Technology for teaching and learning continuity

Technology for teaching and learning continuity

IT Services has prepared this page for academics. It is being updated with additional resources. Last updated 30 March 2020 at 16:00.

This page contains information about the learning technologies that can be used in case of disruptions to University operations and instructional delivery (e.g. due to COVID-19). This information will help academics reflect on and be prepared for possible changes to their teaching format.

Note that changes to class schedules and formats are decided by UM Administration. Academics should not decide on their own to alter class schedules and format. If any particular accommodations are needed, academics are urged to discuss these with department heads and deans.

 

Tools for instructional continuity 

This section provides information about University-supported tools and resources to help maintain instructional continuity when you are unable to meet with all your students face-to-face. The tools are cloud-based and available from anywhere.

VLE

The VLE is the core learning platform for your study-unit. It should be your primary means of communicating with students, delivering content, enabling interaction, collecting assignments etc. - even if your study-units are already in progress.

Your study-units are available on the VLE even if you have not used the VLE before. Each study-unit area is also populated with students enrolled in the study-unit. You only need to make this available to students by following these instructions.  No requests are required to start using the VLE. Visit this link to access your study-unit/s on the VLE.

IT Services offers basic training on the use of the VLE for academics. Follow this link for more information and to register for the Workshop: Getting Started with the VLE.

Quick guides:

Pre-recorded video lectures (Panopto)

Panopto Personal Capture is a tool that you can use to record lecture videos, narrate voice-over-presentations, and capture screencasts from your laptop. The videos are automatically shared through the VLE with your students.

You can access Panopto and download the personal capture tool from the VLE

IT Services offers basic training on the use of Panopto Personal Capture for academics. Follow this link for more information and to register for the Workshop: Using Personal Capture to Pre-Record Lectures.

Quick guides:

Live interactive teaching (Zoom)

Zoom is a cloud-based service that you can use for live interactive teaching, online meetings, and webinars. Students are able to ask questions and interact during the session. You can also share your presentation or screen.

In order to use Zoom, you are required to first activate your Zoom account. After activating your account, you can start scheduling Zoom sessions/meetings in the VLE.

You are encouraged to record your lecture sessions so that students who are unable to connect and attend the live sessions can watch them later.

IT Services offers basic training on the use of Zoom for academics. Follow this link for more information and to register for the Workshop: Getting Started with Zoom

Quick guides:


Video guides on how to use the tools will be available on this page. 


Frequently asked questions

The following technologies are available for remote teaching:

  1. VLE
  2. Panopto Personal Capture for pre-recorded lectures (asynchronous)*
  3. Zoom or Google Hangout Meet for live interactive teaching (synchronous)

* Smartphones or portable digital voice recorders can be used to record podcasts. The podcasts along with any presentation can then be uploaded on the VLE. IT Services has a limited number of digital voice recorders that can be loaned 

For synchronous teaching sessions it is strongly recommended that your virtual classes are held on the same day and time that you would normally teach this class on campus. This ensures that students who attend your class do not need to adjust their schedules to participate. It is suggested that you do not extend the class time beyond scheduled hours. Remember that students will also be following other lectures remotely.

Files (such as PDFs, slide presentations, or other documents) can be uploaded onto the study-unit area on the VLE and accessed directly by students. Links to online resources are also easy to create and organise in the VLE.

Always use the 'Announcements' forum in the VLE  (located at the top of each study-unit area) as your primary tool for course-wide communications. When you post an Announcement, all students enrolled in the class will receive it as an email, after a short delay.

Why use Announcements? Doing so ensures that all students know where to go for information, assignments, and updates, while also making it easy for instructors and students to access a record of past announcements. If you use email instead, you will likely find yourself sending the same email multiple times if students delete or lose track of the emails they have received.

Note that your students cannot reply to messages that you send via 'Announcements' (refer to the following FAQ). 

Create a discussion forum in your study-unit area on the VLE. Direct the students to use this forum to ask questions about the study-unit. When you reply to questions in this forum, the entire class will see your reply.

The Forum activity  in the VLE provides an easy way to add discussions to your study-unit. Files such as images and media can also be included in forum posts.

Every study-unit automatically has an associated site in the VLE that is accessible to students registered to the study-unit. You only need to make this available to students by following these instructions You will use the VLE to post learning resources, collect assignments and communicate with students - even for study-units already in progress.

If you need technical help with keeping your class running, contact the IT Services E-Learning Service Desk as follows:

Self-Service Portal | Tel: +356 2340 4113 | e: vle.itservices@um.edu.mt 

In addition to the IT Services support, a number of academics are also available to support you in adapting your current teaching strategies to an online modality.


https://www.um.edu.mt/services/coronavirus/instructionalcontinuity