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Virtual Teaching Resources

Online Teaching Tools

In the Fall of 2020, Dean Puri struck a Task Force to identify short- and long- term recommendations that would provide the best possible student learning experience in a virtual environment. In order to ensure a rich teaching and learning experience, the need for faculty members to maintain balance and well-being given all the demands placed on their time and energy is recognized. The balance is an often overlooked aspect when talking about teaching and learning.

This document identifies strategies that both improve the student learning experience while also decreasing the load on faculty members in the short term. The recommendations listed here focused for the upcoming Winter 2021 term and they are complimentary to the recommendations made by the University-Wide Task Force. Ongoing work continues to identify recommendations over the medium and long term.

The below tutorials were created by the Department of Mechanical Engineering to aid in the transition to online teaching. Avenue is used as the home base for all content. Familiarize yourself with Avenue before proceeding to other tutorials:

  • Avenue
  • MS Teams
  • MacVideo
  • Misc
  • Additional Resources
  • Resources to share with students


Instructions to help faculty members start recording and putting their course content online

Our sincere thanks to Eu-Gene Ng, Program Chair, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, for creating this content.

Technology Enhanced Teaching for instructors interested in the technology available for online and blended learning formats

Facilitator:   Christa Morrison, Digital Pedagogy Specialist, MacPherson Institute

MATLAB & Pavlovia

McMaster University is providing access to key software platforms that allow next-level experiences to all students, faculty, staff, and researchers at no cost to end-users. MATLAB and Pavlovia allow users to develop, design, collect data, analyze and visualize in a variety of research and teaching fields that span the entire campus.

MATLAB is a numerical programming environment that allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, and integration with other software through an intuitive, customizable interface. 

Pavlovia allows users to dynamically host, share, test and conduct behavioural science experiments with other researchers around the world.

Teaching with Zoom

by Seshasai Srinivasan, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Teaching with Zoom [pdf]


  • How to Set up a Link for a Lecture
  • How to join the Zoom Class as an Instructor (Host)
  • How to Join a Zoom Class as a Student (Participant)
  • Additional Resources & Contact Information

Assessments using Avenue to Learn

Setting up Assessments on Avenue to Learn

by Seshasai Srinivasan, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

How to upload a single exam on Avenue to Learn

by Greg Wohl, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Option for multi-version final exam on Avenue to Learn

by Ian Bruce, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Using Avenue to randomize and distribute a test/exam

by Yaser Haddara, Ian Bruce, Jon Kruithof,  Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Starting with a limited number of versions of a test or exam in a Word or other text file, this video shows you how to upload these questions into Avenue in such a way as to randomly generate a large number of different versions randomly generated for each student. You use Avenue Quizzes to release the individualized exam and use Avenue assignments to collect them.

Final Exams through Avenue to Learn: A Possible Solution

by Mohamed Bakr, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Users should make sure to watch ALL videos in the series.

Notes (Daryl Hartz, McPherson Institute)

Introduction video:

If exams are created without taking the question library approach first – there is a way to copy the quiz questions back to the question library.  Here is a document outlining this.

 Step 3 video:

You can make quizzes ‘visible’ in the quiz tool – the students won’t be able to access the quiz until the start date/time.  This automates a step for you if you can’t make it to Avenue to Learn to manually release it (or you can make it visible manually – instructor’s choice)

Step 4 video:

You can make assignment folders ‘visible’ in the assignments tool – the students won’t be able to access the folder until the start date/time.

You can set an end date half an hour after your deadline to allow for late submissions, and your ‘due date’ can be the actual deadline.  Files submitted after the ‘due date’, will be flagged in red as being late (to be assessed at the instructor’s discretion, if they want to go this route).

Instructional Continuity (MacPherson Institute)

Tools and supports that can be used to help you connect with learners to teach course content.

Topics inclue the basics of Avenue to Learn, MacVideo, Echo 360, WebEx and Microsoft Teams.


Student Reflection Template

A template for students help reflect on their experiences in the MacChangers Program.

McMaster Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Portfolio Guide

This guide is intended to assist students in creating a portfolio that effectively portrays their journey through the Grand Challenges Scholars Program.

Crowdmark Webinar

Crowdmark is a collaborative online grading and analytics platform

Join  a 20-minute virtual guided tour of Crowdmark to learn how to administer remote assessments.

You will learn about:

  • How to use your pre-existing materials to set up your assignment/quiz/test
  • How students will upload their work H
  • ow to grade and provide rich feedback
  • Best practices for remote exams with Crowdmark

Webinars are scheduled every day at:
11:30 am EDT / 8:30 am PDT
4:00 pm EDT / 1:00 pm PDT

Wednesday March 18
Thursday March 19
Friday March 20
Saturday March 21
Sunday March 22
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24

Join using this direct link:

Lightboard Demo

Examples of course-content recorded using the Lightboard are presented in this video. A demonstration of synchronous virtual-classroom teaching is also given. Basic use of the Lightboard is discussed including suggested best-practice, advantages and disadvantages. The integration of existing course content (for example PowerPoint slides) will also be demonstrated. Instructors who use a whiteboard and/or chalkboard in the classroom may be particularly interested in this session.

Facilitators: Prof. Michael Justason, Assistant Professor, Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology


Microsoft Teams

Recording Lectures in MS Teams

If using online version of MS Teams, this option is only available with supported browsers, i.e. Chrome or Edge

How to Record a Lecture:

1. Go to the conversation section of any channel or team, and click on RECORD icon. 

2. Click MEET NOW button.


3. In order to start recording, click "..." on menu bar. 

4. Select START RECORDING option. 

Application & Desktop Sharing in MS Teams

If using online version of MS Teams, this options is only available with supported browsers, i.e. Chrome or Edge.

How to Share an Application or a Desktop during the Recording

1. Select the SHARE icon in the meeting menu.

2. Once the share icon is selected, it will give an option to select which application or desktop to choose from.

3. SELECT the application from the list of applications that are opened or browse for the application using Browse button available.

4. When finished presenting or using the application, select STOP PRESENTING.

5. When the recording is completed, select STOP RECORDING and hang up the call. 

Introducing Quizzes in MS Teams

Leverage the power of Microsoft Forms to create quizzes and other formative assessments right within assignments in Microsoft Teams. Combine the distribution ease of Teams Assignments with teacher-favorite features of Forms assessments like question hints, math formulas, real-time analytics, and more! Once students complete the form the grade is automatically synced to Microsoft Teams.

Watch this video

Sharing Recordings in Microsoft Stream

1. Once the recording is completed and saved, Select OPEN IN MICROSOFT STREAM

2. Once the recording is opened in Microsoft Stream, select “…” and select UPDATE VIDEO DETAILS.


At this point, the video can be linked and users can access it using their MacID and password.

Remote Working Tools

Information on McMaster VPN, MacDrive, McMaster's Soft Phone Service and McMaster's Voicemail Alerting Service

Michael Curwin, manager of information, technology & services for the Faculty of Engineering, explains the toolbox of tech available to faculty and staff in the event they need to work remotely. 


Remote Working Tools instruction - Faculty of Engineering

Remote Meeting Etiquette

Do a test-run of the call system or any applications that are going to be used during the conference. Try fixing any technical difficulties before any call or meetings. Make sure your microphone is working and ensure that you have stable internet connections. Check your video settings and make sure everything runs smoothly without any technical difficulties.

Before an online meeting:

  • Send an appropriate meeting request (calendar invite, invitation to call) and an agenda or any material for what will be discussed during the meeting. 


  • Confirm your attendance and prepare by reviewing the agenda and/or materials. Please respect others’ time by being on time. 

During meeting:

Make sure that your conference call or video meetings are taking place in a quiet indoor area. If you are in a situation where background noise cannot be controlled, let the group know at the start of the meeting. Turn off or silence your phone unless you are using it to call in. Mute desktop notifications on any background programs or web browsers.

Avoid eating, drinking or performing any tasks that are irrelevant to your conference call/video meetings. This may be distracting to others on the call.

For video meetings, it is important to dress appropriately (business casual) as if you are meeting the participants in person.

It may be difficult to identify an individual just by his or her voice. Introduce yourself to the participants and make sure the other participants know who you are.

Speak directly to the microphone and be concise. Whenever you are not talking, mute the microphone.

Make sure that you engage with your participants. When you are talking, try your best to look into the camera instead of yourself on the screen. 

Closing the meeting:

 Always sign off from your conference call with a clear overview of next steps or action items, and remember to say goodbye. Treat participants in online meetings as you would if you were talking to them in person.

More Resources

Ontario University Resources

A collection of Ontario University resources compiled by The Ontario Universities' Council on e-Learning (OUCEL)

Ontario University Academic Continuity Pages (Laurentian University)

Rapid Online Course Design

Online Resources for Science Laboratories (POD) - Remote Teaching 

Student Support

George Veletsianos - Learning Online: The Student Experience [book] 

General Resource/FAQ Pages


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