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Tools to Help Facilitate Online, Hybrid, or Livestream Classes

This set of recommendations provides tips and guidance for teaching your classes in the online, hybrid, or livestream formats. Recommendations include tools for communication, collaboration and file sharing, student presentations, testing and exams, and library resources

Communication & Active Learning

The Announcements forum or QuickMail in Moodle are good tools to communicate with your entire class. Suggest to students that they regularly check their NMC email and check their Moodle profile settings to get notifications of new forum posts. 

Use Remind to send text messages to your students about important due dates, assignment deadlines, or general class announcements. Remind lets instructors and students benefit from text message communications without sharing personal cellphone numbers. A Remind block in Moodle can be included in your course shell. Submit a help desk ticket to get started with Remind.

Setting up a Moodle Forum is an easy way to discuss course content or assignments with students, or for students to share work or ask questions.

LSU (Louisiana State University), in collaboration with the POD Network has put together a thorough and valuable Active Learning while Physical Distancing guide which includes many examples of engagement and activity for different course goals. Please review this great resource.

Host Classes or Office Hours Through Zoom

Schedule class meetings and office hours using Zoom. NMC now has a Zoom site license, so every instructor and student has access to a Zoom Licensed account. Use the Zoom Knowledgebase to learn how to schedule and invite students to a meeting or integrate Zoom into Moodle. Read a support document from Zoom explaining how to join a Zoom meeting. In addition, activities that can be completed using Zoom include:

  • Sharing your screen to teach students using documents or websites you would have been discussing in class.
  • Annotate and mark up your screen share.
  • Break your class into groups using the break-out room feature.
  • Use the chat feature.
  • Record your session for students that cannot attend the live session. Upload the recording to your Moodle shell. If you use Ensemble there is an integration with Zoom which will automatically upload your recording to your Ensemble library. Please submit a Help Desk ticket to activate this feature.
  • Poll your students to check for understanding.

Tips & Tricks: Teachers Educating on Zoom

Zoom and FERPA*

FERPA restricts the sharing of student records information, including student class-activities. To maintain FERPA compliance with classroom recording, it’s imperative that any class recordings which include any student activity are shared only with students and instructors who are in the same class as the recording. Class recordings may not be reused across classes or sections.

Student class activities can include student names, voices, photo or video, and chat activities. Class recording content can not be shared outside of the class without a FERPA release from all parties. Faculty recordings of themselves that do not contain any student information or activities are not governed by FERPA and can be shared across classes and sections.

Recommended Syllabus Statement for Class Recordings

We will use technology for livestream and recordings in this course. Our use of such technology is governed by FERPA, and the Acceptable Use Policy and NMC’s Student Code of Conduct. A record of all meetings and recordings is kept and stored by NMC, in accordance with the Acceptable Use Policy and FERPA. Your instructor will not share recordings of your class activities outside of course participants, which includes your fellow students and any guest faculty or community based learning partners that we may engage with. You may not share recordings outside of this course. Doing so may result in disciplinary action.

*Attribute to the Office of Academic Innovation at Portland State University


Collaboration and File Sharing

Google Drive

Share Google Drive folders with students for access to course Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Use the collaboration features to have students co-create or add comments to documents or use the chat feature during synchronous document creation. 

Moodle Files

Using the Files feature allows you to add any file from your computer or storage device in your course. You can search for files using the Add icon or use the drag and drop feature.

Share Lecture Video and Audio

To record a short mini-lecture or screen-share presentation, use Ensemble Anthem or Panopto from your home computer. Once your completed video is uploaded and ready to share with your students, use Moodle to share the link with your students. Another option is to integrate Ensemble or Panopto into Moodle from within your course by using the Add activity or resource function.

Student Presentations Online

Student presentations usually take the form of short lectures, so one option for students to deliver a presentation to you and your class is YouTube.

  • Students today know how to record short videos on their phones or laptops and they have YouTube accounts thanks to the NMC Google connection. Ask students to upload their videos and set the visibility to “unlisted” and share the link with you.
  • Post links to student videos in a Moodle course forum, where other students can comment on their classmates’ presentations, replicating the in-class presentation feedback loop as much as possible.

Another option is to create a dropbox in your Ensemble library for students to upload presentation videos. They can complete this using their computer or mobile device. If they have an iPhone or iPad, the Ensemble video app is an easy way to upload to your dropbox from their device. (The Android app is in development) If you would like your students with iOS devices to use the app, please submit a Help Desk ticket and we can assist you with instructions. This documentation from Ensemble will get you started.

Testing and Exams

NMC will be using a remote proctor application called Proctorio for online testing through Moodle. Instructors can record video, audio, screens and web traffic or lockdown some computer functions like right-clicking, printing or opening new tabs. However, online proctored exams have some drawbacks:

  • Equity: Not all students will have Internet access or a webcam (if you choose that option in Proctorio).
  • They can be more stressful for students, especially if they are juggling caring for dependents or working remotely. 
  • Students may have privacy concerns about the technology since it was not disclosed at the time of registration. Although remote proctoring is being implemented due to the current extraordinary circumstances, student’s privacy rights are still important.

Consider using other assessment strategies. This Proctored Exam Alternatives guide is a good place to start to generate some ideas. In addition, Rutgers University has created a comprehensive list of assessment alternatives to proctored testing. 

Moodle Option: Multiple-choice questions can be imported into Moodle to create tests. In order to be imported, questions need to be in the Aiken Format. Please send formatted questions to the Ed Tech department in a Help Desk ticket. Please include the name of the test, the CRN number of the course, and any other details about the exam.

Proctored Testing

If you would like to use Proctorio in Moodle, please add your name and course number to this Proctorio sign up sheetThere is a free practice option available that appears the same to the student but doesn’t run the recordings through a verification process. The practice option is free. Adding the verification option comes with a charge of $5 per exam per student. (One exam for 20 students is $100. This fee will be paid for by the college). The resources below will familiarize you with Proctorio. Please note you will need to enter your NMC email address to get access.


Once the Proctorio Chrome extension is added to your browser, a new setting (labeled “Proctorio Settings”) will appear when you create a new Moodle quiz. It will also appear in the settings of quizzes created previous to when you installed the extension. Click on “edit settings” in your quiz, scroll down to  “Proctorio Settings,” check the box “Enable Proctorio Secure Exam Proctor,” and start making choices regarding the level of security you desire for your Moodle quizzes

Use Library Resources