Various virtual solutions are currently being developed so that teaching can continue without a physical presence (“distance teaching”). Below you will find a list of the existing options for different requirements. Since additional ownCloud storage space is required for these options, we have increased it to 50 GB (instead of 10 GB) for teaching staff. In order to activate this increase, please log in and out of ownCloud!
NEWS: You can find an English protocol of the first distance teaching exchange on March 17th, 2020 in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples of distance teaching. It includes first answers (especially regarding ZOOM), a list of open questions and further suggestions.
NEWS: Starting today (Thursday, March 19th, 2020) the event management team assists the ZID with their ZOOM support. The colleagues can help with setting up and using ZOOM as well as conducting test calls and planning/trying test courses via ZOOM. For appointments from Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying your request as much as possible.
To record presentations on your own computer, open source software such as OBS are available for free. You can use it to record self-defined sections of your own desktop as well as yourself via webcam, in both cases also with an audio track. The resulting recordings can be made available to the students as a video file via ownCloud. Birgit Hertel from the computer studio has created a video tutorial that you can find in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples of distance teaching (there are many more video tutorials available on YouTube). If your files are very large, you can compress them without any major loss of quality with free open source software such as HandBrake*.
This solution is suitable for rather “teacher-centered” courses, since the communication is one-way and there is no possibility for direct exchange. If you have further questions about this solution, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
* You can adjust the compressing of the videos through the „Rate Factor“, whereas higher values mean lower image quality. The following presets serve as points of reference:
Fast 1080p30 (Resolution 1920×1080): RF = 22
Fast 720p30 (Resolution 1280×720): RF = 21
Fast 480p30 (Resolution 720×480): RF = 20
You can find matching screenshots in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples of distance teaching and further details about image quality here. Everything else is explained in the quick start introduction to the software.
Virtual teaching in real time
Teaching via video conferencing tool ZOOM
Please note: For questions regarding ZOOM, please contact the ZID Helpdesk through the “conventional channels” (email, phone):
email@example.com (+43 1 711 33 2107)
In order to be able to hold more interactive courses virtually, Angewandte holds a quota of licenses for the video conferencing tool ZOOM. The tool offers users the opportunity to hold video conferences with up to 100 participants. The following points are central for its use.
Creating an account
On Friday, March 13th, 2020, an email with an invitation link was sent to all Angewandte employees. If you would like to use ZOOM in the future, please create an account with your email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note:
- Do not use the password that you usually use for Angewandte services, but any other one (for data security reasons).
- Please follow the link even if you already have a ZOOM account so that it is linked to the central applied account. This is a prerequisite for effective service on our part.
First steps in ZOOM
ZOOM is structured intuitively and can be “learned by doing”. Additionally, the ZOOM video tutorials are a great way to find your way around. These videos explain how to join and schedule meetings as well as the most important host controls. Participation in meetings is possible via some web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox), for all other functions we recommend downloading the ZOOM Client for Meetings. There are also Zoom Mobile Apps for mobile devices in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
You will find comprehensive information in the ZOOM Help Center. The following instructions including video tutorials might be particularly relevant for you:
We would like to point out that the ZOOM servers are located in the USA and that high data protection might not be guaranteed. We therefore advise against uploading sensitive files to the software.
NEWS: You can find some answers to common questions about ZOOM in the protocol of the first distance teaching exchange on 17.03.2020 in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples of distance teaching.
NEWS: Starting today (Thursday, 19.03.2020) the event management team assists the ZID with their ZOOM support. The colleagues can help with setting up and using ZOOM as well as conducting test calls and planning/trying test courses via ZOOM. For appointments from Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, please contact email@example.com, specifying your request as much as possible.
If you have “advanced” questions about ZOOM, the ZID will do its best to answer them through the “conventional channels” (email, phone): firstname.lastname@example.org (+43 1 711 33 2107)
Please also share your positive experiences and “tips and tricks” in ZOOM with us. We are happy to upload reports, instructions, etc. in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples in distance teaching. Please contact email@example.com
Video streaming of teaching (alternative solution)
Teaching your courses in real time with the students via video streaming is also possible via OBS. To do this, you also need a streaming channel, which you can get for free via Twitch, for example. After registration, you will be assigned a personalized “Primary Stream key”, which you can use to stream videos live. You can find this key by first clicking on your user icon on the top right and then on the “Channel and Videos” tab. You can enter this key directly in OBS to start the live stream and students can follow your stream via URL.
Disadvantages of this solution:
- Your livestream is not exclusively accessible for students, but can be followed publicly via Twitch
- Students can watch without registration, but can only submit written comments (questions, comments) upon registration
This solution is suitable for rather “teacher-centered” courses, since communication with the students is limited. If you have further questions about this solution, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Further options for teaching
In addition to the options above, there are many other options for distance teaching, such as:
- Provision of reading material and/or other material via ownCloud
- Assignments for individual students and/or small groups (if physical contact is not necessary)
- (Not possible due to the aggravated regulations)
For physical material: The deposition of material in a predefined location at the university for collection by the students
Please share further ideas and good practice examples for distance teaching with us. We are happy to upload instructions for online tools in the ownCloud folder for good practice examples of distance teaching. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Online communication platforms as an alternative to email
Since requests for alternatives to email communication (forums, channels) are increasing, we are also working on a central solution. The basic problem with tools like Slack is the storage of data mainly on US servers, which are not only in conflict with European data protection law, but also handle our data in a questionable way from a practical point of view. Therefore, we ask all departments that – thankfully! – found quick solutions themselves, not to conceive these solutions for too long (e.g. use free trial versions or basic versions), so that switching to the central solution will be successful.