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Welcome Online, Faculty!

get teaching
Keep Teaching is a comprehensive guide to using the digital learning environment to deliver course instruction across the five modalities currently supported at Texas A&M University. We encourage you to start with the end in mind as you design your course for delivery across these five modalities. Doing so will ensure you maximize the learner experience; leverage technology for greater engagement and efficiencies; and limit complexity for both course instructors and students.


Modalities Currently Supported at Texas A&M

Course Type


Face-to-Face Courses
- In-person course meetings and exams
- No remote option

Howdy Description


Traditional Face-to-Face (F2F)

Attendance


These courses are intended to be attended in person. Accommodations are given to students who are unable to attend as they would for other absences prior to COVID.

   

Course Type


Remote Courses - Synchronous 
Departmental approval required

- All course meetings are delivered remotely online.
- Students have a scheduled course meeting time during the week.
- Student exams will be delivered remotely

Howdy Description


Remote Only

Attendance


Students will be required to submit all necessary course materials online based on the instructor’s syllabus.
 

Course Type


Remote Courses - Asynchronous 
Departmental approval required

- All course meetings are delivered remotely online.
- Students do not have a scheduled course meeting time during the week.
- Student exams will be delivered remotely.

Howdy Description


Remote Only

Attendance


Students will be required to submit all necessary course materials online based on the instructor’s syllabus.
 

Course Type


Web-Based Courses
- All course meetings are delivered online
- This mode is limited to Distance Education sections designed for online formats

Howdy Description


Web-Based

Attendance


Students will attend courses online.
 
 

Resources to Support Remote Instruction

Fall 2021


Should an instructor need to self-quarantine and/or self-isolate and is without someone to cover the course, in consultation with their Department Head they may need to temporarily switch to remote instruction. Should that need arise, resources to support remote instruction under these circumstances are provided below.

The Basics of Remote Instruction

This content is applicable to both course instructors and students.

Getting Started with Remote Instruction 

This content is applicable to course instructors
All course sections have a corresponding course shell in Canvas.
We encourage you to schedule Zoom meetings using the Zoom integration in Canvas to ensure meeting URLs are in one place for students. A guide to teaching with Zoom in Canvas can be found here.
Due to the loss of student data, the window to request section merges is Canvas is no longer available. The Office for Academic Innovation will not be able to accommodate any requests for section merges at this time. To learn more on how to manage and transfer content from one course to another, please view these steps
If you need to add additional course associate roles to your Canvas course, please follow these steps. FERPA and Information Security Awareness trainings will be required. To add a non-employee in a course associate role, please follow these steps for training requirements. 
Remember to publish your course and modules in Canvas to ensure students can see your course content.
Standard Texas A&M University Zoom licenses can accommodate 300 concurrent participants. If you will have more than 300 concurrent participants on a Zoom session at once for a course section that is eligible for remote instruction, please email zoom-requests@tamu.edu with the following information: Faculty name and email address
If physical content is being shown in the room (either on a piece of paper, on a whiteboard, or some other content that is not displayed on screen), use the document camera or web camera in the room (making sure to select the appropriate camera under the “Start Video/Stop Video” button in Zoom).
If virtual content (i.e., a PowerPoint presentation, website, or other computer software) needs to be shown in the Zoom meeting, use the “Share Screen” feature in Zoom and select the content you wish to share. If you are sharing videos with sound, please make sure to select the checkbox to share computer sound on the share screen.
 

Course Instructor is in the Classroom and Some Students are Remote

You may choose to deliver instruction synchronously or asynchronously for students who are participating remotely.

Instructional Media Services has prepared instructor guides for teaching remotely in various classrooms.

Review the Instructor Guide for Teaching in Traditional Classrooms
Review the Instructor Guide for Teaching in Non-Traditional Classrooms
Review Steps for Teaching Synchronously in the Classroom
Information on Sharing Class Recordings with Students
 
Additional information on classroom technologies at TAMU can be found here.

 

Course Instructor is Remote and Students are Remote

You will likely choose to deliver instruction synchronously if both the course instructor and students are participating remotely.
This video will help faculty identify best practices for designing and organizing course content in Canvas modules to enhance the student learning experience in a remote course modality.
 

Administering Exams During Remote Instruction

 The following university-supported online proctoring options are available for remote instruction:

Please note that fees associated with online proctoring should not be passed along to students.


Submitting Midterm and Final Grades to Howdy from Canvas

Learn about submitting grades to Howdy from Canvas here.

Getting Support for Remote Instruction

Support in the classroom is provided by Instructional Media Services.
Contact Instructional Media Services at ims-hecc@tamu.edu Additonal information here
 
Support for the digital learning environment is provided by the Office for Academic Innovation.
Contact the Office for Academic Innovation
 
Support for policy questions regarding remote instruction is provided by the Office of the Provost.
Contact the Office of the Provost by emailing provost@tamu.edu

Classroom Technologies

chemistry classroom on campus a texas a&m

This semester, you may need to use classrooms differently than they have been used before. Please consult the instructions below for guidance.

Traditional Classroom Instructions PDF 
Non-Traditional Classroom Instructions PDF



If you encounter technical difficulties while in the classroom, contact HelpDesk Central 
 

Online

Phone979.845.8300
Emailhelpdesk@tamu.edu

In Person

Hours: By appointment (call 979.845.8300)
Location: Computing Services Center,
Room CS00


Synchronous Classes

   

Step 1: Pre-Schedule Synchronous Classes in Zoom (before class)

Zoom integrates into Canvas and allows for real-time engagement between students and content, students and professors, and among students. We encourage you to use Zoom in Canvas to improve the student experience in your online course. Faculty and students can easily access Zoom from within any course in Canvas from the course navigation menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Scheduling a Zoom video in Canvas video
     

Step 2: Know Your Classroom Space (before class)

  1. Become acquainted with the technology in your classroom by attending one of the Faculty Open Houses.

  2. Practice with the technology so that you feel comfortable navigating the in-room resources and equipment settings.

Available equipment will include (but not be limited to) cameras and microphones in all traditional and non-traditional spaces. Settings for monitors, screens, whiteboarding, and lecture recording may be different across campus faciliites. There will be A/V staff available at all classroom facilities as well as Instructional Media Service (IMS) staff available to answer your questions. The contact information will be visible on the cover of the resource binder located at each lecturn. 
   
 
   

Step 3 (in class)

  1. Login to a Open Access Lab (OAL) computer with your Net ID.
  2. Login to Canvas.
  3. Once you are within the LMS, navigate to your course to find meeting links to join Zoom sessions and access Zoom recordings.
     

Step 4 (in class)

  1. Launch Zoom.
  2. Select Record before lecturing.
  3. After lecturing, select End Meeting to end the recording and archive it. The link to this recording will be accessible in the Cloud Recordings tab.
Access Zoom Recordings video

Everyone enrolled in your Canvas course can access Zoom cloud recordings from the Zoom link. Zoom cloud recordings include anything that was recorded including all presenters, any shared screen content, and an audio transcript.

Sharing Class Recordings with Students

Instructors may record their class session in Zoom and share the cloud recording with their students. Students may benefit from a recording of sessions if they want to review content later, have a documented accommodation, or if they cannot attend due to internet access issues or illness.

Students requesting an excused absence must provide appropriate documentation per Student Rule 7 and will be allowed to recover from the illness before making up missed work. Students quarantining for exposure should not attend in-person classes but are expected to keep up with course work in collaboration with the instructor of record.

See the two options below to see which sharing Zoom cloud recording option will be a good fit for you:

Best Practices in Instructional Design

Below are best practices for online teaching and learning. You will find these best practices integrated into the tools we provide throughout Keep Teaching. We encourage you to take these into consideration to optimize the online learning environment for you and your students. 


Canvas Connection

Canvas Connection


The following 5 best practices are agnostic of the learning management system and technology. Gains you can make now will carry over as you transition to Canvas and be supported by its tools and features.  





Designing an online course creates an opportunity for you to plan what you want your learners to experience. This section will provide resources to help you:
  1. Map your online course so that you create alignment between course objectives, assessments, and instructional materials.
  2. Organize your course content into modules.
  3. Utilize a Course Design Checklist to guide you through the course design process. 
  4. Watch Module Overview Video here.
 

Organizing Content into Modules  

 

Five Step Guide to Crating an Online Module


A module is a sequenced collection of subject-related materials designed to teach a topic or skill. Modules are the building blocks of an online course. Modules are most often associated with time (one week), although they can also be organized by book chapter, theme, or any other organizing principle you wish to apply to your online course. 


Course Mapping 

Course mapping is a helpful exercise to outline alignment between a course’s learning objectives, instructional material, and assessments. Course mapping assists with project management as you design your online course; reveals gaps in your course design; and allows you to apply learning technologies that augment your course design. Download the course mapping tool to guide your online course design. 



Course Design Checklist

checklist

Now that you have considered the nine steps to quality course design, created a course map, and organized your content into modules, we suggest you apply the Course Design Checklist to ensure you are optimizing the online teaching and learning experience for you and your students. 


The Course Design Checklist contains foundational items (think of this list as your quick start), Universal Design for Learning principles, and applies pedagogical best practices to help you elevate the quality of your online course.

 



The way you design your online course will determine the role you play once the course goes live. This section will provide resources to help you:
  1. Hear what students had to say about Keep Teaching at Texas A&M University during Spring 2020.
  2. Learn how to transform your learning activities into opportunities for online engagement.
  3. Plan for the time commitment facilitating an online course will take you (as motivation to design your online course prior to the semester starting!). 
  4. Watch How to Hold Office Hours in Zoom Video here.
 

Transform your Learning Activities into Opportunities for Online Engagement 

A well-designed online course creates both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for learning and engagement to occur. Synchronous teaching affords the chance for real-time learning encounters in which students, course instructor(s), content, and technology come together in a single place for a single purpose of instruction. 

We recommend you utilize Zoom to create formal and informal opportunities for real-time interactions with your students.
  • Formal: Try lecturing synchronously via Zoom, using the Share Screen feature to show your slides.
  • Informal: Hold online office hours via Zoom to provide a time and space for students to ask you questions and receive feedback in real time.

 

Plan your Time Commitments as you Facilitate your Online Course 

While your physical presence in a course adds richness and value to the student experience, you will want to pace your visible presence to ensure you can balance engaging with students with other time constraints placed on you as you teach online.


 

Planning your communication strategy and aligning this strategy with the tools in Canvas will build in efficiencies while transforming student learning and your students’ overall experience in your class.  This section will provide resources to help you:
 

  1. Prepare your students for online learning by communicating expectations.
  2. Transform communication challenges into opportunities for a more robust online learning experience. 
  3. Discover communication tools and modify the sample communication to use in your online course. 
  4. Communicating effectively in the classroom while wearing a mask. 
 

Preparing your Students for Online Learning

Your communication strategy not only keeps students in the know during the course; but if properly planned, you can encourage positive behaviors. Clearly articulating your expectations will help you facilitate and your students engage in your online course. 

Communication Tools

Your communication strategy not only keeps students in the know during the course; but if properly planned, you can encourage positive behaviors. Clearly articulating your expectations will help you facilitate and your students engage in your online course.

 

Sample Email Templates

The sample email templates can be modified and used as a tool to quickly communicate information, particularly when you find yourself receiving multiple inquiries around the same topic.   

 

Communicating about Zoom and Zoom as a Communication Tool 

We encourage you to use the Zoom tool integrated into Canvas to set up your reoccurring class meeting time. This will create one centralized place for students to find the Zoom connect URL.


Recommendations

Considerations for Faculty to Encourage Learner Engagement Online

 

Effective Online Course Element

 

Graduate instructors should design online courses that allow for greater student agency, as students should better understand their own learning habits necessary for success.

 

In other words, instructors should move away from teaching strategies that prescribe a strictly defined set of learning activities, which may be more necessary for younger learners. Rather, graduate instructors should facilitate opportunities for students to engage with course material in multiple ways (see figure to the right), facilitated via multi-modal course delivery. Instructors of courses with online elements may want to design course components with some of the following concepts in mind:


 

Discussion Forums

- Stay away from formulaic questions or topics that ask students to recap the reading.
- Consider allowing multimedia responses (e.g., videos, concept maps).
- Provide prompt feedback to responses and privately encourage students who feel uncomfortable posting.

Frequent Quizzes

- While frequent quizzes can improve student attendance, they can also boost confidence when the time arrives to complete a more comprehensive exam.
- Frequent quizzes can also help students retain information, but should be low stakes.

Chat Platforms

- Chat platform scan build community in online courses.
- Real-time instant messaging can be used to facilitate study groups. Instructors may want to schedule chat sessions for different times to accommodate students in different time zones, but also allow conversations before and after scheduled class sessions.

Digital Portfolios

- Digital portfolios can provided added reflection opportunities for asynchronous students while also resulting in a professional work sample.
- Portfolios also require students to engage with course material but give them agency in selecting topics they find interesting.
 
 

Online Courses for International Students

 

Accommodate students unable to attend synchronous sessions

Establish clear course expectations

Set clear course plans and deliver content in multiple modalities

Use practices that engage international students 

Re-evaluate feedback and assessment practices 

Ensure students understand how to access lecture recordings and other course materials.
Develop a back-up plan for accessing course materials.
Convey clear course learning outcomes.
Provide clear guidance as to how, when, and where key course information will be published.
Develop a clear class structure and begin each session with an agenda introducing learning goals.
Use multiple modalities, including captioning, to facilitate revisiting of material.
Consider a flipped model that allows students to prepare for class in advance. 
Facilitate breakout sessions or other small group settings in which students may feel more comfortable.
Consider new ways to provide feedback, including online peer review or virtual conferences.
Develop clear assessment guidelines for students who may need to participate in asynchronous elements.

Build community

Promote respect for international students' cultural strengths

Develop opportunities for private meetings with students

Share institutional resources and provide support

Be flexible and accommodating 

Design activities to facilitate peer interaction.
Consider assigning a class “buddy” to international students not on campus.
Ensure respect for all levels of English proficiency, as international students’ work may be on greater display in an online setting.
Be aware of potential discrimination against Asian students in response to COVID-19.
Encourage attendance at virtual office hours and consider one-on-one meetings with disengaged or struggling students.
Consider using private chat functions when asking questions in class.
Understand institutional resources and contacts that international students have access to.  Be understanding of individual student circumstances, including visa issues, financial concerns, safety, etc.
Be willing to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution for any issues that arise. 
   

 

Technological Considerations

In order to accommodate students with differing access to technology resources, instructors may need to consider developing course materials that are available in multiple formats. In addition to serving international students, such methods will also accommodate domestic students unable to return to campus due to personal or health reasons who live in underserved areas. Barriers that such students may face include low bandwidth, lack of technology, limited access to libraries or other public resources, or geographical and/or financial obstacles. As a result, while faculty members may naturally gravitate towards synchronous course sessions, developing an array of course materials for students with differing resources will be important in fostering access. Purdue University’s Innovative Learning team has developed the following strategies for instructors to consider: 
 

Video content should be short
(3-5 minutes), divided by
content, and use captions.


Content should be downloadable

Consider developing content
(e.g., Word documents) for students who
use screen readers.

Make use of alternative, free
materials fromOpen Educational
Resources (OER) repositories.​ 

Allow students to locate
their own materials
(e.g., articles, books, videos)
that relate to course topics.​
 

Course Design and Delivery 

For more information please refer to this Hanover report

 

Learning Technologies

We encourage you to use the step-by-step guides below to learn the mechanics of the learning technologies Texas A&M University supports. In time and with practice, the learning technologies we use for online teaching and learning can fade into the background. Texas A&M University supports and encourages the use of the following learning technologies.


Additional Learning Technologies Supported at Texas A&M

Texas A&M University currently supports the following learning technologies. The Office for Academic Innovation promotes learning technologies that integrate into Texas A&M University’s Learning Management System as a way to optimize the teaching and learning experience for both course instructors and students. 



Guide to Teaching with Zoom

Teaching with Zoom


Five Zoom Features to Enhance Teaching & Learning at Texas A&M


Additional Online Resources

Exam Experience Guide


We encourage you to use the resources in this section to create a consistent and high-quality exam experience for your students. Given variability across Texas A&M University’s many degree programs, course instructors will need to account for diverse exam types, assessment objectives, and relative importance of exams while using these resources. A special thanks to the Fall 2020 Exam Experience Committee for thoroughly curating easy-to-use guides and checklists targeting both course instructor and student responsibilities.

 


Remote Exam Checklist

maroon checklist icon

Please note that course instructors should use the learning management system, Canvas, which requires student identity verification, to provide student access to exam materials. Course instructors may choose to proctor online exams using Zoom (or any university-approved video conferencing application) or other university-approved proctoring solutions (Respondus, Honorlock, and the Aggie Proctoring Center).


Academic Integrity is a Shared Responsibility  

maroon outlined desktop computer

Course Instructor Responsibilities

Course instructors should consider the student experience and not create needlessly complex exams as a means of deterring cheating. Course instructors should also be cognizant of increased student anxiety during COVID-19 and not assume that all students have high proficiency with online learning technologies. Acceptable examination conditions must be communicated to students.

maroon outlined laptop with a graduation cap in a speech bubble


Student Responsibilities

Students must abide by the Aggie Honor Code. They must adhere to exam conditions and they must communicate technical troubles to the appropriate person or entity.

Considerations for Online Proctoring Options

Course instructors should carefully consider the strengths and weaknesses of online proctoring solutions. They should design assessments in accordance with learning outcomes, assessment goals, and limitations imposed by the format.


Ensuring Academic Integrity with Learning Management System Assessment Tools 

 

Best Practices for Ensuring Academic Integrity when Creating an Exam in the LMS

 

Several recommended Canvas best practices can help ensure academic integrity. They can be applied when creating an exam with or without the proctoring options mentioned above.

maroon outlined stacked pages with lines as text

The Canvas Quizzes tool allows for random question order across exams. Faculty members can enable these settings to minimize cheating.

 


Guide to Alternative Assessments 


Alternative assessments aim to assess what students know and how they can apply that knowledge. Rather than focusing on a correct answer, alternative assessments explore the process and reasoning behind the response. Alternative assessments are also called "authentic assessments" because they provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world applications of their knowledge and skills.


Exam Conditions Checklists for Course Instructors and Students 

The following checklists are designed for course instructors to design and communicate the exam conditions ahead of the exam to ensure student success during the exam.

Online Exam Proctoring Options

Texas A&M University supports four options to promote academic integrity when administering online exams



 

TAMU Online Proctoring at a Glance

 

respondus.png

Type of Proctoring

Restriction of Software on Computer Record and Review Automated with Live Proctor Pop-In Live Proctoring with Record and Review Live Proctoring 

Requires Exam
be in LMS

Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Minimum System
Requirements and
Technical Specifications
 
Canvas

Review Minimum System Requirements 
How to Install ​
Pre-Install Information
Quick Start Guide
Review Minimum System Requirements for Honorlock
System Check (Scroll down to “What You Need")
Review Minimum System Requirements for Zoom
Zoom Supported Browsers

Canvas 
Resources

Step-by-Step Guide (PDF) Step-by-Step Guide (PDF) Proctoring with Honorlock Canvas (Video) Proctoring with the Aggie Proctoring Center
(No LMS)
Proctoring with Zoom PDF Guide 
(No LMS)
 
 

*Does not work on a Chromebook    |   PDF verison   |   Please note that the options provided are in lieu of alternative live proctoring services. You are also encouraged to consider alternative assessment strategies where applicable.

 **Approved for Distance Education Programs in the following units: College of Engineering, College of Nursing, Mays Business School, School of Law, and School of Public Health.



Getting Started

Online Proctoring Options

Online Exam Proctoring with Respondus Tools

Texas A&M has enabled Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor in Canvas.

 


Online Exam Proctoring with Honorlock

Honorlock’s Live Proctor Pop-In is the industry’s first hybrid between automated and live proctoring. For a comprehensive list of student FAQs, please visit Keep Learning where these are being curated. 
 

Honorlock in Canvas

Honorlock in Canvas


 

 

 Online Exam Proctoring with Aggie Proctoring Center


The Aggie Proctoring Center (APC) provides a pool of Aggie Proctors assigned to proctor exams via Zoom. The APC attempts to replicate the in-classroom experience for the students and the faculty member. The faculty member conducts the proctored exam session in the same manner that faculty member conducts non-exam class session using Zoom.

maroon bar with aggie proctoring center text with a woman in the background engaging in conversation
The Aggie Proctoring Center hires current TAMU graduate students as Aggie Proctors. The Aggie Proctors receive training on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), on diversity and inclusion measures to avoid potential biases, and about behaviors to observe during exams. Faculty can schedule proctoring from the APC by submitting a proctoring center request using the APC Scheduling System.
 
The APC can support up to 290 students in a single proctored exam session. After a faculty member submits a request to use the Aggie Proctoring Center, the Aggie Proctoring Center assigns proctors for an exam using a 1 to 40 proctor to student ratio. For example, if an instructor has 210 students in a class, the faculty member can request up to 6 Aggie Proctors (210 ÷ 40 rounded to next higher integer) to assist in proctoring the exam.
 
During a proctored exam session, the Aggie Proctors observe the students and their exam environment. The Aggie Proctors inform the faculty member if a student’s conduct or exam environment suggests the student may not be following the Aggie Honor Code. Based on this information, the faculty member can address the behavior and intervene during the exam as needed (e.g., unmute to speak with the student or use Zoom chat to initiate a conversation with the student).
 
After the exam, the faculty member receives notes from the Aggie Proctors regarding the student conduct. Each annotation made by an Aggie Proctor includes the student’s name, a timestamp, and a comment regarding the student’s actions. The faculty member can review the recorded exam session combined with the Aggie Proctor notes to determine if the student conduct constitutes a violation of the Aggie Honor Code and whether to submit an Aggie Honor Code violation report.

 

 

Aggie Proctoring Center Policies and Procedures

To use the Aggie Proctoring Center services, faculty members must agree to the following.


Instructor Responsibilities

 

colorful stacked books with a computer pointer

 

The faculty member conducts the proctored exam session as if the faculty were conducting a face-to-face proctored exam. The faculty member may choose to send a designated representative to conduct and officiate in the class session. However, the faculty member may not delegate this responsibility to an Aggie Proctor.

The Aggie Proctors attend the proctoring session as consultants “on loan” to the faculty member to assist the faculty in proctoring the exam. 
The faculty member retains all rights and responsibilities to administer the exam proctoring session.
 
 

Proctoring Center Features

desktop computer with maroon checklist

 

 

Aggie Proctoring Center Scheduling System

Faculty use the scheduling system to add, review, modify, and delete requests for remote exam proctoring services. After the proctored exam session, faculty use the scheduling system to access the notes recorded by the Aggie Proctors.


 

Exam Day Checklist

The Exam Day Checklist provides faculty an overview of what to do on exam day to ensure the proctored exam session runs smoothly. Be sure to print the checklist and keep it nearby on exam day.

clipboard with check boxes

 

Please review the following section for additional details about the Aggie Proctoring Center.

Yellow Q and Maroon A boxes to the right of two gray boxes


Online Exam Proctoring with Zoom

Online Exam Proctoring with Zoom at Texas A&M

Zoom is a tool that can assist in live proctoring exams. Below is a step-by-step guide that includes best practices and recommended settings for using Zoom to live proctor an exam. Please take note that best practices are based on One-Device and Two-Device options.  (See also PDF download of Proctoring with Zoom)
 

Zoom Proctoring Advice from TAMU Faculty


For another comprehensive look at best practices used at Texas A&M, watch How to Proctor Exams in Zoom - A Texas A&M Faculty Panel Discussion on Best Practices