Mays Keep Teaching

This page is a supplemental resource to the university “Learning Management System (LMS)” website. It contains information more specific to Mays Business School faculty and staff. In addition to reviewing and using the resource information on this page, you should regularly review the information provided on the following university-level websites.

  • LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is a resource for TAMU faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the learning management systems (eCampus-Blackboard and Canvas) available at Texas A&M University.
  • KEEP TEACHING is a resource for faculty to learn how to design and facilitate courses online.
  • KEEP LEARNING at Texas A&M is a resource for students to help transition to remote learning.

For additional information related to Fall 2020 and the university response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should regularly review the following resources.

Recording Class Sessions

Faculty are not required to record their synchronous class sessions during remote delivery. Faculty who choose to record their sessions (either synchronously or asynchronously) should remember the following:

  1. Closed Captioning – Federal law requires faculty to include closed captions (CC) or a transcript of the text for class recordings they post to students. Faculty can use the Zoom “auto transcription” service to create CC text. Faculty must enable the “Audio transcript” setting for their Zoom account to have the auto transcription file saved with their class recording.
  2. The Department Heads and Deans approved guidelines for Mays faculty and staff regarding student recordings during synchronous class sessions. The student recording guidelines include recommended syllabus statements for faculty to use if they choose to record synchronous class sessions. The appendix of the document provides instructions for updating your Zoom settings to adhere to best practices for recording synchronous class sessions.

Minimum Syllabus Requirements

The Faculty Senate approved a significant revision to the university’s minimum syllabus requirements (MSR) in June/July 2020. In addition, they approved a Fall 2020 COVID Temporary Addendum for the MSR. You should be aware of the following major changes to the MSR.

  1. Faculty are responsible for ensuring their electronic syllabus meets accessibility standards (see TAMU SAP 29.01.04.M0.02). This requirement was added to the MSR.
  2. The requirements are grouped into two categories: course information and university policies.
  3. The university policies section includes revisions to the Academic Integrity Statement and Policy (Aggie Honor statement) and ADA Policy. In addition, statements were added for Attendance, Makeup Work, Title IX, and Mental Health and Awareness.

Give the scope of the revision, the Faculty Senate added a minimum syllabus requirements page to their website which includes the revised MSR document and the Fall 2020 addendum.

Mays faculty can use the Mays syllabus template document which meets minimum electronic document requirements and includes the following:

  • Appropriate Mays branding
  • All components of the university MSR
  • The Fall 2020 COVID-19 addendum
  • Mays statement on inclusion
  • Mays food and beverage policy

Preparing for Fall 2020 and Contemplating a Move to Canvas (Email Messages)

`Jon Jasperson sent several email messages to all Mays faculty, staff, and Ph.D. students. Most of the content from these messages is incorporated into the page below. Due to the length and complexity of some messages (i.e., embedded images), some messages were converted to .pdf documents as follows:

Remote Proctoring Options for Fall 2020

As of August 4, 2020, Mays faculty have three options to consider for remote exam proctoring in Fall 2020. The first two options have no $ cost to the department. The last option has an associated $ cost to the department to administer.

In addition to considering remote exam proctoring options, the university encourages faculty to consider alternative forms of assessment. The TAMU Center for Teaching Excellence has additional guidance on their Assessments page. In addition, the TAMU Keep Teaching website lists the following alternative assessment options.

  • Journaling or Self Reflection
  • Laboratory Report
  • Essay Sprints / One-Minute Essays
  • Papers
  • Peer Feedback and Evaluation
  • Portfolio
  • Presentation (via Zoom)
  • Video Projects or Digital Storytelling

NOTE: The university is currently considering two additional proctoring options. One or both of these options might be available at some point during the Fall 2020 semester.

A university task force reviewed the product offering of five vendors (i.e., Examity, Honorlock, Proctorio, ProctorU, and PSI) and made a recommendation about the acceptability of these vendors as remote proctoring solutions for TAMU to the provost. I am not aware of a final timeline for any decisions regarding these vendors.

As announced by Dean Jones in a July 16 email message, `Jon Jasperson has agreed to lead a university-level project “…to further develop and pilot a proposal to implement an online exam proctoring service at Texas A&M.” Part of this pilot project is to consider developing a centralized, university supported Zoom proctoring service. We do not yet a have decision timeline regarding this option.

Option 1 – Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

The university purchased licenses from Respondus for two tools that support remote exam proctoring: LockDown Browser and Monitor. The licenses for these tools is for the 2020-2021 academic year (including Summer 2021). Both of these tools are currently available in eCampus (Blackboard) and Canvas.

  • Respondus LockDown Browser – students take exams using this browser that “locks” down their computing environment to prevent access to other resources (web searches, other applications on their computer, etc.). Respondus provides a video overview of the LockDown Browser features.
  • Respondus Monitor – captures students’ computer activity during an exam using a web cam and screen capture. Monitor also provides artificial intelligence to flag suspicious incidents for faculty to review after the exam. Respondus provides a video overview of the Monitor features.

In eCampus, you can find the Respondus tools in the “Course Tools” menu at the left under “Course Management”. In Canvas, LockDown Browser is a menu option at the left in your course shell. The university Keep Teaching website has additional information about how to use and access the Respondus tools.

Please contact the Office for Academic Innovation help desk if you have questions about configuring and using LockDown Browser and/or Monitor.

This option does not have a $ cost to the department.

Option 2 – On My Honor Exam

You can offer non-proctored exams for your students. Best practices for ensuring academic integrity when creating exams in the LMS (regardless of whether they are proctored or not) are as follows:

  • Randomize question order when presented to students
  • Randomize answer order when presented to students
  • Only show one question at a time to the student
  • Do not allow students to go back to previous questions
  • Limit the time allotted per question so students do not have time to look up answers
  • Do not make answers available to students until after all students have completed the exam

Please contact the Office for Academic Innovation help desk if you have questions about creating or configuring exam options in the LMS.

This option does not have a $ cost to the department.

Option 3 – Zoom Proctoring

Several faculty across campus successfully used Zoom to proctor exams during the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters. Faculty and teaching assistants proctor the exam using Zoom to observe students while they take the exam. Zoom displays up to 49 individuals on the screen at a time depending on the monitor used. The Keep Teaching website has additional information about proctoring exams via Zoom.

Please contact the Office for Academic Innovation help desk if you have questions about configuring and using Zoom to proctor exams.

This option may have an additional $ cost to the department because the department will need to hire enough teaching assistants to proctor the exam if you have more than 40 students in your class. For example, if you have 900 students in your class, you would need at least eighteen (18) teaching assistants (900/49 = 18.4) plus yourself to monitor the students (assuming all teaching assistants have a monitor capable of displaying 49 students at once). Obviously this cost could be reduced by offering multiple exam session times and asking the TA to proctor multiple sessions (e.g., if you have two exam times for the 900 student course, you could use nice (9) TAs if you have two exam sessions).

Obtaining a Canvas Account

  • FACULTY – All TAMU faculty teaching in Summer II 2020 or Fall 2020 already have an account created for them by the Office for Academic Innovation (OAI) staff. Faculty access this account using their NetID and password (see below). Faculty who do not teach in Summer II or Fall 2020 but will teach in Spring 2021, will have accounts created at some point during the Fall 2021 semester (the exact date has not yet been announced).
  • STAFF – If a staff member needs a Canvas account so they can assist a faculty member in creating/updating content in a Canvas course, the staff member needs to have a course association created in Compass by the departmental course scheduler. A list of Canvas course roles is available on the LMS website. In this case, it is likely the most appropriate role is “Designer;” however, if the staff member will be assisting the faculty member with grades, then “Teaching Assistant” or “Lead Teaching Assistant” is likely a more appropriate role. After the course role assignment is made in Compass, the OAI staff will create an account for the staff member (a manual process with a 2-3 day turnaround). After the account is created, staff can access their account using their NetID and password (see below). NOTE: The staff member will not receive a confirmation email. The only way to know if the account has been created is to try logging in to the account as shown below.
  • STUDENT – All students will automatically have accounts created for them. Students can access this account using their NetID and password (see below). Students do not need to create accounts. HOWEVER, until August 19, 2020, students will have read-only access to content published by faculty. After August 19, 2020, students will have full access to the content published by faculty.

Accessing Canvas

Faculty, staff, and students have the following options for accessing Canvas.

Option 1 (from Howdy Portal)

  1. Login to Howdy (https://howdy.tamu.edu)
  2. Look for the “Canvas” icon at the top shortcut bar (it is positioned next to the eCampus icon)
  3. Click on the Canvas icon to be redirected to Canvas
  4. Enter NetID and password combination if prompted

Option 2 (from canvas.tamu.edu website)

  1. Go to the TAMU Canvas website (https://canvas.tamu.edu/)
  2. Enter NetID and password combination if prompted

Option 3 (from the LMS website)

  1. Go to the TAMU LMS website (https://lms.tamu.edu)
  2. Click on the Maroon “Log In” button at the upper right
  3. Enter NetId and password combination if prompted

Option 4 (from the Keep Teaching website)

  1. Go to the Keep Teaching website (https://keepteaching.tamu.edu/)
  2. Click on the “Log In” button in the upper right
  3. Enter NetID and password combination if prompted

Option 5 (from the Keep Learning website)

  1. Go to the Keep Learning website (http://keeplearning.tamu.edu/)
  2. Click on the “Log In” button in the upper right
  3. Enter NetID and password combination if prompted

Helping Students Get Connected

The Mays at City Centre staff produced several tutorial videos to be used by students in the Executive MBA, Professional MBA, and MS Analytics programs. While some content in the videos is specific to these particular programs, the content is mostly generalizable to students in other programs and classes. You are welcome to use them for your respective classes.

Sharing Recorded Content with Students

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

In the shift to remote teaching, we need to be mindful of students with disabilities.

  • Ask students with disabilities to provide you their accommodations letter so that you have an accurate record of who needs accommodations for your class.
  • If exams are given online, students with disabilities will also take exams online.
  • Contact Disability Resources at disability@tamu.edu for questions not covered on the Keep Teaching website