Student Engagement, Academic Integrity, and Recording Studios

Two common student concerns from the remote teaching portion of courses last spring were students missing the connections with other students in the class and students concerned that other students were cheating.  The extra effort of many faculty and TAs to be more available to students was recognized and thus less of a student concern in many courses.

Student – student engagement 

As we plan for the fall semester, consider if there are ways to encourage/enable students to collaborate with each other in your course even with the social distancing requirements.  Here are a few ideas which might spark an idea for your course:

  • Encourage students to find one or more study partners – create a way for interested students to share contact information and how and when they like to collaborate (discuss problems first, compare answers, etc).  This will also help students built connections that may be useful if one has to quarantine
  • Assign a group project or review assignment
  • Create a virtual study hall by setting up a zoom session where students can connect with other students in the class as they would with study partners.  You don’t have to attend, just set up and announce the study hall. 
  • Hybrid teaching
    • Your class will already be divided into cohorts that attend in-person sessions on different days (attendance cohorts).  Assign partners across the attendance cohorts so students have an in-person connection for each session
    • Expect whichever attendance group is attending a particular session (especially for a lab) to share information/data with partners in other attendance groups
  • Synchronous remote teaching:  
    • Try Zoom breakout rooms so students discuss ideas with each other in small groups
    • Try polling the class to see if they understand – iClicker Reef or Zoom polling or Poll Everywhere, let students see the results so they see the connection with the rest of the class
  • In-person, socially distant:
    • Consider alternatives for the sharing part of think/pair/share.  
    • Can Zoom chat bring in remote learners
    • Can Zoom chat share answers to a think/pair/share
    • Use iClicker Reef so remote learners can click in as well as in-person learners
  • Asynchronous remote teaching:
    • Consider some group assignments or group project(s) so students have to discuss ideas with other students.
    • Consider using Piazza  as a shared question and answer space

Academic Integrity 

Experience this past Spring shows that Academic Integrity is more of an issue now than ever. For example, using websites like students can upload exam questions and get answers during an exam.  There are a number of ways to reduce academic integrity issues in our course.  These include setting clear expectations, using in-person exams where possible, and designing and administering remote/take-home exams in ways to make cheating more difficult. 

For further suggestions see the following:



Mini-recording studios
COE and CIS will share 4 mini-recording studios:  Gates G11, Gates G15, Rhodes 637 and Olin 167B.  

Equipment in Gates G11 and G15:
Overhead mic, lapel mic not needed    
2 in room cameras
Whiteboards that can be captured a camera
HDMI connection for your computer (no in-room computer)
Zoom enabled through room controls (CODEC) and your computer
G11 will have a document camera soon
G15 will have a Wacom tablet soon

Equipment in Rhodes 637 and Olin 167B
Adjustable (pan tilt, and zoom) camera
USB document camera
Annotation tablet
Large format (65”) monitor. 
Built-in microphone (which does not require close proximity).
Recording is via either Panopto or Zoom.  

Baseline lighting and acoustical treatment will be tailored to each specific space .

Reserve time in a studio either for the semester or for a single session.  Email Requests for time for synchronous teaching will be filled first as those sessions are time dependent followed by requests for semester long use of the studios.   
Studio schedules will be posted once the first batch of requests are processed.