The MacPherson Institute and other units on campus support a collection of teaching technologies. You can find out more about what technologies the MacPherson Institute supports by visiting the MacPherson Supported Teaching Technologies page.
Much of the synchronous online teaching that occurs on our campus is facilitated through the use of the Webex and Zoom web conferencing tools. Webex is available for anyone with a MacID to create an account. Zoom has been introduced in many of the Faculties to support the transition to online teaching. Either of these tools can be used to host virtual classes, online office hours or meetings with remote members over the internet. If you plan to use Webex in your teaching, please be sure to test Webex on your computer with the same hardware (computer, microphone, headphones, etc.) that you plan to use for teaching. We recommend using Webex for teaching smaller, tutorial-sized group or to have a TA serve as a moderator for questions if you are teaching a larger group online. The MacPherson Institute offers consultations for teaching online so please reach out to us if you would like support for online teaching with Webex. You will also need to request a WebEx account in order to schedule and host meetings which you can do via this link to our support request form.
All instructors and staff at McMaster have access to Microsoft 365 which includes the full suite of Microsoft Office tools. You will be able to install office on your device(s) or to use the online version of office from within a browser. You can store and share documents in the cloud, called OneDrive, and even edit documents simultaneously with your collaborators. Of particular interest for instructors is PowerPoint, the widely used presentation software from Microsoft. The most recent versions of PowerPoint, included in the 365 suite, can be used to design and deliver effective and accessible presentations or lessons and even includes an automatic, live captioning tool that we recommend everyone use whenever possible. This tool is a great asset in our efforts to make teaching as accessible to all students as possible.
Also included in our suite of Microsoft tools is Microsoft Teams. Teams is a collaboration software that includes chat, posting, file sharing, quizzing and assessment tools and even its own web conferencing functionality. Teams can be used to collaborate with teaching teams or across departments and can even be used to organize and host course content and live sessions (teaching, office hours, etc.). To find out more about Teams, visit the UTS Teams support page.
Some large lecture halls are equipped with the technology to capture your teaching while you’re delivering a class in person. Echo360 can also capture your teaching from your personal computer or laptop. These recordings can be very helpful for allowing students to review lecture content at a later time. If you would like to use Echo360 to create videos for an online or blended course, we recommend following best practices for teaching online. See Technology-Enhanced Teaching or contact the Educational Technologies team for support with Echo360.
In order to facilitate video creation and streaming for instructors, the MacPherson Institute hosts a service called MacVideo. This service can be accessed by anyone using their MacID and allows instructors to record, edit and post video content for their courses on a platform that is similar to YouTube but for our McMaster community. If you are using videos that you have created in your teaching, MacVideo is the best way to host and share them with your students. MacVideo has been integrated into Avenue to make it even easier to post your videos into your course content.
Of course, as a legislative requirement, all media utilized in courses must comply with accessibility guidelines which includes captioning for video posted in courses. MacVideo contains an auto-captioning tool that will generate captions at about 70% accuracy. Once the system has generated these captions, you can edit them to ensure 100% accuracy and accessibility compliance from within MacVideo. Find out more about MacVideo at macvideo.ca