Below we’ve put together a number of answers to questions we know that our faculty and staff might have related to finishing out the semester–classes, teaching duties, exams, etc. If there’s a question you would like to ask and see answered here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I record my Zoom lecture/class so I can reuse it again, but also be FERPA compliant?
For those wanting to record a Zoom session for later/repeat use, here are the ZOOM instructions that will allow faculty members to record a class session without capturing either the video or the name of the student in the course should a student comment or ask a question.
This approach was tested by Academic Innovation and reviewed by the Registrar for compliance with FERPA. By removing the video and the name, this will allow faculty to be able to use the recording in future semesters if so desired.
What do I do if a student discloses to a faculty or staff member that they have a known or suspected positive COVID-19 infection?
If you know of a student who has a known or suspected positive COVID-19 infection, please contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life at email@example.com or by phone at 979.845.3111. This will allow them to contact the student to see if further support is needed.
I’m using Zoom a lot. What should I be mindful of when conducting meetings, classes, etc.?
Here are some reminders from the TAMU Office of Risk, Ethics and Compliance:
Recording Zoom Meetings
It is suggested that the host of such an online meeting only allow recording of the discussion in accordance with what would be recorded in the normal course and scope of operations.
This measure is being taken to protect the privacy of meeting participants as required by university IT rules and SAPs. In addition, participants wanting to record must obtain permission from the host and all participants in the meeting. Any recording should only be used for university business purposes. Too, such recordings may be subject to disclosure through open records, and the recordings may be subject to records retention requirements.
ANY class recordings that include students are considered education records and thereby subject to FERPA. Recordings that show students may only be kept and used by the instructor of record for the current class and section in which the student participates. These recordings may not be used in subsequent semesters and, under record retention policy, should be retained for one year after the course completion.
Recorded Zoom files
- Cloud Recordings
- Only individuals with a TAMU NetID and Password will be able to view TAMU Zoom cloud recordings. This is a recent TAMU change to Account Settings.
- Only the host is allowed to download a Zoom cloud recording. This is a recent TAMU change to Account Settings.
- In-Meeting Recording (applicable to Cloud or Local Recordings)
- The host controls the ability to record. Unless the host grants permission to a participant, no other recordings can take place within Zoom.
- When a meeting is being recorded in Zoom, “Recording…” appears in the upper left-hand corner. This is visible to all participants.
- Local Recording
- In account settings, it is possible to allow the host and participants to record the meeting to a local file.
- The host may give participants the ability to record locally. By default, this is not enabled. You as the host have to enable this in your Zoom Advanced Settings.
Added security for Zoom and Zoom meetings
- Zoom In-Meeting Security Tab added to Host’s Meeting Toolbar (available with Zoom client version 4.6.10):
- Please update your Zoom client to version 4.6.10. If you are unable to, please contact your IT department or Help Desk Central for assistance.
- How to check your Zoom client version
- Best practices for securing a virtual classroom in Zoom
- Microsoft Password Vulnerability
- Resolved with Zoom client version 4.6.9 which was available for download on 4/3/2020.
- TAMU has issued recommended guidelines for setting up a secure Zoom meeting. More information can be found in this link.
Are there any recommendations for recording students for live online proctoring using Zoom?
The Office of Risk, Ethics and Compliance offers the following guidelines for faculty and instructors who plan to use Zoom for live, online proctoring of exams to record students.
- It is recommended that faculty add verbiage to exam guidelines that are distributed to students ahead of the exam to disclose that the faculty member/TA will be recording the proctored exams.
- This information should be repeated at the start of the exam once the recording has been turned on.
- Additionally, when students register for the exam via Zoom, faculty may add a disclaimer that the session will be recorded.
- If the students are recorded and they can be identified, the portion that shows the student(s) would be an educational record under FERPA.
- Only the instructor and/or TAs should have access to the recording. Recordings should be retained for one year from the date of the exam.
We were told that online proctored exams would not be an option. What else we can do for testing or assessment?
Many of you have asked about an exam proctoring solution, such as Examity. Unfortunately, these companies are being impacted as well and have stated they will not be providing proctoring services through the end of March and likely through the end of the semester.
- Harvard Business School Publishing: Moving your Class Online
- Indiana University – Bloomington:
- University of California – Berkeley: Alternatives to Traditional Testing
- University of Minnesota: Alternative Assessments
- TAMU, Dr. Kim Dooley: Authentic Assessment Toolkit: Strategies to Reach and Teach the Millennial Generation
- TAMU Center for Teaching Excellence’s Assessment Resources
- Learner Assessment in Online Courses: Best Practices & More
Since I’m now teaching remotely, can I get students to pay for extra materials, technology, applications, etc. for the course?
No. When creating alternative forms of assessment or for lab courses, faculty cannot pass expenses onto students. Students cannot be required to buy supplies to complete courses.
Where can I get some training or help in converting my course?
To support COALS faculty in converting their courses to online format, we have listed a variety of resources and links above. We have also assembled a group of colleagues/faculty with a wide range of experience and expertise in the area of online learning and online assessment methods that would be available for support. Simply fill out the form below with your information, your question or your support need and we will get someone in touch with you to help.
If you currently have no content online, before submitting the form, please review the guide at https://provost.tamu.edu/keep-teaching and complete Zoom and Google Classroom training that can be scheduled at https://provost.tamu.edu/keep-teaching#training.
Any further questions regarding faculty assistance, converting courses, modifying learning outcomes and more can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do the students have to meet during their current class time, or do we have the freedom to meet asynchronously or synchronously at a time that works for the group?
Synchronous online delivery must be at the originally scheduled class time to avoid scheduling conflicts for students. You may convert a synchronously delivered class to an asynchronously delivered class.
What should I be thinking about as I prepare my instruction? For example, do I have to create 15 separate hours of video instruction?
Classes will resume online in week 10 of the spring semester, so for a 3 credit course there are 15 faculty instruction hours remaining and 30 out of class student hours remaining. Faculty can choose to “chunk” their instruction into shorter portions (such as multiple 5-10 minute video segments) in order to reach their 15 total hours.
There is no good solution for online proctored exams, so faculty are strongly encouraged to consider substituting assignments for exams. Faculty will be responsible for communicating the changes to their courses to their students. Every instructor will need to post an updated syllabus.
For many OGAPS forms, original signatures are required. Will electronic signatures be acceptable at this time?
OGAPS is currently working on a process to fit the needs of everyone given the current COVID-19 restrictions on personal interaction and the university moving to distance instruction. They hope to have that process live in the next couple of days and plan to communicate it to faculty and department advisors once it is finalized.
The aim is to have the process be simpler and more streamlined than having to route through everyone and collect electronic signatures. If, however, in the meantime you want to submit forms with electronic signatures, you can submit them to email@example.com.
Do I need to invent video materials for lecture and lab courses?
No, in many cases there are online resources with video content that may be able to support your instruction.
The university has an account with LinkedIn learning that has video content on a wide range of topics. Any student or faculty member with a NetID can access these video training modules and lessons.
Another resource is JoVE Video. TAMU Libraries has a subscription to JoVE content. JoVE is providing all of their Education video content free to use in STEM teaching efforts through June 15th.
Even though students cannot be required to meet on campus, can an instructor poll students to see if they would like to continue meeting in person rather than move a class online (assuming that a section is fewer than 50 people, including the instructor)?
To protect our community, Texas A&M University’s leadership has determined that all undergraduate lecture and lab courses must be taught online. Per the Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and the Executive Associate Dean for the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, there will be no exceptions approved by their offices. All undergraduate and graduate courses should be converted to online-only format.
When moving or migrating a class online, how do I insure good pedagogy?
Ultimately, you want to keep your instruction simple and accessible. In “How to Make Your Online Pivot Less Brutal” by Dr. Kevin Gannon, he notes:
“Good pedagogy requires:
- Regular, effective, and compassionate communication with students.
- Flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Transparency in course materials, like tests, assignments, and activities.”
How can I get an email list of all my students in a class so I can invite them to a Zoom meeting?
Every instructor has an eCampus site for each of their courses. You can use the “Send Email” tool to send email messages to each student registered for the class. The list of email addresses can be copied from one of those communications into the Zoom invitation space. You can also get an email list out of Howdy! by downloading your roster as an Excel file and then cutting and pasting that from Excel into Zoom.
Will Zoom be able to handle my class size or the additional requirement of captioning?
Zoom is a full-featured web collaboration tool available to all Texas A&M University students and employees including unlimited meetings with up to 300 participants at a time. Stream your lecture, meet with your team, or have a quick one-on-one meeting with high quality audio and video.
Zoom recording allows you to caption and save a video for future reference or send to those unable to attend. NOTE: It is more efficient to record your Zoom meeting/class to your computer than the cloud. Zoom also features intuitive screen sharing, whiteboarding and much more including captioning. Learn more at TAMU IT’s Zoom Videoconferencing webpage.
I don’t have a camera/microphone on my desktop. I also need to use my classroom space to work out problems. What can I do?
Instructors may record lectures in their classroom at their normal scheduled time or at other work stations on campus.
Why is there a lack of instructional support information about eCampus on the keepteaching.tamu.edu site? Is that platform not preferred for the transition to online teaching?
The audience for keepteaching.tamu.edu is those instructors who do not already use all the tools available on eCampus, because Zoom and Google classroom will be easier and quicker for them to transition materials. Some materials for eCampus have now been added. If you already use eCampus for more than just files and need support, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our distance education experts will respond to you quickly.
If my course assignments and credit are based on classroom activities (e.g. labs, travel abroad, field-based experiences), can I require that students participate in those activities in a future term and receive an incomplete grade for this semester?
No, you must create alternative assignments to fulfill the required course credits. Classes will resume in week 10 of the spring semester, so for a 3 credit course there are 15 faculty instruction hours remaining and 30 out of class student hours remaining.
What can I do about hard copy assignments that need to be returned? Can I email a PDF of them as an attachment?
Sending attachments by regular email is not secure and should be avoided. However, if a faculty member has or uses a TAMU Gmail account, they can turn on “Confidential mode” (the highlighted icon in the composition menu bar) when composing/sending the email. They can set an expiration date as well as require a passcode to send the scanned hard copy back to the student.
If I have students in my course with reported disabilities who have note takers in regular attendance, how will those support students be notified of my online activities?
If you teach a class that has an interpreter, transcriptionist, or any other resource designed to assist a student with an accommodation, please be sure to collaborate with Disability Resources about how these accommodations will be implemented in an online environment and/or what alternatives might need to be considered. See also Accessibility with ZOOM.
If students notify disability services about a technology-related limitation, how will I be informed? And what support is available to help me remedy those issues since I’m a novice in the online environment?
How do I make sure that only students in my class/section are the only ones in the Zoom meeting/room?
There have been reports this morning of people outside A&M joining synchronous lectures that are being offered as Zoom meetings and harassing our students via the “Chat” feature.
You may wish to: (a) require a password to join your meeting (this may be a bit cumbersome, since you have to disseminate this information via email) or (b) require participants to authenticate before joining your meeting (your students can easily do this with their NetID and password).
You can toggle this option for all meetings that you host by editing your Zoom profile (see screenshot below).
What about Career Center-related support for our classes or assignments? Who do I contact?
If a professor has any questions about Career Center-related assignments or anything Career Center related, they can reach out to email@example.com. While this is a general email account, these emails are monitored and immediately forwarded to the appropriate person or subject expert.