Resources for Remote Teaching
Determining the teaching style
When looking at the resources available below, it is helpful consider whether you are conducting Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Teaching.
Synchronous teaching typically involves hosting a Zoom, Teams, or other online meeting where students participate in real time by attending lectures, sections or group discussions. Synchronous teaching allows for discussion and real time collaboration between faculty and students. This model replicates the traditional in person course environment. Potential downsides to this model include dependency on network/application up time and students in other time zones who may have challenges attending at a specific time (especially those students located across the Pacific or Atlantic).
Asynchronous teaching typically involves pre-recording lectures via Panopto or Zoom and sharing the recording for students to watch at a different time. This model allows students watch the recordings at a time that is optimal for them and review the recordings as many times as necessary. A potential downside to this model include no real time communication as the lecture is happening and limited student to student dialog as they may not be online and watching the same course material at the same time.
Of course a hybrid model is possible where a synchronous class is recorded and shared out later for viewing but it's important to keep in mind that students watching later due to time zone or other issues will potentially have a different learning experience than their classmates who watch in realtime.
Zoom's strength lies with synchronous teaching. Faculty can present lectures and communicate in real time via Zoom meetings. Faculty can also utilize a Zoom Meeting Waiting Rooms for virtual office hours. Zoom is now integrated into Canvas enabling Zoom meetings to be added to course calendars and recordings added to the Canvas course page. UW IT has a very good guide for using Zoom for teaching:
One important thing to keep in mind is access controls and meeting defaults. Zoom meetings by default are widely open and shareable. You may want to review these settings:
Panopto Lecture Capture
Panopto has been available at the UW and in Canvas for many years now. It excels at pre-recorded lectures (and recording in person lectures) which can then be shared for independent viewing by students. Panopto does have a live web stream option as well, however it is delayed and does not allow for two way communication. Panopto integrates well with Canvas and by default recordings shared are only accessible by students enrolled in the course. Further details and instructions for Panopto are available here:
Microsoft Teams is available and enabled for all Faculty and Students. It provides messaging and chat features (similar to Slack, but with FERPA protections that allow it to be used in an academic setting). Teams also has a real time meeting feature, like Zoom Meetings. Although Zoom is more full featured, Teams meetings may be useful for quick one on one dialog. Teams also includes document sharing and "channels" which act as separate chat rooms based on a specific topic and can be setup as needed by faculty.
Meeting scheduling, direct messaging, and virtual video and voice calling are available to everyone without the use of dedicated "team", although a course based Team can provide more functionality.
Teams is available via web browser (see link above) or a desktop or mobile app. The apps provide better usability/availability for chat features, but either can be used. A demo team is avaible for viewing here:
More tools provided by the UW
UW IT has a good overview of other tools available for teaching here:
Other (non UW provided) Tools
Care should be taken using other tools that are note provided by the UW (Slack, non UW Google hangouts, etc) as these are not FERPA- and HIPAA-aligned and may put Student data at risk.
Many vendors offer free (or trial versions) to educators, hoping to get a foot in the door for the broader university environment. Some of these tools consume large amounts of user data and potentially share/sell that data to advertisers and others as part of their business model (think Facebook). In almost all cases involving student data, this would likely be a violation of FERPA so please try to use only the tools have are provided via the UW.