Learning Online at the Faculty of Arts
In view of the current situation, we would like to introduce the possibilities of teaching and learning online at the Faculty of Arts. We believe that some of the technological solutions, which have been available at our faculty already for some time, can facilitate the temporary transition from personal contact to remote education. These circumstances can be also viewed as a space for new opportunities, innovation and wider use of the online environment. Remote teaching and learning may open a range of possibilities that can be later used also with the return to the classrooms.
Different types of teaching have different needs. On this page, we have tried to describe several basic situations you can face as teachers and to offer you specific technological solutions for each of them.
I need to provide materials to students for self-learning
Typical situation: You have or can provide the study materials for students to learn the subject matter themselves (scanned articles, your own study texts, annotated presentations, learning videos, etc.).
If you want to make things as easy as possible and your subject is based mostly on one-way transfer of knowledge, rather than discussion, you can simply share the learning materials with students.
I need to explain the subject matter to the students remotely
Typical situation: You want to present the subject matter yourself to make sure that students do not miss anything important and you also need students to react to your lecture.
- Use the automated recording systems in classrooms
The newly reconstructed buildings of the Faculty of Arts are equipped with an easy-to-operate system for automated recording of lectures - just press the button on the control panel, switch on the microphone and the system makes a video with you and your presentation. Lecturing in an empty room is certainly not a pleasant idea, yet, this solution requires only minimum effort and no extra planning, because everything for this scenario is already set up in the classroom. For more information about the recording equipment including instructions, please, consult the catalogue of IT services.
After processing, the resulting recording will be stored in the Medial faculty media library and you can distribute it to students using the link for sharing.
- Stream your lecture live on the internet
In many of the newly reconstructed classrooms, you can also stream your lecture live via Facebook, Youtube and other popular services. This way, students may follow your lecture in real time. You can stream using the OBS program, which has to be connected to the streaming service prior to starting your lecture. Services such as Youtube or Facebook also save the live stream so that it can be watched later (this behaviour can be changed in the settings). You can also choose whether the broadcast is publicly accessible or available only to the people who have received a direct link.
- Make a recording of your lecture on your work or home computer
Using a simple program, you can record your work on the PC and add an accompanying spoken commentary. You can make a video with your presentation and explanatory lecture. If you have a webcam, you can record yourself and add the recording to the final video.
The official PC recording application at the Faculty of Arts is Techsmith Relay. You can find it on any faculty computer and its operation is very simple - after you log in using your UČO and secondary password, making a recording is a matter of three clicks. After processing, the resulting recording will be stored in the Medial faculty media library and you can distribute it to students using the link for sharing. For more information, please, refer to the user documentation.
- Use the video conferencing application
To make a lecture online, you can use one of the numerous applications for video calls or video conferencing (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). These applications provide direct connection to students and allow you to talk to them in real time as well as share the image from your webcam for them. You can also use desktop sharing to show students what you are viewing on your computer at the moment. In some of the applications you can also record the video conference, but it is not always the case.
The official video conferencing solution at the Faculty of Arts is MS Teams, available to all MU employees and students as part of the Office 365 suite. In MS Teams you can make regular video calls, but also create classes (teams), which you may invite students to and which you may use to set up the video conferencing channel. The recommended procedure is described in this manual.
I need a follow-up discussion with the students about the shared materials
Typical situation: You have shared the materials for self-study and you want to give the students the opportunity to discuss the subject matter or ask clarifying questions.
You can share study materials for your students as described in the previous two scenarios.
The follow-up discussion can be performed using applications for asynchronous communication. The easiest, though certainly not the most appropriate option is to use the standard e-mail. There are more appropriate options, such as the chat channel in MS Teams.
For a better overview, use a discussion forum. In IS MU, you can use subject-specific discussions, already set up for each existing course. In ELF e-learning courses, you can use discussion forums, which offer more setting options.
I need to communicate with the students in real time
Typical situation: Your teaching has the nature of seminars and the possibility of flexible discussion in real time is fundamental to you.
This type of scenario is more demanding in terms of organisation, preparation and - to a certain extent - also technical skills. All participants must be present at the online session in real time, the technical solution requires devices that enable synchronous bidirectional communication of more people and the whole teaching should be planned, prepared and tested in advance. It is also more demanding for the students to prepare: all have to have a device with a camera and microphone (in most cases a mobile phone is sufficient) and a stable internet connection.
As the basic technical solution, we recommend using the MS Teams videoconferencing tool, which is available to all MU employees and students as part of the Office 365 suite. In MS Teams you can make regular video calls, but also create classes (teams), which you may invite students to and which you may use to set up the video conferencing channel. The recommended procedure is described in this manual.
In the course of the video conference, chat is also available for the students to type in their questions and comments.
In addition, there are also specialised applications for webinars (e.g. GoToWebinar), which offer more advanced features, such as moderating the discussion or collecting feedback. Their set up is usually more complex and using these products is usually subject to payment. Therefore, we recommend MS Teams as a more feasible solution, which is also linked to the university infrastructure.
I need a comprehensive solution for managing my lessons
Typical situation: You need to transfer a number of diverse activities into the virtual environment. In addition to sharing materials, you want to discuss with students, assign tasks to them, test their knowledge, etc.
You can use one of the learning management systems to create an e-learning course with various kinds of activities. At the Faculty of Arts, two options are available:
- E-learning courses in ELF
- ELF is a faculty-based installation of the Moodle system. In addition to the basic activities (distribution of materials, tasks, tests, discussion, evaluation), it offers additional, mored advanced options, such as working in groups, providing access to activities at a certain time, etc.
- To request creating a new course, use the contact form (found in the Info for teachers section after you log in).
- For more information, please, refer to the user documentation
- Interactive syllabi in IS MU
- The advantage is the integration with other applications of the information system.
- You can create thematic units for each lesson, share learning materials, assign tasks, create tests and organise mutual evaluation of tasks among students.
- For more information, please, refer to the IS Help
New technologies can become discouraging and not always everything works the way we would expect. No need to worry - many services recommended on this page go with user support provided by university or faculty staff. Use the contact information below, if you encounter a problem with any of the services, need advice or want to consult the possibilities of using the service.
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the material published by the Harvard University for those who start teaching remotely. Here, you can find especially general didactic and methodological recommendations - but do not forget that not all practices are equally applicable in our environment.
Learn best practices, available tools, and how to get support for teaching your classes online.
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