Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

5.4 How to set up ad hoc mixed modality sessions (using a webinar tool)

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This guide provides an overview of are the ETO's recommended steps if you are setting up a mixed modality (some people in person, some people online) session for a course, meeting, or other activity. This is not an easy process and we recommend that you have others to help you support the set up and moderation of these sessions.

Before you begin, please consider:

  1. time and effort for setting up (you will have to bring in (and likely purchase) your own hardware and software)
  2. consulting LSM ([email protected]) (if you are using an LSM space) for this type of activity
  3. having additional team members physically present to support you
  4. develop a contingency plan (for when things go a bit wrong)

1. Plan your physical set up

This set up often involves a "webinar station" separate from the equipment used for the activity itself. You'll effectively be bringing a kit to your space. What do you need to capture the activity? And remember - if you need to make purchases, do so early!

1.1. Select your hardware

This usually consists of both hardware and software:

  1. Lap top (see recommendations for minimum computer specifications) - Install the webinar application on your machine before your session.
  2. Microphone (see options for wired and wireless microphones) - If you plan to use a wireless microphone (LSM recommends the RODE kit), ensure that you test prior to your session to make sure everything is working. You will likely be using TWO microphones; one for the webinar and one for the in room activity.
  3. Camera (see our options for webcams and cameras) - If you plan to film chalk board writing (or other fine detailed work), make sure you test that the streaming resolution is sufficient for your online cohort.
  4. Tripod (see our recommendations on our filming accessories guide) - Not only do tripods help improve steadiness and stability of the camera, they reduce accidental tip overs.

1.2. Select your webinar tool

See our guide to selecting the webinar tool that is right for you. If you are already using the tool for other aspects of your class, you might choose to continue with that option to reduce technological overload.

2. Practice and test your set up

Our recommendation is to review the type of activity, plan for how you will use the camera to film it, and then pick a location that works (and has good access to a power supply - or bring extra batteries!).

Are you using an LSM room for this activity? If you have any questions about room set up or compatibility, please contact the Learning Space Management team using [email protected]. While the EdTech Office can offer some general advice, LSM is the team that can help you with your physical set up.

2.1. Set up your planned set up in the actual space

The most important thing that you can do before your session is to practice and test. What works in your office (or at home) might not work in the classroom space. This is especially true for devices that connect via wifi or blue tooth.

2.2. Create a contingency plan

What will you do if something goes wrong? Here are some ideas:

  1. Login to the session on an alternate device (e.g. phone); if the microphone does not work, you can keep the phone close to you and use it as audio back up (turn off the mics not in use).
  2. Bring a wired microphone that you can place near to you. It's better than nothing!
  3. Ensure that your TAs have the appropriate session permissions to take over the session for you.
  4. Sign up for OpenCast! Even if you don't use it to share content with your students, you'll have the audio/digital display back up from this service.
  5. Always have extra batteries.

3. Share session information in Quercus

How do you want your students to take advantage of this option? Be clear about how you'd like them to use (and how not to). Who can join? Do students still have to come to class? You get to set the parameters but it helps to be transparent about your expectations.

  1. Make an announcement (see how to post an announcement)
  2. Post session join information on the Quercus Calendar (see how to use the Quercus Calendar)

4. Editing your videos (if needed)

After you've completed filming, you'll want to edit the video. Some videos will require minimal editing (e.g. lecture capture style videos) while some will require heavy editing (e.g. open educational resources intended for re-use).

When preparing to edit your footage, consider:

  1. What type of software you will use for editing your content? See our guide to no-cost software editing tools as well as our guide to paid editing tools.
  2. Is your project a candidate for the FASE Remote Editing ServiceThe goal of this project is to offer quick turnaround for videos; to accomplish this, we are keeping the video editing light (think trimming, cutting, combining tracks, and graphical emphasis but not a complete re-design and enhancement of your materials).

If you have any questions about how to edit your videos or if the remote editing service is right for you, please book a consultation and we'd be happy to assist you.

5. Share recordings in Quercus

DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO FILES DIRECTLY TO QUERCUS! Not only will this chew through your course's storage quota, Quercus is not optimized for video playback and does not archive your videos for re-use.

When sharing your videos to students, ensure that you:

  1. Select a video/hosting streaming service (e.g. MyMedia, MS Stream). This guide will walk you through your options and help you pick the right hosting service for your project. A benefit of uploading the videos to a host is that they are archived for you; you'll be able to reuse these videos for many terms to come.
    1. If you are using MyMedia to host your videos, we recommend requesting a new MyMedia account for your course that can be shared across your teaching team.
  2. Copy the share link for your videos into your Quercus course. This guide contains instructions for both MyMedia and MS Stream.
  3. Use Quercus to provide access to the videos. You can do this in multiple ways but a common one is to create a Page in Quercus and paste the links into a table (or other organized structure) using the rich content editor (see How do I upload and embed media from an external source?).
Previous Article 5.3 How to self-film live activities using a camera (e.g., smartphone, webcam)
Next Article 6.1 Compare and select your videohosting/streaming service
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office