How Will an Online Collegium Work?
There will be multiple simultaneous Zoom meetings. Each meeting is like a classroom at an in-person Collegium. Each room (Zoom meeting) will have classes scheduled throughout the day. As much as possible, classes within a room will be on related topics (e.g. fiber arts, cooking, or scribal arts).
Each classroom will have a “Room Host” who will be present all day to support teachers and students in the meeting they’re hosting.
There will also be a “Common Room” for announcements and socializing.
Even though this event is online, teachers and students are encouraged to wear an attempt at pre-16th century clothing.
Connecting to Zoom Meetings
The specific Zoom meeting info for the classrooms will be posted shortly before the event in the online class schedule. Since technical issues may require last-minute changes to the meeting info, the schedule document will be updated live during the event if needed. Please follow meeting links directly from the schedule to access your classroom.
All attendees are encouraged to ensure they have the most recent Zoom software installed prior to the event. Go to zoom.us to download the Zoom client for your desktop or laptop. Visit the App Store or Google Play to download the Zoom App for your mobile phone.
Since classes will be held virtually, teachers will be unable to provide materials to students during the class session. Collegium staff will not be managing any material distribution.
The instructor sign up form has a place to list class materials students need on hand. When filling out that information, please be specific, including recommended sources for materials that aren’t easy to find around the house or at a grocery or hardware store. Remember that your students may not have the same specialized tools and materials around the house that you do.
You are encouraged to design your class so that even if the students do not have these materials they will still gain from taking the class.
Class sessions are 25 or 55 minutes long. This is a shorter time than at recent in-person Collegia, but it will allow a wide variety of classes to be offered in a limited number of Zoom sessions. Instructors are encouraged to be creative in making the best use of the limited time.
Interacting with Your Room Host
Each classroom will have a volunteer Room Host responsible for providing basic assistance with the virtual platform to both instructors and students. This individual isn’t a teacher’s assistant, but they are an extra set of eyes and ears that can help keep the class experience running smoothly. For example, they can let you know if you’re muted, how much time remains, or if there are students with questions.
Teachers will be paired with Room Hosts before the event. Think about how your teaching style can most benefit from the Room Host’s presence and let them know what help you’d like before your class begins.
Tips for Teaching Via Zoom
Consider doing a trial run of at least part of your class via Zoom with a friend before the event. Zoom allows anyone to run a 40 minute meeting for free.
Due to the shorter class length, teachers may wish to consider showing multiple projects in various stages of completeness rather than taking one demo project from start to finish during the class. Think of a cooking show where a dish is put in the top oven and then immediately removed from the bottom oven already cooked.
Small details often don’t show up well on web cameras. If you are demonstrating a technique, consider using bigger materials than normal.
Room Hosts are a new and crucial part of Collegium this year.
Fundamentally, each Room Host is responsible for one of the online classrooms (individual Zoom meetings) where classes will occur.
Room Hosts must be online and present in the meeting ALL DAY
Room Hosts will be responsible for assisting instructors and students with the virtual platform. Collegium staff will provide the necessary training in using the virtual platform.
Room Hosts will be focused on keeping the room running smoothly, so they will NOT be able to teach any scheduled classes. However, they can participate in the classes in their room.
Room Host Requirements
Familiarity with hosting Zoom meetings is encouraged. A knack for problem solving and a desire to help make Collegium classes run smoothly in a virtual space are required.
Room Hosts need a reliable internet connection and a desktop or laptop computer compatible with Zoom. Collegium will provide a Zoom account to use for the day.
Room Hosts need to attend at least one Collegium-specific training session via Zoom. Two sessions are currently planned, and an additional session may be added if needed to accommodate host schedules. The currently planned sessions are 8:30-9:30pm Thursday, May 21st and 7:30-8:30pm Wednesday, May 27th.