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For cost and user experience reasons, please refrain from uploading video and other large files (e.g. videos, PDFs, PPTs, etc.) directly to Canvas. Visit Minimizing Storage of Digital Content Stored in your LMS Course Space for more details.

To learn more about Canvas and getting started with a course space, begin with the Canvas Learning Path.

Synchronous or Asynchronous: Which Should I Use?

Two important questions

  • How big is your class?
  • What happens during “class time” in the classroom?

Synchronous

Synchronous sessions with Zoom

Zoom is WSU’s web-conference solution. This will allow you to meet with your students synchronously whether it be one-on-one, for class lecture time, and for office hours.

Lecture-Style

“Lecturing” via Zoom is simple and efficient. In addition, this is the modality students are most familiar with and will keep students on schedule, working through the class.

Interactive Sessions

If your lectures are more conversations between you and students, there are several tools to utilize such as:

  • Nonverbal feedback (raise hand, yes, no, etc.)
  • Breakout rooms
  • Chat
  • Polling

Learn more about the features in the table below.

Interactive Sessions for Larger Class Sizes

If your lectures are more conversations between you and students, managing a class of more than 40 students will be a challenge. You can still delivery via Zoom as mentioned in the previous section, but we recommend you set up a discussion space in your Canvas course space for additional questions and conversation.

Asynchronous

Asynchronous Recordings with Panopto

Panopto will allow you to record content (video, screen share, PowerPoint, etc.) for your students to view. Panopto also offers an editor allowing you to add a table of contents, YouTube videos, and simple quizzes.

  • Pre-recording lectures is a good strategy for large classes. Coupled with a Canvas discussion space for conversation and questions, the course can be very engaging.
  • Within Canvas students can be divided into smaller groups to facilitate more robust conversation and each group can bring their “findings” back to the group.

Use Both Synchronous and Asynchronous

It does not need to be all or none. You can record some, or all of your lectures, and still hold class, just less often (like a flipped class). Some examples:

  • Meet synchronously Monday or Tuesday to talk about what students need to accomplish that week and provide one day’s course content. Post the rest of what students need during the week in the Canvas course space.
  • Post all lecture content via Panopto and meet with a subset of the class each day the course would usually meet. For example, for a MWF class, meet with a third of the class each day to answer questions, and help keep the students moving forward and on task.
  • Provide a brief (less than 20 minutes) video via Panopto for students to view before attending class.

Features Comparison

 Zoom (Synchronous)Panopto (Asynchronous)
Synchronous DiscussionYesNo
Attendance TrackingYesYes
RecordingYesYes
Recording view dataNoYes
Edit recordingNoYes
Editable Table of Contents in recordingNoYes
Audio/Video for ParticipantsYesNo
Audio/Video for HostYesNo
Collaboration/Communication toolsYesNo
Polling/QuizzingYesYes
Screen Sharing for ParticipantsYesNo
Screen Sharing for HostYesYes
Annotation toolsYesYes
Ability to use recording in subsequent semestersNo (possible FERPA violation)Yes
Access through BlackboardYesYes
Automatic captioning of recordingYesYes
Stores in cloud YesYes
Breakout RoomsYesNo

Presenting Learning Material

Synchronous Presentations

Synchronous Delivery via Zoom will easily accommodate courses with enrollments of 40 or less.

Student Accommodation Note: For any student with an approved captioning or transcription accommodation, the synchronous session must be live captioned. For assistance, contact Wendy Steele at wsteele@wsu.edu.

Asynchronous Presentations

Asynchronous Delivery via Panopto Lecture Capture can be used to record an audio lecture as well as to screen capture whatever is on your desktop that you might want to display.

Student Accommodation Note: For any student with an approved captioning or transcription accommodation, the recording must be closed captioned. You do not need to manually caption your recordings. For assistance, contact Wendy Steele at wsteele@wsu.edu.

  • You can also narrate a PowerPoint Presentation, upload the slides to Panopto and narrate to create your lecture. Refer to tutorials for creating a Panopto recording, above.

Student Accommodation Note: For any student with an approved captioning or transcription accommodation, the synchronous session must be live captioned. For assistance, contact Wendy Steele at wsteele@wsu.edu.

Virtual Labs and Simulations

Demonstrations

Panopto Lecture Capture can be used to screen capture anything on your computer desktop. Refer to tutorials for creating a Panopto recording, above.

  • For drawing or equations use a Wacom, tablet, or stylus and upload the recording to Bb.
  • There is also a white board feature in Zoom which can be “shared” during a synchronous session and recorded for later use.
  • Panopto can be used with PowerPoint’s annotation tool for asynchronous access. How to Annotate in Powerpoint

Digital Course Material

Upload a file or create a hyperlink to a reading or video assignment. Learn more about Tips for Creating Accessible Course Materials.

Student Accommodation Note: For any student with an alternative text accommodation, please contact your WSU Campus Access Center for assistance.

Document Camera Alternatives for Home or Office

In the classroom, instructors often use a document camera as an alternative to the whiteboard or to project and annotate a document. Document cameras have many benefits: they allow the instructor to use their natural handwriting position, make writing easier-to-read for students, and simulate “looking over the shoulder” of the instructor to give insight to the processes involved in solving a calculation, analyzing a manuscript or creating a drawing or diagram.

You do not have to be in a classroom, with a full-sized document camera, to enjoy the same benefits. There are many simple, low-cost solutions you can use with Panopto or Zoom from your home or office. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use your mouse to make rough drawings and annotate using OneNote or PowerPoint
  • Use a stylus and a device with touch capabilities to annotate using OneNote or PowerPoint. There are two annotation monitors with styluses available in the Spark recording rooms or you can purchase your own.
  • Setup a webcam using a flexible tripod and position the camera to record what you are writing or drawing on a sheet of paper
  • Use a USB document camera

If you need more information on getting started or how to incorporate into your course, please contact AOI at aoi.li@wsu.edu.

For those planning to deliver their distance course from a WSU classroom: Check out the technology capability of the classroom in which you are scheduled to teach before you finalize your delivery plan.