Attendance – M. Wood, P. Sheridan, Y. Widenor, G. Stowe, R. Krawiec, J. O’Brien, J. Lodi-Smith, A. Butera, R. Foster, S. Clark, M. Gallimore
Due to the campus closure, the committee met through Zoom.
Discussion of Online Teaching in Spring Semester
The chair opened the discussion about shifting the classes to online instruction and working remotely in general. Here are some comments in no particular order
- Zoom got better reviews than Google Hangouts. While free, the video quality with Google was poorer than Zoom. Zoom also had more controls for the moderator. Scott Clark reported that the Zoom licenses are paid out of his office’s budget. The cost has been about $12,000 for the year. Zoom has been very good to work with with flexible pricing. If more licenses will be needed, the cost is pro-rated and the contract does not have to be negotiated. The same is true if less licenses are needed.
- ITS has provided lockers for pick up of equipment such as webcams, tripods, keyboards, mice, monitors, and other accessories. The pick-up has been arranged through the helpdesk.
- Student tech. needs have been filtered through the Griff Center who determines the need of the student.
- Apps Anywhere has worked well with many non-licensed software being available to students, faculty, and staff. Matt Gleason arranged work-arounds for certain disciplines like CSC that need specific versions of software like python.
- There was a comment that D2L email function is clunky, which is an issue that is more relevant since email is a key form of communication while teaching online. One suggestion was to use the list-proc’s for the class.
- The committee was in agreement that faculty and staff should be commended for the successful transition online. In general, colleagues pulled together and supported each other.
Updates from COLI
Mark Gallimore shared the following items
- Facebook group to support online teaching, which was created by Jonathan Lawrence, has been very helpful.
- In the future, Mark plans to create tutorials about online learning for students similar to what exists for faculty.
- He plans to create more templates for getting started with online teaching.
- He recommended that faculty think about remote teaching for the Fall semester for the subgroup of students who are unable to return to campus.
Updates from ITS
Scott Clark shared the following items
- ITS capital budget will most likely be constrained next year. He asked that faculty consider alternatives to licensed software and that computer replacement be reserved for dire cases.
- Printer upgrades are going forward. The printers were delivered and are awaiting the return of staff to campus.
- The helpdesk queue system has worked well. No complaints about helpdesk response.
Ideas for Future Online Teaching
These are a few ideas discussed if the classes have to be moved online again in the 2020-2021 academic year:
- There may be the need to provide both online and in-class teaching for students who are unable to return to campus or who leave campus early. No one technology has been decided on. Faculty have discussed recording in-class lectures and posting the videos. This could take the form of
- cameras to record the whiteboard,
- recording the document cameras at the podiums
- projecting a laptop for the class and screencasting to record the video
- Future computer replacements could be laptops instead of desktops. Laptop prices have become comparable to desktops. This way, faculty and staff could easily take them home during a campus closure.
- Zoom is preferred over Google Hangouts for lecturing. There are many useful features like annotation during screen sharing, co-host permissions, and breakout rooms. Breakout rooms have been successfully used for small group work in real time. The students can share a whiteboard.
- It is recommended that faculty practice a few weeks before implementing Zoom for a class since one has to be a moderator, administrator, and instructor all at the same time.
- The college may consider making a list of accessories from trusted companies for teaching with Zoom like headsets/microphones for audio, graphics tablets for annotating during a screen-sharing and D2L grading, and dual monitors. Providing these to faculty would encourage more faculty to expand their online offerings; however, it is probably not financially possible.