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Conducting class virtually when you or your students can’t make it to class

Posted by on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 in Uncategorized.

Recently, the CFT updated the teaching guide Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can’t Make it to Class to reflect all of the tools now available to conduct class online. If you are wondering how to teach this week with the unpredictable road conditions, this guide can help!

The following excerpt will be of particular interest to faculty planning to meet online instead of face-to-face to overcome the challenges the weather has presented this week:

Conduct a virtual class meeting

Brightspace has a Virtual Classroom space that allows instructors and students to meet online to conduct class through video conferencing. Instructors can set up a virtual meeting by going to any module on the Content page, clicking the “Existing Activities” button, and choosing “Virtual Classroom”. more information on the tool can be found here and here. Vanderbilt instructors may also consider using a tool like Google Hangouts or Skype for Business to conduct a face-to-face meeting virtually and in real time. These tools both allow all participants in a course to contribute to a class meeting allowing for group activities, class discussion, and follow-up questions in addition to instructor-led activities. Brightspace also has an integrated Virtual Classroom tool that can be accessed through the Existing Activities button on the Content page.
If instructors need to ensure access to course content, they can also use the Kaltura media platform through Brightspace to record video lectures, video presentations, or lecture captures. When instructors record a lecture or presentation on Kaltura media, they can ensure that the presentation is only accessible by streaming video to students through a Brightspace course. Posting audio or video recordings of class assignments or lectures can make content available to students from home and asynchronously.  The CFT has a detailed list of options for posting media content and resources for podcasting at Vanderbilt.
Assignments and tests can also be conducted through Brightspace, as can a number of additional class activities. Please refer to the CFT’s Brightspace on-demand resources page for resources, or consult with one of our instructional technologists via email at, by phone 615-322-0222, or by scheduling an in person consultation.
Providing online access to course documents helps students who cannot come to class connect to course materials. Instructors are able to post homework assignments, case studies, and other course materials in Brightspace courses through SIPX, or you can ask a librarian for assistance.


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