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Spring 2020

General Resources

Initial principles from Jack:

First, communicate with your students that you are working on developing your course so it can be delivered online, and they will be able to complete your class this semester. Your students need to hear from each of their instructors. We should aim to try and ease the anxiety and concern they are most certainly experiencing. Give them confidence that we will all get through this together. You can explain that this is a developing situation and we are all working to provide reasonable solutions to complete the semester.

Second, we want to do the best we can in the time available to deliver online courses, but we all need to understand it is virtually impossible to provide a first rate online experience in the time available when we are starting from scratch. Thus, do the best you can, but realize that it is not going to be perfect. 

Third, I will repeat my message from yesterday. These are unusual circumstances that we currently find ourselves dealing with. We will all move forward and we will all learn more as the days go by. This is a evolving situation. I highly encourage everyone to support each other and help each other get through these challenging times.


Pamplin IT Resources from Jim:

Working Remotely -

Technology Instruction Recommendations

If you lecture or plan on having longer periods time of instruction without interaction, focus on recording and posting in canvas. Concentrate your live/synchronous live with discussion, Q&A, and the interaction portion.

Explore the Canvas discussion boards, chat, and group settings. These can have similar effects to some of the synchronous techniques.

My office is here to assist, just put in a ticket at and we can try to talk through some options.

Pamplin Studios are Open

We have setup a handful of recording studios in Pamplin Hall. Some faculty will like the easy to use setup and it still gives you the feel of standing in a classroom. These can be used for your live classes as well. Once you make a reservation we will be in contact on who you want to use it.

There are two flavors, both have computer, cameras, and microphones:

Flavor 1: Large 27” Wacom Tablet. This device can capture hand writing on top of most MS Office products (Excel, PowerPoint, etc). It can also emulate a whiteboard, but digital, so the students can actually read it.

Flavor 2: Utilizes the Documents Camera in Classrooms. We rewired so these can get fed into Zoom or Desktop Capture. If you use this in class, don’t change your pedagogy, let just do what you normally do and record.

You can make a reservation to use the studios. We have 75 minute session blocks. We can help you get started and then start recording:

We will add more time blocks as they fill up.


We have hardware if you need it.

  • MS Surfaces/Fujistu Tablets - if you want to use a tablet for capture your handwriting.
  • Webcams with Microphones

Recording and Processing Times

As more and more start using Zoom, the Cloud Recording processing time seems to be increasing. If you are just doing a meeting with just yourself to record a class, you can record to you computer and then upload the mp4 file into Kaltura at, this can expedite the waiting time.

VPN Usage

VPN is NOT needed for canvas, zoom, banner, google drive and most other products. In the College of Business, our largest use-case is the Departmental Network Storage. If you do not need the VPN, please do not use it. We need to keep it open to accommodate those who do need it.  

Remote Assistance

My office can still support you remotely, please include a good number to reach you. If you need ANY assistance, please put in a ticket. We are pushing through them as quickly as we can with a limited staff.

I will be adding more links and references here: in regards to working remotely and continuity of instruction. 


TLOS Continuity of Instruction site:



Chronicle of Higher Education Articles:

Moving Online Now -


SSD Contacts:

If you are unsure or would like additional assistance, contact Michael Brown, associate director, at<>.

Contact SSD at <> or 540-231-3788 for general questions about reasonable accommodations or to refer a student for services.


Going Online Webinar Series submitted by Cindy:

I wish to forward to you a useful link suggested by Cindy Easterwood regarding a 45 minute webinar from an Accounting Professor at Kent State related to giving Exams online. If you wish to skip the webinar but view the slide deck, there is also a link to that option. Please note that both links are very subtle to see. They are in the third line under the title once you enter the page. Thanks Cindy.

You can get to both links here


Initial Recommendations from Jean:

It's very difficult to provide a high quality online course in a short period of time. There's a big difference between recording a video and creating a resource students find useful. There just isn't the time to think about how to structure components, obtain the hardware and software, learn the technology, record the video, edit the video, annotate the video and publish the video. If students don't find the video useful, they won't watch it. So faculty could waste precious time trying to get up to speed with Camtasia.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to do online just as there are a lot of ways to do live. I would not recommend preparing video because I think it is really hard and really time-consuming to produce quality video. Rather than thinking of this as moving online, I would suggest approaching it just like we did April 16: here are the parameters, let's be flexible and do the best we can to finish the semester.

1. I would encourage faculty to get creative with technology they already know. For example, if you use PowerPoint during lecture, think about annotating those slides with voice and posting ppt files to Canvas so students can work through lecture. If you teach from notes, share them. If you have used discussion boards, think about structuring office hours or group assignments with this or other Canvas collaboration tools. Don't underestimate the power of text posted in Canvas. And you can accomplish a lot with email. Use what you know.

2. Contact your publisher. Lots of books have author videos. One week should be plenty of time to post links to these resources. Since you won't be in class to work problems, consider posting solutions manuals or perhaps annotating and scanning solutions to help students with that experience. Think about restructuring or replacing existing assignments to take advantage of those publisher extras that never seem to fit into your course.

3. I would encourage faculty to get comfortable using Zoom. VT 4Help has great documentation for Zoom ( but I learned the most by logging in as host on one computer and student on another. Zoom is fairly simple but I have used it in several different ways.

First, Zoom is my go to for office hours.
Second, if faculty must lecture online, rather than recording videos with Camtasia, I would suggest lecturing live via Zoom. Faculty with large classes should request Webinar access from VT 4Help. Students will be more understanding about goof-ups in a live delivery; they have a higher standard for pre-recorded videos. If you use PowerPoint, you simply share your screen. If you have a tablet, you share your screen and use the tablet like a chalkboard. If you wish, you can record your live Zoom lecture, then learn Camtasia or Kaltura over the summer and start editing these Zoom videos for future use.
Third, students can meet via Zoom without us if you have group projects.
Fourth, I plan to use Zoom to proctor my exams the rest of this semester. I don't recommend this to someone just getting comfortable with Zoom because it is labor-intensive and tech-heavy 
but I tested my procedure over Winter Session and I am comfortable helping students resolve technical issues without being able to see their screen. I would be happy to conduct a Zoom meeting to demonstrate my proctoring procedure with anyone interested. I am hoping the University will finally provide a proctoring solution for us. Again, some publishers have their own testing system and some offer proctoring (at a cost).

5. Whatever you choose to do, document it clearly and concisely on the Canvas home page. It will save a ton of email.


Webinars from AAA:

Expert Webinars from AAA Colleagues Now Available for Teaching Online Classes


Temporary Grading Policy PPT from France:

New Grading Options.pptx

Faculty FAQ from Provost:

Faculty FAQ


Lecture  Resources

Zoom Lecture Points / First Bullet from Steve's Initial Recommendations:

1.) Lectures should be conducted by Zoom.
a.) Create recurring meetings in Zoom for your class times. Send the link in an announcement via canvas to students.
b.) When you start the meeting, share your screen, select record the lecture to the cloud, and proceed with your lecture. You can ask students to enter questions into the chat or allow them ask questions via audio. Video should be disabled both directions to provide bandwidth.
c.) When the meeting is complete, go to your My Media Gallery to find the video. Edit the video to include the minimum information to allow it to be published, i.e., description, department and college. After editing, Publish the recording to the course media gallery. Now students will have access to the lecture online in case the missed class.

Update on Zoom Recordings from Chenaye Blankenship:

 Zoom is reporting longer than usual turn-around times (24-48 hours) for rendering RECORDINGS of Zoom session that are set to be stored in the cloud.  This does NOT affect live Zoom sessions.  Zoom has been installing new hardware to increase capacity, so it is hoped that this is a temporary issue.  If you need access to a Zoom recording more quickly, you can choose to set the Zoom meeting’s recording setting to: “on the local computer”.   Note that this option requires that your computer remain on while the video is being processed, and once completed the video file will need to be manually uploaded to Canvas, Kaltura or other locations to be shared.  Instructions for uploading video to Canvas or Kaltura.

Suggestion from Jean:   If you save your Zoom recording to your computer as suggested, which is what I do, you also need to make sure you have enough memory for the file.  Otherwise you could start recording your meeting and find out at the end of the meeting that you can't save your recording.


Course Materials

Digitizing Course Resources from VT Library:

Newman Library has assembled a team for digitizing textbook and course materials for you to make use of for your online courses. I'll be sending an additional email out momentarily for those of you who have placed personally-owned items on course reserves, this is more aimed at textbooks that are owned by Virginia Tech's libraries.

You can submit your requests here:

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to reserve@vt.eduUniversity Libraries will order multi-user ebooks for course materials when available. Please contact Ellen Krupar, to check to see if your textbook can be purchased. If a book you use in a course is not available as an ebook, we will make every effort to provide your students with a scanned copy of the print book. Please use this form to request a scanned copy of your course materials. We will provide you with .pdf files to put in Canvas or another course site. We can also help with streaming rights to films, where available. Note: This form is intended to provide access to course materials to students during remote teaching. Journal articles or books needed for research purposes should be requested through ILLiad.

Digitized versions should only be made available to students currently enrolled in the course, and should not be available after the end of the Spring 2020 semester.

Digital Resources from Pearson:

As you make the transition to online classes, we understand that many of your students will need to switch from printed to digital versions of Pearson materials. We are committed to helping you with this, with several ways to ensure your students can access these materials at no additional charge for the remainder of the term.

Free Digital Resources from Cengage:

As announced last week, for students at U.S. colleges impacted by COVID-19, Cengage is offering free access to all our digital platforms and 14,000 ebooks through Cengage Unlimited for the remainder of the spring semester. For faculty moving to online teaching, we are providing personalized 1:1 training and support, self-serve resources and webinars. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 support page.


Assignment Resources

Second Bullet from Steve's Initial Recommendations:

2.) Assignments should be submitted through Canvas.
a.) For detailed assignments with limited questions and responses you can use the quiz function. For writing assignments students can submit a word or pdf document.
b.) Create a discussion forum for each assignment where students can ask questions versus emailing you directly. Be sure to answer questions in the discussion every day. When you get emails, copy the question to the discussion and answer it there.
c.) Try to maintain your normal grading turnaround.

Case Discussions from France:

Describes how France is converting her case discussions to online implementation for the rest of Spring.


Chat Box Conversations shared by Carissa:

This resource is essentially a Q&A session that was taking place online in the chat box during the faculty meeting.  The file is time stamped so it is hard to read but several questions about Canvas utilities and basic procedures regarding various types of assignments were addressed. 


Using Google Groups from David:

Every class has a Google Group assigned automatically to it. These could be used as a email backup to distributing content out to the students. You can find the group names through the faculty access tab of Hokie Spa. It is listed as "View Class Section Google Groups" under the Faculty & Advisors Menu.


Exam Resources

Third Bullet from Steve's Initial Recommendations:

3.) Exams should be conducted through Canvas.
a.) You should use the exams you were already planning. Depending on the number and types of questions, it will take time to enter your exam into the Canvas testing tool.
b.) Exams should be timed consistent with your in-class practices.
c.) Use the lockdown browser and remind students the honor code applies.

Using Publisher Test Banks with Canvas from France:

Most textbook offer as instructor material a QTI version (or moodle) of their test bank. These can be imported into Canvas easily.  Within the course settings, Import course content (right), content type: file.  This will create a test bank. Under quizzes tab, click the three dots top right and Manage Question Banks.  When creating quizzes, you go into Quizzes à Questions tab à create a questions group and there you can link directly to the question bank you imported or just some questions are you desire. 

Extending Canvas Quiz Time for SSD Students from France:

If students need accommodation for SSD testing. Once you have created the quiz, you can use Moderate this Quiz (top right within quiz you created), use the edit (pencil) for the given students. There you can add extra minutes or extra attempts on a student by student basis.

General Canvas Quiz Suggestions from Jean:

If you have a need to randomize questions or copy questions enter quiz questions into a Quiz Bank rather than a specific quiz.  Then you setup the quiz and tell it to pull the desired number of questions from the bank by selecting New Question Group.

When students go online, they might need more flexibility in scheduling.  You can set a time limit for the quiz so everyone has exactly the same amount of time to complete the quiz but you can also set the availability dates so they can take there

If you choose to display one quiz question at a time, leave Quiz Instructions blank unless you want the instruction to display above each and every question.  If you have instructions that you want displayed before the first question, set it up as the first 'question' using type "Text (no question)".  

Lockdown Browser (LDB) is used to limit the student to viewing only the quiz while the quiz is open.  It also prevents them from printing or copying their screen.  By itself, LDB doesn't do a whole lot, but in combination with Respondus or Zoom proctoring it may be helpful.  To initiate LDB, go to Settings, Natigation and Enable LDB.  Then select LDB from your main course menu.  You will see all the quizzes you have created.  Select the down arrow next to the desired quiz, then select Settings.  I usually select Require LDB, Allow ipad and Standard Calculator.

General Thoughts about Respondus Monitor from Jean:

What I like most:  
1. very easy to setup
2. although many students were apprehensive at first, most quickly became comfortable with the product
3. no need to schedule exam times with students
4. thumbnails provide at least as much insight as flagging and they are quick to review

Advise for faculty:
1. Try it out before you introduce it to students.  I learned the most by logging into one computer as the teacher and a second computer as a fake student.  I took a brief quiz as a 'good' student.  Then I took the quiz a few more times trying various scenarios so I could get a feel for how the flagging worked and where students might have difficulty.
2. Setup a sample exam so students can try it out before exam day.

General Instructions from VT 4Help:

Respondus Monitor Demonstration Videos from Jean


Office Hours Resources

Confidential Office Hours from David:

Jim Dickens suggested that we should use Zoom. But, for office hours we should have all students be put into a waiting room. That way, the host can control who and how many can come into the meeting at a time. More information can be found at:

Open Office Hours from Jean:

If you don't get a lot of confidential questions during office hours, you can use your personal Zoom room to hold open office hours.  If a confidential question pops up, you can create a Breakout Room on demand.  Breakout Room is one of the buttons on the host's Zoom toolbar.  Use the manually assign option.  Then select the Participant you want to chat with and assign them to the breakout room.  Breakout rooms are a separate virtual room where only the people in the breakout room can see and hear you.  You cannot be in the breakout room and your personal room at the same time using only one computer so be aware that anyone left in the personal room will be there without you until you return from the Breakout Room.