3/27: Resources for Online Teaching

Dear Faculty,

We recognize that moving classes online might have created some complexity for you to continue providing the quality of education expected from USC. Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to providing you with the tools, services and online resources to teach your students effectively. Please go to https://keepteaching.usc.edu/ to find resources to deliver your online classes. Also, please keep the following tips in mind to help with your online teaching experience:

System Performance

  • Check your Internet bandwidth using an online speed test, by going to these websites: www.bandwidthplace.comnperfSpeedtest, or Comparitech. Note that these results are not 100% accurate. However, they still can help you predict your online Zoom experience.
  • While your available bandwidth plays a major role in your overall Zoom or network experience, the health of your local computer is important too. Please make sure you are not running processing- or memory-intensive applications at the same time as your online session.
  • Check out our WiFi and Mobile Hotspot Tips page for more information on improving your internet speed.

Session Preparation

  • Send a Zoom test link (https://zoom.us/test) out to your students in advance of any online classes you host. This will allow them to easily test their speakers, microphone and camera at any time without having to join a formal meeting or call anyone. This video outlines how to configure Zoom audio and video to enable the best online class experience.
  • Tidy-up your area that will be captured on camera or set a background on Zoom.
  • Be sure that your class is set up to be recorded, so your students can review the materials presented as a follow up to class.

Class Management

  • Confirm that you are logged into Zoom with your USC Zoom account prior to class.
  • Refer your student to our Student Quick Start Guide, so they are sure to create their USC Zoom accounts with their USC email address.
  • Clarify to students the communication etiquette expected in online class environments (i.e. raising their hand in Zoom, polling, chatting, and reacting).
  • Familiarize yourself with Zoombombing procedures and check your Wait Room periodically.
  • Continue to check the CET website for assistance and training in how to further use Zoom and Blackboard for class recordings and asynchronous teaching requirements laid out in the Provost’s March 22 memo, as well as in preparing final exams and other assessments.

This is a unique time at USC and the successful delivery of courses in an online learning environment is a top priority for ITS. Please let us know how we can help make this transition smoother and support you as we continue through this together. Stay safe and healthy.

Best Regards,
Douglas Shook

Chief Information Officer
Vice Provost
Professor of Data Science