2020 Technology in Classrooms

Dear Faculty,  

To help prepare for the fall 2020 semester, teams across campus have been hard at work to develop instructional material and resources on how to use the hybrid technology that has been installed in some university classrooms. 

What is a university hybrid technology classroom? 

University hybrid technology classrooms are classrooms that are optimized with technology that assists in courses that have both online and in-person parts (hybrid courses). These classrooms are equipped with, HD cameras that can pan, tilt, and zoom to meet a variety of needs. These updated classrooms are located throughout campus. You can find a list of completed rooms here. Please check back frequently as we are making ongoing updates to this list. 

Compatibility with Zoom is a top priority in the university hybrid technology classroom design. In addition to cameras, each classroom features echo-canceling technology that enables students to ask and answer questions, whether they are physically in the room or over Zoom.  

Remember, MSU’s Academic Programs Catalog notes that a hybrid course must provide at least 50% of its instruction online. The technology installed in these classrooms should be applied to meet your intended learning outcomes and to encourage active learning. A hybrid course ideally combines the socializing opportunities of the classroom with the digital possibilities of the online environment, to create a symbiotic set of active learning activities. 

What training is available to me? 

  • Hybrid Professional Development 

The Hybrid Teaching Primer workshop is a 6-8 hour primer for instructors that have courses scheduled to be offered in a hybrid format for fall 2020. You can self-enroll in this workshop for the week of August 24. If you have questions related to this workshop, please direct them to Brendan Guenther (brendan@msu.edu) and Ashley Braman (behanash@msu.edu).  

  • One-On-One Consultation   

We are providing opportunities to visit a classroom and work with this new technology before the semester begins. This personalized instruction is available now through the beginning of fall semester and will be offered in centrally located rooms on campus. These sessions will take place in person, with a Zoom option available if desired. Appointments must be booked 24 hours in advance. To book an appointment, visit: https://go.msu.edu/hybinst. 

  • Additional Resources

What to know about accessibility 

MSU is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment that promotes success for all students. New services around closed captioning and course accessibility are being rolled out this fall to support teaching and learning efforts. Captioning instructional video is a necessity and has shown to be a tool of student success. MSU IT has hired student employees to help provide accurate closed captioning on instructional media that is 20 minutes or less. You can find more information about the student CrowdSourcing Closed Captioning program here. 

Additionally, on August 17, 2020 MSU IT will activate a new tool in D2L called Spartan Ally, which will support faculty in creating more accessible classroom experiences. This will advance MSU’s inclusive learning initiatives, promote the campus digital accessibility strategy, and improve access to course materials delivered through our D2L BrightSpace learning management system. Spartan Ally will be automatically activated for faculty and instructors in each of their D2L courses starting August 17th. We encourage you to investigate and identify steps for continuing to improve the accessibility of your D2L courses. A great place to start is with your course syllabi, or other frequently used course materials. A guiding principle for you to consider is “Progress, not perfection” as you get started.  

We want your feedback 

As we continue to rely more on technology to support instruction, we would like your feedback. Please fill out this short survey to help us foresee trends and patterns of faculty and student technology adoption so that we can better support your needs.

As a reminder, iteach.msu.edu provides a social platform to connect with other educators, share, and learn. Our keepteaching.msu.edu site has been updated to include all of the information in this email. Both sites are updated frequently with new information as we swiftly make arrangements to provide a safe campus environment.

Sincerely, 

Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. 
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs 
MSU Foundation Professor