ITS 107: Teaching Using Videoconferencing (IVN)
With four campuses and additional locations where courses are offered, New River relies heavily on videoconferencing for classes and meetings. Recent improvements to the Interactive Videoconferencing Network (IVN) system include the implementation of several new videoconferencing "Zoom Room" classrooms and the implementation of Zoom as the college-wide solution for both videoconferencing and instant messaging. This page provides an overview of the IVN system, describes the changes involved with migrating to Zoom, and includes information specific to teaching and learning in this environment.
Zoom is the instant messaging and videoconferencing application used at New River and the Zoom client is free for all New River students and employees. The Zoom client is installed on all college-owned computers and we encourage users to download the Zoom client to your personal computer or mobile device. If you need any assistance, please contact our Help Desk (304-929-6725).
After completing this workshop participants will be able to:
- Teach using the equipment in a Zoom classroom (Zoom Room user guide).
- Identify methods for improving the quality of Zoom meetings in low bandwidth situations.
- Compare and contrast some approaches to use for communicating with remote IVN classes regarding their need to start and end meetings.
- Access the newriver.zoom.us site and download the Zoom app.
- Sign in and configure your Zoom account (update Time Zone).
- Join a multisite scheduled meeting and conduct audio and video tests.
- Communicate using Zoom video, audio, chat, whiteboard, and sharing features.
- Access Zoom recordings using Brightspace D2L, the Zoom app, or the Zoom web site.
- Connect and disconnect a Zoom meeting from a Lifesize classroom, a Zoom classroom, or the Zoom app.
- Share application windows using Zoom.
- Locate available training and support for Zoom.
- Conduct a Google search using keywords "teaching with Zoom" to locate best practices and resources.
Information for Students and Instructors
(1). What is an IVN course?
IVN is the abbreviation for Interactive Video Network which indicates the use of videoconferencing for the delivery of instruction at New River CTC. Typically, this means that the instructor is in one location (with or without students on-site) while students are located at other locations. Typically, these "other" locations are New River classrooms with special videoconferencing equipment installed. Our current response to the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many instructors now teaching from home with Zoom (and Brightspace). The College has more than 20 IVN classroom locations (see more information about our IVN system). The implementation of Zoom brings new possibilities for defining these "other" locations, since both students and instructors can technically be located anywhere by using the Zoom app on their computer or mobile device. We are no longer "place-bound" (limited to teaching and learning in our traditional IVN classrooms) and instructors will need to help develop policy pertaining to these new opportunities.
(2). How can I best use Zoom in low bandwidth areas?
If a Zoom meeting has multiple participants with video and mics all turned on, you can use less bandwidth by asking participants to mute their mics and turn off video when it isn't needed. As the Host of the meeting, you can also Mute participants yourself if they can't find the button. While you're in a Zoom meeting, you can improve the resources dedicated to your meeting by closing other applications that aren't needed. This may result in more CPU, memory, and bandwidth being available for your Zoom meeting. Zoom works best with a wired connection, then a Wi-Fi connection, then a cellular connection. There are exceptions to this and if your Internet service comes from a satellite provider your cellular signal may be better. You can disable HD video by opening the Zoom client, clicking Settings, then Video, then unchecking Enable HD.
(3). How do I join and end meetings for IVN classes that use Zoom?
If you are in a Zoom Room, your class will begin automatically and you don't need to do anything. We have more than 20 Zoom classrooms. If you are not in a Zoom room, you need to open your Zoom client and join the Zoom meeting by using the link provided by the meeting host.
(4). What other methods of communication can I use in my IVN class?
Each IVN classroom has a Cisco phone installed at the front of the room for the instructor (and students). These phones provide a secondary system for audio communication among IVN classrooms. To place a call to another IVN classroom you must know two things: (1) the room number you want to call and (2) the phone number for that room. Room numbers are listed on the IVN Course Schedule. Most of the IVN classroom phones also have speed dial buttons and a printed directory on the phone to identify other IVN classrooms.
If you're in one of our IVN classrooms and need assistance, you can also call our Help Desk (304-929-6725) by dialing 6725.
Communication tools (course-based email, discussion boards) available within Brightspace D2L can be used to easily facilitate classroom discussions among IVN class sections. Instructors often distribute course information using Brightspace (which means the syllabus, handouts, assignments, and more) and some use it for quizzes and tests.
More Information for Instructors
(1). What do my students need to know to be successful in my IVN class?
To be successful in an IVN class, all students must know how to communicate with the instructor and fellow students at other classroom locations.
Both instructors and students may also need to turn up the volume, unmute a microphone, share a screen, or do other meeting-related tasks.
For classes with an instructor in the room, the learning experience for students is very similar to a traditional face-to-face class. However, some IVN instructors teach from different classrooms throughout the semester. As a result, it is recommended that each IVN student develop a basic familiarity with how to operate the equipment in his or her IVN classroom.
Although the ITS staff (Gary Davis) will do much of the IVN managment for you (they embed the Zoom meeting schedule into Brightspace for Zoom courses), IVN instructors who are scheduled to use Zoom Rooms should be familiar with operating the equipment for videoconferencing, recording, sharing, chatting, and polling.
(2). How do I add Zoom to my Brightspace course?
Zoom is integrated with Brightspace D2L. Instructors and students can access Zoom from within a Brightspace course by following these directions:
- Login to your Brightspace course.
- Click the drop-down More menu and click Zoom.
- A new browser tab will open to display your Zoom meeting information, which includes Upcoming Meetings, Previous Meetings, a Personal Meeting Room, and Cloud Recordings.
- You can filter the information to show only course-related information and you can Schedule a New Meeting if needed.
(3). How do I record my IVN class (or Zoom meeting)?
IVN classes are configured to automatically record to the Cloud. Recordings for IVN classes are available from within Brightspace by entering the appropriate course then clicking the Zoom link described in #2 above.
To record Zoom meetings that you schedule and create, just remember to click the Record option at the beginning of your meeting. If you have a PRO account, you can record to the Cloud but if you're using a Basic account you must record to the local computer. If you want students to access recordings that have been saved to your computer (with a Basic account), you'll need to upload them to Brightspace. The next question provides detailed steps for this.
(4). What training and support is available for instructors and students using Zoom for meetings?
There is an abundance of information for Zoom training and support. Gary Davis developed the Zoom User Manual for New River and we have the IVN Support site that provides helpful information. Zoom offers online tutorials and webinars.
- New River CTC Zoom Manual - https://web.newriver.edu/pdf/zoom-manual.pdf
- New Riverís IVN Support Site - https://web.newriver.edu/ivn.html
- Zoom Tutorials and Webinars - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/201740096
- Zoom 101: Breakout Rooms
- Zoom 101: Polling (In-meeting)
- Zoom 101: Manage Participants (In-depth)
- How to use Breakout Rooms
- Screen Share and Annotation for EDU
- How to use Waiting Rooms to Manage Office Hours and Drop-In Visitor Times
- Comprehensive Guide to Educating Through Zoom
- Knowledgebase Article: How to Update the Zoom Client
Questions, Exercises, Assessments, and Tasks to Complete
- Define your strategy for communicating with IVN students regarding their need to join and end IVN class meetings.
- Download the Zoom app for your personal computer and mobile device and have participants (students) do the same.
- Access Zoom from within Brightspace.
- Locate available training resources for Zoom.
- Establish clear expectations for communication in your classes and meetings using Zoom.
- Which tool is better to use for remote learning, Zoom or Brightspace D2L? (Clue - They are like peanut butter and jelly. They are better together).
- How do I know if my students are in my meeting? (use the Participants button to view them)
- How do I take attendance in a Zoom meeting? (you can test audio for each participant by verbally taking attendance or you can simply rely on the Participants list).