There are a number of situations that might require you to temporarily transfer your class online with minimal notice. This guide provides you with key resources to help you make that shift as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
- Recommended Lecture Capture Recording Options
- Interactive Discussions/Meetings
- Homework and Labs
- Exams and Quizzes
Consultation for Teaching Online
Engineering IT is offering consultation to assist instructors moving their teaching online with Echo360, Kaltura, and Zoom.
Please email engrit-help-media [at] illinois.edu to make a reservation for consultation.
Online Course Delivery Tips and Tricks
Many resources are available to help you and your students be successful in the online course arena. Here are a few of suggested resources for you and your students.
- Tips for Students Participating in Online Courses (document, suitable for virtual handout)
- CITL: Strategies for Online Teaching
- TechServices: Continuity Guide
- Coursera: 8 tips for Effective Online Learning
- Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Be a Better Online Teacher
Already using Echo360? Keep using it.
Room-based Lecture Capture
Instructors are still permitted to come to campus to use the Echo360 automated room-based lecture capture following previously scheduled class times. Instructors have the option to continue conducting lectures at the customary days/times, lecture to an empty room, and those lectures can be recorded and made available to students on-demand. We have deleted recording schedules for classes that the instructor or department has indicated will not be using in-room recording for the rest of the semester. Please reach out if you have questions about in-room recording needs via email to engrit-help-media [at] illinois.edu.
If you prefer to stay off campus, the best option for you to continue recording your lectures for your students using Echo360’s Universal Capture software. This software allows you to record screen recordings on your home desktop or laptop system (Windows or Mac OS) with webcam video and audio—and, more importantly, auto-publish these recordings along with your existing Echo360 room-based lecture recordings to make access more convenient for your students.
Kaltura Personal Capture
Never Used Lecture Recording? Use Kaltura.
Kaltura Personal Capture is a program that makes it easy to create and upload videos to Kaltura through mediaspace.illinois.edu, Compass, or Moodle, and is available for Windows or Mac. Recorded videos can be a combination of webcams and/or screen recordings.
It will have broader support available and is a likely future direction for presentation capture within Engineering.
- Getting started with Kaltura
- How to Use Kaltura Personal Capture
- Kaltura Personal Capture Video Demo
- Kaltura How-To Videos
Zoom is available to all faculty, staff and students. Zoom is a web-conferencing tool that you can use in your online course to conduct virtual office hours, project meetups, study groups, or live final presentations. Engineering IT recommends Zoom for synchronous interaction needs such as meetings or small interactive discussion groups and webinars. It provides audio, video, and chat interactions along with screen and document sharing. Meetings can be recorded and automatically transcribed.
- Video Guides for logging into Zoom
- Zoom Security Guide (Prevent uninvited participants from joining meetings and lectures)
- Zoom Recording Guides (Local, Cloud, and Default Settings)
- Additional Zoom Help Guides (including information on Zoom Access in China and Zoom Restricted Countries )
Skype for Business
We strongly discourage the use of Skype for Business beyond point-to-point phone calls or video chat. Skype for Business has limits in functionality, versatility across operating systems, and reliability in large meetings.
Loaner Laptops with Webcams and Microphones
Engineering IT has a limited number of laptops with webcams and microphones for temporary loan to instructors that need the equipment to prepare for online course delivery. The loan period is limited to 2 weeks. Please complete the form to request a laptop for loan.
Physical labs are closed completely. Some specialized courses may be difficult or impossible to teach without access to instrumentation in those labs. For instructional needs that require access to software typically found in our EWS labs, these are the available solutions.
To remotely access Windows applications, students can use Engineering IT's Citrix Service. This includes college-wide and department-specific Engineering applications.
- Connecting to Citrix
- VPN (Required for Citrix)
- EWS Windows Lab Software
- Matlab Via Citrix: Matlab is the most commonly used application throughout the College labs and Citrix. EngrIT’s Citrix service is limited to 175 concurrent sessions. (Also available via FastX.)
- Special Access to MATLAB and Simulink at the University of Illinois until June 30, 2020
- SPSS Free to All University of Illinois Students until August 1, 2020
Students can use Engineering IT's FastX service for remote access to Linux applications. This service can be rapidly scaled to handle a much larger number of concurrent connections as needed.
NOTE: FastX has scheduled maintenance every Monday morning from 4AM - 7AM. During this time anyone trying to use FasX will receive a license error.
Several online assessment methods are available for student use. Instructors may have to sacrifice some assurance of academic integrity in these cases such as open-books, access to other materials, and lack of identity assurance.
There may be some compromise of strict academic integrity due to available online testing methods. There are limited options that assure tests are taken without additional resources or by the intended individual.
As of March 20th, the university has purchased an institution-wide license for Proctorio which will be available without cost for all our courses to use for 12 months. Proctorio is an online proctoring tool that helps ensure academic integrity for exams and other synchronous assignments. Proctoria provides identity verification, browser locking and exam recording.
The campus LMS system, Compass, is available as both a location to coordinate information and as a quizzing engine.
CBTF / PrairieLearn:
Like other computer labs, Computer-Based Testing Facility is currently closed.
PrairieLearn, a learning system popular in the Computer-Based Testing Facility can be used to administer remote exams.
For information about the CBTF or PrairieLearn, please contact Dave Mussulman mussulma [at] illinois.edu
In addition to the need to provide instruction and assessment without physical presence, it is possible we will need a significant portion of the workforce to perform their duties without physical presence.
Most staff and faculty office PCs running Windows will be configured to accept remote connection with Remote Desktop Gateway. You will need to know your computer hostname. Ideally, you would look that information up on your office computer and test home connection in preparation to work from home.
The campus VPN is required to use many on-campus services. The Tech Services' VPN Essentials link below provides guidance on what applications need VPN connections. Once connected, you could also directly connect to file storage and other systems on campus, allowing you to do many work tasks from home. Unlike the remote desktop option however, you are limited to software that is installed on their laptop or offsite desktop computer.
If a direct connection back to campus through VPN is problematic, there are also a number of cloud-based storage options available. This requires you to proactively move necessary files up into the cloud prior to any quarantine or restricted access initiation. Cloud storage options like Box and Google Drive are also excellent options for collaborating on work among team members who are all working off-site.
In many cases, the nature of research being done within Engineering requires research teams to be physically present. To the extent that research can be done remotely, many of the tools listed above can help maintain team collaboration and access to a variety of resources. Exceptions to this include the use of Citrix (and the software available within the EWS environment) which are for instructional purposes only. FastX is a part of our managed Linux environment which may prove to be a viable method of enabling remote research work.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation has put together an informational page with some recommendations on how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your research. If you have specific questions about how you might be able to conduct your research remotely, please reach out to us at engrit-help [at] illinois.edu and we'll work with you to try to find a solution.
It will be difficult for Engineering IT to support tools and services we do not already deliver or support. Faculty, staff, and instructors should be cautious about seeking new tools that have not been vetted for accessibility, security, or suitability to purpose.