Remote Communication Options

Image of a person staying connected on their laptop.

With the cancellation of face-to-face courses and the shift to online classes, we want to help you develop a plan to stay connected. Read on to discover which learning technologies we recommend for maintaining communication with your students and colleagues. Additionally, check out Transitioning to Teaching Online for information on the pedagogical approaches to teaching online.

For tips on virtual teaching, please visit: https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/
Before checking out our recommended tools below, consider reading through our guides to:

Collaborate Ultra Web-Conferencing

Screenshot of Blackboard Collaborate demonstrating multi-user web conferencing and chat.Video: Delivering an Online Lecture using Collaborate Ultra (10mins) | Playlist of shorter videos.

Video: Setting Up Group Presentations for Students in Collaborate Ultra (4mins)

Collaborate Ultra is a web conferencing platform that allows for real-time meetings, with presentations, collaborations, or any sort of group work. With classroom features such as raising hands, polling, a whiteboard, and the ability to present PowerPoint or PDF slides, Collaborate Ultra is the perfect virtual alternative to a physical classroom. Please note that Collaborate works best in Chrome or Firefox.

Collaborate Ultra is available in every Canvas shell. Learn how to enable it in the UBC Instructor Guide to Collaborate Ultra (PDF). Show your students how to get started by sharing the UBC Student Guide to Collaborate Ultra (PDF).

If you would like to use Collaborate to connect with your colleagues, you will need to request the creation of a Canvas shell to host your group. Email us at ets.educ@ubc.ca to request a Canvas shell.

Collaborate Ultra Session Planning


Zoom Web-Conferencing

 

Zoom is a web-conferencing tool that supports real-time meetings and lectures, and allows for easy media file upload and sharing, including Powerpoint presentations. Other available features include live chatting, screen sharing, collaborative annotating, digital whiteboards, breakout groups, and local recording to a personal device (ie laptop). Zoom can host 250+ users in one session, making it a good alternative to other platforms such as Collaborate Ultra for large lectures.

Unlike Collaborate Ultra, Zoom is not integrated with Canvas, so to get started you will need to request an account to get started. Please email av.helpdesk@ubc.ca to request a UBC-hosted account, which is FIPPA compliant and well-suited for lectures and class meetings. Indicate you would like to setup a new Zoom account with UBC, provide your name, email (first.lastname@ubc.ca), Faculty (ie, Faculty of Education) and Unit (ie, ETS). The AV Help Desk will process most requests within 1 business day.

UBC Faculty and staff who signed up for a personal Zoom account (directly on the Zoom website) should request to be transferred over to the UBC Education License, which has additional security measures and functionality. Send a request to av.helpdesk@ubc.ca and indicate you would like your basic Zoom account to be moved to the UBC Zoom License. Provide your name, email (first.lastname@ubc.ca), Faculty (ie, Faculty of Education) and Unit (ie, ETS).

Participants can enter sessions without creating an account; a link to the virtual meeting room is all they need to join the conversation. 


Skype for Business

Adding Skype for Business to an Outlook Meeting Inivtation

 

Set up a virtual meeting space for your colleagues using Skype for Business. Integrated with Outlook, this interface is one of the simplest ways to meet with other UBC faculty and staff members. Just click “Skype for Business when creating a new meeting invitation to add the connection details. Features include audio/visual conferencing, messaging, screen sharing, file sharing, and collaborative whiteboards. All Faculty of Education members should have Skype for business as part of their FASmail service. If you don’t see it in your Outlook meeting invite, submit a ticket to IT to have it installed.

 

 

 

 


 

Requesting AV Support for Online Sessions

For online meetings and teaching sessions using Zoom or Skype for Business, remote support will be provided via phone, email or chat (Zoom Chat, Skype for Business). For Zoom sessions, support can be provided as a co-host of the session or moderator. Requesting support should be requested with at least 1 business day lead time.

Please note that there will be limitations on what the AV Support team can troubleshoot remotely if issues relate to user hardware or network connectivity.

  • Send request to av.helpdesk@ubc.ca
  • Indicate your Faculty/Unit
  • Indicate “Request remote AV Support”
  • Provide date & time of session
  • Indicate type of session (Zoom or Skype or other)
  • Provide a brief summary of what your session is and what you will need help with

Once we receive the request, an AV support staff will be in contact to further discuss needs and make the appropriate arrangements.

Requesting AV Support for large online sessions (Webinars, Town Hall, Virtual Events) with expected participants 200+:

For large online or virtual sessions such as a Faculty Town Hall, we will require at least 2-3 business day notification in order to provide the necessary assistance with planning and setup for the virtual session.

  • Send request to av.helpdesk@ubc.ca
  • Indicate your Faculty/Unit
  • Indicate “Request remote AV Support”
  • Indicate that this is a large webinar or event
  • Provide date & time of session
  • Provide a brief summary of what your session is and what you will need help with

Once we receive the request, an AV support staff will be in contact to further discuss needs and make the appropriate arrangements.


Mattermost Chat

 

Mattermost is an open-source chat tool that facilitates collaboration by supporting text chat, group messaging (via public & private channels), file sharing/uploading, and tagging/searching. Real-time and asynchronous communication are combined, meaning quick flurries of messages and threaded discussions can coexist in an “anytime” communication environment.

Mattermost is a FIPPA-compliant communication technology supported by UBC for use in credit courses. Learn more about it on the ETS Mattermost webpage, and consider requesting a Mattermost team for your course.