Possibilities for remote education
Here is a list of preferred tools for distance teaching. You can use other tools, too, but please keep in mind that the students will have to adjust to all the tools in a brief period of time at the beginning of the semester.
Moodle is a system for creating online courses, which supports for example:
- publishing course material
- accepting solutions to homeworks, graded by the teacher later
- structured discussion
- questionnaires and tests
Our university runs a Moodle instance at https://moodleoffice.cuni.cz/.
Information about course creation are available at the university page.
Moodle supports LaTeX-like math notation written as
\[formula\]. To make it work, you need to go to course settings → filters, disable the TeX filter and enable MathJax filter.
Zoom is a platform for video conferencing and online meetings. It is available for most of the commonly used systems (Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS) and also as a web application (it seems to work better in Chrome than in Firefox). Some features are available only in the native applications, though.
Zoom is the preferred tool for online lectures and tutorials. It can be also used for recording lectures without participants (though OBS Studio can be more convenient for that).
Faculty members can obtain an university account at cuni-cz.zoom.us by asking the faculty coordinator. Older accounts at cesnet.zoom.us remain active (until 2023-05-10).
Tutorials taught by our students are expected to use shared accounts. These are described in the computer science school manual.
- Please use passwords to protect your meetings: it is far too easy to guess a valid meeting ID and do mischief. If all participants have a university account, you can limit access to the meeting to such accounts. Also, it is possible to enable a waiting room for outside participants and let them in manually as needed.
- Scheduling of recurring meetings (e.g., classes) is more comfortable in the web interface.
- While it seems that meeting start times have granularity of 30 minutes, in fact they do not. However, the web interface needs a little convincing to enter other times. On the contrary, meeting durations always have 15 minute granularity.
- Meetings can be recorded either in the Zoom cloud (and later downloaded) or locally at your machine.
- Meeting participants can send "yes/no/raise hand" signals, which are visible in the participant list.
- Meetings also include a textual chat, which can be useful for asking questions during the class. If you record the meeting, a transcript of the chat is kept in a separate file; we have a tool for integrating the transcript to the video.
- When creating a meeting, you can allow joining of participants before the host. You can also create host key, which allows other participants to become the host by pressing the "Claim Host" button.
Microsoft Teams is a platform for team collaboration and it is a part of Office 365. It is possible to use it (not only) for distance education. It allows for creating groups (teams), sharing documents, chating and also making videoconferences. A client application is available for most of the commonly used systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS) and also it can be used without any client from a browser.
The Postal Owl
The Postal Owl is a simple web application for submitting homework, grading and discussion. You can use Markdown with KaTeX math notatation in both task statements and solutions. It is also possible to attach PDF documents.
Adobe Connect is a platform for video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. It is available for most of the commonly used systems (Windows, Mac, Android, on Linux only partially - the screen sharing is not available).
Adobe Connect is supported by the University. Information about course creation and holding an online lecture are available at the university page.
We prefer Zoom and MS Teams at MFF.
A guide to further tools is maintained by the Computer science school.