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MDC Live Support

A helpful guide and checklist for teaching online.
MDC Live Support Facts & Checklist

Introduction

If you are teaching your course(s) in the MDC Live modality, this Support Facts and Checklist will help you with the preparation and technical aspects of the delivery. It is our hope this document will guide you before classes start and, once the semester begins, support student learning and success in the MDC Live modality.

Instructional Design and Training Support

Definition

Q: What is the “MDC Live” modality and what does it mean to teach in it?
A: The MDC Live modality means you are teaching fully online and synchronously. Teaching in the MDC Live modality requires you interact in real-time with students on scheduled days and times in an online environment, as you would in your In-person classes.

Feel free to watch this short video created for students:

Training

Q: What trainings do I need to be prepared to teach in the MDC Live modality?
A: Please visit the CIOL website and then click on the "Teaching MDC Live Courses" area.

Q: Where do I find available CIOL trainings to take?
A: Instructions on all available workshops and how to sign up for them can be found on the CIOL website, under "Search and Register for Workshops". For more information about CIOL workshops and registration, please contact us at CIOL@mdc.edu

Testing

Q: What testing proctoring options does someone have who is teaching MDC Live?
A: If you’re teaching MDC In-person, you will observe as usual your students taking their exam. If you are teaching MDC Blended, you can test during the 21% class time in-person requirement portion of your class or you can use Respondus Monitor, Lockdown Browser and/or Live Proctoring to test students when they are not physically with you in the classroom. The Monitor will give recordings of students testing, the Lockdown Browser will prevent students from using other browsers and the Live Proctoring will allow you to view students while testing using a video conferencing software such as Zoom or Collaborate Ultra. If you are teaching MDCOnline, you may use the Proctor U service.

Instructional Design Support

  • To get help beyond the basics, CIOL has many on-demand and live workshops to enhance your skills. You may also request one-on-one time with one of CIOL's instructional designers. You may also schedule an appointment online.

  • To locate the CIOL ORG, an organization in Blackboard where the CIOL Department stores all its resources, go to Blackboard and then click on Organizations. Under Current Organizations, you will see the CIOL ORG. If you do not, please contact CIOL@mdc.edu right away to gain access. In this organization, we have many helpful resources:

Q: If and after I record my class sessions, where can my recordings be found?
A: If you use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and record your class session, you should go into the course as normal, but before you enter the session, look to the upper left of the screen and you should see an icon with three horizontal lines. Click on it and then click on Recordings. Enter in a date range and you will see your recording there. Click on the three dots next to the file to print or download.

Recording Bar

If you are using Zoom and record your class session, you should make an area in the Blackboard course where you will retrieve your recordings. It should be called something like “Class Recordings”. To create this area, click on the little circle with a plus in it on the top of your left main menu. Select Tool Link, and then give it the name Class Recordings or something similar. For Type, select Zoom Essentials from the list. Be sure to check off the box that says Make Available to Users. Click submit. Now, click on that link you just made to provision your course for Panopto and then follow the instructions to click on the button to Configure. This is what you'll need to do to make sure you and your students can access your videos.

Class Recording

Best Practices

Use the checklist below to see if you’re ready to teach in the MDC Live modality.

Before Classes Start:

☐ I have reviewed all resources that will help me teach in the MDC Live modality.

  • There is the MDC Live Faculty Guide and this current MDC Live Support Facts and Checklist. Both are geared for helping someone who has never taught in this modality acclimate themselves and find the appropriate resources to get started. In addition, there are a plethora of resources in the CIOL ORG.

  • There are recordings of special presentations given during MDC Live sessions from fellow faculty members who discuss their tips and tricks as well as pitfalls to avoid for teaching in this modality. Each faculty member shares different technology tools they use as well as various best practices they suggest to effectively reach and engage students.

☐ I checked to make sure I have a reliable Internet connection and I am connected directly to my router (not over WiFi).

☐ I made sure to update all browsers on my computer and mobile devices to Chrome and Firefox, the recommended browsers.

☐ I made sure that I have all appropriate equipment for teaching in the MDC Live modality.

  • It is recommended that you have a PC or laptop and two monitors (if possible) to teach in this modality. It is also a best practice to have a headset to provide good sound quality to your students. You should also have a webcam. It may be built-in, but if not, you'll need an external one.

☐ I have identified the videoconferencing tool I will use to conduct my classes and have taken the necessary training to learn how to use it.

  • Note: It is suggested that for MDC Live you use Zoom (TECH112 Zoom Essentials for Faculty), although you may also choose Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBL3007) or MS Teams Meetings (TECH113) as well. If you select one of the other tools, please let us know and we can assist at CIOL@mdc.edu.

I copied from this cheat sheet all the contact information on how to get support for myself and my students. I also made note of the CIOL information below. I put it somewhere handy so I may quickly access it when needed.

☐ I have taken additional trainings to enhance my online teaching skills.

Attending Training: Zoom Essentials:

To take the self-paced 24/7 Zoom training: Please sign up for the workshop TECH112-27. Zoom Essentials for Faculty course. Please be sure to complete it at your earliest convenience. See instructions below on how to get started. You will learn everything you need to know to use the Zoom features, how to record, where the recordings are saved, how to run reports (attendance, Polls, chat script, etc.), what students need to join your virtual sessions, and much more.

To get started with your self-paced (24/7) online training for the TECH112 Zoom Essentials for Faculty course:

  1. Log on to Blackboard using Chrome or Firefox 24 hours after you enroll. Your course will not be available until then.
  2. Click on “Courses” after you log on and enter the training site
  3. Click on the training module to get started:
☐ I have selected and received training on one or more technology tools for student engagement (highly recommended).

New! Kahoot and Flipgrid

TECH101-15

Online, Self-Paced
Last enrollment date is December 9, 2021.

Session ends December 10th.

New! Socrative and Jamboard

TECH116-2

Online, Self-Paced
Last enrollment date is December 9, 2021.

Session ends December 10th.

☐ I have updated my syllabus to reflect any pertinent changes that teaching in an MDC Live modality will bring about. This includes how students should take tests, complete assignments, find materials in my course, participate in discussions, etc.

I have sent a Welcome Email to students, or even a Welcome Video, to tell them all the pertinent information. I have included important details such as how to access their virtual room, how to navigate Blackboard, what to expect from the course, etc… I have reviewed and modified (if necessary) these helpful student handouts.

  • Make sure to send the email to students a week before class and then every few days after since students are continually enrolling in your course.

☐ I have made a comprehensive lesson plan for the first day and first week of class to ensure everything runs smoothly. I have built in extra time for technical problems so that I don’t fall too far behind in my curriculum. I have included activities to create community and have also let students know in detail what the class will be about and what they will need to do to be successful. I have even considered an initial assessment to see where they are starting, and I plan to revise my lessons to meet them where they are at.

☐ I have planned in my daily schedule to come early and stay late after each class to be available for any personal questions and to get to know students better so I can address their needs and help them do well in my class. I let students know that I’ll be available at these times, and I also ensure my settings in my videoconferencing system allow for early entry and late exit.

☐ I have created a backup plan if technology or something else doesn't work as expected. I have built in extra time into my lessons the first week of classes just in case there are technical problems to resolve. I have involved one or more students to connect with outside of class to provide instructions so if I lose all power or connectivity, the students will know what to do.

☐ I have shared relevant materials (notes, slides, handouts, etc.) in Blackboard so that students have access to them. I have designed my Blackboard course to be very easy to follow and I have everything labelled with clear directions so the students will know exactly what I want them to do. I have avoided having too many subfolders and embedded activities so it will be easy for students to find course materials. I have even provided time approximations on each task I’ve assigned to them so they can better manage their time. I have given students a tour of the course, so they know where to locate materials.

  • Note: To save time in class, you can make a short video and email the link to students before classes begin so they’ll know how to navigate your course with ease (see below). Alternatively, you can give a tour in writing on a Word document or even create a scavenger hunt to encourage the students to navigate through your course at the beginning, so they won’t be lost looking for important resources.

☐ I have created a welcome video introduction (optional but highly recommended) to introduce myself, my interests, my educational background, what in the course they’re taking may interest them, etc… I’ve made sure to include any special instructions and share textbook information and any homework software information (I.e., MyMathLab, Connect, etc.). I have sent this welcome video a week before class and then every few days as students are continually enrolling to my course. I made sure to include instructions for how to log into Blackboard and how to join my Virtual Room.

  • Tip: You may use this as an opportunity to share personal things with students to humanize you, such as your hobbies, your pets, etc. Be careful not to divulge too many personal details or anything that could identify where you live. Share as you would in your face-to-face classes.

☐ I have created a video tour of my course (optional but highly recommended) where I have shown my syllabus and how I organized my Blackboard course and how to access each item. I have also demonstrated to students how to use any other application or software component that they will be using for class. I’ve created instructions for how to join the virtual room where I will be holding class and information about how to log into Blackboard and how to locate your course.

  • Note: This video tour and the welcome video introduction could certainly be combined into one video. Just make sure it’s not too long or overwhelming for students.

☐ I have come up with a plan for how I will assess students. It is important to me that I preserve academic integrity while administering exams remotely. I have taken the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor workshop and the “Cheatproof Your Exam” webinar and have made necessary provisions to ensure my students cannot cheat on their quizzes and exams.

Resources:

☐ I have come up with a plan for how I will intervene early to ensure my students are successful. I have taken the Early Alert and Intervention webinar and have developed strategies I will employ for getting students on track early in the semester to increase my retention and success rates.

  • Sign up for BBL2009 Blackboard Ally (BBL2009-75)

  • You may also research student engagement technology tools, such as Flipgrid and Socrative, to see what measures they’ve used to ensure their materials are ADA compliant. Many of these apps have taken great strides toward making their end products be all-inclusive.

After Classes Begin:

☐ I have made all expectations and instructions very clear early in the term regarding technical issues, how to take tests or complete assignments, late policies, netiquette practices, etc… I have posted these in my syllabus or elsewhere in my Learning Management System and have let students know about them thoroughly and frequently.

☐ I know how to engage my students in my MDC Live classes.

  • There are many methods you may use to conduct your class and engage students when teaching online in a fully synchronous mode.
  • There are also many technology tools. You may enroll in one or more sessions below to get started with some of the more popular tools (Kahoot, Flipgrid, Socrative, Jamboard, etc.).
  • Once again, you can consult the MDC Live Faculty Guide. You may watch the MDC Live special co-facilitators' presentations, which are chock full of ideas on how to teach in this modality.
  • There are also Faculty-to-Faculty Shared Materials, where many attendees of the live MDC Live sessions have donated their materials to help other professors. If you have some materials that you feel would benefit others, kindly share them by sending them to CIOL@mdc.edu. In general, the MDC Live folder has many resources and ideas to help you be successful in involving every student in your lessons.

☐ I plan on arriving to my virtual classroom early to ensure hardware and software is ready to go and students have an opportunity to ask questions and/or chat with me. I have let students know when I will be there and informed them what to do if they need to speak privately with me.

☐ I have a plan in place for how I will get to know students and how I will foster community by helping students to get to know one another. I have prepared at least one ice breaker activity. I also present a bit about myself so my students can get to know me. I have considered using a discussion board or Flipgrid or similar tools to encourage faculty-to-student and student-to-student interactions.

☐ I have prepared a communication plan, including how often I will answer emails, communicate after grades are posted, let students know when there’s new content, etc… I have frequently reminded my students of my plan so they are aware of how I will communicate with them.

☐ I have established, explained, and modeled correct netiquette to my students. I have employed various techniques and others as I see appropriate

How to Create ONE Virtual Room for All Your Office Hours:

  • Create one virtual room for all office hours with “no fixed time” (Zoom) / “no end date” (Bb Collaborate Ultra) in one of your courses and share the link with all your students.
  • Let them know you will be there at times posted in your syllabus.
  • When you create a no fixed time / no end date repeating session, this will let the room remain open and then you just show up at your designated times and everyone from all your classes can join.
  • If you have many show up at once, use the Waiting Room feature in Zoom or the Breakout Rooms to put students in different areas until you are ready for them.
  • If you would like to learn how to do the same in Collaborate Ultra, please contact us CIOL@mdc.edu

☐ I have considered building a FAQ based on my previous experience with students’ questions from previous classes. I can direct students there if they’ve asked a common question to save me time and effort. This FAQ could be about policies and procedures related to the class. Also, I’ve considered making a content-related FAQ of common questions and mistakes that students make and direct them to it When appropriate. I may even use it as a source from which I can draw test or quiz questions to encourage students to study it.

☐ I have planned and will deliver a weekly announcement that will give updates for what’s happening in class, when new grades are posted, what due dates are approaching, and when tests are to be held. I will use this in conjunction with the Course Calendar, where I will also put all due dates.

☐ I have a plan to leverage the synchronicity in my classes. I will balance lecture time with student engagement activities to involve every learner in the lesson.

☐ I have developed strategies to help students and myself combat semester fatigue.

☐ I plan to teach the whole student and have identified several methods to do so.

☐ I will use technology to communicate with, engage with and assess students.

☐ I will make conscious steps to take care of myself well and regularly to prevent burnout and alleviate symptoms of semester fatigue.

Technical Support Information

Below is a list of possible places to get technical assistance while teaching MDC Live:

Tools Faculty Students
Blackboard
Blackboard SSO log in/out Error (session timed out)
Zoom
Collaborate Ultra
Teams Meetings
Non-Blackboard technical support, such as password resets
Panopto
Respondus
Learning Support
Academic Support (i.e. tutoring and library) is available on your BbL course navigation bar.
  1. Tutoring link will connect students with MDC professional tutors available in-person at the various campuses, and remotely using Bb Collaborate Ultra.
  2. Library link will connect students to library resources and services, including chatting with librarians, e-resources, etc
  3. Smarthinking will connect students with Pearson Smarthinking Online tutoring services 24/7. Tutoring available on all subjects.
Academic Support (i.e. tutoring and library) is available on your BbL course navigation bar.
  1. Tutoring link will connect students with MDC professional tutors available in-person at the various campuses, and remotely using Bb Collaborate Ultra.
  2. Library link will connect students to library resources and services, including chatting with librarians, e-resources, etc.
  3. Smarthinking will connect students with Pearson Smarthinking Online tutoring services 24/7. Tutoring available on all subjects.
Equipment Information and Support

Q: How do faculty get help with MDC-Owned hardware?
A: Contact your CNS (Campus Network Services) Help Desk. See below table for contact information:

Campus Phone Email
District 305-237-2505 ithelpdesk@mdc.edu
Hialeah 305-237-8704 hialeahthelpdesk@mdc.edu
Homestead 305-237-5106 hcts@mdc.edu
Kendall 305-237-0400 kthelpdesk@mdc.edu
Medical 305-237-4491 mthelpdesk@mdc.edu
North 305-237-8282 nhelpdesk@mdc.edu
Padrón 305-237-6032 phelp@mdc.edu
West 305-237-8929 westhelpdesk@mdc.edu
Wolfson 305-237-3232 whelpdesk@mdc.edu

Q: What is the procedure for a faculty member to get help with a non-MDC (personal) computer?
A: Due to liability, data security and privacy concerns, Campus Network Services staff are unable to assist with non-mdc provided devices.

Q: What is the procedure for a faculty member to get an MDC laptop?
A: Contact the Campus Network Services department at your campus (CNS).

Q: What is the procedure for a faculty member to get a headset?
A: Contact the Campus Network Services department at your campus (CNS).

Q: What is the procedure for a faculty member to get a webcam?
A: Contact the Campus Network Services department at your campus (CNS).

Teaching and Learning Spaces on Campus

Q: If faculty needs a space on campus to teach MDC Live and do not have a personal office assigned, where should they go on each campus?
A: Contact your chairperson or faculty dean to reserve a classroom on campus.