Online Lectures Overview
Article Last Updated March 2020
There are several centrally supported online lecture tools available at the U of A. These tools can add live discussion and dynamic interactions inside existing eClass courses or as separately scheduled events by email. All of the tools enable instructors to have real-time audio and video conversations with students while sharing content. See below for the recommended tools for each functional use or review a fuller comparison of the different functions and capabilities. Instructors should also consult the known issues for Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts Meet.
Please note: As per the University's recommendations for shifting lectures online, instructors should consider providing lecture recordings that students can access at their own pace instead of delivering full synchronous lectures online. The tools below, along with using eClass forums, should be used to supplement lecture recordings through smaller interactive sessions.
Delivering full lectures online
This is the prime instructional use for both Zoom meetings and eClasslive (Adobe Connect). Students can join synchronous online sessions where instructors deliver, audio, video, and share their screen and/or lecture slides. Live sessions can be recorded for later review. As the number of participants in sessions increase, it becomes more challenging to manage participant interactions and keep sessions engaging.
Please note: Zoom meetings have been added to address Adobe Connect capacity limits and should be the first choice for any new users. Existing Adobe Connect users should continue using that platform but should be prepared to switch if required.
Facilitated group collaboration sessions
In smaller numbers, it is more manageable to have students sharing their own audio and video and contributing collaboratively using whiteboards. Breakout rooms are available in both Zoom and eClassLive to break down the class into smaller sized groups.
Group members (with or without instructor participation) can share audio, video, and screen content to collaborate. These sessions can be created by anyone with a CCID. Note: students cannot create their own Zoom meetings.
Recommended tools: 1) Google Hangouts Meet
Virtual office hours
Instructors can arrange online sessions for 1-on-1 interactions with students. These can be scheduled through google calendar easily when using Google Hangouts Meet. Zoom meetings have a feature to allow instructors to schedule sessions and allow students to join one at a time.
All of the available tools provide the ability to record sessions. For Zoom and eClassLive, these recordings are automatically available for students to view on their own time through their eClass course. Google Hangouts Meet recordings are recorded into the session creator’s google drive and can be shared from there. Instructors should also review the Lecture Recording Overview for other available options.