Online Teaching Toolkit
In order to remotely host or participate in online courses, you will need hardware and software.
- Computer Although you can access online courses in D2L or Zoom through tablets and smartphones, we recommend using a laptop or desktop computer in order to access full functionality and to have sufficient screen size to be able to fully engage with the content and software interface. A recent computer with a current and updated operating system (macOS or Windows will work with all university-supported online learning technologies – Linux will work, but may have limited functionality in some online teaching applications) will help prevent many compatibility issues with hardware and software used for online courses. Make sure you have a current and updated web browser installed – the latest versions of Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Edge will help you avoid compatibility issues.
- Secure and Reliable Internet You will need reliable access to a broadband internet connection. If possible, use a wired ethernet connection so you won’t have to worry about WIFI signal strength or interference during an online class session.
- Microphone / Headphones Laptops and webcams typically have a built-in microphone, which will likely be adequate – but you should use headphones or earbuds instead of your computer’s speaker in order to prevent audio feedback during a Zoom or online conference session. MemoryExpress offers a wide variety of options.
- Webcam While participating in a Zoom (or online conference) session, you may want to share a video of yourself. A webcam is sufficient for this. Webcams are built into almost all laptops. If you are using a desktop computer, you will need to connect a USB webcam to your system.A current webcam should work with most computer systems – check for compatibility before purchasing one. MemoryExpress offers a wide variety of options and any would be adequate for online teaching.
- Access to campus online learning technologies Make sure you can access your accounts in any of the tools you intend to use in your course:
- D2L Brightspace (course content, grades, discussions, etc.)
- Zoom (online classes and meetings)
- YuJa (video sharing)
- Top Hat (online student response system)
Nice to have:
- Second display You may want to connect a second display to your computer, so you can leave a Zoom session running on one and course materials or notes on the other – or to leave the videoconference window in Zoom on one and additional tools such as Participants and Chat on the other. If you aren’t able to connect a second display, using a second device such as a tablet may help to enable you to take notes or access content during an online class session.
- Working and Learning from Home (https://www.ucalgary.ca/working-and-learning-from-home)
- Teaching Continuity (https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/teaching-continuity)