Online Teaching Resources

Mendoza IT - Teaching Resources

Whether you plan to use a university computer or a personal computer, here are some essential resources to keep you moving forward regardless of where you are working from.

Teaching Online with Zoom:

Instructional Videos:




I hope everyone is enjoying a much-deserved break this summer.
As we begin thinking about the fall semester and as our classroom teaching can begin to look normal again, I believe that some of the strategies used while teaching through COVID-19 could remain. Video assets that you have recorded could serve as additional resources for students to consume as needed. However, if you are needing to update those video assets, there is a great opportunity and service that is available to all Mendoza faculty.
Our outstanding staff at Mendoza IT have identified four classrooms in Stayer to record a lecture for use in your class as supplemental materials. They can record in almost any Mendoza classroom, though the best quality lighting, audio, and video will come from our Stayer classrooms. Where possible, please reserve Stayer 218 for recording. If 218 is not available, Stayer 210 or 213 is the next most preferred. If none of these spaces are available, Stayer 319 would be the next best option. All you would need to do is follow these steps:
1. Begin by reserving the room through
2. Next, Contact Mendoza IT ( or call (574) 631-7896 for a quick consultation based on, but not limited to, the following questions:
a. Which space have you reserved for recording?
b. What time frame should be recorded?
c. Do you have any special request as to where the recording should go?
d. Do you prefer that Ed Tech zoom the camera in?
e. Do you intend to use the whiteboard
3. Lastly, record your lecture. On the day of your scheduled recording, a Mendoza IT staff member will be available to assist you in recording your lecture(s).
Here are some resources for editing your video. Scroll down and browse through the different links. Each link has a video on how to do specific things within Panopto. There are two that are a “Must See” in my book: “Edit Your Video Start and Stop” (this provides instruction on adding an opening and closing slide to your videos) and “Create An Assignment Folder” (this allows students to upload videos to Panopto within Sakai and is a great way for students to do a Video Introduction).
These videos can be a step up from your office recordings and capture you doing what you do best – teaching!
I will conclude with a shout out to the Mendoza IT staff who are working very hard to get our classroom technology ready for the fall. Thanks everyone!
Robert Lewandowski
Associate Teaching Professor
IT, Analytics, and Operations
As we near the midpoint of the semester, I wanted to focus this week’s tip on the Sakai Lessons tool, which is something you can consider using in the spring. The Lessons tool allows you to organize your course content, such as resources, content and videos, on a single page. I used this on the recommendation of one of my TAs after he had a great experience in Professor Krista Foster’s Intro to Process Analytics course. Krista was able to show me what she did to build her Lessons pages and it was very well done. Also, Jason Reed has been using Lessons in his Security Analysis course for several semesters, and I have modeled my design on both of theirs. In this semi-online teaching environment, it allows for easy navigation by the students and ensures everything they need for a unit is available in a single location.
Do you remember the Mini Course with all of the topics for online teaching that ND Learning provided? Use this link to go to the Resilient Teaching website and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Mini Course. This is a great example of Sakai Lessons! This link will open a Sakai course and you can browse through the “Lessons” on the left side of the screen by using the drop-down menu.
Learning how to use the Lessons tool is not hard, but you have to pay attention to the details.
Here are a few links to get you going:
Also, a Cascading Style Sheet — a more advanced feature of Sakai — will allow you to edit the way your Sakai site is formatted. You can change the look from the basic Sakai format to a sleeker, more polished look. Here is a link for some help with that. If you have any questions, you can contact the Sakai group within the OIT for assistance at or use 1-8111.
Robert Lewandowski
Associate Teaching Professor
IT, Analytics, and Operations

Labor Day Blues
Last week, we had the joy of teaching on Labor Day, which is not a big deal. However, when my keyboard stopped working, I realized I was on my own because all of our wonderful tech support were at the beach sipping root beer. So, I had to punt. I was able to do my demonstrations with the mouse, so I was only able to give my students a total of 116% effort which was greatly reduced from the normal 176.37%.

Power Outages
When the power went out on Monday I was fortunate to be between classes. However, several faculty members had some disruptions. Remember our hero from a Tech Tip a few weeks ago? He was dual mode teaching with a Zoom session along with his live class when the power went down. He was in the middle of his lecture and he kept going in the dark. Then it was time to switch to a separate slide deck. Because the Internet was still available he had his students open their laptops and download the necessary slides and connect to Zoom so those students could follow along. He completed the lecture by using one of the students slides until the lights came back on. Once again, proving that the show must go on. Boy, the Air Force really trains their troops to be prepared! Have you guessed who our hero is yet?

If you are teaching in a computer classroom, one of the tools that I have recently learned to use during an exam is NetSupport. For years I have walked around the classroom during exams to check student progress and pacing. With NetSupport, you simply connect to the machines and you can preview their session without going to their workstation. If you open your Zoom room and record the session, you can have the screens of all the students recorded and if they divert from the specified screen, you can see it and it can serve as video evidence in an honor code hearing if needed. Thanks to Jen Waddell for showing me how this is done! Check out this quick video I put together to find out how this is done.

Robert Lewandowski
Associate Teaching Professor
IT, Analytics, and Operations

As we settle into what we all hope is our new normal for this semester, we are not out of the woods yet. There will still be students who will need to be remote and those accommodations will still need to be addressed. We have additional Sarah Bea accommodations and the avoidance of paper submissions as well. Sakai can assist with students who qualify for extended time on exams using the Test & Quizzes Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date setting.

Essay exams can be done in Sakai as well. You can create a Sakai Assignment and have the students either write their essay in Microsoft Word and submit the file as an attachment, or have students complete the essay inside the Assignment tool itself using the Inline only option. 

Here is more information about the Sakai Assignment tool.

In addition to creating an assignment, Sakai allows for short answer/essay questions.

So, what is the best approach regarding exams? Well, I will apply the standard consulting answer, “It depends.” Plan your exam around the current face-to-face delivery and think about how to do this online. If you normally do a combo platter exam, you can have two parts. The first part can be a Sakai multiple choice test and the second part can be an essay using a Sakai assignment. Use settings to control how much time they have to complete the exam and you are good to go.

Robert Lewandowski
Associate Teaching Professor
IT, Analytics, and Operations
As we move into our first full week of online teaching, I have heard from faculty concerns about quizzes and exams and administering them using Sakai. A great place to start is with the Assessment Planning page within the Resilient Teaching website.
If you are somewhat new to using Sakai Test & Quizzes, here is a general overview link. Last semester, I switched my final exam to a Sakai test. I gave the students the 2-hour block to complete a battery of Excel problems and then had them answer questions within the Sakai test. The Sakai test was based on what they calculated using Excel and was mostly fill-in-the-blank questions with some multiple choice. The great thing about this was Sakai did all the grading, and it immediately was added to the Sakai Gradebook.
iRubric is a rubric tool within Sakai that allows for easy itemized grading and feedback. I have used iRubric for several years now, and although it takes a bit to get started, once it is in place it makes grading assignments much easier and helps with consistency. Here is an overview link and a quick start guide. Some of these tips and tricks may take a bit of time to get right, but in the end, it streamlines the grading process.

In today’s Tech Tip I want to pass along some of the stories from faculty that I have had as we worked through our first week of class in these COVID times. The main story starts on the first day of class where one of our colleagues found himself in quite a pickle. The registrar moved his classroom and to his surprise, when he arrived at that location there was a class already in there. Students were in the hallway and this was shaping up to be quite a disaster. Due to proper planning, our hero quickly sent all of the students to their dorms to hold class via Zoom. Although this caused a big disruption to his first day, his quick thinking snatched a victory from utter defeat.

All of the other colleagues that I have spoke to have had positive technology experiences. Of course there will be adjustments, but plans tend to change and from what I hear, faculty are making the adjustments.

So here is the Tech Tip: When sharing a video in class – within the Zoom screen once you click the green Share Screen button, be sure to click the check box in the bottom left corner of the screen to “Share computer sound” I don’t know why but I always forget this when I share video on Zoom.

Returning to the classroom this semester is in no doubt – different. Here are a few reminders about using the technology in the classroom. I would recommend going through the site each day because it provides you access to a host of quick links, such as InsideND, Sakai, Gmail and more. I would like to focus on three of the links here that you may not be familiar with.
  • Servicenow: This site will take you to a website with a ton of information on Sakai.
  • OIT Virtual Computer Lab: This is one of five ways students can log into a Windows PC that is loaded with software. This is a great option for students who own Macintosh computers and need to use specific software for your class. Choose this one for general computer use and check out the other options for specific software needs.
  • HealthCheck: This link will allow you to complete your Daily Health Check.
If you are teaching in a computer classroom, remember you can use NetSupport to display a student workstation to the entire class.
You may have already read the Getting Started guide, which is a step-by-step guide to getting ready for your day using the technology in the classroom for Dual-Mode instruction. Have this close at hand when starting each class session.
Lastly, each classroom should be equipped with a phone so you can contact IT support at any time while teaching.
  • Use the Mendoza IT number if teaching in Mendoza or Stayer = 1-7896
  • Use the OIT number if teaching outside of Mendoza = 1-8778 for Classroom Technology support or 1-8111 for the OIT Help Desk.
The focus of this week’s tip is on the Teaching Resilience Playbook from ND Learning, which you can find at the bottom of the Resilient Teaching website in three different formats: Online Playbook, PDF Playbook (the same content as the online playbook but in a PDF format) and an Online Mini Course (a self-paced course built in Sakai that includes video instruction). 

The Online Mini Course link will open a Sakai course where you can browse through the “Lessons” on the left side of the screen by using the drop-down menu. I recommend 2.2 Learning Goals, 3.2 Dual-mode: Engaging Remote Students during In-Person Meetings and 3.6 Student Communication.

The main theme of this playbook is to plan for the fall semester. One of the ways we can be ready for is to complete the Teaching Resilience Plan Template. A key element of this template is to write out your plan for keeping students engaged. Depending on how you will be teaching this fall, those plans can change overnight. The aim here is to have some idea of what you would do if 1) your personal teaching mode changes, 2) you have several students with a change in how they attend class or 3) the entire campus situation changes. 

Many of us who had the pleasure of teaching in the spring created video assets used in class. I strongly recommend that you watch them again. There may be things in there that you need to tweak before using them again in the fall. 

Frank Mark (Mendoza IT) built a self-help guide to using Panopto that you might also find helpful. When you arrive at the site, scroll down and browse through the different links. Each link has a video on how to do specific things within Panopto. In my book, there are two that are “must see” – “Edit Your Video Start And Stop,” which provides instruction on adding an opening and closing slide to your videos, and “Create An Assignment Folder,” which allows students to upload videos to Panopto within Sakai – a great way for students to do a video introduction. 

This site is really well done and a great teaching resource. (Thanks, Frank!)

I will conclude with a shout out to the Mendoza IT staff who are working very hard to get our classroom technology ready for the fall. Thanks, everyone!

Be Prepared – Fall is coming … (Game of Thrones reference)

Although we do not fully know what the fall semester will look like, part of the planning process includes understanding some of the possibilities.
It is important to know what technology will be available to you and how the rooms may have changed so that you can plan your teaching flow. 
Visit Dual-mode Classroom Technology to view a 3-minute video overview of the new dual-mode classroom technology. Along with the video, you will find information on how to sign up for hands-on classroom technology workshops that begin the week of July 20 and descriptions of classroom technology. Information about Registrar and departmental classrooms will be updated as details become available. More information about teaching this fall can be found on ND Learning’s Resilient Teaching web site.
Coming out of what would be our first Online Teaching experience with the end of Spring 2020, it goes without saying that we all learned a lot. Many of you attended workshops that Kristen Collett-Schmitt and I hosted to discuss different teaching topics and strategies, and maybe even to simulate the break room on the 3rd floor where we would just see each other. These sessions were beyond valuable and we will be starting them up again soon, so watch your email for an invitation.

As you know, ND Learning, OIT and many other groups on campus developed the Resilient Teaching (formerly Instructional Continuity) website. This site has a huge amount of great information. I know this is a lot to take in, so the goal of this newsletter feature is to give you small bits to think about as we move into fall.

I would start with Spring 2020: What We Learned. This is a summary of the spring 2020 CIFs and comments from students. Highlights include: 
  • Students loved the synchronous sessions to connect and interact with other classmates and the instructor. 
  • However, a large takeaway was that students became burned out by lengthy lectures.
  •  Activities, discussions, breakout rooms and more are things that can break up the live sessions to help students to stay engaged. 
I encourage you all to take a look at what worked for you in the spring and make adjustments in case we must transition to online teaching again or to accommodate any student who needs an alternative delivery. Knowing what worked and what did not will be the first topic of the Fall Online Teaching workshops I mentioned.

Bob Lewandowski is the director of Online Initiatives and associate ITAO teaching professor at Mendoza.