This page contains suggestions on how to deliver lectures at a distance to our students.

We list here a few different ways which, we understand, cover the various needs emerged in a recent meeting:

  • Audio/video recording of the lecture available for downloading

You can record your lecture in various ways:

  1. Use your smartphone to video recording your lecture in your office and put the produced file on your PhD course web site. Ask the web administrator (usually a 150 hours student). You can also write on the blackboard in your office and record it putting the smartphone in an appropriate position.
  2. Use one of the well equipped lecture rooms (004, 005, 131 and 136) to video recording your lecture. In this case you can have computer presentation or/and using the blackboard. Those lecture rooms have two cameras, one takes a snapshot of the blackboard each 30 sec, the other video records the lecture. In order to use those rooms, you have to follow the instructions in here. In this case the recording will be available the next day on http://videolectures.sissa.it.
  • Interactive lectures

A lecture can be interactive if the lectures uses a video conference software (see the section Available videoconference softwares below) and invite to partecipate all of the students that would like to attend. These will be connected simultaneously in real time and may pose questions during the lecture or/and start a discussion. However, according whether the teacher uses the blackboard or not, it is necessary to distinguish between various cases:

  1. The lecturer uses the blackboard - In this case it is necessary to ask at the reception the kit which contains a videocamera with fixed support (tripod) and the wireless microphone. These are USB devices and should be connected to the computer on which it is necessary to run the videoconference software. Be careful to choose, within the video conferencing software, the video and audio input corresponding to the external USB devices. After having done the necessary audio/video test with the students, the lecturer can start lecturing. Some of the videoconference software allows to record the event.
  2. The lecturer uses a tablet with a pencil - In this case it is not necessary the kit. The teacher will start a conference session with one the software available and write on the iPad screen with the pencil. Any video conference sofwtare is able to share the content of the screen. The camera on the iPad will make visible the teacher and the students if necessary.
  3. The lecturer uses white sheet of paper and write on it - In this case it is necessary to ask at the reception the kit which contains a videocamera with flexible support so that the camera can frame the sheet of paper in an appropriate way.
  • Streaming

Streaming by definition is not interactive. However, the teacher can decide to use another channel to allow students to pose questions during the lecture, taking into account that, for technical reasons, streaming introduces some delay. Beside the lecture rooms 004, 005, 131 and 136, it is possible to use in this case also the Meeting Room through a service made available by GARR named VCONF and a portable videoconference device (ask helpdesk@sissa.it well in advance for it).

  • Available videoconference softwares

Due to the emergency some video-conferencing services are now offering free access to their services for a limited time. We list here, with some additional info, some available tool which the lecturer can choose to meta lectures at a distance. Those listed below are multi-platform software, they can be used in Linux, Mac-OS X, Windows and mobile devices. All of them require registration. SISSA has a campus license for Microsoft Teams up to 250 users.

  1. Skype - It can be useful in some situations. It allows group call up to 50 members. Is is free, but it requires registration. You can download Skype from https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/.
  2. Microsoft Teams - It is a service delivered inside the cloud Microsoft Office 365. Is is more than a videoconference software. It is a framework for a work team. Once created a Team with you partners, inside it you can share documents, chat e also you can create private channel with each of them. SISSA has a limited license for it, however you can create Team also with external people. To use it with SISSA license, you have to ask to helpdesk@sissa.it. Registered users will then get username like user@365.sissa.it. It is advisable that only lectures will be associated to the 365 sissa domain. He can then create a Team with external partners. The software can be downloaded from https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads.
  3. Bluejeans - It is not free. The smallest license is 15 euro monthly and it is limited up to 50 attendees. However there is a trial version valid for 14 days. See https://www.bluejeans.com.
  4. WebEx - It is a Cisco product. The free version allows up to 100 attendees with no time limit. Unlimited meetings and 1GB of storage in their cloud. This is our recommended choice. Download from https://www.webex.com/pricing/index.html. Detailed instructions can be found in here.
  5. Zoom - Its free tier allows unlimited 1-to-1 meetings group sessions of up to 40 minutes and 100 participants. This is one the most popular video conference software. The 40 minutes time limit of the free version is not suitable for our needs. It is necessary to subscribe the Pro versione for 13.99 euro per month. Available from https://www.zoom.us/pricing.
Zoom Corporation has eliminated the 40 min time limit for all users registered as user@sissa.it. Check your Zoom profile.
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