Backup Plans for Classroom Streaming

Using streaming or lecture capture technology can add a great deal of complexity to your classroom teaching. Here are some backup plans if technology is missing or not working. In most cases, these will be temporary limitations that will be resolved as the Division of IT continues to procure and install technology in classrooms.

Your assigned classroom does not have a computer and projector in it.

  • Cancel class and offer online alternatives for a week.
  • Use a laptop for streaming with a web conferencing tool like Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams (stay near the laptop to use the built-in microphone), have in-person students follow along with presentation/demonstration on personal devices.
  • Use a smartphone for recording video (prop up your phone on a desk in the front row or ask as a student to record on their own device) or audio (keep it near you for best sound).
  • For staggered attendance, offer the same session multiple times in person so each student group experiences the same session. Supplement with online activities for lessons you do not get to deliver in person.

If there is neither a microphone nor a camera, there is probably no technology installed to stream or record audio. If you don't see a microphone but there is a camera, the camera may be capable of handling audio so no backup plan is needed (check the configuration of your room on the Classroom Technology page).

  • If you were using Kaltura Classroom for lecture capture or one-way live streaming, you will need to use a web conferencing tool instead.
  • If you are presenting content that you can access from your laptop (like slides, software, or web content):
    • Access the web conferencing session on the instructor station and display it on the projector. Mute the speakers on the instructor station.
    • Access the web conferencing session again on a laptop. Present your content and enable your microphone on the laptop. Stay near the laptop so that the microphone can pick you up.
  • If you are presenting content using another device in the room (like the touch screen pen display or a document camera):
    • Access the web conferencing session on the instructor station and share your content. Mute the speakers on the instructor station.
    • Access the web conferencing session on a second device, like a laptop or smartphone. Enable the microphone on the second device. Stay near the second device so that the microphone can pick you up.
  • If you are using a web conferencing tool that has the ability to use your phone for audio:
    • Access the web conferencing session on the instructor station and share your content.
    • Dial in to the web conferencing session on your smartphone using the phone number from within the session.

Initially, most classrooms will not have a camera to capture or broadcast you and your students in the room. Cameras have been in high demand at all schools and universities, and NIU has had difficulty procuring them.

  • If you are sharing content from the instructor station only:
    • Stream or record as usual with no video of you or your students.
  • If you planned to use the whiteboard:
    • Use the digital pen display (touch screen monitor) or document camera (if available) with paper and pen. 
  • If a webcam is on the instructor station:
    • Stay behind the instructor station or aim the webcam at the classroom.
  • If you are using web conferencing:
    • Access the web conferencing session on a second device, like a laptop or smartphone, and enable the camera on this device.

In Retrofit or Plan B rooms, some content sources that you can usually display on the projector may not be able to be recorded streamed. This will be most common with document cameras and DVD/Blu-Ray players.

  • Document camera for handwriting
    • Use the digital pen display (touch screen monitor) to handwrite on a whiteboard or a PowerPoint slide.
  • Document camera for physical objects
    • Take photos of the object in advance and create PowerPoint slides
    • Take photos of the object following class and share in Blackboard
  • DVD/Blue-Ray player

If you planned to have a recording or one-way streaming session occur automatically, but you forgot to submit a request for streaming, that request was not addressed in time, or you had to change rooms, the recording will not launch automatically.

  • Lecture Capture
  • One-Way streaming
    • Switch to two-way streaming using a web conferencing tool (e.g., Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom). You will need to communicate this change to your remote students so that they have the correct link to participate. You can disable participant audio or chat in most tools, if you want this to be a one-way stream. You will need to record within the web conferencing session and upload that recording to share it with students.

Learn more

Check out the Classroom Technology page for information on the capabilities of the classroom you have been assigned, and for training materials on using the technology that will be available to you. Use the Classroom Dashboard to determine the capabilities and status of the classroom in which you will be teaching. 

Get Help

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477
Email: citl@niu.edu

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