Preparing for Online Classes at the University of Tokyo (for Faculty Members)

Table of Contents

A briefing session titled “For education, for research, and for administration! A briefing session on online conference tools and cloud tools - and also on the tool you may be curious about” will be held on September 14th at 15:00 (only in Japanese). A recording will be provided after the session. Please refer to this page as well.

Types of Classes and Their Handling

Types of Classes

There are several types of online classes. In this section, we will introduce the four types of classes, including the traditional face-to-face type, and explain the requirements for media classes (online classes).

Please refer to the “Utilizing Online Resources in Teaching (in Japanese)” page for further information such as key points and practical examples for each class type.

Face-To-Face (Complete Face-To-Face)

This is a traditional class type conducted fully face-to-face in a classroom.

Face-To-Face with Synchronous Online Delivery (Hybrid)

In this class type, classes are held face-to-face in the classroom and delivered via a web conferencing system. However, it should be noted that the implementation of hybrid classes will vary depending on the ratio of participants in the classroom to participants online. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider what equipment to use before conducting the class to allow both participants in the classroom and online to speak (please check with your department on the usage of equipment).

The requirement for this type of media class (online class) is that “the class is held simultaneously and interactively.” This requirement can be met using a web conferencing system (e.g., Zoom) or a video streaming system (e.g., YouTube) with a function to accept comments.

Online (Synchronous Online Delivery)

In this class type, the instructor and all students communicate online in real-time. Web conferencing systems such as Zoom are usually used.

The requirement for this type of media class (online class) is that “the class is held simultaneously and interactively.” This requirement can be met using a web conferencing system (e.g., Zoom) or a video streaming system (e.g., YouTube) with a function to accept comments.

On-Demand (Asynchronous Online Delivery)

In this class type, students study materials individually (e.g., videos, and documents) prepared by the instructor. At the University of Tokyo, classes of this type are limited.

Course materials for this class type could be video materials created by the instructor, recordings of classes held real-time using a web conference system, and ready-made video materials such as OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

The requirements for this type of media class (online class) are the following:

Therefore, simply posting course materials does not meet the requirements for this class type. In contrast, it is necessary to prepare web bulletin boards (the “bulletin board” function in ITC-LMS is available at the University of Tokyo) and encourage students to exchange opinions. It is also required to provide assignments and quizzes, ask questions to students, and hold answer and question sessions regarding class content.

Institutional Handling of Classes

Institutionally, classes are categorized into “face-to-face” and “remote” classes. Undergraduate students are only allowed to include up to 60 credits of “remote classes” for graduation requirements. Therefore, the category of a course is a critical matter for students.

Note that online courses in 2020 and 2021 will not be included in the 60 credits due to a special measure.

For details on the institutional handling of each class type, please refer to “対面とオンラインを併用した授業実施形態にかかる取扱いの判断基準等について (Criteria for the Handling of Class Types with Face-to-Face and Online Combined, etc.)” (for faculty members only; in Japanese).

Troubleshooting: Technical Support Desk

If you have any problems or need advice on using information systems, please consult the Technical Support Desk. The Technical Support Desk provides consultation services through three tools: chat, Zoom, and email form. The Technical Support Desk will respond quickly through the collaboration of student staff “Common Supporters” and faculty members.

Getting Started: Initial Setup of the Common ID “UTokyo Account”

“UTokyo Account” is the account used for logging in to UTokyo’s IT systems, such as Zoom and ITC-LMS (which are explained later). Its username is also called “Common ID.”

The following is an explanation of the UTokyo Account’s initial setup procedure. Please read this section carefully, as it is an important procedure necessary for using UTokyo’s systems.

Changing the Initial Password

  1. Receive the “Notification regarding password for the UTokyo Account,” which includes your initial password, from your faculty, and graduate school. Faculty members who need it for classes should receive the notification, but if not, please contact your department’s office.
  2. Please log in to the UTokyo Account User Menu with the username and password indicated in the notification.
  3. Click “Password Change” on the upper left to change your password. For the safety of your account, please set a strong password.

At this point, you will be able to log in to UTokyo’s systems including UTAS, which is used to input syllabi and grades. (*For information on how to use UTAS, please check with your department’s academic affairs office, or log in to UTAS, then click “Other” in the menu at the top of the screen and download the manual from the “Download Center.”)

Setting up “Multi-Factor Authentication”

To improve the security of UTokyo’s IT systems, the “multi-factor authentication” (MFA) is available for UTokyo Accounts.

The MFA is a security process in which users prove their identity by at least two pieces of evidence. In addition to passwords, users are asked to verify their identity via SMS, authentication applications, and other methods when signing in to their accounts.

MFA setup is not mandatory at this time, but it is recommended for better security of your UTokyo Account. Please follow the setup procedures in the “Using Multi-Factor Authentication for UTokyo Accounts” page.

Using Zoom

Zoom is a simultaneous interactive web conferencing system, and is one of the most frequently used tools in online classes. There are other conferencing systems that perform similar functions, but if there is no particular reason, we recommend you use Zoom as it is a familiar tool for students.

Signing in to Zoom

The University of Tokyo has a license agreement with Zoom, and by signing in and using it, you can hold meetings with a maximum capacity of 300 participants and for a 30-hour duration.

  1. Go to the UTokyo Zoom page (please note that this is a Zoom sign-in page for UTokyo members only, and is not a regular Zoom sign-in page).
  2. A page labeled “UTokyo Zoom” will appear. Click the “Config” button on this page.
    Troubleshooting guide: When you cannot see the page that says "UTokyo Zoom" after clicking on the link above. This happens when you are already signed in to Zoom with your existing account. Click the icon in the top right corner of the Zoom settings page and click “SIGN OUT." Then, return to the first step and access the UTokyo Zoom page again. If the issue is still not resolved, please consult the Technical Support Desk.
  3. Unless you have already signed in to your UTokyo Account, the sign-in page will be displayed. Please sign in.
  4. If you see “Licensed” with your Common ID after clicking the icon in the top right corner of the Zoom settings page (a human silhouette or a profile picture that you have set up), you have successfully signed into Zoom with your UTokyo account.

The app has a different sign-in procedure than that of the browser. Please refer to the Zoom sign-in procedure page for more information (please note that you cannot sign in with more than one PCs/tablets/smartphones at the same time; however, you can sign in with one PC, one tablet, and one smartphone simultaneously).

Creating a Meeting Room

Below are the steps for setting up a Zoom meeting room.

  1. Sign in to Zoom, and click “Schedule a Meeting” in the top right corner.
  2. The meeting setup page will appear.
    • Enter the name (title) of the meeting room in the “Topic” field.
    • Enter the date, time, and duration of the meeting. If you check the “Recurring meeting” checkbox, you can hold classes multiple times in one meeting room (without changing the URL).
    • Please be cautious of enabling “Require authentication to join” to restrict access to a meeting room, especially at the beginning of the new semester, because some students have not set up their UTokyo account. For more details, please see “Restricting Access to Zoom Meeting Rooms for Online Classes.”
  3. Click “Save.” You will be directed to a page where you can confirm the details of the meeting room you have set up. The meeting room URL will be displayed in the “Invite Link” section. Participants can enter the room using this URL.

Detailed Instructions

For detailed instructions on how to use Zoom, please refer to the Zoom page on this site.

Using the Learning Management System “ITC-LMS”

The University of Tokyo uses the ITC-LMS learning management system. Features of ITC-LMS include distribution of lecture materials, submission of assignments, online examinations, and notification from instructors to students. The ITC-LMS is also used for announcing online class URLs to students. The following explains how to use the ITC-LMS.

Logging in to ITC-LMS

  1. Go to ITC-LMS and click “Login.”
  2. Unless you have already signed in, the UTokyo Account sign-in page will be displayed. Please sign in.

Opening the Course Page

When you log in to the ITC-LMS, the “Course Schedule” timetable screen will be displayed. The courses you will teach should already be displayed. By clicking on each course, you will be taken to the individual course page, where you can perform the following operations.

Troubleshooting guide: When your courses are not displayed

Announcing Online Class URL

The basic rule for announcing the online class URL to students is to use the “Online course information” section at the top of the ITC-LMS course page. The editing screen will open when you click the edit button (pencil icon) on the right of the “Online course information” section. On this page, you can enter all the information.

After you have finished entering information, click the “Proceed to Confirmation Screen” button at the bottom, then click “Register” to submit your information.

For further details on announcing the online class URL, please see the “How to Announce Online Class URL (for Faculty Members)” page.

Using ITC-LMS’s Functions

The ITC-LMS functions are listed below. For more details on how to use each function, please see the manual, which can be downloaded from the “Manual” button in the upper right corner after logging in.

The ITC-LMS functions are similar to other ICT class support tools, but noteworthy is that the system is linked to UTokyo Account and the UTAS for course registration, which makes it quite easy to pass information to “only students of UTokyo” or to “only students enrolled in the course.” Furthermore, because ITC-LMS is popular among students, it is highly recommended that it be used for distributing lecture materials and collecting/returning assignments.

Using UTokyo’s IT Systems

In addition to the systems described above, the University of Tokyo subscribes to and operates various information systems that can be used for classes, education, and research.

ECCS Cloud Email (Google Workspace)

This is an account for using Google’s services (Google Workspace) as a UTokyo member.

With this account, you can use various services including Gmail, which allows you to use your UTokyo email address (xxxx@g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp) Google Drive (an online storage service), Google Docs (a document creation service), Google Sheets (a spreadsheet service), Google Forms (a form creation service), YouTube, (a video streaming service), and Google Meet (a web conferencing service). It also allows you to restrict sharing with UTokyo members only (limited access), which is a feature not available to regular Google accounts.

For further details on how to use this feature, please see the “ECCS Cloud Email (Google Workspace)” page.

UTokyo Microsoft License (Microsoft 365)

The University of Tokyo provides access to Microsoft’s services through a university account and offers downloads of Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel. Other available services include the Web version of Office, OneDrive (an online storage service), and Microsoft Forms (a form creation service).

For further details on how to use this feature, please see the “UTokyo Microsoft License (Microsoft 365)” page.

UTokyo WiFi

This is a campus-wide Wi-Fi service. It provides access to databases and e-journals that are only available on campus. Please note that you cannot use this service unless you have created an account in advance.

For further details on how to use this feature, please see the “UTokyo WiFi” page.

ECCS Terminals

A programming environment and software for various purposes, such as statistics and 3DCG, are already installed and can be used without going through the installation procedure. Prior approval is required to use the system. Please note that you are required to complete the procedures to use the terminals.

For further details, please see the websites below (below are the main information pages).

Slido

Slido is an interaction app that provides features such as Q&A, live polling, and questionnaires that are useful for interactive communication with participants in classes, conferences, and lectures. Because Slido is linked to Webex, of which UTokyo has a licensing agreement, you can use Slido’s paid functions through your university account.

For further details on how to use this feature, please see the “Slido” page (in Japanese).

EZproxy

The University of Tokyo has contracted this service to provide off-campus access to UTokyo member-only e-journals (available to students as well as faculty and staff).

For further details on usage, please see the “EZproxy” page.

Other Systems

Antivirus Software

Starting April 1, 2022, the Comprehensive Antivirus Software License (UTokyo Antivirus License) (in Japanese) is available for faculty members and students. The University of Tokyo requires “appropriate antivirus measures” for computers in the “Guidelines for Information Ethics and Computer Use”. Please use it if necessary as part of the countermeasures.

UTokyo VPN

Some IT systems at the University of Tokyo (for example, administrative systems) can only be accessed through the university’s internal network. The “UTokyo VPN” is a service that allows users to access these systems from off-campus. For further details on how to use this feature, please see the UTokyo VPN page (in Japanese).

Guidelines for Online Classes

The Tools Usage Guideline for Online Class Since S Semester 2021” is the established guideline for online classes. Please also check your department’s policy on conducting online classes because each department may have its own policy.

Class Supporter System

The University of Tokyo offers a student staff system called “Class Supporter” to assist rehearsal and gathering of information on online classes. The workload of class supporters is less intensive than teaching assistants. Students are recruited from all over the university and matched with faculty members who wish to use the system. For more details, please see the “Class Supporter System page” (in Japanese).

Tips for Online Classes

When conducting online classes, you may have opportunities to share class recordings and to keep track of attendance. Using functions provided by various tools, you can perform these tasks without excessive burden on both the lecturer and student. The following sections describe some of the most common methods.

Sharing Recordings

This section explains how to record and share a class. Recording a class is not only for students who could not attend the class because of equipment/connection issues or illness; it is useful for all students because they can watch it for review or pause it to learn at their own pace.

Taking Attendance

In this section, we will explain how to record student attendance in online classes.

Additionally, because of the nature of online classes, students may not always be listening to the class even if they are connected to the Zoom meeting room, so in addition to taking attendance, it may be a good idea to check the students’ understanding of the class content through reaction papers, quizzes, and other means. (You can use the survey feature of ITC-LMS, Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, and others). Because online classes tend to have more assignments, it is suggested to take students’ workload into consideration and have these reaction papers and quizzes completed during the class time.

How to Use Online Resources

This website, “Online Class / Web Conference Portal Site @ The University of Tokyo,” also known as “utelecon,” provides a variety of useful information for online classes, such as how to use the IT systems mentioned on this page.

In particular, the “Improving Online Classes” page covers the use of various information systems in the classroom, practical examples of online classes, and other resources that will help you take the next step toward online classes.

We also run the Technical Support Desk. If you have any problems with the above procedures, please contact us.