Preparing for online classes at the University of Tokyo (for faculty members)

Table of Contents

Introduction

To all new faculty members of the University of Tokyo,

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our university has introduced online classes since the 2020 academic year. In this 2021 academic year, we will begin hybrid educational activities and incorporate face-to-face classes as much as possible after taking sufficient infection prevention measures.

We received positive feedback from students last year in a survey regarding their online learning experiences, owing to the effort spared on lesson delivery and other considerations. It is reported that certain features and educational effects, in which face-to-face instruction lacks, are realized in online classes. We will continue to strive for excellence in online teaching in the academic year 2021/22.

In this portal, we have made appropriate preparations to realize better online classes and to utilize our past experiences to achieve higher educational effect, making full use of the feedback, requests and ideas from students and faculty members of the University of Tokyo.

Regarding online classes, we have selected the Good Practices for 2020 and are sharing them among faculty members on this site. Please refer to this site for information on how to create effective online classes. We hope that you will find the information useful and meaningful to your educational activities. To help students achieve their academic goals and live a fulfilling life through teaching and learning activities, your understanding and cooperation is mostly appreciated.

Director and Vice President (Education and Information Systems)
Tatsuya OKUBO

Three main types of online classes

In this section, we will introduce the three main types of online classes, compare them with traditional classes, explore their respective characteristics, and explain the requirements for online classes (media classes).

Conventional class and main types of online classes

While conventional classes are conducted face-to-face in real time, online classes can be categorized into three main types: face-to-face and online in real time (synchronous hybrid type), online only in real time (synchronous online type), and online learning at the student’s own pace (on-demand type) (asynchronous online type).

For online classes in our university, about 80% are synchronous online, which makes itself the major type. The characteristics of the captioned three types vary from one to another, and below is an explanation of each.

Real-time (online) type (synchronous online type)

Real-time (face-to-face + online) type (synchronous hybrid type)

Demand type (asynchronous online type)

Precondition

List of information systems

The following is a list of information systems operated and contracted by the University of Tokyo that are necessary for online classes, including learning management systems (systems for distributing class materials and collecting assignments), web conference systems, and cloud services. These systems have functions suitable for classroom use, such as the ability to hold meetings and share files only with University of Tokyo accounts, and students are accustomed to using these systems, so we recommend that you use these systems for your classes. The procedures for preparing an account are explained in detail in this document.

Guideline

This section is coming soon.

Others

Need Help

If you have any questions on online classes, problems encountered, or how to use the information system, please contact the support desk. There are three ways to contact us: chat, Zoom, and email form. Our student staff “Common Supporters” and faculty members work together to provide prompt support.

Required procedures to use the information system

We will start by explaining essential tasks that must be accomplished in order to use information systems, such as creating an account. If you have any problems with the procedure, please consult the support desk.

Other procedures to use the information systems

Next, we will explain the procedures for checking and working with the various information systems in more detail, such as signing in to each system and accessing the page linked with Todai accounts. If you have any problems during the procedure, please consult the support desk.

UTokyo Account

This is an account called “common ID” used in the University of Tokyo’s information systems. You will use this account to log in to each system.

UTAS

This is the system used to register syllabi, grades, etc.

ITC-LMS

This is a system for distributing class materials and collecting assignments (learning management system), similar to UTAS, but UTAS is mainly used before (syllabus registration) and after (grade registration) classes start, while ITC-LMS is mainly used during classes.

Please refer to the ITC-LMS page on this site for detailed instructions.

Zoom

A web conferencing system used in most of the “simultaneous interactive” online classes.

For more information on how to use Zoom, please refer to the Zoom page on this site.

Webex

This is a web conference system to be used for “simultaneous interactive” online classes. You only need to do this if you use it.

For more information on how to use Webex, please refer to the Webex page on this site.

ECCS Cloud Email (G Suite)

This is a Google system (G Suite for Education) that can be used with a Todai account. It includes Gmail, which allows you to use your Todai email address (xxxx@g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp); Google Drive, a file storage service; Google Docs, a document creation service; Google Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet service; Google Forms, a form creation service; YouTube, a video distribution service, and Google Meet, a web conference service. If you create a Todai account, you can set up a sharing setting that allows you to publish only to Todai accounts (limited publication), which is not possible with a regular Google account.

UTokyo Microsoft License (Microsoft 365)

This license allows you to use Microsoft’s systems with a Todai account and download Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel, as well as their web versions, Office Online and OneNote. As with Google, you can set up a sharing setting (limited access) that allows only Todai accounts to access the site.

UTokyo WiFi

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

ECCS terminals

These are computers installed on campus. They provide access to campus-only databases and electronic journals. Faculty and staff are required to complete procedures in advance to use these terminals.

Next Step: For Better Online Classes

This site, “Online Class / Web Conference Portal Site @ The University of Tokyo”, also known as “utelecon”, presents you lots of information on how to use the information systems mentioned in this page and other useful information for online classes.

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

We also run a support desk. If you have any problems with the above procedures, please contact us.