distance and communicating this with your students should be your first priority.

  • Determine when, where, and how course material will be made available to students. Once you’ve decided, communicate this to your students using the Class Notes portal.
This portal has been set up specifically to ensure that all instructors can provide information to students in their classes regarding their planned teaching methods. Students will login to the portal to find out how you are proceeding with course material and classes. Please access the Class Notes portal at the top of the page.
  • Let students know which method you plan to use to communicate with them, and how often. This includes communicating any alternatives to in-person office hours.
  • Check with your department, unit, or Faculty for guidelines or expectations regarding classes. Assessments to replace invigilated final exams are of primary importance, and your Faculty colleagues have valuable ideas to offer. 
  • You will need to modify your Syllabus to spell out any changes you plan to make to your assessments. Again, your Faculty will provide guidance with this.
  • UR Courses can be used synchronously or asynchronously, depending on how you would like to use the tool for assisting with teaching.

Read the tips for quickly preparing to teach remotely, compiled by the UBC.

In addition to these tips, pay attention to the following vital human considerations:

  • Communicate... Communicate… Communicate. 
  • Help the student feel like there is a real person out there in cyberspace who is there for them.
  • Don’t panic if things are messy.

Recommended Tools

UR Courses

UR Courses provides a convenient and secure way to communicate and exchange materials in an environment that many students are already familiar with. 

  • To log into UR Courses, visit urcourses.uregina.ca or click UR Courses on the University’s home page. Use your uregina.ca username and password, like you would for MicroFocus or GroupWise.
  • If you are not currently using UR Courses for this semester and wish to do so, please login and complete the Faculty Course Request Form.
  • If you have not previously used UR Courses, urcourses.uregina.ca/login refer to the instructor guide, where you can learn more about how to add content, the communication features available, and assessment options.
  • We have a community with expertise that will provide you with the resources you need to ensure that you are supported at each step. Training sessions are offered by the Technology Learning Centre (TLC) on the 5th floor of the Education Building (ED 548).
  • The TLC will hold in-person Drop-in sessions to assist instructors anytime between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, March 17th to 20th, in ED 548.
  • The Flexible Learning (CCE) Instructional Design Team will be hosting virtual drop in session by Zoom -https://zoom.us/my/ur.remote from March 17th to 20th from 7:30am to 7:30pm and March 21 and 22 from 9am to 4:30pm to help answer UR Courses and Zoom related questions when shifting courses from face-to-face to remote delivery. No Zoom host account is required to access the virtual sessions but you will be required to download the Zoom app when prompted. A device with a microphone will be required for the drop in.
  • For additional UR Courses and Zoom resources please see the following:
  • Manuals and other resources are also available online from the TLC's UR Courses Resources site and the UR Courses Instructors guide.
  • For features or changes you'd like to request, or for issues regarding enrolment, course restoration, guest accounts, and other more technical considerations, please submit a UR Courses ticket.

Zoom Video Conference

Zoom enables you to host audio/video web conference meetings directly from your desktop, laptop, or UR Courses class site. Hosts can schedule and invite students and others from outside the University community to attend meetings.

Zoom includes features such as multiple screen-sharing, host and participation tools, chat, and options for saving the recording at the end of the meeting.

In addition to desktop software for PCs (Windows, Linux, or Mac), apps are also available for iOS and Android devices.

When you access a Zoom web link for the first time, if Zoom is not already installed on the device you are using, it will prompt you to download and install the Zoom software.

Most laptops have a webcam, speaker, and microphone built-in. Zoom can also be used on mobile phones and tablets. If you need to use a desktop computer and you do not have a webcam on your system, it is possible to connect by phone, but long distance charges will apply.

The importance of a good quality headset and microphone, and a suitable location with appropriate lighting should all be considered when broadcasting.

Note on Zoom audio: If you have any audio problems when connected to Zoom from a computer, mute your computer audio and also connect to the same meeting on your mobile phone or tablet. Zoom works well on mobile devices, as the audio will come through your phone to you and others will be able to hear you speaking. You can be connected to the same Zoom meeting with more than one device, so you can keep your computer connected as well for screen viewing and sharing.

There are two main approaches to choose from in order to host your classes using zoom:

 1. Use a Zoom Virtual Classroom to Host (Doesn’t need a zoom account)

If you don't have a Zoom account and are not familiar with Zoom we have set up 'Virtual Zoom Classrooms' for each physical classroom on campus. You and your students can meet in the Zoom Classroom that corresponds to your usual physical classroom at the usual time you would normally meet. This model also works well for those not using UR Courses. For this approach, please see the Virtual Zoom Classrooms link (https://www.uregina.ca/remote-teaching/zoom-room.html) at the top of the page for more information and instructions.

If using a Zoom Virtual classroom, you may want to consider having some indicator, a small sign within the video frame somehow, to minimize the chance of students being in the wrong room.

All Zoom Virtual Classrooms are Pro accounts with the ability to host meetings for longer than 40 minutes.

2. Use Your Personal Zoom Account to Host (or create one)

  • A free basic Zoom account allows you to host meetings of up to 40 minutes in length. If you don’t have a Zoom account, you can create a free Basic account at https://zoom.us. It is recommended that you use your 'first.last@uregina.ca' email adress as your username.
  • If you have a basic account and the Zoom meeting ends after 40 minutes, you can can re-start the meeting and ask students to rejoin, for another 40 minutes.
  • If you have a Zoom Pro account, the meeting time is not limited to 40 minutes.
  • Within your Zoom account, you can schedule and host your meetings yourself for any existing class times. You can communicate this to your students by sending an email or posting a link in the Class Portal or UR Courses. It is highly recommended that any meetings be scheduled within the bounds of the usual class time in order to avoid any conflicts for students.
  • Within UR Courses, you can add the Zoom activity to your course. You can choose to create a recurring meeting room that can be accessed at any time, or schedule individual class meeting times specifically. See Zoom Integration resource through UR Courses
  • It is also recommended to record your meeting and save it so that you can make it accessible to your students after the class ends.

Zoom Security Advisory

Recording and Uploading a Zoom meeting
  • We recommend selecting the “Record on this computer” option when you click on the record button in a meeting. The Zoom Cloud can be used, but is seeing significant use right now, so meetings recorded in this manner may not be available in a timely fashion.
  • Students do not need to create a Zoom account in order to access the meeting and/or recording.
  • When you are finished meeting, choose the “End meeting for All” option to stop the meeting and end the recording.
  • A popup window will show the status of the video as it is converted. Once finished, you will prompted to save the video to the default Documents\Zoom directory on your device.
  • The next step is to publish the video file (zoom_0.mp4) to a video hosting service in a secure manner so that students in your class can access it.

Recommended choices for uploading Zoom recording (.mp4)

  • UR Courses using Kaltura CE. See Kaltura CE Integration resource through UR Courses (the 32 MB file size limit does not apply when using the integration).
  • YouTube (unlisted not public). YouTube is accessible on any device and provides closed captioning (CC) for those students that need this.
    Note: If any copyrighted material is used in recordings, YouTube may reject your video upload.
    Note: Video upload length is limited to 15 minutes unless you 'verify' your YouTube account (link is on YouTube page when you are logged into your account)
  • You can use other video hosting services like Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox but these files are larger to download for students with slower Internet connections, and do not provide closed captioning and is a less secure method of transferring files.
  • Share the link with students or embed the video into UR Courses by using the Multimedia Filter. The filter will replace the link with an embedded player. More information is at: http://urcourses.uregina.ca/guides/instructor/filters#multimedia_filter
Resources:

Instructions for installing, using and recording in Zoom

Recommended for Uploading Videos

Hosted Online Video

If you have a device that can record video, you can use an online video sharing site such as YouTube to post and share your lectures.

YouTube allows videos to be uploaded as unlisted so that they are not available through search and can only be accessed if you have a direct link to the video. This link can be shared with your students directly through UR Courses, email, or other messaging applications.

For information on how to privately upload a video to YouTube, please check out the YouTube Help site.

If you are using UR Courses, media can be uploaded to the Kaltura instance that is hosted on campus. For more information see: https://urcourses.uregina.ca/guides/instructor/kaltura

File Sharing

There are many options for sharing documents online. Class notes or other files can be shared by sending a link to students via email or another messaging program.

  • The University hosts FILR, located at https://filr.uregina.ca.
  • Login with your usual uregina.ca credentials.
  • FILR will allow you to share a file with anyone as long as you have their email address.
  • FILR also allows you to see who has viewed the file.
  • Further information on how FILR works is available on the Information Services Website.

Non University of Regina solutions are also available: Google drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox

Archer Library

  • If you need access to print materials, you can ask us to digitize that material via our Quickfind system or our Online Digitization Form.
  • Online Library resources are available from anywhere.You may be prompted to enter your uregina.ca username and password to accesss them.
  • Please visit the Library’s COVID-19 web page for up to date information about library services.

Pedagogical Consultation for Spring/Summer Course Planning

The Flexible Learning Instructional Design Team at CCE will offer pedagogical consultation drop ins to support instructors transitioning from face-to-face to remote delivery in the Spring/Summer 2020 semester.

Drop ins will be on the following dates and times and will take place in Zoom - https://zoom.us/my/ur.remote. (Note: Download the Zoom app when prompted and use any device with a microphone).

March 30 to April 3

  • 9 am to 10 am

  • 12 pm to 2 pm

  • 4 pm to 5 pm

During these times, IDs are available to offer pedagogical support in areas such as synchronous and asynchronous content delivery options, communication/interaction, student engagement, assessment and pedagogical uses of technology tools such as UR Courses and Zoom.

Instructor Resources

For additional information and support, follow the Support navigation at the top of this page.