ITS 107: Teaching Using Videoconferencing (IVN)
With four campuses and additional locations where courses are offered, New River CTC relies heavily on videoconferencing for classes and meetings. Recent improvements to the Interactive Videoconferencing Network (IVN) system include the implementation of two new videoconferencing "Zoom Room" classrooms (R126 and F214) and the implementation of Zoom as the application of choice 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 at New River CTC.
After completing this workshop participants will be able to:
- Explain the why, when, and how of the Zoom implemention at New River CTC (see page 2 of the Zoom User Manual).
- 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, and sharing features.
- Access Zoom recordings using Blackboard Learn, the Zoom app, or Outlook.
- Connect and disconnect a Zoom meeting from a Lifesize classroom, a Zoom classroom, or the Zoom app.
- Identify features that differ for Zoom and Blackboard IM.
- 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. The College has 24 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). What are the differences between Zoom and Blackboard IM?
Blackboard IM is primarily an instant messaging and small meeting application with video and whiteboard features, but it lacks key features like (a) attaching files, (b) polling, and (c) managing meetings. It hasn't been updated in more than a few years and Blackboard recently announced they would not be updating or supporting Blackboard IM beyond December 31, 2018.
Zoom is primarily a videoconferencing solution but includes instant messaging, window sharing, meeting management, phone-in options, integrated calendaring with Outlook, integration with Blackboard Learn, and single sign-on authentication with our portal. Zoom will allow the College to centrally manage the IVN systems while also providing a solution for instant messaging and introducing new opportunities for distance learning (key differences between Zoom and Blackboard IM).
As a result, New River CTC is implementing Zoom as the official instant messaging application for the College. Zoom is available now (since July 2018).
(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 only two Zoom Rooms and they are R126 (RCC) and F214 (GVC).
If you are in a Lifesize room, then one student at each location must use the Lifesize remote control to join the meeting for the IVN class. The yellow button on the Lifesize remote control will show the "Directory" of meetings. Locate your meeting and click it to join. Someone at each location must also end the meeting at the end of class. The "Hang Up" button on the Lifesize remote control allows you to end the meeting.
Printed step-by-step directions for joining and ending meetings using the Lifesize remote control are located at the front of each IVN classroom.
(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 Blackboard Learn can be used to easily facilitate classroom discussions among IVN class sections. Instructors often distribute course information using Blackboard (which means the syllabus, handouts, assignments, and more) and some use it for quizzes and tests.
More Information for Instructors
(1). What is the difference between a "Zoom Room" and the Lifesize classrooms used for IVN classes?
Zoom rooms were purchased in 2018 while the Lifesize rooms are about 10 years old. Newer equipment means better audio, video, and additional features. It also means automation (IVN classes are connected automatically in Zoom rooms while Lifesize rooms require an instructor or student to manually join and end meetings for each IVN class session). Both Zoom and Lifesize rooms are capable of supporting IVN classes and meetings.
(2). 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. For students in Lifesize classroom locations without an instructor on-site, they must be able to operate the equipment for (1) joining a meeting and (2) ending a meeting.
Both instructors and students in Lifesize classrooms must know how to (1) join a meeting for each class session and then (b) end the meeting when the class session ends. Instructors may also need to guide students in remote Zoom rooms to turn up their volume, unmute their microphone, or do other things.
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. Operating one of the two Zoom rooms (R126 and F214) is slightly different than operating any of our other Lifesize rooms.
Although the ITS staff (Gary Davis) will do much of the IVN managment for you, IVN instructors who are scheduled to use both Zoom Rooms and Lifesize rooms should be familiar with operating both types of equipment for videoconferencing, recording, sharing, chatting, and polling.
(3). How do I add Zoom to my Blackboard course?
Zoom is integrated with Blackboard Learn. To add Zoom to your Blackboard course follow these directions:
- Login to your Blackboard course.
- Click the Tools menu.
- Click Zoom Conferencing. You'll open a new browser window with all of your Zoom conferences displayed.
(4). 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 (1) within Blackboard Learn by clicking Tools, then Zoom Conferencing or by using the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device.
To record other Zoom meetings that you 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.
(5). 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
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 computer and mobile device.
- Access Blackboard, Tools, and Zoom Conferencing to view recorded Zoom meetings.
- Locate available training resources for Zoom.
- Enhance communication in your classes and meetings using Zoom.