Winterize Your Course

Winterize your courseThere are various tools and strategies that you can use to support your students (and yourself) through university closure due to winter weather, as outlined below.  

Stay Informed of UTM Campus Weather Alerts
Communicating with your Students

LMS Tools 
Video Capture and Streaming Tools

     Create a Video
     Video Streaming
Virtual Office Hours 
     Blackboard Collaborate
     Zoom

Recommended Hardware for Video Creation or Virtual Office Hours 

 

Stay Informed of UTM Campus Weather Alerts 

 

Communicating with your Students

For more information and recommendations for academic units and instructors with respect to continuity planning for course delivery, please refer to the link below.

Academic Continuity:
https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/dean/academic-adminstrators/academic-continuity

If there will be a change to course activities due to the cancellation of classes, please refer to the information provided in 5.1.2 Accommodation for Missed Classes due to University Closures (nested under Section 5: Classroom Procedures) in the Academic Handbook. A link to the 2019-20 Academic Handbook is below:
https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/dean/sites/files/dean/public/shared/UTM%20HANDBOOK%202019-20_FINAL_14Aug19.pdf

Some Quercus features that you can use to communicate with students are:

Be Flexible – Although campus may be open, remember that others may still be affected by the weather based on their location.

 

LMS Tools 

The following Quercus tools can be used to support online activities. 

 

Video Capture and Streaming Tools 

It is recommended that you provide students with an opportunity to do a test run to ensure that everything is working before an actual snow day.  One simple way to test this out would be to hold Virtual Office Hours or to create a quick video to introduce a new topic and post it for your students. 

 

Create a Video 

Create a video of your lecture content for your students that they can view as their schedule permits (asynchronous).  It is recommended that you use the MP4 video format for video creation.  Once you have created the video, you will need to upload it to a Streaming Server to make it available to students. 

The following tools can be used to record your lecture. 

 

 

Tool 

 

How do I access it?

Who supports it?

Links, Operating Systems Supported 

TechSmith SnagIt – Very basic video capture and editing functionalities 
 
Follow the instructions found at https://q.utoronto.ca/courses/46670/pages/lecture-capture#get-techsmith-snagit  U. of T. (institutional level) 

 

 

Camtasia – Can add captioning, textboxes, animations, add effects, etc. 
 
Email utml.instructech@utoronto.ca to book the UTM Library Audio Visual Pilot Recording Room  U. of T. Mississauga Library 

 

iMovie – More advanced video editing options available.  Available in your Mac Applications folder  Apple 
  • Create movies on a Mac 
PowerPoint – Possible to create and export narrated PowerPoint as an .mp4 video.  MS Office on a Windows computer  U. of T. Mississauga Library 
  • Narrated PowerPoint from your presentation. Can create a video in Windows only by using the Export function after slides have been narrated.  Cannot create a video from PowerPoint on a Mac or on O365. 

 

 

Video Streaming

Once you have created your lecture video content, it will need to be uploaded to a media streaming service and you can create a link to the video in Quercus so that it can be shared with students. 

 

 

Tool 

 

How do I access it?

Who supports it?

Functionalities and Notes

MyMedia 
 
Log in at the following link 
https://mymedia.library.utoronto.ca/login  
U. of T. Libraries hosts the service.  U. of T. Mississauga Library provides assistance. 
  • Link to or embed videos in Quercus  
  • Videos can be unrestricted or made available to users with a UTORid 
YouTube 
 
Users will need to create a Google account at 
https://www.youtube.com  
YouTube 
  • Videos can be public, Unlisted” (recommended) or “Private” 

 
 

Virtual Office Hours 

The tools below can be used for virtual office hours during a snow day for courses with less than 250 students.  For larger courses, it is recommended that you create a video.
 

Blackboard Collaborate 

  • 250 concurrent users 
  • With 72 business hours' notice to utml.instructech@utoronto.ca, it is possible to have large sessions of between 250 – 500 students.  NOTE:  Functionalities are more limited e.g., viewing content and chat. 

Please note: It is recommended that you use a wired connection if you are a Presenter or Moderator in Collaborate.
 

 

Tool 

 

How do I access it?

Who supports it?

Notes

Blackboard Collaborate 

 
 

Can be set up by Teacher in Quercus course shell for courses under 250. 

For courses over 250 send an email to utml.instructech@utoronto.ca with 72 business hours' notice. 

UTM Library 

 

 

Additional Blackboard Collaborate Resources: 

 

Zoom 

  • 300 people can join but only 50 active videos can be shown at one time 
  • Up to 1000 people viewing only 

Zoom can be used for virtual office hours during a snow day for courses with 300 students.  With 72 business hours' notice, it is possible to host meetings of up to 1,000 participants (Note:  Limited functionality would be available).   

Please note: It is recommended that you use a wired connection if you are a Presenter in Zoom.

 

 

Tool 

 

How do I access it?

Who supports it?

Notes 

Zoom 
 

Log in to submit a ticket to request access  UTM I&ITS Classroom Technology Support  
  • UTM has site licenses and IITS requires 72 business hours' notice required using a support ticket
  • It is recommended that students only use computer audio and not a telephone to avoid long distance charges

 

Recommended Hardware for Video Creation or Virtual Office Hours 

  • Very good microphone - Yeti microphone or 
  • Headset with microphone (if possible) to eliminate feedback 
  • Tripod and mount for phone to be used as a camera