Fall 2020 Resilience Newsletter 2

By September 16, 2020April 5th, 2024Smeal Academy Newsletter

Resources for Remote Teaching – Spring 2021 Newsletter 2

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges in teaching during this time. Throughout the semester, we will be sending emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

The Zooms, They Are A-Changing

Just when we thought we had Zoom all figured out…

Just kidding… you can handle this!

On September 27, Zoom is implementing changes worldwide to enhance meeting security. Beginning on that date, all Zoom meetings will require a passcode (formerly referred to as password), or a Waiting Room to be enabled for all meetings. Any Zoom meetings that have already been scheduled and do not have a passcode configured will automatically have Waiting Rooms enabled.  In summary:

  • Existing meetings: A Waiting Room will be added to your existing Zoom meetings if you have neither a Waiting Room nor a passcode (password) for the meeting already.
  • New meetings: When you create a new meeting, a passcode will be added to it.

Full details on Waiting Rooms and passcode requirements are available on Penn State’s Zoom website.  eLDIG has compiled some helpful information to prepare you for this transition.

Current News

  • Spring 2021 Instructional Modes Due Before Friday, September 25
  • The same flexible instructional modes used for the fall 2020 semester will be used for the spring 2021 semester at all Penn State campuses.
  • Instructors should identify the instructional mode for their spring courses, in consultation with unit leadership, by Friday, September 25. For more information, please refer to the Spring 2021 Planning page on the Keep Teaching Website.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Faculty Panel TEACHTalk – Real-World Synchronous and Mixed Audience Classroom Management Strategies
    Are you trying to manage simultaneous online and face-to-face students? Have you found solutions or do you have questions about classroom management, tips, and tools that improve your remote and/or hybrid teaching experience? Do you want to hear how others are managing lectures (to record or not to record), group formation, class discussions, or attendance? Come for a discussion with Smeal faculty and staff members to discuss common needs and solutions for managing synchronous remote and/or classes with a combination of students on Zoom and in person. Join us Friday, September 25 from 9 to 10 a.m. via Zoom.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG  Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Check Your Zoom Settings. On September 27, 2020, a Zoom update will affect your use of the tool in two ways:Existing meetings: A Waiting Room will be added to your existing Zoom meetings if you have neither a Waiting Room nor a passcode (password) for the meeting already.New meetings: When you create a new meeting, a passcode will be added to it.
  • Tip #2: Set Up Starfish Grade Thresholds in Canvas. Starfish is more important now than ever, as we consider the need to support students affected by COVID. You can streamline the Starfish reporting process by setting gradebook thresholds in Canvas. Of course, you will want to be sure your gradebook is accurate before completing Starfish reports!


Helpful Websites


Check out the eLDIG Website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: smealtlthelp@psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.