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Classroom Technology During COVID

 


As we return for the Fall 2021 semester, we are all preparing to conduct teaching and learning while still keeping COVID-19 concerns at the top of our minds. In alignment with university policy and campus needs, adjustments to classroom technology have been made to support teaching and learning while still taking precautions. As the landscape is uncertain and ever-changing, Academic and Emerging Technology (AET) staff will also update this page regularly as guidance and policy changes.

Last Updated: September 1st, 2021 at 5 pm.


Recommendations for Faculty

  1. Schedule a Classroom Consult! Get a one-on-one session with AET staff to help you setup, practice, and answer any questions you may have.
  2. Engage with the Teaching Commons. Here you will find workshops and resources that help you to combine research-backed pedagogy with academic technology.
  3. Understand COVID-19 policies & guidance. The campus one-stop shop for updates, policies, and resources on COVID-19 mitigation at UC Merced.

Support

  • Quick question? Feel free to reach out via our online chat, found in the lower-left hand corner of this page, or call us at: 209-228-4357.
  • Need support during your classes? Call us at 209-228-4357 and press 1. Our technicians are on-call during scheduled classes.
  • Looking for a consultation on any and all academic technology? Visit our AET Consultations page and sign up for a time that works for you.
  • Want to know OIT locations and hours? Visit Locations and Hours in our new Service Hub.
  • Want to submit a ticket, see your past tickets, request new services, and look up how-to guides? Visit out Service Hub and begin typing your topic to browse all of our resources!
  • Campus COVID-19-related updates and information are available on the Do Your Part website.
  • Understand AET's Classroom & Conference Room support strategy.

Cleaning & Sanitization

What equipment is cleaned and how often is it cleaned?

AET technicians sanitize the touch panels, digital presenters, and podium boom microphones nightly. Because these are potentially high-touch pieces of equipment, we recommend washing or sanitizing your hands before and after use. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are available at vending machines across the campus. Location and distribution information can be found on the Do Your Part website.

Can I clean equipment?

We ask that cleaning is limited to our trained AET technicians. Many cleaning chemicals can damage equipment and equipment must be cleaned in specific ways. Please wash or sanitize your hands before and after use of the touch panel, podium boom mic, and digital presenters.

How are classrooms cleaned?

Please see the Campus Cleaning Schedule for how and when Facilities cleans classrooms.

Microphones

Where are microphones available?

Boom microphones have been attached to the instructor's stations in all classrooms that previously had microphones deployed as these are the spaces that support integrated microphones. This includes: ACS 120, COB 102, COB 105, COB 110, COB 113, CO 114, COB 116, COB 120, COB2 110, COB2 130, COB2 140, COB2 170, COB2 175, GRAN 110, GRAN 135, SSB 120, SSB 130, SSB 160, SSB 170, and SSM 104. You can also find this information on AET's Our Spaces webpage.

What types of microphones are available in classrooms?

AET is not able to deploy the normal over-the-ear and handheld microphones as they cannot be sanitized and sit close to the face. Podium mounted boom microphones are available for all spaces that traditionally had in-room microphones (see previous question). CatchBoxes are also not available at this time. Other accommodations may be available to instructors with unique needs but are limited due to sanitization requirements, staffing availability, and technological restrictions. Instructors can submit an OIT General Request to discuss needs and understand available options.

Can students in my class use microphones?

No. Passing any microphone student to student increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We ask that instructors solicit questions from students and then repeat them into the instructor microphone so that the rest of the class can hear the question.

How do I use the podium boom mics?

The podium boom mic has a USB port that you will need to plug into your laptop to power it. It also is plugged into a transmitter that send the audio to the in-room speakers. You may need switch the transmitter on if it has been turned off. Please schedule a Classroom Technology Consultation if you'd like practice with the new microphones and ask our Classroom Technology experts any question you might have.

Zoom

What rooms have Zoom integrated into the audiovisual technology?

Please visit OIT's webpage on Zoom to see which rooms have integrated Zoom and to what extent.

What are my options if my classroom does not have Zoom integration?

If you want to use Zoom in the classroom, you will need to download the Zoom client to your laptop and run the meeting there. In classrooms that have the podium boom mics installed, plugging the microphone into your laptop via USB not only powers the microphone but will also allow you to use that microphone with Zoom. In classrooms without microphones, you are welcome to use your own headset. Recommended headset information is also available on the OIT Zoom webpage.

Can I use classroom technology to deliver my course remotely to students?

The UC Merced Academic Senate has provided guidance and policy around where it is and is not appropriate to use technoloy to facilitate remote instruction, as in-person instruction is the default modality for Fall 2021. OIT can assist with technology where it is available or provide recommendations when accommodations are needed in accordance with these policies. They are provided below for your convenience:

Where can I find more information on how to use Zoom at UC Merced?

All of our information on Zoom, from security to features useful in classes can be found on OIT's Zoom webpage.

Supplemental Recording

What is supplemental recording?

Supplemental recording is recording your class lecture for later use and potentially includes recording your slides, video, and voice. You can share the recordings with your class for your students to use in review and study. See the questions and answers below on how to utilize supplemental recording at UC Merced. You can find rules on FERPA and class recordings on the Registrar's FERPA for Faculty webpage.

What rooms have supplemental recording integrated?

Supplemental recording is integrated into: COB 102, COB 105, COB2 110, COB2 130, COB2 140, COB2 170, ACS 120. Information about integrated supplemental recording is available in the Service Hub. You can also visit AET's Our Spaces site for more information about those classrooms.

How can I record my courses in rooms without integrated supplemental recording?

Instructors can run Zoom meetings to record their laptop screen as well as any microphone and cameras connected to the laptop. The automatic Zoom Cloud Recording to Kaltura enables automatic transfer of recordings into CatCourses. Information on how to set this up can be found on OIT's Zoom webpage underneath "Other Features".