Important Notice – Stay Informed
Page last updated: 05/04/21 – 4:00pm
Be sure to check this page regularly as it will be periodically updated. Stay informed about the latest resources, training, and information.
If exceptional circumstances require you to teach remotely, the following strategies and resources may assist in transitioning your face-to-face course to a remote or BlendFlex delivery model. In particular, such tools as Webcourses@UCF, Zoom, Panopto, and LinkedIn Learning are useful in creating content that focuses on teaching, grading, and connecting with students.
Please note that this is an extraordinary circumstance and the resources and strategies collected here do not replace UCF’s standard faculty development expectations for teaching online.
The Webcourses@UCF Support team provides support to our students, faculty, and staff for any technical assistance, concerns, or questions related to online learning at UCF. The team can be a vital resource for instructors while making the transition to remote or BlendFlex instruction. For technical help, please contact Webcourses@UCF Support.
Note that in an emergency, systems and university support teams may respond slower than normal.
Are you worried about moving your course online during an emergency? Do you know how to communicate with students who cannot come to class? Are you prepared to use Zoom or Panopto for lectures?
The recorded workshops and training resources below will help you transition your face-to-face course to a remote or BlendFlex modality.
Zoom Essentials Course
We encourage you to enroll in the online self-paced Zoom Essentials course which describes the basic and advanced functions of Zoom and how it can be used within Webcourses@UCF. The time commitment for completing Zoom Essentials is estimated to be between 2-4 hours.EXPLORE ZOOM ESSENTIALS
Panopto Essentials COURSE
If you choose to use Panopto in your class and haven’t used it in the past, you will be required to take the self-paced online Panopto Essentials course (estimated to be 2-4 hours to complete).EXPLORE PANOPTO ESSENTIALS
BlendFlex Training COURSE
The Center for Distributed Learning and the Office of Instructional Resources have created an online, self-paced course that should take around an hour to complete. This course will give you an overview of how the BlendFlex Model will be used at UCF, address questions you may have about its implementation, and identify considerations in teaching practices. It also contains a helpful guide of tools, technologies, and strategies for successfully applying this model in your course.ENROLL NOW
Understanding how BlendFlex Works
We expect that the 2020-2021 academic year will require a significant amount of flexibility on the part of both faculty and students. The BlendFlex delivery model is intended to offer the maximum flexibility possible to accommodate a variety of shifting scenarios without compromising UCF’s high academic quality expectations.Explore BlendFlex
Where should you start when moving your face-to-face course to an online course? Adapt your in-class activities for an online environment. If using publisher content, check to see if there are online resources you can share with students. Upload your PowerPoint presentations, other documents, and reading materials to your online course in Webcourses@UCF.
Things to Consider When moving your course online
Your personalized checklist for moving your courses online
- Understand the Basics
- Publish your course
- Review and update your Syllabus
- Review and update your schedule
- Communicate with students online
- Deliver Live Lectures Online
- Record and post lectures
- Provide content alternatives
- Ensure content accessibility
- Manage student assignments
- Foster student-to-student communication online
Spring 2021 Faculty Remote and Flexible Instruction GuideThe Spring 2021 semester will be far from a typical experience for either faculty or students. Faculty likely have questions about how remote and flexible teaching will be approached. Faculty who are teaching during Spring 2021 should review this guide for more information.
UCF Keep WorkingUCF IT has assembled some remote working frequently asked questions for faculty and staff. This should help ease your transition to teaching remotely and assist you in being more productive, no matter where you work.
Understand the Basics
Do you have minimal experience with Webcourses@UCF (Canvas)? Perhaps you have only used Webcourses@UCF to record academic engagement activities or for the gradebook. If so, you may want to review some of the key features and tools the platform offers for offering course content online. Watch the Webcourses@UCF Faculty Tour or enroll in Essentials of Webcourses@UCF for more information about Webcourses@UCF.
Publish Your Courses
Ensure your course is published. Courses that are not published will not be available for students to access. For instructions on publishing your course, please review the following documentation: How do I Publish my Course?
Publishing your ContentBe sure to click Save & Publish when creating any content in Webcourses@UCF (Assignments, Quizzes, Pages, etc.), and make sure your Modules are published, too. This will allow your students to view the content after you have published your course.
Review and Update your Syllabus
Review your syllabus and determine what changes need to be made. Should assignment deadlines be updated? Will course policies need to be altered? Develop a plan and share the updated syllabus with your students immediately to prevent confusion or questions. Review UCF’s Syllabus Policies and How to Use the Webcourses@UCF Syllabus Template.
Review and update your Schedule
Determine priorities during this period. What activities should be rescheduled? Include flexibility in your schedule to accommodate the duration of an online course transition. Consider using UCF’s Due Date Changer to quickly change due dates for assignments already listed within Webcourses@UCF.
COMMUNICATE WITH STUDENTS ONLINE
Connect with your students online by providing positive leadership and a strong online presence. Instruct students to activate their Webcourses@UCF notifications so that they don’t miss critical communications. Let students know how you will communicate changes to them, whether it be through the Inbox (course email) or course announcements.
Configuring Notification Preferences
Students and faculty should configure their notification settings when working in an online modality.
Using Announcements in your Course
Announcements are a great tool for communicating with students about activities or updates in your course.
Using the Inbox within Webcourses@UCF
Use the Webcourses@UCF messaging system to stay in contact with your students. Review What is the Inbox? and How do I use the Inbox as an instructor? for more information about using the Inbox tool within Webcourses@UCF to communicate with students.
Using the Chat Tool as an Instructor?
If you prefer using instant messaging to communicate with students, schedule online “office hours” using the Chat tool in Webcourses@UCF. Be aware that sensitive information such as grades should not be communicated in Chat because it is viewable by all students in the course.
Deliver Live Lectures Online
Faculty have the option of using Zoom or Panopto to deliver their lectures online.
Panopto Vs Zoom – Which One Is Best for Me?
If you are looking to foster student-to-instructor conversations and/or student-to-student conversations, then you should explore the use of Zoom over Panopto. If you wish to deliver a traditional video lecture online (i.e., instructor-to-students), then you may want to consider using Panopto over Zoom.
Review the following guide from OIR to determine which application is best for your needs: Feature Comparisons Between Panopto and Zoom
Live Lectures in Zoom
The university offers a campus-wide license for Zoom, a video conferencing platform for online classes, meetings, conferences, webinars, and lectures. If you prefer to continue holding your class synchronously at its scheduled time, but in a virtual format, you may do so using Zoom.
All UCF faculty, GTAs, staff, and students with an active NID have access to Zoom. To create a session outside of Webcourses@UCF, navigate to: http://ucf.zoom.us/. Use your NID and NID password to log in. If you need assistance, contact Webcourses@UCF Support.View Zoom Guides
Enroll in Zoom Essentials Training
We encourage you to enroll in the online self-paced Zoom Essentials course which describes the basic and advanced functions of Zoom and how it can be used within Webcourses@UCF. The time commitment for completing Zoom Essentials is estimated to be between 2-4 hours. You are also welcome to take a Zoom Essentials workshop where Faculty Multimedia Center staff will provide you with a quick overview of Zoom and answer any of your questions about Zoom in or out of the classroom.EXPLORE ZOOM ESSENTIALS
Zoom’s Recent Statement on Privacy and SecurityOn April 1, 2020, Zoom released a statement addressing privacy and security concerns in Zoom. Read the full statement for more information.
Integrating Zoom Into Webcourses@UCFReview the following pages for assistance integrating Zoom into your course: Enable Zoom in Your Course and Zoom FAQs
Zoom User CapacityUCF’s Zoom class capacity is 300. If your class has an enrollment of over 300, you will need to pre-record lectures for your class to view. You may pre-record lectures in Zoom or with the tools described below.
Enroll in Panopto Essentials Training
If you choose to use Panopto in your class and haven’t used it in the past, you will be required to either (1) take the self-paced online Panopto Essentials course (estimated to be 2-4 hours to complete) OR (2) attend one of the OIR Panopto Essentials 1-hour virtual workshops. Please take action as soon as possible so you will be able to access Panopto before the semester begins.EXPLORE PANOPTO ESSENTIALS
Record and Post Lectures
There are several different options for recording video content and posting it to Webcourses@UCF. Below are several resources based on what may work best for your course.
Faculty Multimedia Center Virtual AppointmentsThe FMC is offering virtual appointments for faculty and staff looking for one-on-one assistance with multimedia tools including: Zoom, Panopto, OBS, Camtasia, YouTube, Audacity, Adobe Creative Suite, and more. Use the booking form or email FMC@ucf.edu to schedule an appointment.
Chunk Lecture RecordingsRecording full lectures is not advised. Unless your lecture is action packed, students will have trouble staying focused on your video for a full 50-minute lecture. Technology-wise, you are also likely to run into download and playing problems with a long video. Instead, think about how to restructure your presentation into chunked segments. Ideally, each segment should be concise and focused on a single topic and between 3-7 minutes in length.
Conferences Within Webcourses@UCF
If you are already using the Conference tool in your course to deliver live lectures or even pre-record lectures, we recommend you continue to do so. If you are interested in creating live lectures online or pre-recorded lectures for the first time, we recommend you explore Zoom (listed above).
Creating Video Lectures Within Webcourses@UCF
You can record videos directly in Webcourses@UCF in the Rich Content Editor. Keep in mind to keep your videos short to maintain student attention and subject retention. Technology-wise, you are also likely to run into download and playing problems with a long video. Instead, think about how to restructure your presentation into chunked segments. Ideally, each segment should be concise and focused on a single topic and between 3-7 minutes in length. If you need assistance, contact Webcourses@UCF Support.
Creating Prerecorded Video Lectures with Zoom
Creating Prerecorded Video Lectures with Panopto
If you are using Panopto, then your videos are automatically placed in a folder for your students to view within Webcourses@UCF. If you are outside of the classroom, then you can record lectures using Panopto’s Desktop Recorder on your computer. The Quick Setup Guide will show you how to download and use the Desktop Recorder. Be sure to select the correct folder for your class. The formatting should follow your course number and section. If you need assistance, contact Webcourses@UCF Support.
If you are teaching in the classroom then you can expect to find Panopto installed on the classroom’s lecturing/podium computer. Contact UCF IT Support Center at (407) 823-5117 if you need immediate help in the classroom.
Provide content alternatives
In the event of a quick transition to an online environment, it may not be feasible to record your own lectures or convert content into an online format. In this case, search for alternative content methods that can be embedded into your online course to save time and resources.
Students and Mobile LearningDuring this period of remote instruction, some students won’t have access to a desktop computer or laptop and will use a smartphone or tablet to complete coursework. Please consider the following suggestions to assist your students during this extraordinary time.
- Encourage students to download the Canvas Student app to access Webcourses@UCF and Zoom for video conferencing.
- Note: If students have older mobile devices, the Canvas Student app might not be supported, but mobile web access to Webcourses@UCF is still available.
- Review 8 tips for designing mobile-friendly courses.
- Encourage students to use UCF-supported cloud services such as Office 365 or the User Files of Webcourses@UCF to sync course material across devices.
- Typing long papers can be difficult on mobile devices. Consider allowing students to handwrite and submit scanned written assignments.
Provide Additional Resources
Substitute missed class sessions by providing additional readings or online materials, and follow up with an online graded discussion related to the information. Assign additional textbook readings or search for online articles that cover your course’s subject matter.
Work with Publisher Content
If you use publisher content, check with your publisher for online resources to share with students in Webcourses@UCF.
During this time of remote instruction, consider offering an eText or digital course materials instead. An added benefit of digital course materials is that they may qualify for the First Day inclusive access program through Barnes & Noble. This opt-in program allows students to immediately access their digital course materials through Webcourses@UCF at a discounted rate prior to the add/drop deadline and defer payment through their student account.
First Day Adoption for Summer 2021The deadline for eligible 2021 summer and fall courses to join the First Day program has passed. The deadline for eligible Spring 2022 courses has not yet been posted. For more information about the program, please visit the Division of Digital Learning’s First Day page.
Facilitating Remote Labs
With the continued adoption of remote and online instruction, many courses have encountered a roadblock using traditional hands-on methods in the lab. View a curated list of resources for faculty with alternative approaches to lab courses normally held in person/on campus.
UCF Libraries Services and Resources
Take advantage of online library services and resources. In addition to e-books, articles, and streaming videos available to you and your students, request library instruction, get answers to your copyright questions, and suggest consultations for your students with in-depth research needs. If you have questions, connect via Ask Us!, contact your Subject Librarian directly, or browse other services and resources.
Using LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers over 10,000 accessible videos covering a wide range of topics including business, software, technology, and creative skills. These learning modules are available for free for all UCF faculty, staff, and students. Search for LinkedIn Learning modules that can supplement or replace your face-to-face lectures, and embed the content directly into your course in Webcourses@UCF.
Watch this YouTube video for instructions on how you can share LinkedIn Learning videos within your course: Sharing Learning VideosExplore LinkedIn Learning
Using JoVe – Journal of Visualized Experiments
Ensure Content Accessibility
For known students with disabilities connected with Student Accessibility Services (which would be identified through a previously received Course Accessibility Letter for Student Accessibility Services), the transition to an online course may pose some academic barriers that may warrant reasonable accommodations. The good news is there are a number of resources and tools available for you to use. To learn more about what resources and tools are available to you, please review the Webcourses@UCF Accessibility/UDL Guide.
If a student connected with Student Accessibility Services contacts you about necessary online accommodations, do your best to address. The bottom line is, during a campus emergency, do what you can to help your students and don’t let it overwhelm you. However, if a student has a need that you can’t address or if you need assistance in making your course accessible, please contact Student Accessibility Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-823-2371).SAS Remote Teaching & Access Guidance
Manage Student Assignments
An important consideration in transitioning from face-to-face to online is how to accept assignment submissions remotely. Webcourses@UCF consists of several tools that meet this need, from assignments to discussions to quizzes. Browse the guides below for information on each. All graded activities create a column in the Gradebook in Webcourses@UCF.
Create discussion boards in which students can interact with each other. Review How do I create a discussion as an instructor? for instructions on how to create discussion threads.
Create assignments that allow students to submit face-to-face activities online in a variety of formats from file uploads to text entries to website URLs. Link Materia widgets to an assignment for a grade.
Using the Gradebook
Use the Webcourses@UCF Gradebook to consistently notify students of their grades. Keep in mind that for the Gradebook Totals column to be accurate, all scores for the semester must be included. Keep in contact with your Chair about when and how to submit grades. Review the Webcourses@UCF Gradebook Guides for a complete list of guides and video tutorials for using the Webcourses@UCF Gradebook.
Online Grading: Are You Ready?
Review the following Zoom training sessions for managing and grading assessments within Webcourses@UCF.
- Part 1 Overview – offers an overview of course grading policies, grading options that don’t rely on high stakes exams, options for due dates, and options for promoting academic integrity, including authentic assessments.
- Part 2 Demonstration – launches into demonstrations of these functions in Webcourses@UCF.
Online/Remote Final Exam Guidelines
All Summer 2021 course sections will have the opportunity to offer online final exams since classes will not meet in physical classrooms following the break for the Thanksgiving holiday. The following guidelines are offered as aids in exam planning for those faculty newer to the logistics of implementing online exams.Final Exam Guidelines
Accessibility Accommodations for QuizzesIf you choose to offer a quiz or exam online, students with accessibility accommodations may need extra time to complete the exam. CDL has created a quiz extension tool that allows you to easily add time to quizzes for students needing accommodations.
Online Assessment Resources Handout
Perhaps you are seeking inspiration for incorporating online assessments into your courses. Perhaps you are curious about techniques to encourage academic honesty in your online courses. Perhaps you’d like to choose from an array of online assessment types and to explore your scoring options for these. All of these explorations are commendable and aim to enhance your students’ engagement and satisfaction as well as the integrity of your online courses.
Review the Online Assessment Resources Handout before your courses launch to gain all these online assessment insights.
For faculty who offer quizzes and exams online, the University offers two options for test proctoring: ProctorHub and Respondus LockDown Browser.
For first-time users interested in a simpler proctoring system, consider using ProctorHub. If you are interested in using LockDown Browser, we encourage you to contact Webcourses@UCF Support.
ProctorHub is a tool that can be added to a Webcourses@UCF course to assist with assessment authentication and to help curb cheating. ProctorHub uses a test taker’s webcam and web browser features to record test-taking sessions. Instructors are able to review individual testing sessions should they suspect issues of academic integrity.
Respondus LockDown Browser
Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Webcourses@UCF. Students are unable to copy, print, chat, or access any other applications or websites during an online exam. To use LockDown Browser for your quizzes, you will first need to enable it in your course.
Foster student-to-student communication online
Encourage your students to communicate with each other. In the event of an emergency transition to an online course, students will likely have many questions concerning updates, assignments, or other course-related topics. By fostering student-to-student communication through tools such as Discussions or Collaborations, you may mitigate the amount of time you spend answering student questions to focus on other course tasks.
Consider creating a discussion board for student questions. Encourage students to post questions and answer questions posted by others. Review How do I create a discussion as an instructor? for instructions on creating discussions within Webcourses@UCF.
Allow students to work together on assignments as a class or in small groups. Review What are Collaborations? and How do I create a Google Docs collaboration as an instructor? for more information about collaborations within Webcoureses@UCF and how to create them.
Using the Chat Tool
Promote the Chat tool for quick instant messaging among students. Note that all chat messages are viewable by the entire course. Review What is Chat? and How do I use Chat as an instructor? for more information about the chat tool and how to use it.
We get it. Technology can have its challenges. We’re here to help. The Webcourses@UCF Support team provides support to our students, faculty, and staff for any technical assistance, concerns, or questions related to online learning at UCF. Whether it’s Webcourses@UCF, Panopto, Materia, Obojobo, or Personalized Adaptive Learning, we provide the assistance you need.
UCF Coronavirus Resources
- UCF Safety (Coronavirus) Updates & FAQs
- What’s Open at UCF
- UCF Keep Learning (Students)
- Student Guides for Working Remotely
- UCF Keep Working
- LinkedIn Learning – Managing Change and Working Remotely
- Continuity of Library Services