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FAQ for Instructors

Please also check the tips for online teaching prepared by OGEM.
OGEM (Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching).

ITS has also created supporting documents for online teaching.
ITS (Instructional Technology Support Office)

Online Education

Do I have to start online education?

Do I have to start online education?

According to the decree by YÖK and the decision by METU rectorate, theoretical courses have to start online education and finish education on the newly announced academic calender. According to the e-mail sent by rectorate (GENEL-DUYURU: 10006), the midterms (if you want to make any) should also be done online. For the final, there are two options:

  • Do an online final exam
  • Do an in class final exam at the beginning of the "Intensive Period Academic Calender". But note that, the period, duration, etc. of the intensive period academic calender is not yet known.

My course requires laboratory sessions.
How do I start online education?

My course requires laboratory sessions.
How do I start online education?

Although it was hope that we would have an "Intensive Summer Month Academic Calendar for Spring Semester," where we could have face to face lectures/labs, it turns out that it will not be possible. We are required to finish the Spring semester by Distance Learning. In the case of the laboratory work, it might not be possible to ask the students to use the laboratory equipment, you might come out with some other means to achieve at least some of the outcomes expected from your course. Some of these possiblities can be:

1. Creating videos of the experiments and expecting the students to make observations and draw conclusions from these observations. They might even create some videos explaining/defending their observations.

2. Sending students data that they could have obtained by actually doing the experiment, and asking the students to analyse the data, and write a report based on the data. The data can even include some random statistical and/or systematical errors that might be different for every student.

3. Asking students to design an experiment that might be used to measure a given quantity. This can be used espeacily if they had a chance to get used to the equipments available in the labs in the first six weeks of the semester where they could come to the lab.

My course has both a theoretical part and laboratory part.
How do I start online education?

My course has both a theoretical part and laboratory part.
How do I start online education?

The theoretical part of such courses can start online, and to carry out the experimental part, you need to wait for the intensive. Note that the starting time, duration, etc. of this intensive period is not yet known.

What is an online lecture?

What is an online lecture?

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we cannot have in class meetings to proceed with our courses. Still, there are things that can proceed through online tools.

An online lecture can contain one or more of the following items:

  1. You can distribute your lecture notes so that the students can study on their own. You can put them online all at once, or on a weekly schedule as if you were covering those material in class in a weekly schedule. You can use ODTUClass to distribute your notes. You can also time them in ODTUClass so that you upload all your notes and determine when each part should be available to the students.
  2. You can create videos of your lecture. Details of how to create videos will be announced in the TOOLS section of the "Distance Learning" menu of the Physics Department Webpage
  3. You can have online meetings with your students. There are various tools to carry out online meetings like Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, BigBlueButton, etc. Details on howto use Zoom or BigBlueButton are available on ITS web page.
  4. You can create interactive content (slides/videos) so that the students will not just sit and watch. You can use H5P, which is also available in ODTUClass. One example of what you can do with H5P is available at this link and this link (You can not search forward or backward in the videos, to see H5P in action, watch at least five minutes). A video on howto use H5P is available from ITS web page.
  5. You can have discussion forums in the ODTUClass web page of your course. This would allow the students to discuss asynchronously.
  6. Short online quizzes and/or assignments. These can be created separately in ODTUClass so that you can follow the progress of the students. Such questions can also be overlayed on videos using H5P, and it will help attract the attention of the student to the videos.

How about the exams?
How will we grade the students?

How about the exams?
How will we grade the students?

All the exams are required to be online. Even if your courses are extended to the "Intensive Summer Month Academic Calendar for Spring Semester", this month will also be carried out by distance learning. If you were planning to do the final exam before this "Intensive Summer Month Academic Calendar," now you are required to do it remotely during the normal final exam period. Please check the documents prepared by ITS? for some of the options to do an online exam.

What is an online exam?

What is an online exam?

There are various options for an online exam (although some are not strictly an online exam)

  • You can create a pdf of the exam, and send it to students by e-mail. Give them certain amount of time and ask them to send the photographs/scans of their solutions to you by e-mail.
  • You can use ODTUClass to distribute the exams. You can schedule the access of the students at a particular time. This way, all the students will now when the exam will be available, and they can be in front of their computer when the exam will be available, and hence all can start at the same time. To collect the results, you can create an assignment in ODTUClass with a fixed deadline. The students can upload their solutions, or photographs/scans of their solutions to this assignment.
  • You can create a "Quiz" in ODTUClass. In this case, the students have to do the quiz on the computer. In the "Quiz", you can ask carious type of question including text and questions involving numerical questions. You can also make sure that different students gets different questions. (see the ITS Web Page for details on how to use this option)

How can you prevent students from cheating in the exam?

How can you prevent students from cheating in the exam?

This is probably the most problematic issue with online exams. Even during in class exams, preventing students from cheating is a difficult problem, with an online exam it inevitable becomes a more serious problem. There are several options to reduce this problem:

  • "Using Different questions for different students". This is possible to do in ODTUClass. You can create a question bank with many questions and every student gets a randomly selected set of questions. Another option (especially for numerical questions) is to give random numerical values to every student, and hence the final answer of every student will be different. Another option would be, for every question, ask the students to write a short explanation of their solution. Even if they somehow cheat to get the solution, if they are able to explain the solution in their own words, they will learn something from the exam. (It might even be possible to have these explanations checked by TURNITIN, so that we know that at least they had to rephrase their explanation. This point is being checke with the ODTUClass Team)
  • "Using Safe Exam Browser": This is a browser that the students can use to access Quizzes in ODTUClass. This browser prevents the student from accessing any application, website, etc. that are not explicitely allowed during the exam. Of course, this does not prevent the student from using another computer, phone or a book, to cheat, but it makes it a bit time consuming. It might be possible to ask the students to make a video recording of themselves while solving the questions.
  • "Using proctors through teleconferencing" This is an option for small to medium size courses. The department can assign proctors to the exam, similar to assigning proctors during normal semester but in larger numbers. You can assign students to each proctor and the proctor organizes an teleconference with the students assigned to them. The camera of the students should be positioned such that the proctor sees both the student and table on which the students will be working. If 10 proctors are assigned to an exam, and if 4 students are assigned to each proctors, an exam of 40 students can be organized. These number can be modified, depending on the need to carry out exams for classes that contain upto around 80 students. For much larger classes, it won't be as effective.

In my course, the students are supposed to make a presentation.
How can I do it online?

In my course, the students are supposed to make a presentation.
How can I do it online?

You can have online meetings using Zoom, BigBlueButton, Jıtsi or Skype and still have them make synchronous presentation in front of their friends.

Another option would be to ask students to make a video of their presentation. Majority of students have phone with video capabilities.

The students are worried about the current pandemic.
How can we expect the student to pay attention to online courses?

The students are worried about the current pandemic.
How can we expect the student to pay attention to online courses?

You are right. But read the common questions on the FAQ for students. We as instructors should keep this in mind especially when we are deciding on grades, giving graded assignments, etc. 

Video Preparation

I use slides in my courses.
How can create a video in which I record my sound on top of the slides using my smart phone/tablet?

I use slides in my courses.
How can create a video in which I record my sound on top of the slides using my smart phone/tablet?

For this purpose, download the PowerPoint application for your smartphone (for iphone or Android). PowerPoint will allow you to show the slides and also write on the slides. Hence, you can use this method to create videos in which you use the slides as a whiteboard and write on it with you finger, or stylus if you have one).

If you have an Android phone, (that is if you don't have an iPhone or an iPad), you will need to download a software to create a video of whatever you see on the screen. Download Screen Recorder - No Ads from Google Play Store.

iPhone or iPad users (with iOS 11 or later installed) don't need to download any application as the screen recording capability is built in. To learn how to record your screen, you can follow the instructions here.

Now you have all the software to record your video. Watch the video available here for how to record your lecture in Android. The “lecture” that is uploaded in the video can be watched here.

To watch a video on how to prepare a similar video using iPhone, watch the video here, and a sample video created using this method is available here. It might be a good idea to put your phone in airplane mode to prevent any messages to appear on the screen while you are creating your video.

In my lectures, I use the blackboard extensively.
How can I create lecture videos using my smart phone/tablet?

In my lectures, I use the blackboard extensively.
How can I create lecture videos using my smart phone/tablet?

The answer in being prepared.

The video files are created are very large. How can I reduce their size?

The video files are created are very large. How can I reduce their size?

You need to process the videos to reduce their size. You can easily achieve a reduction by a factor of four or more. Check the program Handbrake in the Tools section (Tools for All Platforms), or you can also use ffmpeg if it is already installed (check the "Tools for linux" section in the Tools page)