Aha! Moments: Hybrid/Remote Teaching Tips Fall 2020 – Week of Sept. 21

This weekly series–a continuation of the CFD summer publication and workshops–will showcase faculty discoveries, strategies, and innovations emerging from HyFlex/remote teaching.

If there is a teaching tip you would like to share, email Mary Balkun, Director of Faculty Development, at <mary.balkun@shu.edu>.

Week of Sept. 21

Mark Holtzman, Accounting and Taxation Department

A lot of us are using polling. I find the easiest way to do this is using the “thumbs up” feature in the chat box. I type in each choice as a separate chat message and ask the students to “like” the answer they agree with. When I do a number problem, I ask them to enter their answer into the chat box, or “thumbs up” someone else’s answer if they agree.

In the classroom, we can only see two screens, the one on our pc and the one in the back of the room. If I’m working a problem in Microsoft Excel on my screen, then I can’t see the chat. To see it, I open Teams on my iPhone and view the chats there.

The whiteboard in Teams is not very popular with our faculty – it seems buggy. I use MS Excel instead. The grid format in Excel is well suited for use as an impromptu whiteboard in any discipline, whether you’re using numbers of not.

One more: remote students having trouble with their PC’s can access Teams on their smartphones.


Christine Fernandez, Physician Assistant Program.

To be sure you know what you are displaying either on Zoom, Teams, or Collaborate, I suggest joining the meeting on phone in addition to your computer so you can see what the student sees.


Erik Hill, Biology and Microbiology Department

For my large remote classes in spring and fall, I play music for around 10 min before the course lecture starts. It can feel overwhelming and ominous to enter a quiet room. Think of the worst doctor’s offices; even long elevator rides have Muzak. So I pipe music/youtube through my phone placed near to the computer microphone (rather than playing directly through the computer – streaming music has had technical issues).   1) it relaxes the atmosphere before class. 2) it allows the students to check that their sound is functioning. 3) it confirms to the class that my microphone is working.  4) I get ‘constructive’ feedback from them on how to ‘improve’ my musical selections.



Sharing Sound in a Meeting: If you are sharing a video with sound, make sure to select the “include computer sound” checkbox before sharing your content. Please note this is not available on Mac laptops yet.

Speaker Feedback and Echo: To avoid speaker feedback and echo in the classroom, all students in the classroom must mute the microphone and speakers on their laptop if they are joining the virtual meeting. Instructor microphone and speaker should not be muted unless the instructor is in a Teams HyFlex classroom with the wall panel.



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