Shared Community Insights on Engineering Remote Instruction

From Emerging Insights on Navigating Remote Instruction (July 2020 ASEE Webinar)

This webinar, facilitated by Clayton Byers (Trinity College) and Rick Evans with students Kenneth Wang Fang and Sophia Rose Handley (Cornell University), explored strategies for navigating remote instruction, sharing insights on asynchronous instruction and managing student projects and collaboration remotely. Below is a collection of insights on remote instruction shared in the chat pod by webinar attendees.

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Products and Software for Recording Lessons

  1. Wacom Tablet – works with Microsoft OneNote digital notetaking app
  2. Active Presenter – good free software for both recording screen and video
  3. XP – Pen Deco 01 V2 Tablet – an affordable alternate for expensive XP-Pen Artist
  4. HUION H610PRO Tablet
  5. OBS – for video recording and live streaming
    • OBS allows for several different camera inputs. As long as your computer is capable, you can livestream 5 cameras. I will be using several cameras in labs and lectures and switching between them in both lecture and labs
  6. iPad Pro for sketching + Elgato CamLink 4 capturing device
  7. Using a document camera to write on paper in real time; worked a lot better than trying to do it on a tablet; scanning notes, so the students would have them + recording them, so students could see it “real time” when they viewed the video


  1. YouTube (free)
  2. EduTube
  3. Kaltura
  4. Camtasia – has a great captioning tool, voice to text and a way to export the entire set of captions into a transcript
  5. MediaSite
  6. VidGrid

Technology for Student Teamwork and Collaboration

  1. Google Hangouts for Office Hours
  2. CATME – good tool to allow students to feedback to each other on team interaction (but no longer free)
    • A great way to have students evaluate their peers and self-evaluate
  3. ITPMetrics – another team and peer feedback platform (free); just for feedback at the moment, not team formation
  4. GroupEng – a free grouping program (see Tom Dimiduk’s Github account)
  5. Discord has the same capability as Slack, but with voice and video as well
  6. Microsoft (MS) Teams
    • A great tool that can incorporate the “chat” or messaging, file share, calling, etc.
    • Can have Microsoft Teams open in Zoom

On Student Webcam Use in Synchronous Classes

  1. My students were so kind after I asked them to keep their videos on. We made some ground rules that you could absolutely turn off video if you needed to, and my students usually left them on, but we all periodically turned them off (to eat, interruptions, etc.)
  2. My concern with requesting/requiring students to keep their cameras on is the issue with students being embarrassed of their learning environment
  3. Not every student has equal access to internet bandwidth for video
  4. I think flexibility is key.
  5. Also, potential privacy concerns, especially if you record the sessions and post the video.
  6. I try to keep it more of a conversation. What I like about Zooming is that everyone has the same view; I’m no longer in front of the room. And regarding the student rooms — students made ample use of virtual backgrounds — which were sometimes quite humorous. I encouraged — but didn’t force — students to keep their cams on.

On Student Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

  1. I did a week on mindfulness practices for stress reduction, and it was really well-received by students. I asked students to find one mindfulness video to try before class (completely up to them), and then during class we practiced a deep-breathing exercise and a body scan. I did not infuse any religious/spiritual information into the lesson. I focused on how moderating breathing affects the physical body and stress response in the brain. I did brief (< 2 minutes) breathing exercises for the rest of the semester after the lesson. This fall I plan to do a mindfulness practice every day to begin any synchronous lesson.
  2. I began rolling [mindfulness during class time] out last fall and want to go deeper since I feel it is needed. No spiritual, just breathing.

Online Polling and Quizzing Software

  1. iClicker
  2. TopHat
  3. Quizizz
  4. Kahoot
  5. InkSurvey
  6. Poll Everywhere
  7. io
  8. Mentimeter
  9. Zoom can also have built in polls