While not all classrooms have dedicated cameras and microphones for video conferencing, most have been equipped with basic USB webcams that allow faculty to teach to both in-person and online audiences. This page will cover how to make use of the equipment available in a standard classroom with a webcam to get started teaching.
(For a short video walk-through of the basic steps to take to teach a class streamed to Zoom with a PowerPoint presentation in a standard classroom, please check out the Quick Start Video below).
You will likely get started at the podium at the front of the room. The instructor's PC should be on and logged into to a classroom account when you arrive. (If the PC's monitors appear off, just move the mouse to wake them back up.)
Each classroom PC has the same two monitor setup for instructors to work with (see photo below):
Typical monitor setup for classroom PCs
When working at the podium computer, keep in mind the following:
To turn on the display screens and sound system in any of the classrooms, you will need to use the room's AV control panel. This is generally (but not always) a white panel on the wall near the podium (see photo below).
Before starting a class, you will want to take the following steps:
Most of the classrooms without separate cameras and microphones will have a USB webcam available at the podium. (If you are teaching in a classroom without any kind of camera, please contact the Help Desk, and they can install a webcam.) These will work with both Zoom and Collaborate and can function both as camera and microphone.
There are some limitations to be aware of when working with a webcam. For one, camera angles are limited to those that can be achieved by moving the camera around the area of the podium. Additionally, while the audio should be of decent enough quality for the students attending online, the instructor will need to be in somewhat close proximity to the camera to be heard well, and sound from the classroom may not be picked up as well as with some of the other setups.
A number of the traditional classrooms have lectern or wireless mics available at the instructor's computer. These only connect to the sound system in the room, but are useful if students sitting in class are having trouble hearing you.
Depending on the room you may have a choice of the following:
If you are planning on sharing an on-screen presentation (like a PowerPoint or pdf document) to both an in-person audience and an audience watching online, you will want to be careful that both audiences will see the same thing. To start, you want to make sure you have opened your presentation to the larger, widescreen monitor at the instructor's workstation, as this will ensure it is seen by the local students. From there, the directions vary by which web conferencing tool you are using. Specific directions for Zoom and Collaborate follow below.
In Zoom, once your presentation is open, click the green "Share Screen" button at the bottom of your Zoom window. This will open up a window, similar to the one in the image below, which will give a number of options for sharing to Zoom. From here, take the following steps:
Collaborate's screensharing works in a similar fashion. Once your presentation is open, access the Collaborate panel by clicking the purple tab at the bottom right of your screen (see photo below).
This will bring up the Collaborate Panel on the right hand side of the screen. From here, take the following steps:
This will bring up the dialog you see below. From here:
Many of the classrooms have built-in overhead document cameras, located by the instructor’s computer, that can be used to display documents, diagrams or formulas to students in class. To select these cameras as the source for the in-class projector/displays, return to the AV panel and select the button labelled "Doc Cam." The feed from the document camera should now appear on the displays the in-person students can see. Please note: these cameras will not connect directly to Zoom or Collaborate, so you will only want to use them for in-person sessions. Please see the instructions for USB document cameras if you need to share with an online audience.
Adjusting the image from the document camera can be done with the Wolfvision remote (see image below). Use the zoom control (1) to zoom the image in and out, and use the autofocus button (2) to turn the auto-focus on and off to quickly get the image in focus.
The ceiling-mounted document cameras are all positioned above tables with dry erase surfaces. The height of these tables can be adjusted by using the up and down buttons that can be found on the front side of the table on the right (see image below)
For faculty who would like to use a webcam for both in-person and online students IS will, upon request, provide portable USB document cameras that can be used both with the in-class displays and Zoom or Collaborate.
KODAK NUSCAN document cameras are available from the Help Desk
These will plug directly into the computer at the podium and can then be selected as a camera source within your online meeting software. Instructions for using these document cameras with both Zoom and Collaborate follow below.
To share the cameras with your students on Zoom, you will want to select the green "Share" button at the bottom of your Zoom meeting window. This will bring up a window like the one below. From here, take the following steps:
The video feed should display in the Zoom window on your desktop. For your in-person students to see the document camera, make sure that the window sharing the camera is on the widescreen monitor that duplicates to the larger classroom displays.
To share the cameras with your students on Collaborate, you will first want to open up the Collaborate panel by clicking the purple tab at the bottom right of your browser.
Once the Collaborate panel pops out, you will want to do the following:
The video feed should display in the Collaborate window on your desktop. For your in-person students to see the document camera, make sure that the window sharing the camera is on the widescreen monitor that duplicates to the larger classroom displays.
A number of faculty find it challenging to use the physical whiteboard in the classroom or lecture hall while also trying to accommodate students watching online. One workaround is to use the Whiteboard feature in Zoom. When shared to the large classroom displays, this feature allows faculty to sketch formulas, notes and drawings that both the online students and in-person students can see. Additionally, since it works with the touchscreen functionality of the widescreen classroom monitors, faculty can draw fairly naturally using the Whiteboard, especially when using a stylus.
This feature can be accessed by clicking the green "Share" button at the bottom of your Zoom meeting window. From the selection screen that pops up (see image below), do the following:
This will bring you to a screen like the one you see below.
As with sharing any presentation, make sure to display the whiteboard on the larger monitor that feeds to the in-class displays, so that your in-person students can see it. The Whiteboard defaults to the "draw" setting and either the mouse or touchscreen can be used to draw on the whiteboard.
Remember to do the following upon finishing a class:
Close all open browsers and applications. This is especially important if you logged into any online accounts like email or Blackboard, as the next people using the classrooms may be able to access your accounts if any browser windows are left open.
Leave the instructor's workstation on and logged in to the classroom account. Additionally, if you made any changes to the desktop's configuration, please set them back to how they were when you arrived.
A video overview covering the basic steps needed to run a class over Zoom with a PowerPoint Presentation using a USB camera in one of our classrooms.