Flexible Teaching and Learning

CPI supports your move to online and alternate delivery formats

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to Contact the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation

CPI is offering a series of sessions to support you online at CPI Events. Resources and recordings from past events are available on our Special Interest Sessions and Workshops pages.

Looking for inspiration?

Visit the Online Teaching Gallery for recordings of Brock Instructors talking about their online teaching experiences

CPI’s gallery of instructors describing their online teaching

The return to campus details for the Fall/Winter 2021 term can be found at: https://brocku.ca/coronavirus/updates/

Consider the following when teaching on-campus this year:

  • If you can, leave your office a bit earlier than in the past so that you can help with the traffic flow on campus. For example, Wwe know that the Thistle Corridor in particular can get very busy between classes.
  • When you arrive in your classroom:
    1. You will see an air filter unit in lecture rooms and lab spaces. This system helps to purify the air in the room. The unit is nearly silent and will not interfere with sound quality. Click here for more details from the Brock News Story.
    2. Use the available disinfectant wipes to wipe down the lectern, mouse, and keyboard if you like. However, it is important that you do not wipe down any computer screens as this will damage them. Brock custodial services engage in deep cleaning each lecture room everyday day with a two-step cleaning and disinfecting process. Click here for more details from the Brock News Story.
    3. If you are concerned about sharing a microphone with other instructors in your classroom you can request a alternative microphone for the term at:
      1. Headset microphones for classes of 75 students and larger contact ITS
      2. Wearable voice amplifier systems are available for smaller classrooms contact ITS
    4. If using a mobile lectern, do a visual check to make sure the lectern is positioned back from the first row of the class. Most lecterns are in a fixed position and more than 2 meters away already. Although instructional spaces are exempt from physical distancing, we can continue to enact appropriate public health measures when possible.
  • Masking during class:
    1. During lecture if you see a student not wearing a mask, know that some students may have a mask exemption. These students will have received an exemption letter that they are to send to their instructors.
    2. If a student takes their mask off for an extended period, you may choose to stop the class and provide a verbal reminder to everyone about the University’s policy and ask that they always wear their masks in the classroom.
    3. Instructor should not point out individuals not wearing a mask nor engage with these individuals.
    4. A referral to Student Life can be made if the student is non-compliant.
    5. Students and the instructor can adjust their mask for a short period of time to take a drink but must replace them immediately afterwards.
    6. More information is available on the COVID-19 Masking FAQ at: https://brocku.ca/coronavirus/faq/
  • Although active learning strategies may seem difficult and awkward at this time, there are still strategies you could consider to support students learning in the classroom.  Consider a collaborative note taking or flipping your instruction. CPI is available to consult with you about your particular teaching contexts. Contact cpi@brocku.ca
  • Remember that classes should end 10 minutes before the hour.  When class is over, ask that students closest to the exits to leave the classroom first via the closest exit whenever possible.

More ideas to consider for your class:

  • If you generally have a class break, consider allowing students to leave class early instead of having a break to help reduce traffic flow on campus and to provide more time for entering and exiting class.
  • Consider using the Sakai Assignments tool instead of having student submit paper-based assignment to minimize student’s need for printing, being on campus, and handling shared resources. The Crowdmark tool may also be valuable to replicate a paper-like student submission and marking process but online
  • It is possible that some students may have symptoms and not be able to attend class. A community of practice concerned with sharing ideas about lecture recording has been formed. Here are some strategies that the community has come up with that would allow the students off-campus to continue to engage:
    • Ask one of the students to take notes and connect with that student to provide the notes.
    • Create an MS Teams meeting and allow one or more of the students to connect to the off-campus student(s) so that they are able to virtually attend lecture. Students can also create MS Teams sessions themselves on their laptops or phones to share with their peers who are away.
    • Share recordings from lectures that you might have made previously. A quick 2021 reflection and update video would also help put the recording in context.
    • If a student misses a test or quiz, use the online quiz tool to provide them with the opportunity to complete the test/quiz.
  • Instructors are welcome to hold their office hours online through the MS Teams or Lifesize platforms.
  • Remember you may need to multi-factor authenticate into on-campus devices so ensure you bring whichever device you have setup for this process. ITS help documentation on MFA is available at: https://brocku.ca/information-technology/service-catalogue/security-and-access/multi-factor-authentication/
  • Consider including the following in our course outline for this year:
    • Brock University’s vaccine mandate: All students, faculty, staff and visitors who wish to access campus are required to have their COVID-19 vaccination. Members of the Brock community can learn more about how to book a COVID vaccine here. Brock students can also register to receive their vaccine on campus through Student Health Services by completing this form.  Students must upload proof of vaccination using the Brock Vaccination Tool.
    • Brock University’s mask policies: Instructor and students are required to wear a face covering while in teaching spaces. Individuals may briefly adjust the mask to take a drink of water but must be replaced immediately afterwards.

If you are already teaching in a HyFlex room, consider share your scheduled meeting link with your students to allow them to attend in multiple formats (via Teams, via Sakai, via Email, etc).

Instructions on how to use the HyFlex Rooms can be found on our documentation wiki at: https://docu.brocku.ca/sakai/index.php/Teaching_in_a_HyFlex_room

You can contact ITS AV Services for an individual training session on the use of this room.  The current HyFlex rooms are RM TH 255, 256, 257, 258, 259.

CPI provides a course outline template for graduate and undergraduate courses that includes suggested language for policy around academic integrity and accommodations.

Putting course resources on a website or in Brock University’s Learning Management System (Isaak/Sakai) means that students can access course documents, complete assignments, take quizzes, and post on discussion forums electronically.

Online modules can also be created with the easy-to-use Sakai Lessons took.  See our website at: https://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/teaching-tools/issak-sakai/ for more information.

  • Build online modules in Lessons


history screencast lecture

Example of a pre-recorded video lecture by Dr. Samson in HIST 2P01

Your entire lecture does not need to be a video. Research shows that videos less than 10 minutes are ideal (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). See the section on using Lessons on how you can incorporate static text and images to provide context to short lectures or “lecture-ettes”.

To prerecord video on a local computer for distribution online via the LMS or other platforms, instructors may wish to use one of the following asynchronous video solutions:

  • Universal Capture
  • Echo360 Video Streaming
    • Echo360 is our campus-wide video streaming platform. It will take audio and video in nearly every format (such as from Universal Capture above), embeds content in the LMS (and other places online), generates an automatic transcript, and returns robust statistics for video usage to instructors. It also has student response functionality for asking questions and polling students within a video. Visit Share video with students for information about recording with Echo360.
  • PowerPoint
    • Microsoft PowerPoint has built-in audio and timing recording functionality which allows instructors to narrate their own power points. Instructors can use the same slides they already use, record audio, and then distribute their slides with audio narration included to students via the LMS or other platforms. See office.com for detailed instructions.

To conduct class meetings with small groups of undergraduate/graduate students or to hold office hours, instructors may wish to use example live lecture in Microsoft Teamsone of the following video conferencing solutions:

Depending on the type of assessment, it may be possible to keep the existing format in place with small tweaks to have students submit online.

For a paper-based assignment, you may be able to use the Isaak-Sakai Assignments tool to have student submit online instead of on paper: https://docu.brocku.ca/sakai/index.php/Add_an_Assignment

For face-to-face presentation-based assignment, you may be able to use the Isaak-Sakai Videos tool to have students create online videos instead of seminars:

Forums can be a good way to engage in meaningful discussions either in text, audio, or video. They can be useful for frequently asked questions or topic-based conversations. The forums tool in Sakai is group aware and can be set up for small group discussions.

If you would like to see an example of an online course using Lessons, CPI has a “joinable Sakai site” open for all in the Brock community.

To join the site, login to Sakai:

  1. Click on Home
  2. Click on Membership
  3. Click on the Joinable Sites tab
  4. Enter the keyword online into the Search
  5. Locate the Creating an Online Course and click Join

Joinable site, go to home, membership, joinable sites, search for online, click join on the list

Mobilizing Partnerships to Assist: