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Resources for Emergency Short-Term Teaching & Working Remotely: Tools for Teaching Remotely

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Following ITLE's tips for teaching online, first focus on your outcomes for your lesson or session. Then, think about what activities you normally have planned to meet those outcomes. How can you translate those to the online environment?

Your lesson may just be a stand-alone object, such as a pre-recorded screen recording. Or, it could include several lesson pieces, such as a worksheet students fill out, a Library tutorial video to watch, and written instruction. That's why it's important to also think about how you'll deliver the content.

Below, you'll find some options for how to bundle your lesson.

Options for Hosting Instructional Materials

Pressbooks

Pressbooks is a tool used to create open educational resources (OER). We use Pressbooks to host our open textbooks initiative, Open OKState (https://open.library.okstate.edu/). Pressbooks allows you to embed documents, images, videos, links, charts, and the like. As such, you can use Pressbooks to create other OER beyond textbooks.

If you have a lesson you need to translate quickly to online, Pressbooks may be a great tool to do so. Check out Holly's English Composition 2 assignment as an example of what can be done: https://open.library.okstate.edu/engl1213/

Libguides

Create a libguide as the landing page for your lesson. Include any resources, documents, videos, etc. that are necessary for the lesson. Be sure that your libguide presents information in a way that makes sense to students and offers a natural flow.

PowerPoint

Create a PowerPoint presentation that instructors can embed in their courses. You can add narration to PowerPoint using PowerPoint itself or one of the other recording options mentioned below.

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to upload and add narration to your PowerPoint slides. You can then simply share this link with instructors. If students have a VoiceThread account, they can comment on each slide, however it is not recommended that you require students to create an account just for this purpose.

Visit https://voicethread.com/.

Library Tutorials

Library Tutorials

The Library offers a suite of ready-made video, interactive tutorials, and resources. They range from how to use features of the Library to understanding various facets of research. They are available and ready to use along with any Library lesson. You can either direct people right to the tutorial landing page, or embed it within one of the platforms listed above. Visit the Library's tutorial site to view them all: library.okstate.edu/tutorials

Inform Your Thinking

Inform Your Thinking is a video series intended to help undergraduates think about information in new ways. Based on the ACRL Framework frames, each video provides a quick introduction to a concept and asks students to reflect on how this concept would affect their research efforts and daily lives. Each video also comes with prepared reflective question that you are free to use as part of your lesson if you so choose.

Visit info.library.okstate.edu/informyourthinking.

Recording & Sharing Screen Captures

Screen captures can be helpful if you need to demonstrate something for students, such as how to perform a search in a database. Below, you'll find several available options for screen capturing.

If you need to upload a file to YouTube (as noted according to tool below), Nina Thornton (our Multimedia Producer) will upload it for you to our Library's YouTube page. To do so, save the mp4 file to your U or R drive. Send the file location info to Nina Thornton and include the following info: video title, short description, keywords associated with your file, and date to have it live on YouTube.

Tool

Availability Ease of Use Closed Captions Generated? How to Share with Instructors Notes
Screencast-O-Matic Free. Available online for up to 15-minutes of recording time.  Easy to learn and use. No. Upload mp4 file to YouTube and use YouTube automatic CC. Upload mp4 to YouTube and share link.

Screencast-O-Matic website

Techsmith Capture Free. Requires free software download and creation of free screencast.com account. Unlimited recording. Easy to learn and use. No. Upload mp4 file to YouTube and use YouTube automatic CC. Can share link to file in screencast.com (if no closed captions needed) or upload mp4 to YouTube and share link.

Techsmith Capture website and software download

Screencast.com account creation and login

Zoom Logins available to RLS. Fairly easy to learn and use. No. Upload mp4 file to YouTube and use YouTube automatic CC. Upload mp4 to YouTube and share link.

Simply schedule a "meeting" for yourself and record it. Use the Share option to show your screen.

Visit the Zoom How-To page.

Canvas Studio Available to any faculty/instructor with an OSU Canvas login. Fairly easy to learn and use. Yes. Make link to Canvas Studio video public and share with intructor. Visit ITLE's Canvas website for help videos: http://itle.okstate.edu/Canvas.vbhtml
Camtasia Available only with license. If you don't already know how to use it, don't start now. It has a learning curve. No. Either manual entry or upload mp4 file to YouTube and use YouTube automatic CC. Upload mp4 to YouTube and share link.

 

Best Practices for Screen Recording

  • Clean the Recording Space. Before recording a screen capture, ensure that you have a clean recording space on the computer screen that you'll record on. This may include an agnostic desktop background free of clutter, hiding the desktop taskbar, turning off the bookmarks feature of your browser so they’re no longer visible, and deleting all cookies and browser history so suggested search results and already-clicked hyperlinks don’t show up.
  • Write a Script. Writing a script allows you to think through what you'll say and show as well as ensure it won't end up much longer than anticipated. This also helps eliminate unnecessary words or mistakes as well as create a smoother recording. Additionally, if you follow a set script, you can upload the text to YouTube to create accurate captions.
  • Practice. Before the official recording, run through the process several times. This brings recognition to the extra clicks or steps you may not think of in advance and allows you to plan for smooth transitions.
  • Check the Microphone. Ensure that your microphone is selected for recording inputs. If you have a microphone or headphones with a microphone, that may record better sound than your computer's built-in microphone.
  • Select a Recording Location. Record in a quiet space that has very limited background noise. Be cognizant of background noises such as fans, air conditioning, cars, etc.  
  • Do a Test Run. Do a test recording first to make sure all sound levels are good.
  • Plan for Screen Size. It's important to remember that the size of the screen at the time of recording is what people will see when you produce your final video. Things to understand about screen size:
    • Screen size should be a 16 x 9 ratio, better known as widescreen. If you have a widescreen computer monitor, using the whole screen is typically considered 16 x 9 ratio. (Note: tablet/Surface computers do not automatically fit normal 16 x 9 ratios.)  Most screen recording softwares allow you to measure your screen to ensure this ratio.
    • Screens are made up of little dots of color called pixels. The amount of pixels you have on a screen is called its "resolution." The more pixels you have on the screen, the higher the resolution and the better quality video and/or image you will get.
    • When you measure how much of your screen you'll record, you're setting your resolution. Most screen recording softwares allow you to measure your screen to ensure this ratio. Widescreen resolutions are multiples of the 16 x 9 ratio. The smallest resolution you should record at is 1280 x 720 (in short, referred to as "720"). Nina prefers to upload videos to YouTube at the 1920 x 1080 resolution (1080 for short), so always record at this resolution if possible. If you're unsure if you're recording at a 16 x 9 ratio, use this handy resource.