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Getting & Teaching Online


IT Weekly Special Edition

March 22, 2020

On behalf of Vice Provost Academic Affairs, RJ Hinde, and Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer, Joel Reeves, this is a special edition of IT Weekly with tips and suggestions for getting and teaching online. If you have any questions or comments, please email vpaa@utk.edu or cio@utk.edu.

Important Information about Zoom Pro Accounts

  • Instructors of record were upgraded to Zoom Pro accounts. This includes GTAs. Instructors were sent an email from Zoom with instructions to accept the account. If you can’t find the email, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or call at 865-974-9900.
  • The first time you login using the Desktop application, you will be prompted to enter the SSO information. You will only need to do this once. Please complete the following steps:
    1. Select the Zoom desktop icon (Or, select Zoom from the Programs or Applications list).
    2. Select Sign In and then Sign In with SSO (PC) or Log In with SSO (Mac).
    3. In the field provided on the screen requesting domain information, enter the word tennessee (lower case). The remainder of the domain may already be provided for you (zoom.us).
    4. Select Continue to save the entry and advance to the next step.
      When prompted, log in with your NetID user name and password.
  • Make sure you log in to Zoom and check that all is working for you BEFORE you meet with your class!

Attention:

We do not recommend using Chromebooks to teach your class. The Chrome OS application is extremely limited in its functionality. Our testing with the app has yielded less than satisfactory results. If you only have a Chromebook, you can request to check out a laptop by submitting a request to OIT at forms.utk.edu/tech-request. In the meantime, you may want to post your course materials in Canvas and communicate with students via email. OR you CAN call into Zoom via phone and speak with your class by using any of the phone numbers below (This information is also generated for your students in the Zoom meeting invitation, should any of them need to call in by phone.):
Dial:
855 880 1246 (US Toll Free)
877 853 5257 (US Toll Free)
Meeting ID: (This will be your meeting’s 10 digit number)
International numbers available: https://tennessee.zoom.us/u/acNADrlJt9

Bookmark Two Essential Resources:

  1. Working and Teaching Remotely
    Developed website showcasing the technology tools that are available to support working and teaching remotely. It also provides information about the extensive online support that OIT staff can provide to help instructors shift to online teaching.
  2. Quick Start to Online Teaching
    Teaching and Learning Innovation (TLI) has also developed a website devoted to helping instructors make a quick start to online teaching.

Canvas Logo

Teaching Remotely with Canvas

If you’re new to using Canvas in your course, you’ll want to follow the steps on the Teaching Remotely webpage.  Learn how to access your Canvas course site, post announcements to your students, post class materials, and a few other basic instructions for getting your class functioning online. You may also want to check out the daily workshops offered by TLI this week on Steps for Transitioning to Online Course Delivery which will be offered in Zoom. Last, TLI has developed a website devoted to helping instructors make a quick start to online teaching. Review the “Getting Ready” tab for a list of things you can do right now to make the transition easier for you and your students.

Additionally, we recommend that you backup student email addresses and Canvas grades as a precaution. If you’re used to using Canvas but want to step up your game, we have more information for you!


zoom logo

Using Zoom for Class Meetings or to Pre-Record Lectures

OIT has developed an online tutorial to quickly get you up to speed with using Zoom. It is self-paced and has the following sections that you can view in any order to quickly answer questions:

  • Schedule a Zoom Room (10 minutes)
  • Adjust Zoom Room and Meeting Settings (2 minutes)
  • Communicate with Students (2 minutes)
  • Start and Conduct Zoom Meetings (10 minutes)
  • Use Breakout Rooms (2 minutes)
  • Record and Share Zoom Sessions (6 minutes)
  • Compile Zoom Reports (1 page)

If you use Zoom to pre-record a lecture, you can easily upload it to Canvas for students to view and review! We recommend this approach even if you meet with students in Zoom. Record your class meeting and post the file in case some students weren’t able to attend that meeting. Be sure to press the record button at the beginning of your session. All recordings of Zoom meetings are saved to your local computer. OIT is working on a contract extension to enable Cloud Record. We will provide additional information when that feature is available.

Here are some great tips for handling bumps with your and students’ home internet connectivity when using Zoom. One tip is to Pair up with a colleague. If you have an Internet failure, call the colleague and ask them to enter your Zoom room to tell students about your Internet failure and to remind them to check their email for instructions. (Send your colleague the same meeting link you send your students.)


Tips for the Next Six Weeks of Teaching Online

  • Stay connected with your students, some of whom may feel isolated, especially those new to online courses. Sending emails, posting announcements in Canvas, and being available for online office hours or phone calls will help learners stay engaged with you and with the content. 
  • Refer your students to the Academic Success Guide for Online Courses.
  • Create a discussion forum in your Canvas site for students to post questions and answers, consider building an FAQ page.
  • For large enrollment courses, consider ways to manage asynchronous discussions. (This link will download a word document to your computer)
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice online activities, such as submitting an assignment in Canvas, posting to a discussion forum, or taking a quiz.
  • Post audio recordings in your Canvas site each week, e.g., summarize the previous week’s content/preview the upcoming week, deliver mini-lectures that highlight important or challenging course concepts.
  • Share your expectations for students around communication and participation. For synchronous class components, let students know the session is being recorded, and establish and post guidelines for learners; remind students they are attending class and should act and dress accordingly.
  • Continue to teach from within. (This link will download a word document to your computer)

Visit TLI’s Quick Start to Online Teaching page for additional information about teaching online, and be sure to read the Tips for Your First Week Teaching Online and Beyond from UTK Instructors. 


Adobe Creative Cloud logo

Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available to Students

Since students are unable to use the computer labs, Adobe has made Creative Cloud available to UT students from their home computers. UT students will have access to Creative Cloud through the end of the semester.  If your class requires the use of Creative Cloud, please share these instructions with your students.

Getting Started with Creative Cloud

  1. Go to adobe.com.
  2. Click Sign In in the top right corner.
  3. Enter tennessee.edu in the Email Address field.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. This will redirect you to the Central Authentication Service Login page.
  6. Enter your NetID and Password
  7. Under Your Services, you should see the red icon and Creative Cloud, click Open.
  8. In the box on the right with your name and Manage Account, click on Install Creative Cloud app.
  9. Follow the instructions on the screen for installing the Creative Cloud app.
  10. Once the Creative Cloud app is installed, you can then install the particular applications you need.

Forwarding Phones to Voicemail

With the university encouraging faculty and staff to telecommute, many have expressed concern about the inability to answer office phones from home. Due to a limitation in the number of available phone lines, we have disabled the ability to forward campus extensions to off-campus phone numbers. Since you cannot forward your phone, you can and should forward your phone calls to your Xpressions voicemail. Instructions are available in the OIT Knowledge Base.

All voicemail messages will be delivered directly to your email address, allowing you to either dial in to Xpressions or listen to messages on any device used to check email.  For phones that have multiple people who answer during normal business hours, the voicemail can be sent to two email addresses. You should update your voicemail message, letting people know that the university has moved to an all-online environment and that you are monitoring your messages and will return their calls. If you are not receiving your voicemail messages in your email, contact telephoneservices@utk.edu and request this service.

Faculty and staff can request voicemail forwarding or new voicemail service by sending a request to Telephone Services at telephoneservices@utk.edu. Telephone Services will then setup voicemail, and the standard monthly fee for service will be waived for the duration of the COVID-19 event. 


VPN Access

If you require Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, visit our VPN online user guide for instructions on how to download the necessary software and instructions on how to connect to the VPN. If you have questions, contact the OIT HelpDesk at help.utk.edu or 865-974-9900.


Faculty Training & Support

OIT is offering online support for Canvas and Zoom questions daily (including weekends) from 8:00am to 8:00pm through March 31, 2020

Online@UT (Canvas) Support LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) Support

OIT is also available for one-on-one consultations via Zoom. Appointments are required and may be requested by contacting the OIT HelpDesk via phone at 865-974-9900 or online at help.utk.edu. Tell the OIT HelpDesk (or note in the online form) some time slots you have available and you will receive verification via email with the Zoom meeting link.

TLI is offering daily workshops on Steps for Transitioning to Online Course Delivery online in Zoom.


Reminders for Working Remotely

Working from home is not complicated. Most of us do so every once in a while. Accessing an internet connection is easy enough, and cloud office suites like Office 365 and Google applications make it seamless to transition from working at the office to doing so on the couch in your living room. We’re in uncharted territory as we have not supported so many staff, faculty or students working remotely, and staff themselves may be a little out of practice in observing best practices when working from home.

We naturally tend to be more relaxed at home, especially when it comes to cyber security. After all, we’re in the safety of our own homes, so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, cyber-criminals are seeking to exploit exactly this sort of complacency with carefully-engineered phishing exploits and threats.  Some tips and reminders:

Be phishing-aware: Be wary of clicking on links which look in any way suspicious and only download content from reliable sources that can be verified. Remember that phishing schemes are a form of social engineering so if you receive an email with an unusual request, check the sender’s details carefully to make sure that you are communicating with colleagues, not criminals. Research shows that domains related to Coronavirus are 50% more likely to be malicious, so make sure to cast a critical eye over anything unexpected that pops into your mailbox.

Choose your device carefully: Many employees use their company computer or laptop for personal use which can create a security risk.  The risk is even greater if you use a personal computer for work purposes. If you have to use a home or personal computer for work, make sure that you’re using a strong anti-virus package.

Who’s listening in? Does your home WiFi network have a strong password, or is it open? Make sure it is protected against anyone within range being able to access and connect to the network.  The same applies to working from a coffee shop or hotel – use caution when connecting to public wireless networks. Unsecured networks make it easier for cybercriminals to access emails and passwords. Most of the UTK IT resources that Students use can be accessed securely from the Internet. However, Faculty and Staff may be required to use the UTK SSL-VPN to access more secure resources. For information on setting up and using the SSL-VPN:

OIT Knowledge Base article

Forwarding Phones to Voicemail

With the university encouraging faculty and staff to telecommute, many have expressed concern about the inability to answer office phones from home. Due to a limitation in the number of available phone lines, we have disabled the ability to forward campus extensions to off-campus phone numbers. Since you cannot forward your phone, you can and should forward your phone calls to your Xpressions voicemail. Instructions are available in the OIT Knowledge Base.

All voicemail messages will be delivered directly to your email address, allowing you to either dial in to Xpressions or listen to messages on any device used to check email.  For phones that have multiple people who answer during normal business hours, the voicemail can be sent to two email addresses. You should update your voicemail message, letting people know that the university has moved to an all-online environment and that you are monitoring your messages and will return their calls. If you are not receiving your voicemail messages in your email, contact telephoneservices@utk.edu and request this service.

Faculty and staff can request voicemail forwarding or new voicemail service by sending a request to Telephone Services at telephoneservices@utk.edu. Telephone Services will then setup voicemail, and the standard monthly fee for service will be waived for the duration of the COVID-19 event. 


VPN Access

If you require Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, visit our VPN online user guide for instructions on how to download the necessary software and instructions on how to connect to the VPN. If you have questions, contact the OIT HelpDesk at help.utk.edu or 865-974-9900.

Faculty Training & Support

OIT is offering online support for Canvas and Zoom questions daily (including weekends) from 8:00am to 8:00pm through March 31, 2020

Online@UT (Canvas) Support LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) Support

OIT is also available for one-on-one consultations via Zoom. Appointments are required and may be requested by contacting the OIT HelpDesk via phone at 865-974-9900 or online at help.utk.edu. Tell the OIT HelpDesk (or note in the online form) some time slots you have available and you will receive verification via email with the Zoom meeting link.

TLI is offering daily workshops on Steps for Transitioning to Online Course Delivery online in Zoom.

Reminders for Working Remotely

Working from home is not complicated. Most of us do so every once in a while. Accessing an internet connection is easy enough, and cloud office suites like Office 365 and Google applications make it seamless to transition from working at the office to doing so on the couch in your living room. We’re in uncharted territory as we have not supported so many staff, faculty or students working remotely, and staff themselves may be a little out of practice in observing best practices when working from home.

We naturally tend to be more relaxed at home, especially when it comes to cyber security. After all, we’re in the safety of our own homes, so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, cyber-criminals are seeking to exploit exactly this sort of complacency with carefully-engineered phishing exploits and threats.  Some tips and reminders:

Be phishing-aware: Be wary of clicking on links which look in any way suspicious and only download content from reliable sources that can be verified. Remember that phishing schemes are a form of social engineering so if you receive an email with an unusual request, check the sender’s details carefully to make sure that you are communicating with colleagues, not criminals. Research shows that domains related to Coronavirus are 50% more likely to be malicious, so make sure to cast a critical eye over anything unexpected that pops into your mailbox.

Choose your device carefully: Many employees use their company computer or laptop for personal use which can create a security risk.  The risk is even greater if you use a personal computer for work purposes. If you have to use a home or personal computer for work, make sure that you’re using a strong anti-virus package.

Who’s listening in? Does your home WiFi network have a strong password, or is it open? Make sure it is protected against anyone within range being able to access and connect to the network.  The same applies to working from a coffee shop or hotel – use caution when connecting to public wireless networks. Unsecured networks make it easier for cybercriminals to access emails and passwords. Most of the UTK IT resources that Students use can be accessed securely from the Internet. However, Faculty and Staff may be required to use the UTK SSL-VPN to access more secure resources. For information on setting up and using the SSL-VPN:

OIT Knowledge Base article