Emergency Course Continuation Resources
- Information Systems has prepared a page with more recommendations. See IT Resources for Working and Teaching Remotely.
Read this first: Preparing for the Inevitable? from the Center for the Advancement of teaching. This gives a nice perspective on how to choose your strategy. This is important before you choose your tools.
University faculty and students have access to many tools that may be useful in the event we must teach our classes remotely. We encourage faculty to plan more than one approach in case not all students have good internet connectivity.
The Instructional Technology Group recommends the tools on this page for your consideration as you plan for emergency continuation of your courses. We are happy to assist all College Faculty as they prepare.
What are your trying to accomplish?
Organize content, schedule assignments, give quizzes, share grades. Our learning management systems are your starting point.
- Read about Canvas below.
- If you have not used Canvas and are already familiar with Sakai, feel free to continue through the semster and summer.
Live video conferencing. Meet with your class face to face, share your screen.
- WebEx is our long-standing standard. See below.
- Zoom is newly licensed. Faculty may email email@example.com to request a license.
- Google Hangouts Meet (formerly Hangouts) is another alternative if the WebEx and Zoom get overloaded.
- Softphone via WebEx Teams
Distributing course materials
- Canvas is a good choice for documents.
- Google Drive is good for not only documents, but also images and video.
- Narrated PowerPoint is the easiest solution, with no additional software to install or learn. Window’s Camera app and Mac’s PhotoBooth also provide easy recording with tools already on your WFU laptop.
- Camtasia is a fantastic tool for creating and editing video. Camtasia has more of a learning curve than narrated PowerPoints, but it is much more flexible. See below.
- VoiceThread allows audio and video feedback from students. See below.
For most faculty, Canvas will be the centerpiece of their course continuation strategy.
This is the place you can organize your assignments, accept student homework, grade homework right within Canvas, and integrate many other tools from WebEx to Google Docs to WebAssign.
- Canvas.wfu.edu is the starting place for all things Canvas at Wake Forest.
- Tips and tutorials for many of the most frequently asked questions can be found on this site under the ITG Tips and Tutorials category on this site.
- Lots of offerings of the Canvas Training Workshop can be found at the Professional Development Center site.
Below we have identified several handy Canvas resources from around the Web.
Handy Canvas Tools for Academic Continuity
- Inbox (communication)
- Chat (communication)
- Google Drive
- Office 365
- Cisco WebEx (also see above)
- Files (not great for video files, use Google Drive)
- Canvas’s master list of video tutorials
WebEx is the University standard for video conferencing.
- WebEx can be used for synchronous (live) class meetings, individual conferencing, small group conferencing, and screen sharing*. Sessions can be recorded for subsequent review or for asynchronous viewing.
- When using WebEx during a campus closing, prepare for the possibility that not all students will have good internet connections. This might preclude their participation in a live class session, but they would be more likely to be able to slowly download a recording of the class later. Some might visit a neighbor or business regularly to download class materials.
- Be sure to test screen sharing of your materials in advance. PowerPoint works reliably, but we have found a few instances where software does not work well when presenting in Webex. Try to do a dry run in advance.
WebEx tutorial from Cisco
Help.wfu.edu WebEx resources
- Using Webex at Wake
- Set up Webex on a mobile device – Webex site URL
- Other Webex articles on help.wfu.edu
ITG site WebEx resources
- Virtually Meet for a Class Session
- Webex practice: Log in as yourself and a demo user for practice
- 3 Webex Personal Room Tips
- Other tutorials (some a bit dated)
WebEx Teams (Softphone)
See the tutorial on setting up WebEx Teams to be able to use your office phone number at home.
Visit WFU Information Systems’ Zoom page for the latest instructions.
- For anyone requesting a Zoom account, they should visit software.wfu.edu/zoom and follow the steps listed.
- To use Zoom after you have your license, go to zoom.us and click “Sign in.”
- Choose “Sign in with Google.” If you have more than one Google account, select your wfu.edu account and sign in .
- You should see a screen that says “Welcome to Zoom.” Choose “Create account.” Then you should be logged in to wakeforest-university.zoom.us/
- Click on “Profile” and confirm your “Basic info” is “Licensed.
- Make sure you add any additional tools by clicking profile>settings to add them or to turn off items that you do not want but are turned on by default.
We recommend LinkedIn Learning tutorials to get started.
All students are eligible for the base (free) Zoom license which includes the ability to participate in any meeting and to host a meeting of three or fewer participants for up to forty minutes. If a student has a need to host a meeting(s) that exceeds the capabilities of the basic license, they can reach out to the Service Desk to receive a Pro license.
Class section Google Groups
The university automatically creates a group email address for every class. It is updated as students add and drop. You can use this to email the entire class or to share Google Drive files or even entire folders with your class. For more on class Google Groups see Google Groups for classes (Faculty FAQ).
Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides
Class sharing of files (google and non-google formatted files) and collaborations – +both synchronously and asynchronously.
Don’t forget the collaborative abilities of the Drive tools that also integrate with Canvas:
- Google Docs – word processing like MS Word
- Google Sheets – spreadsheets like MS Excel
- Google Slides – presentations like MS PowerPoint
When sharing video files, remember that viewing online is not immediate; it takes time for Google Drive to prepare the video for viewing. This could take up to hours depending on length and resolution.
- Be aware that on a few occasions the conversion does not work, and you will need to re-upload to try again.
- Also, files need to be in MP4 format. Google Drive will not process a video file for viewing if it has a .TS extension; just rename the file with an .MP4 extension.
If closed captions are needed, use YouTube to generate captions automatically, then manually correct. See Accessibility: Editing your YouTube video’s captions.
Google Hangouts Meet
Finally, Google Hangouts Meet is a video conferencing / online class alternative to WebEx and Zoom.
Did you know you can record an audio narration right within PowerPoint? While Camtasia allows the creation of much richer lecture video lectures, a narrated PowerPoint has the advantage of comparably small file size. This may be important for students who have poor internet connectivity.
Camtasia is a relatively easy to use video editor, especially useful for capturing your screen as you lecture. Faculty and Staff can download Camtasia (choose Mac or Windows version) at software.wfu.edu.
Record yourself with your laptop microphone and/or camera while simultaneously and capturing computer screen activity. You can cut any mistakes, add text boxes, arrows, etc. and then export as an MP4 file, suitable for sharing via Youtube or Google Drive.
Video tutorials for Camtasia:
- Lil.wfu.edu (LinkedIn Learning)
- Log in with your WFU credentials.
- Search for Camtasia tutorials using keywords for your version (currently 2019) and Mac or Windows
Videos you upload to YouTube are automatically captioned for you after a few minutes, and your audience can choose to turn the closed captions on. Here are instructions if you’d like to edit / correct any errors. Tutorial: Accessibility: Editing your YouTube video’s captions,
Would you like students to be able to respond to online lectures? Voicethread provides an online discussion centered around digital files – PowerPoints, Word documents, pdf files, image files, audio and/or video clips.
Access your WFU account here: wfu.voicethread.com/
- VoiceThread Basics 1 – Upload, Comment, and Share
- VoiceThread Basics 2 – Groups and Secure Sharing
- VoiceThread Basics 3 – Moderating Comments, Private and Threaded Replies, and Copying
- VoiceThread Basics 4 – VoiceThread and Your LMS
- More VoiceThread tutorials
VoiceThread is also integrated with Canvas. You can create VoiceThread graded assignments within your Canvas course. Here’s how: https://itg.wfu.edu/blog/canvas-voicethread/