Zoom & Tech Resources

Keep Teaching #7 -- Some highlights and comments... {subscribe}

  • Teaching evaluation response rates soar to campuswide 48.74%. Math had 48.6% response overall ! However, we have experienced some glitches with Blue not integrating fully with DivData. The SETS team are working on the issues.
  • Informational guides : infographics on 
  • Joining NCFDD : "CP/EVC Kletzer has agreed to fund an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. CITL has advocated renewing our membership and partnered with the Graduate Division on this funding request. NCFDD is a platform that offers faculty, graduate students, and postdocs on-demand access to mentoring, tools, and support to succeed in the academy. NCFDD resources address everything from how to complete a dissertation to how to plan a path to tenure to how to balance the multiple professional and personal demands academics face in the course of their careers. It is particularly attentive to the inequitable workloads–especially in teaching and mentoring–faced by many BIPOC academics and, in some fields, by non-male faculty members and graduate students. Look for an announcement soon that the campus membership has been initiated."
  • A Guide for Instructors on Students' Use of Discord
  • "This officer is here to make sure there is no. Cheating." "Student use of websites like Chegg.com during the period of remote instruction have skyrocketed. Some of those sites are taking actions to limit the effectiveness of their use by students during exams. Chegg, for instance, has introduced Honor Shield (terrible title!) to limit the availability of exam questions/answers during an exam period. Read more about this in a recent article from Inside Higher Education."
  • Workshops on using Hypothesis (annotation tool)
    • Implementing Social Annotation with Hypothesis in your Courses
      In this workshop, learn how to create a supportive and scaffolded learning environment for using social annotation. Register via the links below.
    • Using Hypothesis with Small Groups
      In this workshop, learn about options for using Hypothesis in small groups, and how social annotation can be used to create a more collaborative learning environment. Register via the links below.
  • Course Shells in Canvas for Spring 2021 - NEW DATES!
    Course shells for Spring 2021 are available in Canvas now. If you do not see your course for Spring in the unpublished section of your Canvas dashboard, check in with your department to make sure that the Registrar has been notified of your appointment. Going forward, course shells will be made available on the following schedule:
    • Fall - course shells available April 1
    • Winter - course shells available October 1
    • Spring - course shells available at start of Advising Week
    • Summer - course shells available at start of Advising Week
  • Piazza Update
    The online discussion platform Piazza will remain available through Spring 2021. We will keep you apprised of next steps as we continue to work with Piazza and investigate alternative solutions.

Lux debuted. UCSC recently deployed a new high performance computing (HPC) environment which is much faster and better. [More details.] The ITS group also stabilized and expanded access to the Hummingbird environment, allowing more people to use it for their remote research. [More details.]

Keep Teaching #6

New Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE)
Canvas released a new text editor. Summary of the changes and helpful links in this document.

Piazza Asking For Donations
Piazza has moved to a donation-based model for the free service that will frequently ask students and faculty to make a monetary donation. UCSC has a temporary agreement to suppress the display of these solicitations and is working on securing the agreement through Spring quarter."

Zoom Live Transcription
"The option for live transcription is now available through your UCSC Zoom account. This feature provides the ability to turn the spoken word into text, in real time as subtitles, transcript, or both. The transcription appears during the Zoom session and is visible to ALL participants, which can enhance the general accessibility of a Zoom session. Important things to note:

  • You will need to decide in advance whether or not the transcript will be saved after the Zoom session. 
  • Some instructors may want to give students access to the transcript as a supplement to note-taking. Others may not want students to be able to download and possibly share a transcript that includes everything both the instructor and other students attending have said.[...]
  • We recommend that faculty familiarize themselves with the “save transcript” settings and features before initiating a meeting that uses the live transcript function, whether for a class or other event."

Keep Teaching #5.  Some extracts follow...

Piazza Going Away
"UC plans to remove the Piazza integration from Canvas on or before January 1, 2021. If you have used or are considering using Piazza for your classes,
please read this before assigning students to use the platform for Winter or beyond. If you would like to use an alternative to Piazza, such as Canvas Discussions, [or Slack,] support is available at online@ucsc.edu or via the Online Education Slack workspace."

Hypothesis "social annotation tool" Available
Piloted in Fall 2020, the Hypothesis social annotation tool is now available to encourage collaborating through annotation. "Collaborative annotation can be a key tool in developing critical thinking and analytical writing skills."

Learner-centered Syllabi
"Using a learner-centered syllabus is a helpful way for you to connect with your students. Take a look at this helpful template."

Module 0 for Your Canvas Course
"Consider using this Week 0 module to your course in Canvas. The module covers the basics for students to be able to access the library remotely, to use educational technologies like Hypothesis, where they can seek support, your academic integrity policy, and more. The module can be imported into your course using the instructions linked above, or you can email online@ucsc.edu to ask that it be added to your course (be sure to include your course name)."

GitLab for Instruction
"Instructors can now direct students to a UCSC-specific instance of GitLab for instruction. GitLab is an industry-standard git repository for tracking computer programs, data, and other media that instructors can make available to students for developing and submitting code. GitLab is similar to GitHub, but with the UCSC instance of GitLab, your repositories are hosted on servers here at the University. The repositories are private from other students unless you invite them to collaborate. To find out more, visit its.ucsc.edu/gitlab."

"Instructors using the popular MATLAB application can now also use MATLAB Grader through Canvas. This tool allows teachers to create MATLAB-based assignments that can be automatically evaluated and graded. For more information, see https://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab-grader.html."
Zoom Enhancements to Breakout Rooms
"Instructors can now have TAs manage breakout rooms. The latest version of Zoom (version 5.4.6) gives co-hosts the same breakout room controls as the meeting host, such as starting or ending breakout rooms, assigning participants, and more. This version also includes the ability for hosts and co-hosts to assign a participant back to the main session without ending all breakout sessions. If you haven’t already, update to the latest version of Zoom."

CITL remote instruction guide for TAs and instructors who work with TAs.

Attention span and Zoom fatigue: It seems reasonable to have about 15 minutes of break for every hour or so in Zoom. Studies also suggest that a 10-15m uninterrupted block of lecture is perhaps the maximum that can be effectively retained. One possible approach would be breaking up your lecture with brief periods where participants can step away from the class, refresh and re-focus. You could also have people put questions into chat during break, then respond to them when you come back from the break. It's also a good idea to rotate instructional method (from lecture to asking questions, working on exercises, etc) as you go to engage different cognitive styles and keep students engaged.

Keep Teaching Newsletter #4 -- this issue has a few good tips, such as making materials available if you aren't recording class sessions, as well as some notes on how to set up a course in Canvas, and how to design good open-book exams.

Keep Teaching website. (How UCSC is keeping up its teaching mission in our suddenly "remote" times.)

Jody Greene's notes on running a Zoom session. One crucial takeaway: designate a helper to keep track of chat questions and raised hands. There is a lot of "backstage business" involved in having an effective Zoom, so have a plan for taking care of it.

Tooltip: turn your smartphone into a document camera.

Putting a Zoom video on Canvas ? Use YuJa ! Many features, including editable auto-captioning.

"Zoom has rolled out a new feature recently that allows you to show powerpoint slides in full screen with your video image overlaid. This is a great feature that you can use in your presentations so you don't have to do that awkward share screening." The Penguin Professor has an explanation and demonstration: https://youtu.be/3pQ5bf4CHgM