Remote Hybrid Classrooms

Phase 1

As part of UNM's COVID-19 response, UNM IT added technology to support remote participants joining face-to-face classrooms in 2020. By necessity, Phase 1 focused on the essentials: adding microphones, a room camera, and a document camera to each centrally scheduled room along with simple controls to leverage Zoom so students participating remotely could watch a lecture either live or on-demand.

Phase 2

Efforts are under way in 2021 to add additional support for instructors and remote participants in these classrooms as technology, staff time, and budget alllows. Phase 2 builds upon this foundation to create a more integrated and connected experience between remote participants and those in the room through:

  • Improved classroom audio and microphone support.
  • Enhanced “presence” of remote participants through the use of strategically placed displays to make them visible to both instructors and other students.
  • Better support for instructor use of mobile devices such as tablets and laptops.
  • Added control for the instructor to select and change camera and settings via a simple, intuitive user interface.

How it Works

Cameras in your classroom are connected to the classroom computer in the instructor’s teaching station. This equipment functions similarly to the webcam in your laptop and the microphone in a headset. The main difference is that the camera view will capture the front of the room and the document camera video can be sent through Zoom for any diagrams, figures, equations, or annotations you want to share with remote students. We have a small application on the desktop that will let you choose which camera view to send to your Zoom session.

An integration between UNM Learn and Zoom allows instructors to schedule and manage Zoom meetings from within their course. For instructors who wish to record their lectures for later review and playback, any Zoom cloud recordings you make are moved to your Kaltura My Media tool and can be made visible to students in UNM Learn.

Because we all must anticipate potential disruptions due to any illness or quarantine order, faculty should be prepared to switch to teaching remotely (from offsite or their office) as needed should circumstances arise that prevent classroom access. 

What faculty need to do

In order to provide as seamless and flexible an experience as possible for you and your students, we recommend that you add links to Zoom sessions and recordings directly into your UNM Learn course. This will allow you to join and lead Zoom sessions from any location as needed.  

  1. If you have not already added UNM Learn to your class, that is the first step. We have online instructions for getting started with UNM Learn.
  2. If you are not already familiar with Zoom, request a Zoom Pro account and get familiar with how it works.
  3. Add Zoom meeting links to your UNM Learn course using the integrated tool. 
  4. At the start of class, start the Zoom meeting from the classroom computer, and record the meeting if you want it to be available to your students for later playback.
  5. Familiarize yourself with controls and settings for room cameras, speakers, and microphones.
  6. Remember, if a visual is being shared in the classroom, but is not being shared through Zoom, your remote students will not be able to see it.