Note: If you are uncomfortable with using videoconferencing software, you do not need to use it. If you want to use it in order to meet with them live, you may. We encourage you to encouraged to use low-tech and asynchronous methods of working with them. Both their and your access to technology may be unstable. If you have questions about how you should adapt your course, we encourage you to contact us.
When you want to talk with your students live, you will need to videoconference with them. Here is information about the technology and best practices associated with videoconferencing.
Baruch is recommending Zoom for videoconferencing with students. Zoom software is easy to access: Visit https://zoom.us/ and setup a free account with your Baruch email address.
How to run Zoom:
- Go to zoom.us and sign up with your Baruch email address. Follow their instructions to verify your email and create a login. *Note: If you receive a message that you already have an account, then try using the “Forgot password?” link and creating a new password.
- Login to your Zoom account (and save your login information).
- You can use Zoom from either inside your Browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.—Chrome seems to work well) or download it to your computer to use as a separate app. Stanford University has made aconcise guide to using Zoom on your computer.
To Setup a Live Zoom Session with Your Students:
- After you’ve logged into your Zoom account, find and click the “Meetings” tab on the home screen. Click “Schedule a New Meeting.” This will create a live meeting for the time you specify.
- Follow the instructions to create a Meeting for the time you want. Do not click “Required” for registration, so students can access the Meeting more easily.
- Once you “Save” the meeting at the bottom of this setup screen, you will be given a web address (URL) that you can copy and paste in an email or message to students.
- Email your students that web address link/URL. Students can go to that address to join a videoconference meeting with you. They do not need to have Zoom to do this.
To Prerecord a Zoom Session for Students to View Later:
- After you’ve logged into your Zoom account, find and click the “Meetings” tab on the home screen.
- Create a Meeting just as you would above, but don’t invite your students to it. Join the Meeting and press the “Record” button.
Important: Though Zoom can Record any meeting, you MUST get the permission of ALL of your students before you record a full-class Zoom meeting. Until then, use the Record function only for instruction that you pre-record.
Encourage videoconferencing etiquette.
Ask students to mute their microphones when they are not speaking, and unmute them when they want to speak.
If a student is cutting in and out, this means their internet access may be running slowly, or they are “lagging.” If this is the case, tell the student this is happening and ask them to pause and try to chime back in after the next speaker or in a minute or so—so that they can troubleshoot the situation while you keep teaching.
Use the “Chat” function to field questions.
One risk of online instruction is that it may run an easier risk of feel less focused than the classroom setting. To maintain a better sense of focus on what’s going on with the class, ask students to ask their questions (the questions they might ask if they raised their hand) in the “Chat” function during times when it would otherwise interrupt you or another student. Make sure to pause during your class to ask, “Does anyone have a question?” and include asking them to chime in and converse with each other.
Practice having them speak with each other. Use the “Breakout Rooms” function on Zoom if you feel comfortable with it.
Transitioning between your speaking to them and their speaking to each other—on Zoom but also through other communication, so they have a built-in student support group. The “Breakout Rooms” function on Zoom allows you to orchestrate small group meetings from a bird’s-eye view. For more information on this function, visit Zoom’s support page.