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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Remote access

How do I identify which students in my course are learning from overseas?

Please review this news item on the Canvas website, which shows how to identify offshore students.

What do I do if my students complain that some course materials are not available remotely?

Zoom

How do I get audio transcripts from Zoom and add them to Canvas?

Audio transcript is a default setting in the Zoom recording settings (Zoom Pro licensed accounts)An automatic transcript is only created if you record your session on the Cloud – choose “record to the Cloud” when you begin recording. Transcription takes some time to complete and you will receive an email when the transcript is ready.

You can view and edit the transcript online to correct any transcription errors. The captions will automatically appear at the bottom of the Zoom recording, or you can download them in a VTT file formatSee Zoom’s article on automatically transcribing Cloud recordings.

If you’d like to share the transcript file on Canvas, you can open the VTT file in Microsoft Word, save it as a Word or PDF document, then upload that file into Canvas.

Should I live stream my classes via Zoom?

Wdo not recommend live streaming for classes. Not all students have access to a consistent and fast internet serviceand many have new obligations or restrictions that may prevent them from attending compulsory live lectures. Recorded presentations, or alternative means of delivering content need to be available to ensure equitable access to a quality learning experience.

Can I host virtual office hours using Zoom?

If you wish to host one-to-one virtual office hours, Zoom would be a good option, especially for students within your time zone. If you have a small cohort, you might consider running them as a drop-in session. Otherwise, in order for students to show their commitment, you might ask them to book a session with you in advance. Please be aware that some students will be in different time zones and this would need to be accommodated, as opportunities of this nature should be available all students.

Where does the Zoom recorded file save when saved on the Cloud?

When your recording is ready you will receive an email with a link to the cloud recording. Sign into your Zoom account to access saved recordings; these are found under the ‘Recordings’ menu in your account.

How long will my Zoom recording last for on the Cloud?

The cloud recordings are available for 60 days. Downloading your recordings from the cloud, then upload to the Mediastore will ensure that they remain stored for longer. Mediastore adds the copyright information to your video and (normally) stores it for 12 months, then archives it for 6 months. You can still access archived recordings through Staff Service Centre.

How do I add my Zoom recording to Canvas?

We recommend you upload your recording to the University’s Mediastore. (the maximum file size is 1GB). We have prepared instructions for uploading videos to Mediastore, which includes how to embed the Mediastore video into a Canvas page.

Alternatively, for short videos, you might consider uploading it to Canvas’ Page Editor. This accepts files of up to 500MB.

Should I record to the Cloud or my local computer?

We recommend that you record to the Cloud for the following reasons

  • A transcript will be created that you can download and add to your Canvas course for accessibility.*
  • If the recording stops abruptly (e.g. a computer crash), your recording is more likely to be preserved.
  • The recording is shareable with others via a link in your Zoom account (recordings section).

When you stop recording, Zoom will send you a link to the Recording (this may take a few minutes).

Please note that Cloud recordings are only stored for 60 days. We encourage you to download the recording and upload it to Mediastore.

* Share the transcript in Canvas by using the Upload Document function and add the link to the transcript next to your video.

PowerPoint

Can I make a PowerPoint with voice-over and upload it to Canvas?

Yes, please see this instruction on recording in PowerPoint.

Should I use Zoom or PowerPoint to do a recording?

This largely depends on what you are trying to achieve and your comfort level with different technologies. If you are comfortable using Zoom to create recordings, or you need to record your screen using more applications than just PowerPoint slides, then we would recommend using Zoom. PowerPoint is a good option if you are simply recording a voice-over for PowerPoint slides.

How do I add my PowerPoint recording to Canvas?

We recommend you upload your recording to the University’s Mediastore. (the maximum file size is 1GB). We have prepared instructions for uploading videos to Mediastore, which includes how to embed the Mediastore video into a Canvas page.

Alternatively, for short videos, you might consider uploading it to Canvas’ Page Editor. This accepts files of up to 500MB.

How do I make a transcript of my PowerPoint recording?

Please see this article on recording your PowerPoint presentation and using www.otter.ai to generate the transcript.

Mediastore

What is Mediastore?

Mediastore is the University’s own streaming video service. It’s the preferred way to offer pre-recorded video to students. It uses the same infrastructure as regular Lecture Theatre Recordings and ad hoc recordings in Canvas.

Upload video to Mediastore via: https://mediapublish.auckland.ac.nz

What can/can't I upload to Mediastore?

You can upload most types of video files, including:

  • Videos from phones and webcams
  • Videos recorded using Zoom, BBFlashback or Camtasia
  • Anything else that might be useful for your students (provided you’re not breaking copyright by ripping or otherwise copying a Hollywood film).

 

What can’t I upload to Mediastore?

  • Audio-only files
  • Files bigger than 1GB*

* If your video file is larger than 1GB, view the instructions for compressing your video using the VLC free app.

How do I edit Mediastore videos?

Unlike the Recordings tool in Canvas, Mediastore does not offer a review or editing function. This means you should edit BEFORE you upload.

We have provided some suggestions for video editing software on the Recordings page.

How do I upload successfully to Mediastore?

Upload to the Mediastore via: https://mediapublish.auckland.ac.nz

To protect your video content, make sure you:

  • Leave the Access setting as ‘private.’
  • Use the STUDYPLAN project category to ensure you get a copyright notice at the start of the video.

While uploading, if the blue progress bar finishes and then freezes, your video has not uploaded successfully. Check that the file is not too big – it should be no bigger then 1GB. If so, try compressing it with VLC Mediaplayer and uploading it again. If the upload fails a second time, report the issue to the Staff Service Centre.

After you’ve successfully uploaded your video, you’ll get an email with streaming video links in 1-24 hours. If it still hasn’t arrived after a day and you’re sure it uploaded successfully, contact the Staff Service Centre.

How do I get my Mediastore videos onto Canvas and make them downloadable?

This instruction is only if you want your students to download your video file, rather than watch it online. For example, this might be useful if you want your students to adapt the video to suit their own purposes using some sort of video editing software.

Once you have uploaded your video to Mediastore, you will have received an email with the URL to the video. This URL ends in ‘.preview’, e.g.

https://mediastore.auckland.ac.nz/ADHOC/2019/1390153/7355f6/123456789.preview

In order for your students to download the file, simply paste that URL into a Canvas page (as an external link) but change ‘.preview’ at the end to ‘.mp4’. Then instruct your students to right click the link and choose ‘Save link as…’ Or they might follow the link so that the video starts playing, then right click the video and select ‘Save video as…’  Try it yourself to make sure it works.

How can I add my Mediastore streaming videos to the Recordings section on Canvas?
  1. Create an Ad Hoc recording from the Recordings page.
  2. Paste the link to the recording that you received from Mediastore.

Virtual lectures

Should we stay with the timetabled lecture slots?

It’s a good idea to stick to regular schedule and make recorded lectures available around the time of the usual lectures.

Should we be holding live lectures?

Wdo not recommend live streaming for classes. Not all students have access to a consistent and fast internet serviceand many have new obligations or restrictions that may prevent them from attending compulsory live lectures. Recorded presentations, or alternative means of delivering content need to be available to ensure equitable access to a quality learning experience.

Accessibililty

How do I produce transcripts from my recordings?

One option is available through Zoom Cloud recordings. See the FAQ in the Zoom recordings section on this page.

An alternative is through www.otter.ai. The free account auto-generates transcriptions for up to 600 minutes of recordings per month (this is extended in the premium account). You can log in using your University Google account (e.g. jblo007@aucklanduni.ac.nz) but the University does not have a site license so it will default to the free version. It does a pretty good job of auto-transcribing and you can edit the text in order to correct mistakes. Then download the text file and upload it as a separate file in Canvas; place the link to the transcript file alongside the video. Unfortunately it is not a tool for creating closed captions.

See this Otter.ai guide for generating transcripts from existing recordings.

Marking

SpeedGrader is too slow to use for large classes, what can I do?

SpeedGrader pre-loads all assignment/quiz submissions, therefore large classes can be unwieldy.

We suggest splitting your class into smaller groups using the Groups feature in Canvas (you will find that under the People page). Create a Group Set and name it according to the Assignment or Quiz. When creating or editing the Assignment/Quiz, select the Group Set that you just created. This does not mean that students will work in groups to submit the Assignment/Quiz, it’s just to make SpeedGrader more manageable.

Then in SpeedGrader, filter the submissions Group by Group. This will load much smaller batches of Assignment/Quiz submissions and SpeedGrader should be much more responsive.

How do I suppress quiz responses when students submit the quiz in Canvas?

When setting up the Canvas Quiz, untick the box called “Let students see their quiz responses.” You can change this option later when you’re ready for the students to see the responses.

See the Canvas Instructor Guides for more details on quiz settings.

How do I prevent students from seeing their quiz and assignment grades until I'm ready to release them?

From your Canvas course, go to Grades, locate the assessment. Click the three dots beside the name of the assessment. 

Canvas screenshot showing the Gradebook settings

Click Grade Posting Policy and choose Manual, scroll to the bottom and click Save.

Canvas screenshot showing the grading policy set to manually

Can multiple markers use SpeedGrader at the same time?

Yes but with a caveat – if two or more markers use SpeedGrader to grade the same student’s script at the same time, it is possible that they may overwrite each other’s work. Therefore clear communication between markers is important.

SpeedGrader with Assignments
Consider creating a Final Assessment ‘Group Set‘ so you can divide the class into Groups. If you have three markers, you could create three Groups (make sure all students are assigned to a group, i.e. there are no unassigned students). In the Canvas course Settings, enable Launch SpeedGrader Filtered by Student Group.

The markers should select which group they are going to mark. Marker One can grade, say, questions 1-6 in Group One while Marker Two can grade questions 7-11 in Group Two etc. When they are done they can switch groups. Note: this has nothing to do with setting up the Assignment as Group Work (students working in groups), you’re only grouping students for the convenience of marking.

Screenshot of Canvas Group Selection box

SpeedGrader with Quizzes
If your markers are grading a Canvas Quiz, SpeedGrader allows for grading one Quiz question at a time, therefore you can allocate markers to certain questions.

See also
More options are described on the SpeedGrader page.

If a marker annotates a student's script in SpeedGrader, is the original script still available?

Yes, the original submissions are always available and can be downloaded.