Videoconferencing

Have questions regarding videoconferencing at the University of Manitoba? See below for answers to some frequently asked questions.

General

What video conferencing application should I be using for teaching and learning? 

  • Webex is an approved and supported enterprise solution for video conferencing and synchronous teaching at the University of Manitoba. To access quick guides and support on how to use Webex, please visit: https://centre.cc.umanitoba.ca/webex-support/.
  • Webex offers the following benefits and services for teaching and learning:
    • Fully integrated with UM Learn
    • Secure and reliable
    • Class attendance is automatically generated after each session
    • Instructors can:
      • Establish virtual office hours
      • Record and stream their classes
      • Poll students
      • Easily share content and visual aids
      • Create breakout sessions for students to collaborate and share ideas

I have an extra large business meeting with many attendees. What system should I use?

  • Webex is also available for business meetings and doesn’t have any licensing restrictions. For more information, please contact the IST Service Desk.
  • Microsoft Teams, a supported and approved enterprise productivity tool, is recommended for anyone who has Microsoft O365 enabled. Teams allows for instant chat and can support a meeting with up to 250 attendees. Note: All members in a meeting must be licensed to use Teams.

My internet does not support video calls. I have slower internet, or I have no internet. What should I use? 

  • The University has negotiated a toll-free dial-in number to support audio-only calls with Webex for teaching and learning. This option will appear automatically when students login to a Webex session.

How do I get support or ask additional questions? 

  • For support on how to use Webex for teaching and learning, contact The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning TheCentre@umanitoba.ca
  • For all other support for Webex or Teams, contact the IST Service Desk at servicedesk@umanitoba.ca or (204) 474-8600. 

Please note that IST and The Centre do not have licensing and do not provide support for Zoom.

Copyright

As an instructor, how do I protect my intellectual property (i.e. course materials)?

  • The best way to protect intellectual property online is to ensure that students are made aware that course materials are provided to them for their personal use and private study only, and may not be recorded, copied, or distributed further without prior permission. This may be done by notification in a syllabus, course announcement, or even at the beginning of every streamed or recorded lecture. Some instructors include copyright statements on their course materials such as: 
    • “Lecture slides, course notes, and educational resources are copyright-protected and made available to you for your personal educational use and private study only. Unless stated otherwise, further copying and distribution of these materials is strictly prohibited.”   
    • © (your name here), 2020 (unless otherwise noted).This material has been made available for the personal and private study use of students enrolled in _____________________. Further reproduction or distribution without permission is strictly prohibited.”
  • It is also useful to include a simple copyright statement on each slide of a PowerPoint or page in a handout that reiterates that there is copyright in the material. “Name of Instructor © Year” can be included in the footer of each page or slide as a reminder that the materials are subject to copyright protection.  
  • Copyright statements cannot completely prevent sharing of materials without permission; however, they are helpful in proving copyright ownership for “take down requests” if you find that your course materials have been posted online. 

Can I use copyright exemptions for materials shown during video conferencing?

  • Yes, but: 
    • The purpose of the video conference must be for teaching or educational purposes. Online course delivery will qualify for use of copyright exemptions, but some meetings held via video conference may not.  
    • The UM Copyright Guidelines must continue to be used to assess copyright limitations for sharing materials with students via video conference. The Guidelines apply in essentially the same manner as for in-person classes with written works and images. 
  • Exemptions used in video conferencing are most likely to apply in a secure learning environment like a learning management system such as UM Learn or Entrada (RFHS).    

How can I use audio-visual materials in my video conference? 

  • Embeding or linking to audio-visual materials in the University of Manitoba Library catalogue or publicly online is almost always the best option. Look for official accounts and websites when linking to publicly available online audio-visual materials.   
  • Short clips (up to 10% of the overall material) may be made and shown to students for educational purposes, provided no technological protection measures are broken in the process. Taking a clip of a legally accessed video from your phone to provide to students in a secure online learning environment or via video conference will generally be compliant. 

Can I screen share a film from a streaming service in a video conference?  

  • No. Commercial streaming services and websites (e.g.: Netflix, YouTube) only permit use of the services for personal, non-commercial use. Failure to follow the terms of a streaming service or website can result in cancellation or suspension of your access to the service.  
  • UM Libraries may have online streaming access to a film which students can watch independently through a database like Kanopy.  
  • It may be easiest for students to access films from commercial streaming services through their own personal accounts.  

Do all video conferencing platforms have similar copyright restrictions (can/cannot show copyrighted materials)?

  • Centrally integrated UM platforms, such as Cisco Webex, have been reviewed for copyright, security, privacy, and other concerns, and provide some of the most user-friendly terms for online course delivery. 
  • Video conferencing platforms have individual copyright restrictions on how materials may be shared. These restrictions typically come in the forms of licenses, Terms of Use/Service, Conditions, or EULAs and failure to follow the terms can result in an account being suspended or terminated.  
  • Most video conferencing platforms licensed for educational use (such as Cisco Webex) permit use of copyright materials as permitted by law and the copyright exemptions used in class may continue to be applied in online course delivery. Cisco Webex identifies that if a copyright exemption provides the necessary rights to use materials in an online course, the license is arguably broad enough to permit this.
  • Other, non-supported services have copyright policies that require more stringent permissions and offer a take-down mechanism in the event something has been used or posted without written permission of the owner. Some versions of Zoom expressly prohibits using any copyright-protected content without obtaining prior written consent of the copyright holder.  
  • Commercial platforms may also undertake content monitoring. For example, YouTube will flag material that it believes is copyright infringing, leading to the content being removed and a strike placed against the account. 

I only want students to stream the course content; how can I prevent them from downloading it all? (Corollary: What are students paying for when they sign up for a course? Content? Should they be able to own a copy?) 

  • The Webex platform allows instructors to limit access of recorded materials through streaming only.
  • There is no absolute means of preventing students from recording materials.

If classes are recorded, how long is the recording retained?  

  • If certain Copyright Act exemptions have been used in the recorded class, there will be a mandatory destruction requirement 30 days after students have received their final evaluation in the course, as stated under the Copyright Act.
  • If any audio-visual materials are shown during the class, it is recommended that this portion of the lecture not be recorded.

Privacy & Consent

Do students have the right not to be video/audio recorded during a class?

  • Students are notified during the registration process that classes may be recorded; however, making it mandatory to turn on their video feed is not encouraged. A student may have many reasons for not wanting to use their video feed, including equipment limitations.  
  • Privacy can also be a concern for students as many people, such as roommates and family members, are sharing work and living spaces.
  • Students must be given the ability — without penalty — to opt out of being recorded in class. This can be done with minimal disruption by having a student disable their video and mute their audio transmission. Questions can be asked through the chat function. Students who wish to remain anonymous in a recorded lecture must not be penalized for this choice. If, for example, participation is a required component of the course, students must be given another option to earn participation credit that will not be recorded.

What if a student refuses to turn on their video feed during a class? What if we give grades for participation? 

  • Instructors are encouraged to grade for participation using other methods.

Do I need to get consent from students before recording a synchronous class? 

  • No. Consent is not required; however, students need to be notified. During the course registration process all students are advised that the recording of classes may occur.  
  • If a class is being recorded, students should always be notified at the beginning of every recording as a reminder. A student may then conduct themselves in a way that is comfortable for them in relation to video feed and the chat function.   
  • Some students will have very serious and genuine reasons for not wanting their presence in a particular class or at a particular institution known, observed or recorded. Privacy rights are guided by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). 

Can students refuse to install exam proctoring/browser locks on their personal computers? What recourse do we have? 

  • Students have been notified that online proctoring software programs may be required for their courses. The University will provide information on the software programs used and only approved programs should be used.  
  • Exceptions can be made where students may seek accessibility accommodations through Student Accessibility Services.  

What if a student cites privacy concerns and refuses to turn on their camera for proctoring during an exam? Can they seek an exception? What if they have an accessibility issue? 

  • All students are notified notified that online proctoring software programs may be required for their courses.  
  • Yes, students can seek an exception for required accessibility accommodations through Student Accessibility Services.  

Is video conferencing secure? We share necessary and very confidential information during a meeting. 

  • The UM enterprise solutions Webex and Microsoft Teams have been carefully chosen to ensure the necessary levels of privacy and security. Use an approved UM solution. 
  • All video conferencing solutions use end-to-end encryption which protects meeting data while in transit.
  • To ensure you protect your video conference we recommend the following:
  • Do not share your Audio PIN with anyone.
  • Provide meeting passwords only to users who need them.
  • Never share sensitive information in your meeting until you are certain who is in attendance.
  • Consider your Personal Room URL as a public URL, and unless the site administrator has configured Personal Rooms to only be used by signed-in users, anyone can wait for you in your lobby. Always check the names before you let the attendees into your room.
  • Lock your personal Webex rooms when not in use.
  • If you are recording your sessions, ensure the recording files are secured using the solution for short term sharing. If recordings are to be kept long term, download them to a University managed file share and remove them from the web-based storage offered by the solution.
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