Frequently Asked Questions

These are emerging questions and answers related to moving courses online.

Transition Tips FAQ | Collaborate Ultra FAQ | Proctorio FAQ | Zoom FAQ


Transition Tips FAQ

Adapting courses for online learning

How can I access UBC Library services and resources for help?
On Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m., all UBC Library branches temporarily closed, but the library continues to provide access to electronic resources and librarian support for research, teaching, and learning. Please visit the main library website for the latest on how to access.

How can I replicate or replace my in-person lecture online?

You can present real-time lectures using audio/video web-conferencing and collaboration tools like Collaborate Ultra (in Canvas) or Zoom (outside of Canvas).

Alternatively, you can record your lecture with tools like Camtasia or Kaltura and share the video in Canvas or wherever you are posting course content. UBC Studios has helpful recording tips for getting started.

How can I replicate or replace my in-person lab online?
Some alternative suggestions for labs include running online simulations, enacting labs on behalf of students, and providing sample lab data. This list of alternatives was collaboratively generated by engineering deans, faculty, and staff across the country.

How can I replicate or replace my in-person exam online?

One option is to run exams in Canvas that are remotely proctored with a tool called Proctorio. You can also consider other alternatives to in-person exams like open-book exams with integrity pledge, closed-book "mini-exams" with integrity pledge and tight time windows, equivalent learning activities (e.g., assignments, presentations, discussions), or oral exams. Note that all options still require making accommodations for any students with disabilities.

If you have a sufficient number of teaching team members/invigilators to provide exam presence, you could consider setting up breakout groups/rooms during an online session in Zoom or Collaborate Ultra. You and your team can continuously or periodically monitor the live stream of all students' webcams in each group/room and answer questions. You can also ask to see students' individual screens and photo identification. This is not the same as a professional proctoring service, however, and recording these sessions is prohibited. If you require recordings, please use Proctorio instead.

Note that your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about exams already; please be sure that what you choose fits with that guidance, and consult with your Department Head, Program Director, or Faculty for more information, if needed. The Faculty of Science has also developed a list of some constraints you can consider when choosing technology tools for exams.

Supporting students in online learning

How can I accommodate my online exams for students with disabilities?

The Centre for Accessibility at UBC Vancouver will not be conducting any in-person exams for the 2020/21 Summer Sessions; however, alternative accommodations are being offered. Please review UBCV’s exam accommodations for students with disabilities guide for more information.

UBC Okanagan faculty should consult the UBCO exam accommodations page.

How can I make course materials and activities more accessible?
To get started with accessibility at a high level:

  • When possible, provide content in multiple formats
  • Files you upload for sharing should be reduced to the smallest practical size
  • Let students know when apps are available to use on their mobile devices
  • Describe your visual content with good captions and descriptive alternative text (aka "alt text")
  • Transcribe your audio content into text format
  • For video, provide closed captioning and/or transcriptions
  • Use meaningful text when you link out to other content
  • Make text readable with good sizes and contrast
  • Structure your content with regular headings
  • For more details, read the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology’s quick accessibility tips

For a deeper dive into accessibility:

How can I support my students in using new learning technologies?
UBC's student guides provide application information, technical requirements, how-to instructions, and additional tips to support your students. Please share these guides for each application you will be making use of in your course:

How can I support my students' well-being during this time?
You may want to share the UBC Student Services mental health resources with your students to help them cope with feelings of stress, worry and isolation, and support their well-being.

Following the policy on late changes to the syllabus

What does the UBC Vancouver policy on late syllabus changes say?
You may need to change your syllabus unexpectedly when transitioning to remote teaching. Section 9 of UBC Vancouver's Senate Syllabus Policy V-130 states:

9a). Should the course instructor wish to make a material change to the syllabus after the last day by which students are permitted to drop the course without receiving a ‘W’ on the transcript, the course instructor must explain the rationale to the class. The course instructor must ensure that registered students have access to the changed details in a revised and dated version of the syllabus and should send electronic communication to students to alert them that a change has been made.

9b). Any student who sees the change to the syllabus as detrimental to their academic progress is entitled to discuss the case with the course instructor and seek a resolution. Where student and instructor cannot agree, students are encouraged to take their protest to the head of the department concerned and then to the dean of the faculty responsible for the course in accordance with the Academic Calendar regulations on protests for academic standings.

What are some ways of navigating late syllabus changes in my course?
One approach is to tell students the possible changes you are considering, get their feedback, and then revise your syllabus. Another or complementary approach is to present options in the revised syllabus that students can choose from, if feasible for your course context.

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Collaborate Ultra FAQ

Get started with UBC’s Collaborate Ultra instructor guide and read more below.

 

Can teaching assistants schedule and run Collaborate Ultra lectures?
Yes. Teaching assistants can use Collaborate Ultra as moderators, with access to all the same features as instructors.

Do students need to sign consent forms before I record lectures?
No. Collaborate Ultra is FIPPA compliant (it follows provincial privacy policy) and its data is stored securely in Canada. Therefore, student consent is not legally required for its use. But you should let students know you will be recording at the beginning of class, so they are aware any participation will be recorded as well.

What aspects of Collaborate Ultra lectures are captured in recordings?
Audio is recorded for the moderator and any participants who use their unmuted microphones. Visually, whatever is in the main screen and chat window are captured. For more details, see Collaborate Ultra’s information on recordings.

Can students join Collaborate Ultra lectures by calling in on a phone?

Not recommended. Although this is possible, fees may apply for students when joining a session by calling in on a phone, because the dial-in is a U.S. number (1 571 392 7651). Depending on their phone plan and where they are located, students may incur long-distance or international charges.

You can disable the dial-in when you set up a session, and tell students to join sessions through the Canvas course (using a web browser on their computer or the Canvas Student app on their phone) or by clicking the link you send (which will work on either their computer or phone).

How can I show files, slides, or images during Collaborate Ultra lectures?

Preferably before class begins, upload the file(s) you want to show (though you can also do this during the lecture). Individual files cannot exceed 60MB and all files combined for a single session cannot exceed 125MB.

Once you are running a Collaborate Ultra lecture:

  1. Click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel.
  2. Along the bottom bar of the panel that expands, click the third icon for sharing content, and select Share Files from the options presented.
  3. Click Add Files and select the file you wish to share. When uploaded, the file will appear below the add box. Repeat this process for any others.
  4. During the lecture, in the Collaborate panel, click the file you want to share and click Share Now.
  5. While the file is being shared, you can use the annotating bar in the upper left corner to mark or write on the file temporarily (this will not alter the file itself).
  6. To stop sharing, click the Stop icon in the upper right corner.

Note that, although Collaborate Ultra uses the term "sharing", this does not allow students to download what you show on your screen. To allow your files, slides, or images to be downloaded, upload them wherever you are sharing course content.

How do I set up groups during Collaborate Ultra lectures?

Breakout groups allow you to divide your class into up to 20 smaller groups for discussions or other group work during a session. Each group gets a mini Collaborate Ultra sub-session within your session that has private audio, video, whiteboard, screen sharing, and chat.

Once you are running a Collaborate Ultra lecture:

  1. Click the purple arrow tab in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel.
  2. Along the bottom bar of the panel that expands, click the third icon for sharing content, and select Breakout Groups from the options presented.
  3. You can have Collaborate create and randomly assign students to groups, or you can manually assign them. Pick the prefered option under "Assign Groups", sort students manually if needed, and click Start.
  4. While groups are active, you can join any of them:
    • Click the purple arrow tab​ in the lower right corner to open the Collaborate panel.
    • Click the ​second icon for attendees​, then click the ​join icon ​next to the group.
    • To leave a group, click the join icon next to the main room in the Collaborate panel.
  5. To end Breakout Groups for everyone, click the stop icon next to “Breakout Groups” in the Collaborate panel.

What help is available for my students in using Collaborate Ultra?
For learning more about Collaborate Ultra:

For troubleshooting:

  • If students have trouble accessing Collaborate Ultra or Canvas, they can contact the UBC IT Service Centre Help Desk: 604 822 2008 or fill out the web form.
  • For 24/7 technical support, they can contact Collaborate Ultra directly: toll-free 1 877 382 2293 or use live chat.

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Proctorio FAQ

Get started with UBC’s Proctorio instructor guide and read more below.

 

Setting up Proctorio exams

How does Proctorio support taking remote exams?
Proctorio helps preserve exam integrity in Canvas by:

  • Requiring identity verification from each student before an exam
  • Recording students’ exam video, audio, screen, and/or keyboard activity
  • Restricting what students can do on their computers during an exam (e.g., no printing, copying, accessing other websites)

After an exam, Proctorio’s algorithms automatically look over student recordings. You set the behaviours you want flagged as unusual activities by the algorithms. You and/or your teaching assistants then review the recordings and flags to determine whether any activity constitutes actual misconduct.

What do students need to use Proctorio?
To take a Proctorio exam, students must have:

Proctorio can be used on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome Operating Systems. Students can view the detailed minimum technical requirements on Proctorio's site.

Note that Proctorio cannot currently be accessed from China.

How do I address student concerns about using Proctorio?
Be clear and specific about your intent for using Proctorio. Explain these points to students:

  • Proctorio is used to make sure the remote exam experience is fair for everyone. If you engage with the exam honestly, you do not need to worry about the recording, even if something unexpected happens.
  • Proctorio only runs when you’re in an exam in your Chrome browser (you will see a shield icon in the browser address bar when it’s active). There is no separate program collecting your data and no data collection once you leave your exam. You can uninstall Proctorio when you are done by going to the Proctorio Chrome extension page and clicking Remove from Chrome.
  • Proctorio recordings are stored in Canada in accordance with provincial privacy law. The encrypted recordings are retained for two years before they are deleted. If you have any questions or concerns about the privacy of your data, you can contact Paul Hancock (UBC Legal Counsel, Information and Privacy) at paul.hancock@ubc.ca.
  • No person is watching you during the recording and only I and/or your teaching assistants will review the recordings afterward. The Proctorio tool’s role is limited to: a) providing temporary data storage for your video in Canada and b) running its automated algorithms to flag any moments in your video for review.
  • An automated flag on your recording does not mean I and/or your teaching assistants will assume you cheated or that you will receive a grade deduction. Human interpretation of the flags is essential; we make the final call.

Additionally, give students a no-stakes practice exam (that you can also take) so everyone can get familiar with the Proctorio experience, before being in a high-stakes situation. For suggestions on setting up practice exams and other tips, read UBC's Proctorio instructor guide.

How can I help my students prepare for Proctorio exams?
  • Make sure students can meet the technical requirements. If they have financial barriers to accessing online classes and exams, encourage them to speak with an Enrolment Services Advisor. If any students are unable to meet requirements due to a disability, send them to the Centre for Accessibility.
  • Encourage students to arrange a space to take the exam ahead of time in a private, quiet, well-lit location with access to a reliable Internet connection.
  • Explain to students they will need to show clear photo identification for the exam to prove their identity. On exam day, it’s also best if they match their appearance (as best they can) with the chosen identification, e.g., wearing or not wearing glasses, applying or not applying make-up, styling hair similarly.
  • Be explicit about restrictions for what is and isn’t allowed during the exam. Clarify procedures around washroom breaks, using scratch paper, or any other needs specific to your course.
  • Share your expectations with students about what usual behavioural activities you will anticipate and accept too, such as fidgeting, stretching, not looking directly at the exam the whole time, etc.
  • Give students an extra half-hour to take the exam to allow them to complete the technical setup, finish the room scan at the start of the exam, and deal with any technical issues that come up. This can mean broadening the window of when the exam is available for students to start in Canvas and/or the time limit you give once they start the actual exam.

What help is available for my students in using Proctorio?
For learning more about Proctorio:

For troubleshooting:

  • Note that Proctorio cannot currently be accessed from China.
  • If students have trouble accessing Canvas, Chrome, or Proctorio from their other locations, they can contact the UBC IT Service Centre Help Desk: 604 822 2008 or fill out the web form.
  • If students have trouble setting up Proctorio, they can contact Proctorio: 1 866 948 9087 or support@proctorio.com.
  • If students have technical issues while taking a Proctorio exam, they can contact Proctorio:
    • 1 866 948 9087 or support@proctorio.com
    • Or, inside an active exam, they can click the shield icon located in the Chrome browser address bar, then click Live Chat.

Students are asking me for a Proctorio exam access code. What do I tell them?
Proctorio exams do not require an access code. If students are being prompted for one, please ensure they:

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, students can:

  1. Remove the Proctorio Chrome extension by going to the ​Proctorio Chrome extension page and clicking ​Remove from Chrome.
  2. Clear their Chrome browser history and cache.
  3. Quit​ Chrome and then ​re-open​ it.
  4. Re-install the Proctorio Chrome extension by going back to the ​Proctorio Chrome extension page ​and clicking ​Add to Chrome​.
  5. Start​ the quiz again.

If the problem persists, contact Proctorio support: 1 866 948 9087 or ​support@proctorio.com​.

Reviewing Proctorio exams

Are Proctorio recordings stored in Canada?
Yes. All Proctorio encrypted recordings and data are stored in Canada by Microsoft Azure in accordance with Section 26(c) of FIPPA. The encrypted recordings are retained for two years before they are deleted.

Who outside UBC can see the Proctorio recordings?

No one. Although the recordings are scanned by Proctorio's algorithms, the footage is only available to the appropriate users at UBC. No person at Proctorio can access the recordings or data, as they are stored using zero-knowledge encryption, meaning Proctorio does not have the key to decode the encryption.

When you or your teaching assistants review Proctorio recordings, please ensure you're in a fully private space to further protect student privacy.

How do I review Proctorio recordings?
Since Proctorio can only be enabled on Canvas assessments, you will use Canvas to access the results within each exam’s Proctorio Gradebook. You'll get a colour indicator to show if any exams should be reviewed further and where potential issues in each flagged exam occurred.

Do teaching assistants have access to review Proctorio recordings?
Yes. Teaching assistants should have access to Proctorio recordings, since this is based on their role in Canvas. If you have a teaching assistant who is unable to access Proctorio, please contact UBC support.

Does a flagged exam in Proctorio always mean the student has cheated?
No. Proctorio’s algorithms look for potentially suspicious parts of recordings that should be reviewed by the instructional team. Often, these will be false flags (e.g., a student adjusting position, a loud noise in the background). You also have a say in how sensitive Proctorio’s algorithms are to recorded student behaviours, and you can adjust these settings at any time.

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Zoom FAQ

Get started with UBC’s Zoom instructor guide and read more below.

 

Can Zoom be used without an account?
You will need a UBC Zoom account to schedule sessions with Zoom that can run beyond the 40-minute time limit of a free Zoom account. Students will not need an account to attend sessions. They can simply click the session link you send to join.

Do students need to sign consent forms before I record lectures?
No; however, there are other constraints around recording with Zoom:

  • Recording is only permitted during regular classes conducted through Zoom and strictly prohibited during exams.
  • Recordings can only be stored on your local computer or wherever you upload them to share with students. In storing and sharing the recordings, you must abide by UBC’s security requirements and FIPPA to keep recordings confidential and secure.

Can students join Zoom lectures by calling in on a phone?

Not recommended. Although this is possible, fees may apply for students when joining a session by calling. Depending on their phone plan and where they are located, students may incur long-distance or international charges.

Tell students to join sessions by clicking the link you send (which will work on either their computer or phone).

How can I secure my Zoom lectures?
You may have heard of people disrupting or “bombing” Zoom sessions. To protect your lecture and increase security, follow these best practices.When scheduling your lecture:

  • Don’t use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host the session. Your PMI is a persistent session link associated with your account that anyone can pop in and out of at any time
  • Follow the recommendations in the instructions when scheduling sessions to:
    • Add a password that students must enter to join the session.
    • Prevent students joining before the host (you).
    • Enable a waiting room for any students arriving earlier than the scheduled session time.
  • Don’t share session links or passwords through public channels, as this allows anyone to attend.

During your session:

  • Lock the virtual classroom after your lecture begins.
  • Be prepared to remove, mute, or stop video sharing for disruptive participants.

What help is available for my students in using Zoom?
For learning more about Zoom:

For troubleshooting:

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Learn more

Contact the Learning Technology Hub for hands-on assistance:
604 827 4775 | lt.hub@ubc.ca | LIVE Online Support (Mon-Fri 9:00-4:30)


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