Great. I think we
should be just about ready to get started.
My name is Danielle Chazen.
I'm here on behalf of Verbit.
We're very excited to have you here today
along with our incredible speakers from Verbit,
from the University of Florida,
as well as from Zoom itself
to really talk about what we're
seeing in this huge and quick shift to online learning.
All these things that are happening through
web conferencing platforms like Zoom,
what we've learned in the last couple of months.
I think we really are here to build a community today.
We really want this to be a dialogue and
an open forum where people
can really voice opportunities,
challenges, things that you're
seeing as we go through this shift.
Our speakers are very well versed in
these topics to be able to get you
some incredible best practices.
We encourage you to submit your questions
throughout the event through the Q&A,
which is within the Zoom application.
Please submit your questions there throughout.
We'll be addressing them at the end,
the last probably 10-15 minutes of the event itself.
There's also a chatbox that we encourage you to have
open dialogue with your colleagues there as well.
With that, I will start sharing my screen.
While I do so, I'll first hand over to
Scott Ready to introduce himself,
followed by the other panelists.
Scott, were really excited to have you, thank you.
Fantastic. Thank you so much, Danielle.
I'm really excited that there's so many people that are
joining the webinar this morning or this afternoon,
wherever you may be throughout the globe.
Welcome. My name is Scott Ready and I am
a Senior Customer Success and Accessibility Strategist
here at Verbit and oversee the educational vertical,
work within all the universities throughout the world and
helping them to create
a more inclusive learning environment.
To give you just a little bit of my background,
I've been in accessibility in
education now for over 30 years.
In higher ed, I was director of online education,
faculty member, and a department chair.
I've worked corporately, worked within private practice,
and also within state agencies,
and providing more access
for individuals with varying abilities.
My parents are both deaf and
instructors at the Missouri School for the Deaf.
That's where I had
the great privilege of growing up and experiencing
life in the community there at the school for the deaf.
With that, I will pass this over to Amanda.
Hi, good morning, good afternoon
wherever you may be. I'm Amanda Jackson.
I'm a learning specialist in
the Disability Resource Center
at the University of Florida.
I'm super thankful to be asked to be part of this panel,
so thank you Verbit for including me.
Thank you guys for tuning in and hopefully you're able
to gain some insight into
different perspectives and questions that you might have.
But my hope out of
this webinar is that you understand that we're all in
this together and we can rely
on each other and it's important for us to
ask questions and challenge narratives
and reach out to the resources that
we have because we're in unchartered territory.
How that comes into play is exchanging daily.
If there's anything that you can gain
from this webinar I hope you know that you
have people that are here
to work with you and to support you
and answer your questions. Misty?
That's awesome. Amanda, I'm so
excited to be able to learn from you today.
Good day, everybody, my name is Misty Cobb.
I am a new team member at Verbit,
but I come to you with almost 20 years
of experience in education,
both K12, higher ed and then corporate.
My most recent experience has been at Blackboard.
I worked at Blackboard for
over nine years in areas of solutions engineering,
product management, and product ownership.
Before joining Blackboard, I was the director of
online learning at Jacksonville
State University in Alabama.
I also had time at
Jacksonville State where I
worked in instructional design.
Before that, I taught grades
9-12 in two different public school systems
in the state of Alabama.
I was so happy to
have the opportunity to teach a myriad of
business courses as well
as computer and computer science courses.
I had the privilege of leading students in
a very rural socio-economically challenged area
to be able to compete at both the regional,
state and national levels.
I had children who were able to win various competitions,
and the program was one of the
top ten in the state of Alabama.
My husband has cystic fibrosis and I am
an advocate for people with
cystic fibrosis through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
So perspectives on accessibility are oftentimes
shaped by the experiences that
my husband has had in his life,
so it's my distinct pleasure to be with you today.
Yeah. Hey, welcome everyone.
My name is Mahsa Abadi and
I'm here today on behalf of Zoom.
I am a customer success manager at Zoom based in London.
The dope title gives it away already,
but my main responsibility is to make
sure our customers are successful
with Zoom and that the tool is
being utilized to the maximum efficiency.
I help customers with onboarding,
rolling out the Zoom product across the organization or
universities just to make
sure everyone is comfortable
with the ins and outs of the product.
Today I'm really excited to share
some best practices around utilizing Zoom in education,
and some general tips and tricks.
Fantastic. Thank you so much, Mahsa.
Just wanted to point out,
the slide that you see that's on the screen currently
is how to enable our captioning within Zoom.
You'll see two features there.
You'll see an opportunity to
enable captions that'll be at the bottom of the screen,
but also the ability to enable live transcript,
which will show on this side of the screen.
Even if you don't feel like you need captioning,
I would encourage you to
try it on so that you can share in
this experience that we have here today.
Everyone on this webinar is
aware that the incorporation of
technology and education experiences
has been on a steady increase over the past 20 years.
I can remember 20 years ago articles
debating if online was even a viable method of delivery,
then the last six months hit.
Boy, technology became more
than just the nice to have, didn't it?
It was essential to
the sustainability of education globally.
While no one would ever wish for a pandemic,
many are saying that what has taken
place over the past six months has escalated
the growth and incorporation of
technology for the future of education.
So rather than evolving courses over
time and having a comfortable rate
of adoption of technology,
many have had to jump in
really beyond their comfort level.
What will education experience look
like come fall semester or spring semester?
Institutions right now at
this very moment are making decisions
and performing around-the-clock design work
in preparation for fall semester.
Over this next 45 minutes,
let's have a discussion, all of us,
about what we have learned thus far
and what we might anticipate for the future.
Like Danielle said, please add
your comments in the chat feature,
and if you have any questions throughout this session,
please feel free to continue to
add them in the Q&A session.
First of all, let's hear from you.
We have a couple of poll questions.
You see a poll that has popped up on your screen,
please go ahead and answer that poll.
I've talked with institutions who
have transitioned their face-to-face
schedule to an equivalent time on
a web conferencing platform substituting
the on-campus schedule for
asynchronous remote meetings schedule.
While there's other institutions
I've talked with that have gone from
a completely asynchronous approach
to delivering education.
Then there's institutions that have
some type of a blended approach.
It's interesting to see where you-all are seeing your
institution's going over this next fall semester.
As you can see here on the results,
97 percent of you are using some type of
a web conferencing platform
in order to deliver your education experience.
The second poll question
that we're going to be looking at;
is university considering a new normal in how to
offer and design courses since COVID-19?
This is an interesting topic
to really ponder and think about.
Will we return to
the way that education has been delivered?
Or is that going to really help us to look at how we can
continue to progress in using technology
or other approaches in delivering education.
I see now that 93 percent
say that there will likely be some kind
of new normal as we look
at education come fall and spring semester,
and the semesters to come.
Then we have one more polling question,
and this is going to be more specific
towards this fall semester.
Our next polling question is,
come this fall, will your classes beheld in person?
This just splits it up between in
person on campus this fall answering yes or no,
but there could also be some blended approach too.
But will you have classes
held in person on campus this fall?
58 percent are saying yes,
and 42 percent are saying no.
Very interesting, thank you for sharing in that.
Amanda, would you share with us what the plans
are for the University of Florida as you know it today?
Yes, Scott. So I think that it's very
important to keep in context that
universities and colleges have to do what
is important and what fits for their student population,
for their faculty population,
for their administration,
and so everything is very contextual.
At the University of Florida,
we are still going by what
the Board of Governors and
the State of Florida University System is approving.
So the logistics of
how everything is going to be put in place,
we're still working that out.
So we do know that we're
going to more than likely have some in person,
we're going to have some online,
we're going to have some hybrid.
How that really plays out,
we're waiting for more direction,
at least the Disability Resource Center
is waiting for more direction.
If you're still in the same boat of,
we're just trying to prepare for
a few different environment,
that's what the Disability Resource Center
is trying to do with our students,
to prepare them for a variety of modalities,
of how instruction can potentially be.
Excellent. Thank you, Amanda.
I think the key word here is really agility.
How are we able to add
agility into our educational platform or
educational approach in order
to meet the demands and the needs of our faculty,
our students, our administrators,
the whole educational process?
Misty, is there additional considerations
that we need to take into place here?
I do think so, Scott.
In my mind, there is an extent to
which we have to consider
a trauma informed approach
to our teaching and learning for fall,
and perhaps even beyond the fall term.
I'll give two different examples.
So I have a seven-year-old daughter who is in ballet,
and her ballet classes resumed earlier this week.
So I was speaking with her about her desire to return.
Even at the age of seven,
she had a lot of reservations about her own safety,
what was the experience going to be like,
and I can sense that anxiety in her.
I wanted the decision to be hers,
but I needed to equip her and empower
her to be able to make that decision.
I don't think that's any different
for educators and for our students.
So we as educators and our students,
and frankly our families,
we've experienced a lot of disruption
to our normal and ingrained routines.
In my experiences,
routines provide individuals with a sense of
control and when these routines are
changed because of
the current events that we're experiencing,
it's very important that we don't make
assumptions about our students
understanding or how they process
the significance of the change that they're experiencing.
So I believe it's very important to take
time to explain the changes in your classroom,
whatever those may be,
and provide a predictable agenda for your learners.
This particular stat, I believe,
will help to reduce students stress and
increase their confidence in the new learning experience.
I would like to.
I would like to add that one of the things
that the Disability Resource
Center is constantly thinking
about is how do we
support our immunocompromised students?
What is that going to look like?
So supporting the students as well as their families,
because parents and guardians have
significant questions about what is that
going to look like and how are
you going to keep my children safe?
I have children, and it's
definitely one of those very serious questions.
But it's also about,
we've developed some very strategic marketing
to help promote healthy,
safe, habits, and things.
So I think at least for my role,
it's very important that I demonstrate or
we demonstrate healthy practices,
wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently.
Doing this much physical distinctly is
possible so that we can
relay that message to our students,
and also to hope to
decrease some of that anxiety associated
with being around people when we haven't
necessarily been around people in a very long time.
That's really interesting that you all share that,
because on the surface
you wouldn't think about the anxiety,
but I just think about myself personally.
There's a lot of anxiety when I walk into a store,
just trying to figure out how to
navigate in the store now.
The store has arrows that I have to
follow and I have to go this way and that way,
I can't go the wrong way on an aisle.
There is just so much that's hitting us that
is outside of our daily routine.
Then taking that and applying that
in our classroom so that we can,
again, like you all mentioned,
help to navigate that for the students so
that learning can be the main focus and not
having to have the anxiety of how
do we conduct ourselves in this new environment?
Well, Dr. Cobb would you first share
with us some best practices when
designing a course that is incorporating
a synchronous sessions using a web conferencing platform?
Then as a follow up, Amanda,
would you also share the impact of this
on students with varying abilities, please?
Sure, Scott. So when designing courses,
it's really important to keep top of
mind your expected learning outcomes,
and so this requires planning.
When you're doing your planning,
I would encourage you to reserve
your synchronous sessions
for activities that are going to
benefit from the real-time instruction
or the real-time interaction.
So I enjoy collaborative activities
for reinforcing contents,
for further explaining or
connecting the content to the learning outcomes,
and then of course for building a sense of community.
I recommend that instructors and course designers alike,
spend some time reviewing quality rubrics.
These rubrics tend to be full of
ideas and methods for supporting your learners.
A couple of options that I'll name you may
already be familiar with a few of these, but if not.
At Quality Matters, the
Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric,
SUNY has a really nice online course
Quality Review Rubric.
There is a Quality Online Course Initiative Rubric
from the Illinois Online Network,
and then another one that I really like is the Rubric for
Online Instruction from
California State University, Chico.
Additionally, Educause has a series
called seven things you should know,
and in that series they have
a really nice paper on the HyFlex model.
It's easy to read,
it's very easy to take and elucidate
actions that you can put into practice immediately.
Specifically, a few things that I would call out to you
are the idea of providing an orientation to your course.
This can be done live or you could record
this and place this video inside of your course,
and if you're using an LMS or
some other tool to deliver content to your learners.
You should also chunk your content and break
it down into small digestible components.
I encourage you to make
available a variety of assessment types.
Appeal to your learners different preferences.
You may have different preferences
about how you would like to do assess,
but give a variety and if you can,
this is a principle from the HyFlex model,
provide a menu where learners can then
choose from a menu of assessment options,
all that have the same measurement if you will,
of the learning outcomes.
Then it's super important to provide clear policies,
whether they are course policies or
instructor policies into your expectations.
I recommend you document
those perhaps as part of your syllabus,
but then also take time to explain
that maybe in a video
that students can go back and reference several time.
Then lastly, communicate
your grading procedures and processes.
This can alleviate a lot of anxiety for your students,
but it can also prevent you from becoming
overwhelmed with answering a lot of one-off e-mails,
where students are asking the same questions.
You're probably readily able to know what
students are going to all be
asking and you can address that up front,
which will help to alleviate some anxiety.
Just to piggyback off of Dr. Cobb.
I think that all of
those practices really speak
to universal design for learning,
and when we utilize universal design
for learning within the classroom,
it actually decreases the need
for retroactive accommodations.
If you're out there and you're
in the disability services profession,
you probably have heard that term
of a retroactive accommodation,
because we're trying to fit a student into
an environment versus making
the environment fit all students.
By utilizing those practices,
it will help more students be able
to equally engage within your classroom.
I think another thing to try to keep in mind is that
accessibility is also related to Internet connectivity.
I've had so many students reach out to me
and they're just upset
because their Internet dropped in the middle of an exam.
If you provide these multiple means of assessment,
then if an Internet drops in the middle of a quiz well,
they can write an essay,
or they can do a project with a group, or presentation.
It allows more students to be able to engage,
and also decrease the needs of trying
to fit a student into your learning environment.
You're just making the learning environment
open and welcoming to all of your students.
So I think Dr. Cobb, you hit the nail in the head.
Excellent. I can't say it any better,
but just to drive home
that one point that
everything that Misty and Amanda
shared about how the best practices impacts students with
varying abilities really just
makes it better for all students,
which is really the basis of
universal design as was mentioned.
We discussed some of the pedagogical aspects of
synchronous sessions in our new delivery approaches,
now let's talk some about
some practical and technical best practices.
Mahsa, would you share with us a bit about this?
Yeah. Thank you, Scott.
As Amanda said earlier, this new normal,
we're in this together,
and we're just trying to make that
as pleasant as possible for everyone.
These are really just some do's and don'ts
for Zoom learning.
We're spending hours in front of that screen
and looking and following
the lecture and trying to focus and learn.
Zoom is a video first company.
We invest a lot of resources in that part of the product.
It's highly recommended to make use of that.
It works with minimal bandwidth.
But it does make the
whole online video conferencing experience
so much more personal.
Just adding that human touch
is a great way to keep students
engaged as opposed to just listening to a person speak.
They can follow your body language,
your reactions, you can follow their reactions.
It's actually a really important part
of the online learning experience.
Again, it just really helps to create
a more personal connection while teaching over Zoom.
With that also, I know it
takes a little bit of time to get used to it,
but while teaching over Zoom,
try to look into the camera.
It just creates an eye-contact effect.
I know again, it does take some time to get used to
this new environment that we're in,
but you will get used to it.
But also the overall
environment that you're actually sitting in,
make sure that there's
enough light in the room that you're in.
Try to maybe sit in front of a window
or have enough light in the room if it's dark.
Use the tools available to
you within the technology as well.
If you have a messy background or something like that,
you can use our virtual backgrounds
to make it all look nicer and clean and tidy,
less distraction for students,
and it all looks a lot cleaner and neater.
Then also during your class,
especially during the first sessions,
setup some online etiquette.
Discuss the online etiquette with
your students, set some expectations.
Also periodically revisit these topics.
Remind everyone they are on video,
so they probably don't want to start eating.
Make sure everyone is muted when they're not
speaking just to avoid having
dogs barking in the background and
babies crying and things like that just
to minimize that friction during
class and allowing everyone to focus.
Zoom is a very feature-rich product as well.
You have a lot of tools available to
you to increase that engagement.
Again, sitting in front of the computer and
listening to someone speak
for hours can be pretty tiring.
So keep them engaged.
Use your tools.
You have things like screen-sharing obviously,
but also launching polls here and then,
getting some feedback and reactions from your students.
You can annotate together.
You can use a whiteboard to let
students annotate on a light screen with you.
You can use the breakout rooms to just break up
that large session into smaller subsessions,
let your students work on
assignments and then bring
everyone back into the main room.
All of these really engaging tools help to
keep the audience engaged and on board with you.
Leave some time to pause.
We tend to just talk on these conference calls.
Really embraced the pause every now and then.
Let the students digest
what you have just shared with them.
Give them enough time to maybe
add comments and feedback and ask questions.
When delivering a presentation
or sharing images and files or videos,
give them enough time to
take what you've just shared with them.
Then at the end of the class,
share your content, your handouts,
any papers or images or videos
you would like to share with your students,
let them grab it before you end the session.
The technology is really there to help you
transfer that in real life experience
over to virtual experience.
The tools are there, I
just want to encourage everyone to make use of them.
Also familiarize yourself with the technology.
Kids and young adults and
adults are super tech-savvy these days.
Make sure you know your technology.
Take the time to learn about it because it is
your main tool for the virtual learning environment.
Just make sure you feel comfortable using
it and you know the ins and outs.
We have weekly webinars as well.
Visit our website at zoom.us to sign up for
these training sessions where
you can ask questions and all of that as well.
Now, if we go to the next slide.
With the astronomical increase
in Zoom's popularity over the past few months;
we're obviously so honored to be able to
help the world to stay
connected in these uncertain times,
but with that we've seen some behavior online,
especially during classes as well,
where kids would just take advantage of the technology
and sometimes try to sabotage the learning sessions.
It's really important for you as a host of
that meeting or the lecturer to, again,
know that technology and have your sessions
preconfigured in a way that
minimizes the risk of any friction in that meeting.
It's really important to make
your meetings more private and more secure.
There are a few things that you can set up in
advance of your class.
Make sure your sessions are protected with a passcode.
You can enable a waiting room
to make sure you are in control
who comes into your class and who stays out.
There are different levels of
security settings that you can utilize.
You can even restrict
your participants to a specific domain only.
You can enable a setting that we
call Only Authenticated Users Can Join.
With that, you can basically whitelist a few domains.
If you want to whitelist the domain of your university,
because you rarely have
any external presenters or speakers in your sessions,
it really helps to keep
any uninvited guests out of that meeting.
Now, there are multiple
different settings available to you.
I would say there is not a
one-size-fits-all for all sessions,
so you really have to figure out
what's best for your sessions,
what the level of security is that you need for
your online learning sessions
and make use of what's available.
We have also introduced this security button.
If you have used Zoom recently,
you will see that there is a new button in
your toolbar that really helps you
mitigate any kind of risk on the fly as well.
That's probably the most visible change that
we've made in the Zoom interface.
The icon really just simplifies
how the host can quickly find
and enable many of Zoom's in-meeting security features.
These features were available before,
but they were scattered across
several areas of the product.
We just wanted to make it easy for people to access,
this is why we introduced that button.
By just clicking on that security icon,
the host and the co-host can
enable the waiting room on the fly or lock the meeting.
If you know everyone is in there already,
all your guests have arrived,
then you can just close the door and make
sure any uninvited guests stay outside.
You can also, on the fly,
limit the screen-sharing to the host only,
you can restrict your students from renaming themselves.
There have been some use cases where
students were just renaming themselves
through reconnecting and then
the whole class was reconnecting,
but actually it was just a prank.
You can mitigate all of that with
the features that we've introduced pretty recently.
Fantastic. Thank you so much Mahsa.
I appreciate you sharing and
enhancing our knowledge and ability to
use this platform in our educational setting.
We have another question that we would
like to ask each of you.
This is a reality,
and so we want to hear
from you as to what your perception is,
if this is a reality or if this is not.
Video fatigue, well, we're hearing
that 61 percent is saying that yes,
there's video fatigue, and then 37 says sometimes,
and then three percent say no.
Excellent. I know that I have found myself
on Zoom calls and
video calls much more here in
the last couple of months than I ever have been.
We have another question that I want to ask you.
Are you seeing a difference in
engagement between the beginning of
the online learning shift versus now?
As the semester was,
wasn't even the semester was early mid semester.
As we made that transition,
are you seeing a difference in the engagement?
We're seeing the results of this is 61 percent says yes,
three percent says no and then
36 percent says that they're unsure.
Something just to keep in mind and keep a pulse on,
as you continue to monitor your students,
I always say that we have to change roles
throughout the semester as
to student engagement and how
we monitor their student engagement.
How we are able to infuse different techniques
in order to either maintain engagement or re-engage.
Now introducing this component to
our learning environment requires us to do the same.
So very good.
Well, Misty, on top of that,
would you share some about student engagement and
the best practice that is able
to be achieved within these environments?
Sure. I think whenever
you experience a change in modality,
regardless of you moving from
face-to-face to fully online, hybrid, high flags,
whatever combination it might be,
you really do need to sit and take some time to
reflect on your methods for
keeping your students engaged.
With COVID, it's probably extremely likely that you
did experience or you will experience
a reduction in the direct interactions
that you have with your students.
This reduction can really make
all aspects of your course overwhelming.
You can support your students in their efforts to engage
your content by breaking it
down like I mentioned earlier.
Then even with your assessments,
you may have some.
I know when I taught finance,
I had an assignment
that literally spanned the entire term of the course.
If I were having to change modality,
I would break that down and I would make
distinct segments of
that particular assignment instead of
letting it be something that was running
and building over the duration of
the semester to try to minimize
the amount of anxiety or
that feeling of being overwhelmed.
You can also not be afraid of over explaining.
You may have heard of the rule of sevens.
There was a study that Microsoft did some time ago,
and it was about
advertising and marketing and really audio messages
that we are all exposed to in commercials,
radio advertisements, or whatever they might be.
It adheres to the rule of sevens,
but it really far exceeded the rule
of sevens because what they found from
their research was that the optimal number of
exposures is really between six and 20 times.
Again, the context was on marketing and advertising,
but I don't think there's a lack of applicability
to that same messaging
that we deliver in teaching and learning.
Never feel like you are over
explaining or overstating instructions,
or even the actual content of
a lecture that you might be presenting in your course.
Again, be careful not to misjudge
your students experiences with any form of
digital learning or assume that they all
have a clear understanding
about the global health pandemic.
Even if they have an understanding,
they may be coming to you with different perspectives and
frameworks that are present in their lives.
You can help mitigate this and help support your students
by engaging them in some discovery activities.
Open-ended questions are really important.
These will help provide you with insight
into what their experiences have been.
It will help you to clarify misinformation.
You may think, I know I'm guilty of
thinking that people understand what I'm saying,
the meaning of it, that they're
interpreting my Southern accents,
but that's not always the case.
So be purposeful that you're connecting with
students and that you're connecting
them to the content in as much as you're able to do so.
You can do this with discussion boards.
Everything does not have to be live.
In fact, you should be very careful and strategic
your live opportunities to meet with your students.
But discussion boards are great ways for you to be
able to draw your students out
and then use their responses as a way
or as a means of introduction for
when do you meet with them again live.
Then also don't forget to
give special attention to relationships.
Your relationship to your students,
all of you may find that your well-being becomes
more important than traditional learning compliance.
Be purposeful to create environments where you
can display that you have an investment in your students.
An example of this is taking a few moments to lay
the content to the side
and lay an assessment to the side.
Just pay attention to the reality that we're
all experiencing on a day-to-day basis.
Again, this does not have to be complex.
This could be as simple as,
everyone take a couple of moments
to place in the chat a new lesson that you
learned about yourself or something tough that you've
experienced or a hopeful moment that you've
had since the last time we were together.
So you could do that live.
You could even choose to send a reflective top of e-mail.
I know when I was teaching online,
I used a journal.
A lot of people ask their students to journal,
but I enjoyed journaling my own experiences from
an instructional perspective about what I was
learning through the course of my instruction.
I have thoughts too about how
my students perform on an assessment or how they
receive a particular component or
set of instruction or a module in my course.
I could reflect on what I felt like I
did well as an instructor.
Maybe things that I learned
after the fact that I could have done better at.
Draw out your students and help them
feel like they're empowered to respond to that,
and you will begin to see
a real power when you act on that.
Don't wait till, for example,
the end of the term to do an assessment or allow
students to provide you feedback on the course content,
but also in your approach to instruction.
If you receive that input early,
then you can take action and your students can be
the beneficiaries of the changes
that you implement based on your feedback.
Well, there was a number of
golden nuggets in that information.
Thank you so much Misty.
I know I'll be going back and
referring back to a lot of that information.
Let's take a look at how we can make our Zoom meetings
and also online learning
accessible to fit all students' needs.
Really, when we're taking a look at creating access,
I can't overemphasize how
when we create something that is accessible or
it's thought as to
be creating an accessible content item,
we're really creating it so that
it's more usable by everybody.
But some things to take into consideration really are,
if you're sharing content like Mahsa said,
with your class and it's a PDF,
make sure it's a formatted PDF.
In that way, if a student is using a screen reader,
they'll be able to engage with that PDF as opposed to
a document that has just been saved as
a PDF that's not formatted.
If there's images,
just a basic accessibility tip
is to be able to add ol tags to that image,
so that again, any user
is able to identify what that image is.
The beautiful thing about this
is that you can start being more
pedagogical in your approach in having ol tags.
If it's a picture of George Washington,
but yet the content
that you're covering is about period clothing,
then the ol tag can actually be a reflection
of the purpose that you're using this image for,
rather than just being
an ol tag that identifies what's in this image.
If there's a video or audio caption,
caption, caption videos and audios.
I hope everyone on this webinar has
had an opportunity to see
the impact of having the live transcript open.
Hopefully that has encouraged you to be more
engaged in this session so that
you're able to see how this
isn't just for individuals
that might be deaf or hard of hearing,
but really it's a tool that everybody can benefit from.
If you have a PDF and you're unsure if it's accessible,
Blackboard Ally is made available.
The file transformer that enables
accessible alternative versions of
the original document to be able to be created for free.
Our friends over at Blackboard Ally
have provided a link for you to be able to
use this file transformer
and we'll post that in the chat for you.
Amanda, is there additional things that you would like to
mention and the use and
application of Zoom or web conferencing and
online that you have
seen stressed and making it more accessible?
Definitely Scott. I think that one of the things to
keep in mind is you might not know how to do all of
these things and that's okay.
Wait, what I would encourage you to do is
reach on to instructional designers.
There's great YouTube videos.
I didn't know how to add an alt text to an image.
Whenever we switched over to online learning,
I had turns of faculty reaching
out to me asking, which is great.
We want faculty to ask these questions.
It shows that the digital accessibility
is a vital importance.
But if you don't know how to do it, that's okay.
Search on some YouTube videos.
I've reached out to Zoom
before because I wanted to
know more about how to use a specific feature.
So don't be afraid to ask questions
to different people within your sphere of influence.
I would say that one of our common challenges that
we've had is proctoring online exams.
We have a variety of modalities,
there could be LockDown Browsers or on a locker ProctorU.
There's a variety of different ways
to proctor online exams,
and trying to facilitate
accommodations in an online environment
can be rather difficult.
So being open to talking to
maybe your Disability Services Office
and asking questions about,
"Well, how do I facilitate
this accommodation now that things are online?"
It's okay to reach out.
That's what we're here for.
We're here to support you and we're
here to answer those questions.
If we don't have the answer to those questions,
it's our job to find the answers to these questions.
It's very important that you
utilize the resources that you
have within your institution.
If you don't necessarily have
as many resources as you would like to
have within your institution,
then reach out to different listservs.
I have in the last couple of months.
I did myself to so many
different listservs just because
I have questions about like,
well, where do I find clear masks or how do I do this?
How do I do so many different things?
They were necessarily questions
that I actually had to think about.
Now, that it's become such a real thing,
reaching out to others for their insight and
for their guidance is a vital importance.
Because there's no way that we can be the keeper of
all the knowledge but we can find people that
have the knowledge of different places
that we need that knowledge if that makes sense.
Another issue or common challenge
that we've experienced is Internet connectivity.
I've been in a Zoom meeting,
and my Internet drop or I was
connected to the VPN and then the VPN dropped.
Then I have students who have been in sessions
and their exams close out.
So as an instructor,
being open to hearing
those concerns and being
willing to work with your students
because I saw an increase
as we saw more people having to use online instruction,
there became more Internet connectivity issues,
probably because there's more people
on the Internet and all the time.
So just being open to having
those conversations and being
willing to work with your students,
whether that be for online exams
or for how you plan on delivering your instruction.
It's important, just like Dr. Cobb said,
to engage in that conversation and
communication with your students, gauge where they're at,
whether that's family concerns
or that academic concerns, just being there.
I think that we
have the opportunity to be someone's one-person.
If you have that opportunity to be
able to stand there and support your students,
yes, you should support them academically,
but also you can be there for them during this time.
I think it would help reduce some of the anxiety too.
Excellent. Thank you so much, Amanda.
To demonstrate the commitment
that Verbit has to not only access,
but to really to enhance a student learning.
I'm really excited to share with you a new release,
Live Room by Verbit.
Now, don't tune me out.
This isn't a commercial and I'm not going
to get salesy on you here,
but I do know that this is a technology that enhances
learning for all students
while providing needed access for others.
When you've just seen the best movie ever,
don't you want to go and tell all your friends about it?
I've got to share a little bit
with you about this Live Room.
There are features that you would expect,
such as accurate live captions.
But wait, there's more.
No, I'm just kidding. I hope you're laughing with me.
But seriously, the transcript that you have been
viewing during this session is
drastically enhanced in Live Room
to be a true learning feature for the classroom.
What we're experiencing here in this is
for the webinar environment,
and it works very
successfully in the webinar environment.
But in the classroom environment,
you need some added features.
In that interactive transcripts,
students are able to,
first of all, personalize their environment.
They're able to change
the font size and color and the background color.
But also they have features where they're
able to annotate by highlighting,
adding their own personal notes,
and at anytime during and also at the end of the session,
the student can download the transcript in
their personal notes in order to be able to study.
This sure beats the Sony cassette recorder
that I used when I was in college.
Misty, you had an example from
your academic days as to how
this transcript can really impact. Would you share that?
I will give a brief example.
So it struck me that when I was in my doctoral program,
we would have classes on Thursday night, Friday night,
all day Saturday, like 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
Everyone, the faculty, and
all of us students were completely exhausted.
So two perspectives on this.
As a student, it would have been so
freeing and empowering to have had a tool like this,
even sitting in a face-to-face classroom,
to have had a transcript that I could reference from
key lectures or presentations to free me
from having to sit and take copious notes.
As a learner, if I'm having to take notes,
then all of my energy and effort is being
exerted into that note-taking process.
So you miss contextual clues
because you're so engaged in that particular activity.
I didn't really learn to take notes well,
until frankly, I was teaching my own children
how to take notes and they
learned of the new methodology.
In the absence of that,
my goal was basically to create as close to
a handwritten transcript as
I could have what was being said,
which was a futile effort.
I can also say from the flip side of that,
because of that experience when
I was actively in the classroom,
it was a very common practice for me to make
listening guides or to create lecture notes,
that was a worksheet that was
partially completed so that my students
would have some scaffolding to support them as they would
experience exposure to new content.
From an instructional perspective,
I would be freed of having to do
that extra step for my students if I
had Live Room by Verbit,
particularly for online instruction.
Because then it's like having
your own personal note-taker
that's doing all the note-taking for you,
and then you have the ability to
highlight things that you need to come back to,
maybe parts that you want to dig more deeply into,
perhaps an office hours with your instructor,
areas where you had a couple of questions or concerns.
Then if there's new terminology,
there's a new concept,
maybe concept is defined early on but I don't grasp,
the real meaning of that until later in the lecture,
the ability to search
that information and go back in the video to
where that was first introduced so that I
can establish a firm foundation for myself,
is just frankly invaluable in my opinion.
Excellent. To share with
you a little bit about how this works.
So after downloading the Live Room app
on the student's computer,
the student and instructor are
able to just click on the link and join the session.
The instructor will not be required to do
anything extra in order for the captioning to appear.
The student will just click on the link provided
by the instructor and the app takes care of it.
When someone speaks, the audio is captioned
both through technology and human type correctors,
producing an initial caption that is
90 percent accurate in three seconds.
Then the type correctors finalize that accuracy up to
95 percent accuracy in 15 seconds or less.
If 99 percent accurate transcript is needed,
we're posting online with the recording, for example,
that can be requested and that can be
provided within 24 hours.
We have a short video here.
I know we're getting close to the top of the hour,
so I've asked Danielle to post
the link to the video in the chat
for each of you to be able to click on and open
up and watch once we conclude this.
This video within a minute shares
with you what the Live Room looks like.
I'm going to be able to leave
the last few minutes here to answering questions.
Then if there's questions that we're not able to address,
we will be putting together a blog
and a follow up with the answers to those questions.
So stay tuned for that.
With that, Danielle, are there questions that have been
asked in the Q&A that we need to address?
Sure. Yeah, we've been
getting an amazing amount of questions
and a lot about specifics within Zoom,
such as Zoom background, things like that.
I think for those more tactical questions,
we're definitely going to [inaudible] together,
which we will share with everyone afterwards.
We will get all of the [inaudible] ,
great expertise there and work those tactical questions,
I think people are really interested in knowing.
So we will follow up with that.
Some interesting questions that I saw coming in.
One of them was surrounding video and trying
to both engage with students with
video as well as hold students accountable.
So the question was with video,
there's these great benefits such as body language and
reactions and things like that we can pick up on.
This person is wondering if teachers should require
their students to use video
or leave it up to the students.
But there's always that fear
that maybe they're going to
turn off the camera and leave the room.
So we were wondering just to get your take,
I'll shoot it out to anyone on
the panel that would like to address
how they would maybe handle that situation
in terms of personal preference, accountability.
I think it's a really interesting question.
Misty, would you address that for us?
I'll take a stab at it and then I would like to hear
from Amanda and her perspectives there as well.
I would suggest that whatever your choice is,
if I would be compelled,
particularly if my course were
advertised as being an online course
that early on perhaps
even in early parts of registration,
you take the opportunity to look at
your registration list and go ahead and
begin communication with their students,
and let them know that
the expectation is that you do want them to have video.
Then that way they can prepare
appropriately and they know what to expect,
and then there should be less resistance
should you choose to require them to have video on.
Then again, as we said in this session,
I would maybe half times
the video is on and then give a reprieve,
maybe take some break or give students a moment to do
some self-reflection or to prepare
written responses to questions you may have posed.
Then when it's time to come back and discuss that,
then have videos on again.
I think a little bit of on and off might help to strike
a balance that provides
comfort and assurance to students.
Amanda, what's your take?
So I think it
also depends on whether or
not you're recording the video.
So one of the things that has been brought
aware is that if you are recording your session,
you need to make sure that your students
will agree to being recorded.
If they don't agree to being recorded,
then they should be given the opportunity
to have their video off.
The same would apply for if they don't
agree to having their audio recorded,
and so they can chat
their interest through the chat feature.
That's my first thought. Also, I
do know of students are having
anxiety associated with being on camera.
So I think just like you suggested
being open and having that communication with them,
if there is a situation where you have a student in
your class that is seriously just not
feel comfortable being on the video,
and then being open to
exploring different ways of
checking for their engagement,
whether that be that they are
encouraged to chat and answer every so
often or complete a poll
or however that might look for you.
But being open to having that communication that yes,
you would want to have the video on.
But if for some reason, someone doesn't
feel comfortable being open
to figuring out how it can work without the video.
Excellent. Danielle, is there
one more question before we end the session?
I know we're just a minute over.
Sure. One more question was regarding in addition to
that pedagogical and
the technological considerations that we discussed,
are there any other considerations
that people should really be aware of and
keep top of mind in order for
education to succeed right now?
I think Misty, you're probably best
for to answer this question.
But just a last
takeaways everyone navigate this environment.
I would like to summarize everything I've already said,
which time probably doesn't really permit for that.
That said, you have to start with a plan
and then know what your desired outcome is.
You're from an instructional perspective,
as well as the desired learning
outcomes you have for your students.
Then I would take a backwards design approach into that.
There were so many things to consider.
Accessibility becomes increasingly important.
It's important, period.
But in terms of accessibility,
I can't help but think about
something that Amanda netted earlier.
I think there's going to be a new set of accessibility
needs and requirements that
perhaps we haven't experienced before.
Maybe students who do feel the need
to identify or raise your hand and say,
I need some accommodations
because I think of my husband with cystic fibrosis,
he has to be extra careful in
previous environments where he taking courses.
He would've never perhaps expected
to have asked or request an accommodation.
So be mindful that
students may not really understand at this point
that they're experiencing something that will
require them to ask for
help in a way they've never needed it before.
So just mindfulness, planning,
thinking about your online activities,
your Zoom webinars or a Blackboard
Collaborate or whatever it is that you're using.
Be very mindful to make sure that
the activities you're planning for that or
those that will benefit the most
from being synchronously together.
Thank you, Misty. So I know that we ran over for awhile,
but it's great to see how many people
stayed on after the time.
I think that these topics are incredibly
relevant to everyone in our community.
We will be creating
an on-demand video of this webinar that we will
share with all of you and we welcome you to share with
other colleagues who may not have
been able to join us live.
As well as putting together our guide
with some more best practices you can
go back and reference on and have
just as other material to access.
But Amanda, Mahsa and Misty,
Scott I just want to thank you
so much for joining us today,
giving us your time and your insight.
I know that our education community
greatly benefit these opportunities,
and as we go forward,
we're always looking for a more topics
that are interesting to you.
So we encourage you our community to
also feel free to connect with us.
We'd love to show you more about
the Live Room from Verbit functionality.
We'd love to hear things that are in top of
your mind that you'd like us to continue to adjust,
so please still free to do so.
Thank you all so much for your time today.