Support for ACES Online Teaching

Faculty Support

No one expects you to be an expert right out of the gate. Start with course basics and then add the amenities later. We have compiled a list of resources that can be helpful if you haven't ever taught online. The college has put together a list of resources that can guide you in moving your classes online. Additionally, we have compiled a list of people willing to provide support.

Please note this is not an all-inclusive list of everything about online teaching. We want to help you get started without overwhelming you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Communicate with students immediately. Even if you do not have a plan in place, let students know what is going on, and that you will provide more details soon. Post a Canvas Announcement and send a message via the Canvas Inbox.

Set realistic goals for instruction. Decide on what your teaching priorities will be during the closure. What course activities must happen? What activities could be postponed or changed?

Revise the schedule and syllabus. Update the syllabus and schedule for changes needed for course content, activities, assignments, and policies. Explain how the remote class will be structured, if students need to log on for synchronous - real time sessions (and how), where they can find assignment information, and how they should submit assignments.

Add content to your Canvas course. Provide at a minimum, the syllabus, contact information, link to student Canvas/technology support, and one to two weeks of content, activities, and assignments. Add the content to Canvas as quickly as possible to provide continuation of teaching of the course.

Your students know less about technology than you think. Many of them know less than you. Yes, even if they are digital natives and younger than you.

There is a good chance they will be accessing the internet on their phones. They may have limited data. You may want to encourage them to use their laptop and a good WiFi signal when possible.

They may have many distractions, i.e., caring for children, siblings, parents; working on the farm/ranch; some of them may be sick or caring for others who are sick; the student, parents and family members have likely lost their jobs. Let's be sensitive to this!

Suggested Equipment If you do not already have a microphone or a camera on your computer you should consider purchasing one quickly. Some sources are already sold out or have limited inventory.

Getting Started:

To ease your concerns about building an online class in Canvas we suggest the following -

Academic Technology has created a short video (please excuse the lack of editing) that shows the very basics of what you need to do to get your Canvas course populated with content for your students.
Academic Technology Getting Started Video

Self-paced, slightly more detailed resources

NMSU's Online Course Improvement Program has put together a great website to help you get started teaching online or to expand your online class: See OCIP Keep Teaching. There are several tabs with great information.

Here is another good video for tips on getting started teaching online: Dr. Xeturah Woodley 7 Ways to Prepare To Teach Online

Strongly suggested NMSU workshops to register for ASAP:

- Introduction to Canvas
- Using the Canvas Gradebook (if you have not already been doing this)
- Student Groups & Collaborations in Canvas

Here is a list of the archived Canvas workshops that Academy Technology has already done.

Canvas also has great video tutorials.

Open Labs:

Instructional Innovation & Quality (OCIP & AT) along with members of the Teaching Academy will be offering ONLINE open labs and ONLINE consulting starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020 from 8:30am – 11:30am and 1:30pm – 4:30pm.

Options for Lecturing:

If you choose to continue to conduct lectures, ACES strongly recommends using Zoom for both Synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions. Zoom is now integrated into Canvas and is available for all instructors and students throughout the entire NMSU system.

Zoom in Canvas (This is specifically for academic courses and student organizations)
Learn more about using Zoom in Canvas for online course delivery using synchronous video communication at Academic Technology - NMSU Zoom in Canvas. Zoom in Canvas can be used for course lectures, office hours, and private meetings with individual students. Quick Start Guides for using Zoom in Canvas are available for faculty and students now. Please check the NMSU Zoom in Canvas page frequently as new resources are being added every day.

Zoom use outside of Canvas
Information about the other ways that NMSU Zoom is being used outside of Canvas for administrative meetings, large webinars, and telehealth is available at Academic Technology - Zoom at NMSU.

Suggested Help Links
- Host Strategies
- Attendee Strategies
- Suggested Settings for Zoom Events (Reduces Party Crashers)

Zoom has a lot of other good tutorials.

Another suggested "free" tool is Screencast-o-matic, for capturing your computer screen (which could feature PowerPoint slides, videos, etc.). You can also choose to include a video of yourself as you record.

Testing Security:

If you are concerned about testing security there are several tips or best practices to reduce cheating. First, organize questions into test banks and select the option to have the questions presented randomly ( Learn More About Test Banks).For example, if you want to have students answer two questions about one subject, select 5 of them from the test bank, and have CANVAS assign two of them to students at random. This makes it MUCH harder for students to work together, because they are unlikely to get the same exact test as a peer. Similarly, you can have answers to multiple choice questions shuffled. This option randomizes the answer choices for each question. This means that no two students will see the exact same answer choice order for multiple choice and multiple answer question types. However, if there are multiple choice questions that include an "all of the above" answer option, then you may not want to shuffle answers ( Learn More About MC Questions). If you are using test banks from a textbook publisher, change the wording slightly on the questions so they can't easily paste them into Google. In example questions, changing the name of the person in the example is one fast way to make the questions harder to locate online.

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor can be used to add an additional layer of security.

Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot:

If you're stuck in a situation where you need a Wi-Fi connection, but can't get it anywhere else, chances are your smartphone can give you the boost you need. By setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can turn your phone into a source for internet that laptops, tablets, and other phones can use.
It may sound complicated, but you can be connected with just a few taps. Most of the major carriers offer tethering services, though your ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot depends on your service plan and data allowance.
Directions to set-up a mobile hotspot for both IPhone and Android.

Need More Help?

There are many good brief video tutorials for Canvas, Zoom, Screencast-o-matic and other software tools. Try searching for your question or concern online. You may be surprised at all the great resources. If you are still overwhelmed or want help on a more personal level please consult the ACES Personal Support list. These faculty have committed to help ACES get courses online through this pandemic.