Transition to remote teaching and learning

 

On this site, you will find information and guidance on how to translate traditional classroom teaching into other learning formats and forms of instruction. 

Three steps towards a transition

Below, you will find three different ways of switching to remote teaching and learning. We strongly recommend that you start with step 1. Consider whether the approach outlined in step 1 is suited to your needs. If not, move on to step 2 and possibly step 3.  


Step 1: Adaptation of teaching activities

It’s important to support your teaching and the students’ learning in the best possible way under the given circumstances. First and foremost, this is a question of helping students work with the material even more independently during this time, as well as communicating with them often and precisely. You can do this by:

  • Communicating explicitly and often about the organisation, form, content, deadlines, etc. of your teaching. We recommend that you use the Announcement and Send mail functions in Blackboard for this.
  • Providing more detailed study guides. You can do this by posting good questions in Blackboard that students can use for support in studying, their assignments and so on.
  • Posting assignments on Blackboard that support the students’ work with the syllabus and communication. For example, you could create a Q&A forum on Blackboard where the students can ask you and each other questions. Other examples might be assignments to be handed in, quizzes and tests that you can give the students feedback on.
  • Recording videos that explain the syllabus and/or using video conferencing for distance learning. See step 2.

Technological support

All of the options in step 1 can be supported by the functionalities in Blackboard as well as different existing learning technologies that AU has access to.

Inspiration

There are special considerations associated with certain teaching activities. If you need help during this process, we recommend that you contact the educational centre your faculty.  Please find the centre links to the right.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Aarhus BSS has developed some useful examples of how to switch to remote teaching and learning. They are available to all teaching staff at AU and can be found here:

In addition, the Science and Technology Learning Lab at Nat-Tech has developed some useful video guides to some of the most important functions in Blackboard:

Step 2: Using video conferencing tools

This step is about how to use video conferencing tools or short video recordings for smaller lectures and classroom instruction. With the video conferencing tool Zoom, you can hold a synchronous teaching session in which the students can access a virtual learning space directly from Blackboard. With Zoom, you can speak and interact with the students while showing them slides, your screen or using the built-in digital whiteboard. You also have the option of dividing your class into smaller virtual groups along the way to allow the students to engage in different kinds of group work.

Zoom also supports the possibility of making screencasts; digital video recordings of your computer screen (slides or other materials) including audio narration (i.e. your comments).  The recordings may later be shared with the students using the tool Kaltura Media in Blackboard. These kinds of asynchronous videos are a good alternative to the synchronous Zoom-based teaching, as the students can access the recordings whenever they need to later on.

Technological support

As a lecturer, you can get technical support for how to use video conferencing tools. Lecturers at Arts are advised to use Blackboard Collaborate, while all other lecturers at AU are advised to use Zoom.

Here you can find technical guidelines and educational inspiration for how to use Zoom.

You’ll find both technical guides and inspiration on how to use Blackboard Collaborate in your teaching here:

If you need to comment on your slides or explain concepts or selected parts of the syllabus to the students, you can make a short video recording of your slides or other material on your screens using one of the following tools:

Capacity

AU’s suppliers of video conferencing tools are continuously working to ensure that the capacity meets the increasing demand. You can stay updated on the operating status of the different systems at serviceinfo.au.dk

The systems are busiest between 9:30 and 12:00 so if you want to make sure that there is sufficient capacity for you to conduct your teaching or record a screen cast using the video conferencing tool, please consider placing your activities outside this period. You could also consider using asynchronous videos as described above.

Step 3: Video recordings and streaming lectures

This step is about how to switch particularly crucial or central lectures to remote teaching and learning. For example, particularly important teaching activities, or teaching activities that require physical equipment such as whiteboards, blackboards and/or other physical equipment. In these exceptional cases, you will be able to get support and help with either live streaming your lecture from selected classrooms or recording your lecture to be subsequently uploaded to Blackboard. This must be arranged with and approved by your own faculty.

Technological support

There are several locations across AU and the five faculties that are equipped with camera technology allowing for a high-quality recording of your teaching. This process not only requires a lot of resources, AU is also physically closed at the moment. This means that you must contact the educational centre at your faculty or the task force responsible for handling study-related matters at your faculty. They will then explore the possibility of this solution.

Zoom and IT security: Always use the official AU Zoom solution

The coronavirus crisis has led to a significant increase in the use of Zoom worldwide, and there have been a number of critical stories in the media about security problems with the solution. In this connection, it’s important to emphasise that AU has a special agreement with Zoom through the Danish e-infrastructure Cooperation (DeiC). The agreement includes all of the standard data protection clauses normally found in European contracts.


For this reason, it’s important that you always use the official AU Zoom solution – do not use a free version or buy a licence for the standard version from Zoom’s website. You can use the AU Zoom solution by creating a user profile through Blackboard, https://zoom.au.dk or aarhusuniversity.zoom.us. Find out how to do this in the description under step two above.

Keep your Zoom client up to date.

Zoom is constantly updating their technology to improve IT security. This means it’s important that you update your Zoom client to the latest version whenever an update is released.

Ongoing security assessment
AU assesses the security of Zoom regularly, and you can read more about the IT security of the Zoom solution AU uses on DeiC’s website (in Danish): www.deic.dk/da/news/2020-04-02/zoomfaq

 

General information: Educational guidance for switching to remote teaching and learning

In addition to the general solutions proposed above, a number of teaching formats and activities are specific to each faculty and require specific action. On the faculty websites, you can find out more about the transition to remote teaching and learning, support options and other useful information. You can access the faculties’ information websites via the menu to the right.