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NAUFlex faculty resources



What you need to know


As an NAU faculty, you’re committed to giving students the best educational experience possible. NAUFlex offers a hybrid teaching model that blends in-person and remote learning so you can achieve that objective. Together, we are committed to continuing the student-centered approach that has always been our trademark.

This page is your NAUFlex guide with FAQs, an instructor walkthrough video, and links to resources that will prepare you—and your students—for a successful academic year.


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Scheduling

Make sure you and your students are aware of the schedule changes we made to help us stay safe against COVID-19.

See all scheduling FAQs

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Classroom management

NAUFlex is all about…flexibility—for you and your students—while retaining a structure that enhances learning.

See all classroom management FAQs

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Semester preparation

Being ready before students arrive will help ensure you respond in a positive way to any problems that may arise.

See all preparation FAQs

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Health and safety

Keeping NAU campuses safe all over the state is our top priority. Please do your part to help you and your students learn effectively and continuously this year.

See all health and safety FAQs

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Technology

We’ve been busy preparing NAU campuses around the state for a safe and effective learning environment. Click here for additional help:

See all technology FAQs

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Attendance

NAUFlex makes it possible to handle attendance whatever the size of your class, whether your students are in the classroom or attending virtually.

See all attendance FAQs


NAUFlex instructor walkthrough



Latest updates


To ensure the safety and security of our Lumberjack community on Zoom, NAU ITS will now require all Zoom meetings to have a passcode enabled. Please note: all meetings scheduled prior to the fall 2020 semester will automatically have a password enabled.

For more information regarding Zoom, refer to our Zoom Knowledge Base article. Please contact our ITS Service desk at 928-523-3335 with any questions.


FAQs for faculty


Scheduling


Is it certain that we are starting the spring 2021 term on January 11?

The spring semester will start January 11 with fully live remote instruction through NAUFlex, NAU’s hybrid education model. In-person instruction, coupled with ongoing NAUFlex delivery, will begin January 25. More information about the return to campus can be found on the Jacks are Back website.

What is the final exam schedule for spring 2021?

Our final exam schedule for spring 2021 can be found on our Registrar’s website.


Classroom management


What is NAUFlex?

NAUFlex enables students to actively participate in their coursework during the required day and time of a course, regardless if they are physically present in the classroom. This course design model allows students to be fully engaged with faculty and peers and receive the high-quality educational experience NAU is known for.

Will all in-person and blended courses be taught using NAUFlex in spring 2021?

Nearly all will, and some courses may require more in-person assessment or interaction than others. These may include, but are not limited to, clinical courses; practicums; fine- and performing arts-related courses; internships, laboratories; and additional experiential-learning curriculum.

Faculty will need to discuss options with their academic leadership, taking into consideration the flexibility that students may require. Department leaders are asked to work with faculty to determine whether a course has essential activity which must be attended in-person, and to communicate this to the department’s students as soon as possible. Where it is not absolutely necessary for core learning outcomes, classes may be offered without requiring in-person attendance.

Can every student choose whether to attend class in person at any given time?

Health policy or other requirements may limit the number of students who can attend in person on any given day. Instructors teaching in classrooms that cannot accommodate all enrolled students at one time should create rotating groups of students and determine when they may attend in person (e.g., Group A attends in-person Mondays, Group B attends in-person Wednesdays, etc.). If the instructor creates these in-person attendance groups, they are mandatory; students may not attend in person on unassigned days without a special accommodation or specific permission from the instructor.

Do students have the option of attending completely remote via NAUFlex in spring?

NAUFlex enables remote access to almost all learning opportunities offered at NAU, however some courses may require in-person assessment or interaction. These in-person experiences may include but are not limited to clinical courses; practicums; fine- and performing arts-related courses; internships, laboratories; professional programs; and additional experiential-learning curriculum.

Tuition and fees are based on your academic program by campus. If some or all instruction for all or part of the academic year is delivered remotely, tuition and fees remain the same and will not be refunded.

How will we adjust if we find that nobody is attending virtually, or if everyone is?

Faculty are responsible for making these adjustments, including establishing rotational attendance groups as needed. It is a fluid situation, and one that will probably require adjustments throughout the semester or session.

Will there be someone monitoring the online chatroom to ensure that the online students can participate in real time? Who?

Those with teaching assistants may wish to have a teaching assistant monitor chat during class; it can be very distracting for the instructor to lecture while also monitoring chat. Instructors who do not have regular teaching assistants may wish to assign a student from the class to monitor chat, perhaps on a rotating basis, or through volunteers (consider granting extra credit).

Those who do not have an assistant should consider disabling the chat function in Collaborate or Zoom during their lectures to minimize distraction; then re-enable it for Q&A and discussion later in the class period.

What accommodations regarding the NAUFlex approach are being made for students with disabilities?

Any student needing accommodations should contact Disability Resources immediately to ensure that accommodations may be provided in a timely manner.


Semester preparation


How can faculty communicate to students so they can better prepare?

While NAU will continue to engage in communication with students as the semester approaches, we recommend that each instructor communicate with their students one week prior to the start of the semester in order to plan for their unique situations. The Classlist mailing list is a great method of communicating before the semester begins. This way, we will provide students with the most up-to-date information during this fluid situation or time.

How do faculty run and manage NAUFlex without assistance from TAs or class aides?

Instructors should become familiar with NAUFlex technology and teaching methods before the semester begins; practice is recommended. Planning is key to that technology does not get in the way of good teaching; for example, it may be best not to switch between different devices (e.g., the webcam and document cam) many times throughout a class period. Consider disabling the chat function in Collaborate or Zoom during your lecture so that you are not distracted; then re-enable it for Q&A and discussion later in the class period. Unless complex and dynamic activities are happening in class, requiring something like a camera crew, an instructor is capable of managing the technology during lectures themselves.

Can I test Collaborate and Zoom before the semester begins?

There is a Collaborate Test Room and a Zoom Test Room that anyone may use to test and practice their technology at any time. It’s a great way to make sure your microphone, speakers and camera work, and that you know how to access tools like Chat.


Health and safety


What if I, the instructor, cannot teach in person because I am quarantined, am caring for a loved one, or otherwise need to work remotely?

Instructors should work with their academic leadership and Disability Resources to establish if and what an accommodation is needed. Instructors could teach from home or elsewhere if they have the proper equipment and a strong, reliable Internet connection.

ITS is assembling several “To-Go Kits” that may be borrowed for teaching remotely. The kits will include a webcam, document camera, USB hub, and for those who do not have a computer at home, a laptop/tablet. For these situations, students may attend remotely at home or from the scheduled classroom synchronously, or view recordings of the lectures later. Distribution of To-Go Kits will be prioritized for those instructors who have an accommodation.


Technology


Are there plans to upgrade technology in the classrooms to prep for NAUFlex?

Yes. ITS is working to bring NAUFlex technical functionality to all mediated classrooms. This project is focused on the implementation of simple, ready-to-teach solutions to enable faculty and student participation in a NAUFlex environment, while limiting additional training and technical barriers as much as possible.

ITS-mediated classrooms will receive simple yet high-quality webcams and microphones to enable video conferencing, allowing for instruction to be consumed from any location synchronously. Additionally, some document cameras will be wired to classroom PCs to allow for traditional whiteboarding practices to be transmitted to remote audiences more effectively, and interactive displays will be installed on lecterns to allow for digital annotation.

Do we all have to use the same software or platforms to teach utilizing NAUFlex?

Not necessarily. Classes can be streamed online and recorded using Collaborate Ultra, Zoom, or even Microsoft Teams. But Collaborate Ultra is generally recommended since it is integrated into Bb Learn, limiting attendance to those enrolled in the course.

If we will be using a camera to stream and record our lectures, does that mean we won’t be able to move around the classroom?

Not necessarily. You may choose to share content such as a PowerPoint presentation, utilizing a document camera, or through a computer application. However, while you are using the webcam in your classroom to display video, you should try to stay at the lectern and within view of the camera.

Are we going to expect that all students will now have and use devices in the classroom?

Ideally, students will not need a device while in the classroom, except for testing or similar activities. Students in the classroom will interact with their instructor like they normally would and should be able to interact with online students via the technology in the classroom.

Are recordings going to be made of every lecture and where are they stored?

Collaborate Ultra, Zoom and Microsoft Teams all provide the option to record. Collaborate and Teams record to the cloud, while Zoom offers the option to record to the cloud or one’s computer. Zoom sessions may be set to record automatically, while Collaborate recordings must be launched from within the session. If the recording does not work, the instructor may want to record the lecture again using Kaltura Capture or other software, and make that recording available through the Bb Learn course shell.

What accommodations are being made for students with low bandwidth connections or older equipment?

NAU has expanded and strengthened WiFi offerings throughout the state; see nau.edu/access for available connection points and additional information. Students may also wish to use computers at Cline Library, an NAU computer lab or other options.

Instructors should try to make as much course content as possible available asynchronously through the BbLearn shell, such as: recorded lectures, discussion boards and other tools that can help engage students who may have trouble participating in synchronous online course activities. This makes the experience more resilient to technology problems.

Are faculty members able to record and share NAUFlex sessions across sections or elsewhere?

No. Due to FERPA requirements, no videos may be recorded and distributed unless there is no personal or identifying student information whatsoever present.


Attendance


How can we track attendance in a NAUFlex class?

Bb Learn has an attendance tool and Collaborate Ultra has integrated attendance tracking. One can also use statistics tracking in Bb Learn to track whether students have viewed specific content. Otherwise, instructors may record who attends in Zoom or Teams.

Can I record attendance in Bb Learn and Collaborate?

Yes,  Bb Learn has an Attendance Tool that allows you to easily record attendance and assign grades. You may even set up Collaborate to Record Attendance in Collaborate sessions and report it to the same tool. See the linked guides for complete instructions.



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