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Keep Teaching - Resources & Tools

A series of digital tools for teaching. If you'd like guidance on how to use these tools for certain aspects of your course or to explore a new tools, visit the Faculty Development - How Do I Create a Plan? page. 

Canvas

Canvas has all the features of a modern learning management system including functionality for managing enrollments, sharing documents, submitting assignments, and assigning grades, as well as personalized features for individual students. This environment can be used to manage class content and the submission of assignments/quizzes remotely. 

The CSUN Canvas environment is available at http://canvas.csun.edu. Log in using your CSUN user ID and password. For information on how to use Canvas, visit the Canvas page. 

Getting started/Course Setup Checklist

  • Canvas Basics workshop recordings:
    This workshop covers uploading files, creating modules, assessments (discussions, assignments, quizzes) and announcements, grading basics, and scheduling a Zoom meeting.
  • Canvas Intermediate workshop recordings:
    This workshop covers personalizing your course card, creating group assignments, providing accommodations for Canvas quizzes, and using Turnitin plagiarism review.
  • Canvas Advanced workshop recording
    This workshop covers advanced topics such as recovering deleted Canvas content, importing content from another Canvas course, using peer review, accessing question banks and creating question groups.
  • Publishing a Canvas Course

Ensure that the final exam and papers can be reliably collected and graded, and the course grades computed and submitted.

Quizzes

Assignments 

Creating an Assignment in Canvas

Grading 

Full list of Canvas guides:

Cloud Storage - myCSUNbox

myCSUNbox is CSUN's secure cloud-based file storage and collaboration solution that gives students, faculty and staff the ability to access content at any time, from any device.

To learn more about myCSUNbox, visit the myCSUNbox page. 

Library Access

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment during an online quiz or exam. Instructors may use this tool for their Canvas quizzes, either as part of a myCSUNtablet course or any other course. Follow the instructions below if you need to use LockDown Browser to take an online quiz or exam for your course.

Setting Up a Home Office & Optimizing Your Home Network

Setting Up a Home Office

Optimizing Your Home Network

To optimize the performance of your home network, review these tips:

  • Reduce the bandwidth required. If users are experiencing performance problems with video conferencing, there are ways to reduce the required capacity:
    • Using screen sharing instead of video when possible. Screen sharing uses a fraction of the capacity in comparison to video.
    • Set your video resolution to SD (not HD). Some video conferencing applications allow the user to select SD (standard definition) as opposed to HD (high definition)
  • It’s best to connect your computer via an Ethernet cable directly to your home router. 
  • 5G is faster and more efficient, but 2.4G supports a longer distance.
  • The WiFi signal can be extended, and today there are many good equipment options.

For a complete list of tips, visit Optimizing Your Home Network for Working and Learning.

SOLAR Faculty Center

If you need some guidance on accessing the SOLAR Class Roster or Grade Roster, view the Information for Faculty page for a complete list of user guides but here are some of the most used guides:

Video / Lesson Capture

How can I pre-record asynchronous lectures and videos for my students?

The CSUN-supported tool Snagit lets you simultaneously record your computer screen and your voice, and is available for free for faculty and staff on the IT Software Downloads page. To get started using Snagit, visit the TechSmith Snagit tutorials page.

Camtasia is another option for creating screencasts or lecture video content, that features more advanced recording and editing options. Camtasia is available for free to faculty and staff on the IT Software Downloads page. TechSmith also offers Camtasia instructions and tips on their tutorials page.

Once you’ve recorded your lecture, upload it to myCSUNbox, then copy and paste the embed code into Canvas so your students can view it. 

  1. To access myCSUNbox, open a new browser window and navigate to https://mycsun.account.box.com/login

  2. Select the Continue button in the center of the screen.

  3. In the Login window, enter your CSUN user ID and password and select Login.

  4. In the top right corner select the New button, and then select folder.

  5. Enter a title for your folder, and then select Create.

  6. Drag and drop your video file into the folder.

  7. Once the video file has finished uploading to the folder, select the button with three horizontal dots at the left of the file name, then select More Actions, and then Embed Widget.

  8. Select the Copy button next to the embed code.

  9. Open a new browser tab, navigate to canvas.csun.edu, log in to Canvas, and navigate to the course where you want to place the video content.

  10. Navigate in your course to the page where you want to place the video and select Edit.

  11. In the editor, select the Insert/Edit Media button, which looks like a film strip with a play button in the center. 

  12. In the Insert/Edit Media window, select the Embed tab. 

  13. Go back to the browser tab with myCSUNbox open and select the Copy button next to the embed code. 

  14. In the browser with Canvas open, paste the embed code into the Embed window and select Ok

  15. Add some text introducing the video content, then select Save & Publish

Tips and Tricks

  • Consider using a microphone if at all possible to increase sound quality. A simple solution to this is using headphones with an inline microphone that you might have for your phone.

  • Some instructors draft scripts before recording, others might refer to a brief outline or try a few takes before completing a recording with which they are happy.

  • Remember that you have the ability to go back and edit out the parts you don’t want after you’re done recording, so don’t feel like you need to get it right the first time or even the second time

  • If you lose your train of thought while recording, take a moment, and then start speaking again when you’re ready. You can always edit out any mistakes or pauses.

Accessibility 

To manually add captions to a Camtasia recording, visit Manually Add Captions to a Video. 

 

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

With VPN, you have an ability to access University resources such as information on your network drives. This provides you with a safe way of accessing your applications and files as though your computer or mobile device was on campus. Faculty, staff, and students can access on-campus services through CSUN's VPN, GlobalProtect. For more information, visit the Virtual Private Network page. 

Working, teaching or attending remotely presents opportunities for hackers and others to gain access to your data. We strongly encourage you to enroll in Multi-Factor-Authentication to protect your data. To self-enroll in Duo (.pdf), log into the myNorthridge portal, go to the Information Security pagelet and select the Multi-Factor Self-Enrollment link.

Virtual Windows Computer

The Virtual Windows Computer provides students, faculty, and staff access to a variety of software and virtual computers. Users can access these virtual computers while on campus or at home, with an Internet connection from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android device. For more information, visit the Virtual Windows Computer page. 

Zoom Video Conferencing

Lecture

How can I offer synchronous lectures/meetings for my students with recordings?

Zoom is a video-conferencing application where many individuals can join the same meeting and share audio and video. It also allows for screen sharing and presentation mode. There is also the option to record the session to your computer or to the cloud so that you can upload or link to it within Canvas for individuals to view on demand.

Equipment you will need: 

  • A device with a good internet connection
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional)
  • Microphone (if possible, a separate microphone can be better than your device’s built-in)
  • Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)

Check out our recommended Zoom hardware page for more specifics

Accessibility

How to Keep Your Zoom Sessions Secure

Tips to Improve Zoom Audio & Video 

In order to optimize Zoom audio and video, steps can be taken to ensure the best possible experience. 

For more information, visit Tips to Improve Zoom Audio & Video.

Tips and Tricks:

  • As the host of the Zoom meeting, you can mute participants when their background noise becomes distracting.
  • Zoom has a breakout room feature that allows you to put students into small groups and then bring them back for large discussion.
  • View our Zoom best practices page for more.
  • There is a known issue with the phone bridge. Please use web links for Zoom meetings at this time. 

User Guides & Other Resources

Recording Note: Moving forward into Spring 2021, Panopto will become our standard location for online recordings, ranging from live, synchronous Zoom classes to pre-recorded content to meetings. You should no longer share Zoom cloud recording links as they will expire at some point during the term. You should only share Panopto links. Panopto recordings are machine-captioned, fully searchable, and easily shared to other resources. 

To get started, visit the Zoom page. 

 

Last Update: 10/15/20 - 10:14 a.m.