FAQ for Instructors

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We have developed our FAQ for Instructors page based on feedback and questions from instructors about the remote teaching environment.

If you are unable to find an answer to your question, either on this page or on any other page within our Remote Teaching & Learning site, please contact us at CourseLink Support or complete our Consultation Request Form to set up a meeting with one of our instructional technology specialists.


Academic Integrity

Without using Respondus LockDown Browser, is there a way to prevent (or at least minimize) cheating? What are the best practices here? 

For student assignments that are submitted to the Dropbox tool on CourseLink, enabling the Turnitin integration is a good option for checking the originality of the submission and for discouraging plagiarism. For more information, visit our Academic Integrity page.

For quizzes and tests, consider taking advantage of options in the Quizzes tool, such as question pools and random ordering of questions. For support in determining the best methods for your course, please complete our Consultation Request Form to set up a meeting with one of our instructional technology specialists.

Accessibility

Do I need to caption or transcribe every video I post in CourseLink? 

Captions or transcriptions are only required if a student has a registered accommodation (i.e., student request through Student Accessibility Services SAS)); however, the majority of video services do offer automatic captioning.

Are live captions required for live classroom broadcasts? 

Live captions are not required; however, alternative formats may be requested by students as needed. Students can use tools such as Otter.AI to transcribe live lectures.

Can I use automatic subtitles in PowerPoint or Google Slides in a live presentation? 

Although both tools offer automated captioning, if recording your lecture for asynchronous access, the captions will be captured as part of the screen recording. These captions cannot be further modified and may interfere with or even contradict the captioning of the hosting service. Students should consider using Otter.AI to transcribe live lectures or you can make the video recording available through a video service—like Microsoft Stream, Zoom Cloud recordings, or YouTube—which automatically caption.

What are the best practices in terms of minimizing the bandwidth required during synchronous lectures? 

Make sure that students have disabled their video/audio. Also, beware that some web conferencing platforms behave differently in low bandwidth environments. Zoom is considered the best for these environments, while WebEx behaves poorly, and Microsoft Teams is intermediate to these two options.

Communication

I feel disconnected from my students in a remote environment? How can I effectively engage with them and increase my social presence? 

Leaving video messages via the CourseLink Announcements tool is a great way to stay connected with your students for even a couple minutes each week to touch base with them. You can also participate in discussion boards, or include a sort of "coffee shop" forum—a place for informal conversation.

It is also important to make real world connections during lecture, and to appear as genuine as possible. Visit our Communication page for more information about communication and engagement in a remote teaching and learning environment.

Grading

Is it possible to effectively create different weighting options with the CourseLink grading function? 

Yes, a number of options exist for allowing different weighting options within the Grades tool in CourseLink. These can include a formula grading system or grade item, or taking advantage of the options to drop grade items from a category in the weighted grading system. Visit the Brightspace grading system page to learn more about these options. Please note that formula grading systems and grade items require testing to ensure they work as planned.

For more information and to determine if this is the right option for you, please complete our Consultation Request Form to set up a meeting with one of our instructional technology specialists.

You can also use CourseLink's Rubrics tool to create a custom points rubric or a rubric with separate criteria groups to score different aspects of assignments with more or less weight than others, and then export that overall rubric score to a corresponding grade item. Visit the Brightspace Rubrics page for more information.

International Students

Can I provide a different quiz access window for international students or students in alternate time zones? 

Instructors have the discretion to approve revised quiz access dates and times for students who are in alternate time zones. You can add students to the Special Access section of the exam with the revised exam date and time. Please review the following resources on providing special access in CourseLink quizzes:

Alternatively, you may contact the academic assistant to the executive director from OpenEd and have this set up for you. You must provide the following information:

  • Course Code and Section (i.e. ABCD*1000 (01) F20)
  • Student name
  • Revised exam start and end dates and times
  • What version of the exam should be used (if you have multiple exam versions in your course)

If you do not approve a date/time change, students should be directed to contact their program counsellor.

Privacy

Does the University have a policy on privacy and recording virtual lectures?
The University has a Privacy & Recording Virtual Lectures policy in accordance with Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
How do I manage my recordings to prevent images of students being distributed online? What is our responsibility for ensuring student privacy? 

If you are recording a live synchronous lecture, you will need to provide your students with notice of the recording so students can consent to their likeness being recorded. Students can turn off their microphones and cameras as a step to maintain their own privacy. Videos should also only be shared within secured environments including CourseLink and Microsoft Stream.

For more information see Privacy & Recording Virtual Lectures.

Now that class lists are unavailable for students, how should they contact each other? How can I allow students to interact with each other? What are my options in terms of facilitating discussions? 

If you have used the CourseLink Groups tools for group formation, students will still be able to connect with group members via email.

The CourseLink Discussions tool is another great area for organizing student discussions and work spaces.

How can I prevent students from seeing sensitive information on my computer during online lectures? 

When you are sharing your screen, there is a 'pause sharing' option. You should pause whenever you are entering user names or passwords, or switching between sensitive tabs/windows. Then, unpause when you have the appropriate page/screen displayed for students to view.

Quizzing & Exams

What should I know about setting up my final exam in CourseLink?

In preparation for your course’s final exam, we suggest reviewing our CourseLink Quizzes for Final Exams: The Do’s and Dont's page for tips to help your exam run smoothly.

Contact CourseLink Support if you have any questions or need any settings adjusted.

When taking a quiz, are students allowed to have the CourseLink Support number written on a blank piece of paper in case something happens during the exam? 

In some cases, you may allow students to have a blank piece of paper with them for rough work during an online examination. This page could have the CourseLink Support information on it for student reference.

If the quiz is being taken with Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, the piece of paper would need to be shown by the student during the environment check. This setup may have additional consequences during the examination and flag the student when they look away from the screen to look at the allowed piece of paper. This further highlights the need to critically review any flags that appear in Respondus recordings.

Can I use Zoom or Teams to invigilate an exam or assessment that is not using CourseLink’s Quizzes Tool or a Quiz with only Respondus Lockdown Browser enabled
Yes, however there are some limitations of which you should be aware and various best practices that should be observed to improve the experience. Please review the information on our Tips for Live Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams page for more information.
What should be considered when invigilating an exam through a web conferencing platform like Zoom or Teams?
There are many considerations when it comes to remote invigilation via web conferencing platforms such as Teams or Zoom. We recommend reviewing our Tips for Live Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams page for more information, specifically the Limitations of Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams and Best Practices for Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams sections.
Can I provide a different quiz access window for international students or students in alternate time zones?

Instructors have the discretion to approve revised quiz access dates and times for students who are in alternate time zones. You can add students to the Special Access section of the exam with the revised exam date and time. Please review the following resources on providing special access in CourseLink quizzes:

Alternatively, you may contact the academic assistant to the executive director from OpenEd and have this set up for you. You must provide the following information:

  • Course Code and Section (i.e. ABCD*1000 (01) F20)
  • Student name
  • Revised exam start and end dates and times
  • What version of the exam should be used (if you have multiple exam versions in your course)

If you do not approve a date/time change, students should be directed to contact their program counsellor.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

Why is the University of Guelph using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor? 
Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor is being used to provide the University with the ability to invigilate exams and assessments remotely. This decision is aligned with the University's commitment to keep its community safe, including students, faculty and staff. 
Who has access to Respondus Monitor video and audio recordings at U of G? 

Access to the recordings is limited to the course instructor, teaching assistants, designated U of G staff, and individuals responsible for reviewing and making decisions on academic misconduct cases.

Respondus personnel does not review/analyze the recordings except as required to resolve technical problems, improve system performance, modify Respondus Monitor, and investigate violations of Terms.

What information does Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor collect about students? 
The use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor will require individual student activity to be recorded, both audibly and visually, during specific assessment sessions. Information captured includes student ID, behaviour during the assessment, and time taken to complete the assessment. 
Are third parties able to access a student's personal information from Respondus Monitor recordings? 

The University of Guelph and Respondus will not share or disclose personal information from Respondus Monitor recordings unless necessary to comply with the law, a regulation, or a governmental request.

University of Guelph student recordings will not be used for research purposes. 

How might the information collected in Respondus Monitor be used? 
The information collected by Respondus Monitor may be used to confirm a student's identity and behaviours during an assessment. The information gathered from this tool does not determine academic misconduct. Instructors use a variety of information when deciding on whether there has been an academic offence committed. 
What if students writing an assessment, invigilated using Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser, need to leave the room unexpectedly?
The University understands that there may be unanticipated events during an assessment, such as the need to leave the room. It is important that students respond to these events by stating they need to leave the environment, similar to how they would in a face-to-face invigilated environment. 
Should I provide a practice quiz with Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor enabled for my students?
It is important to insert a practice test in the Quizzes tool in CourseLink. This will allow students to test the functionality of the exam software in advance of the final exam date. The practice test should be set to unlimited attempts with access extended to the end of the course. More information about Respondus setup can be found on the Remote Teaching & Learning website.
Should I “Enable iPad” access to my Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor quiz?
This feature will allow students to use an iPad to take your Respondus-enabled CourseLink quiz. Enabling iPad is at your discretion; however, if the feature is enabled we would suggest posting an announcement to students to inform them that is iPad-enabled and encourage them to review the following Respondus Knowledgebase article: Can an iPad be used to take a LockDown Browser exam? (instructions for students)
Should I inform students that my course is using Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor in my course outline? 
It is strongly recommended to inform students that you will use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor on your course outline. An sample statement can be found on our Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor Quick Guide for Instructors page. 
I want to use LockDown Browser, but not Monitor. Is there a way I can do that and still invigilate my students while they write their quiz/exam?

Yes. When Respondus LockDown Browser is enabled, there is an option to Allow live proctoring for this exam…. Once selected, you will pick the web conferencing platform (Teams/Zoom) you plan to use to invigilate the quiz/exam and provide a Start Code that you will then make available to students when it is time to begin the quiz.

Please review the Live Proctoring of CourseLink Quizzes with Respondus Lockdown Browser section of the Tips for Live Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams page for steps and more information.

What are the technical requirements for Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor? 
  • It is recommended that Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are installed on the most recent versions of Windows, MacOs and iOS: 11.0+ (iPad only).
  • System requirements:
  • A built-in or external webcam and microphone is required.
  • Internet connection should be at least 5 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload, but this tool will adjust the video quality depending on connection speeds. Test internet speed.
  • If you have enabled students to use an iPad for your quiz, please ensure they follow the iPad Respondus LockDown Browser Instructions to successfully access and complete the quiz. 

Teaching Assistants

How do I use my TA hours most efficiently? 

This will be at the discretion of each course instructor or coordinator who is responsible for the completion of TA contracts. In the current remote delivery environment, there may be other tasks to consider for TAs, including monitoring waiting rooms and chats in live meetings, hosting online office hours, and managing online discussions in CourseLink.

Teaching Methods

Should I use synchronous or asynchronous methods for my teaching? 

Review our Lectures page, and its resources, to determine which option is best suited for your scenario.

If you are still unsure, please complete our Consultation Request Form to set up a meeting with one of our instructional technology specialists.

I am using synchronous methods in my course. How do I support students who do not have access to streaming video? 

It is recommended to record live lectures and then offer them asynchronously after the fact. This accommodates students who have an unreliable Internet connection, allowing them to review the parts of the lecture that they may have missed, as well anyone who may have been unable to attend the lecture live.

Review our Accessibility Tips for Alternate Class Delivery for additional options.

I am using synchronous methods in my course. How do I support students who are not able to attend due to technology/time zone differences/other obligations? What are the best practices here? 

Consider posting the recorded files of your synchronous lectures, along with transcripts. If possible, consider posting audio only versions of your lectures as well.

I have a large class and need to create groups. How is this best managed? What tools are available? 

The best method for this will be determined by your pedagogical goals, class size, and the tools you wish to use.

For support in determining the best methods for your course, please complete our Consultation Request Form to set up a meeting with one of our instructional technology specialists.

How can I avoid large waiting rooms? 

Add .uoguelph.ca and .guelphhumber.ca as allowed domains within the Zoom Waiting Room Options settings. This allows students who set their Zoom email with their institutional email accounts to bypass the waiting room.

More information can be found on our Using Zoom: Account Settings Best Practices page.

Please note that students will need to have their Zoom accounts set up with their institutional email addresses before joining. They may reference the Zoom for Students: Create and Use a U of G Zoom Account page for more information on how to create an account with their U of G or U of GH email address.

Is it possible to share audio-only files from synchronous lectures? If so, which platforms allow this? 

If you are using Zoom, once you have finished recording a lecture to your computer, and you end your meeting, an option to download an audio file (which is an audio-only type) will appear.

Learn more about recording using Zoom.

What options do I have in terms of integrating a whiteboard into my synchronous lectures? 

Zoom, Virtual Classroom and Microsoft Teams have a whiteboard option included. If this is insufficient, Zoom will allow you to broadcast the screen from a subsequent device (this can be a phone or tablet). This can also be used as a whiteboard or a doc cam.

How do I go about creating video assignments? What are the best practices? 

By using Bongo on CourseLink, you can create an Individual Project, Question & Answer, Group Project, or an Interactive Video assignment. Visit our CourseLink Video Assignments page for more details.

How do I upload video content to my CourseLink course site? 

Uploading video content directly to CourseLink is not recommended, unless it has been recorded natively within the course site using the Video Note option.

See the Hosting Video Content section of our Lectures page to review your options.

Microsoft Stream is included with the university's O365 integration and available to all faculty, staff and students. With Classlist-linked Microsoft Security Groups, your video content can also be limited to your class specifically.

Teaching Methods/Academic Misconduct

How can I monitor what is happening in a chat room? Related: How can I manage situations regarding incidents of untoward behavior in a chat room?  

Having a TA manage the chat room is recommended. There are ways of muting students or removing their abilities to chat in the chat room. Depending on the class you have, you may decide to disable this option completely. More information on these setting can be found on our Using Zoom: In-Meeting Best Practices page. Additionally, addressing the class of the consequences beforehand may decrease the chances of an incident taking place.