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For Those Teaching Flex in Fall

Flex Classroom

Classroom Cheat Sheet


Information Services created a printable PDF cheat sheet. I highly recommend printing this out and bringing to each class.

Stylus


You don’t need a stylus; your finger will work just as well. If you want to use a stylus, you should use a capacitive stylus. Information Services recommends these for purchase:


Online Learning Assistant (OLA)


The deadline to request an OLA from the Center for Teaching and Learning has passed. If you are working with an OLA, they can help you:

  • Start and stop your class recording.
  • Manage breakout rooms.
  • Facilitate discussion, chat, and questions.

Your OLA will be most helpful if you explain your teaching style and preferences before class. You can meet with them virtually after class to discuss what worked and what did not work.

Scheduling Your Zoom Sessions


There are various ways that you can do this. Generally, it is best to stick with the method that you are most used to. Here are the instructions that the Teaching Commons provides.

When I teach Flex, I make a note to so this when scheduling the Zoom sessions:

  • Schedule a recurring meeting. Same Zoom connection details for each class.
  • Only authenticated users can join. This means only students (and guests) with DePaul accounts can join the Zoom session. This can cause minor frustration for students who do not read instructions the first week. In later weeks, this provides more security and less opportunity to be Zoombombed. You would want to relax this security setting if you are bringing virtual guest speakers to class (who do not have DePaul Zoom accounts).
  • Mute participants upon entry. This greatly reduces audio disruption. Students must actively unmute their microphones to talk.
  • Automatically record meeting (In the cloud). Alternatively, ask your OLA to start the recording at a set time (so you do not forget) or set an alarm to remind you to record.
  • Share the Zoom connection information. I do this in D2L, my syllabus, and in a class email to students. I bring the Zoom meeting ID and password to class (on paper or on my smartphone, in large type so I can read the correct information and connect to the correct Zoom session without hassle).

The First Class


Classes work better when everyone has a similar understanding of how the class will be taught and what the appropriate etiquette is. I have learned from experience that dedicating time the first class to explain how I will use the technology can be very helpful. I use this first class to show how I will teach, and how students can interact with the technology. I make sure to allow time for students to ask questions and to test their technology.

Sharing Content


The Trimodal rooms allow you to share content in these various sources:

  1. Podium PC
  2. Document Camera
  3. Digital Blackboard
  4. Laptop or tablet (wirelessly)
  5. Student PC, laptop, or tablet (either wirelessly in the room or remote)

Before my first class, I practice the ways I intend to share content. Keeping things simple is recommended.

Classroom Interaction


Everyone has different teaching styles and preferences. Here is what has worked for me:

  • Actively engage the remote students first. Ask questions to the remote students first, and then pose the questions to the students in the physical classroom after.
  • Look at the camera when talking.
  • Repeat student questions. This ensures that remote students hear things clearly and in context.
  • 10-minute break every hour. Post a message on screen and in chat to say that on break.

When Technology Fails


Use the room telephone to contact Classroom Tech Support:

(312) 362-5900 (Extension 2-5900)

If you see an error message or a problem, take a picture of it with your smartphone.

Additional Resources



  • The 3-week asynchronous D2L course that CTL offered this Summer (“Flex Instruction Training Summer 2021”). The course has ended, but you can be added as an “Observer” to see the material.
  • The “Training Open Houses” that CTL and Information Services have been offering and are continuing this September. You can contact ClassTechTraining@depaul.edu if you have questions.
  • The “Flex Fridays” sessions I have been offering and that I continue to offer this September. You can RSVP for upcoming session here.
  • The “Teaching In A Trimodal Room” webpage that I posted here.
  • The “Using Zoom+ and Trimodal Rooms” resource on the Teaching Commons website.
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Flex Fridays: July, August, and September

Flex Fridays

Flex Fridays are an opportunity for faculty and staff to experiment with the new technologies in the Trimodal classrooms. These sessions will run Fridays from 10AM to Noon and 2PM to 4PM in DPC 5901 (we are normally done in the first hour, but the extra time is scheduled for additional practice). Faculty and staff can come to the classroom and physically test out the equipment or remotely connect via Zoom and see what the experience is like for remote students and guest presenters (physically visiting the classroom and testing and practicing is highly recommended). Investing time now will pay dividends later in the year. Faculty and staff can attend multiple sessions – they just need to register here:

https://condor.depaul.edu/jmoore/tech/

The upcoming sessions are:

  • Friday July 30
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
  • Friday August 6
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
  • Friday August 27
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
  • Friday September 3
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
  • Friday September 10
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
  • Friday September 17
    • 10AM – 12PM
    • 2PM – 4PM
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Flex Training Announced

Training on how to teach in Flex(FL) courses has just been announced. The training comes from the Center for Teaching and Learning, and empowers faculty to teach in the new Flex modality that utilizes Trimodal and Zoom+ classrooms.

Faculty can register for the training here.

Dates: Monday, June 14th through Friday, July 2nd

Format: Fully online (no in-person meetings)

Zoom Teaching Demos: Most coursework will be completed asynchronously, however, attendees should also plan to attend at least one teaching demonstration via Zoom. These demonstrations will be led by faculty who have experience teaching in Zoom-enabled classrooms, and training participants will assume the role of students for these activities. You can view a course schedule with demonstration times here.

Optional Kickoff and Wrap-up Zoom Meetings: Faculty interested in connecting with other training participants and discussing issues related to Flex instruction will have the option to attend informal Zoom meetings on Friday, June 18th and Thursday, July 1st from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Central Time.

Workload: Participants should expect to spend roughly three to four hours per week completing readings and assignments.
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