Preparing for Online Classes at the University of Tokyo (for New Students)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Congratulations to all the new students!

In AY2022, we plan to provide education incorporating face-to-face classes as much as possible, while taking sufficient infection prevention measures. On the other hand, the online classes realized as a countermeasure against coronavirus infections have shown educational effects that cannot be obtained in conventional face-to-face lectures. Therefore, the University of Tokyo plans to construct a new educational system and improve its educational activities by actively incorporating online classes into its teaching methods.

This year, we will introduce BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which allows students to bring their own laptops and other devices to the university for study. Recommended specifications will be provided in advance, so please prepare your own laptop computer and other devices for class. The University of Tokyo is continuing to improve the ICT environment on campus, including the installation of a Wi-Fi environment and more power supplies amid the Corona disaster. In addition, we are developing hybrid classes and teaching methods using virtual reality (virtual reality space). With these new initiatives, we intend to further enhance our traditional face-to-face classes and proactively incorporate next-generation educational systems that take advantage of digital transformation (DX). These initiatives are a challenge for the University of Tokyo, and we hope that not only faculty members but also participating students will actively participate in them with the spirit of ushering in a new era.

For an overview of these efforts, the University of Tokyo has set up an online class portal site called utelecon (https://utelecon.adm.u-tokyo.ac.jp/), which you are encouraged to visit frequently. The site also includes a chat window for questions, as well as a function to collect opinions, requests, and ideas from faculty, staff, and students. You will also find a variety of information, including past experiences, ideas, and FAQs. This page will help you get started smoothly with your university activities.

Our faculty and staff are committed to accommodating your wishes so that you can comfortably attend face-to-face classes and campus activities, while placing the highest priority on protecting your health and ensuring that you have the opportunity to study. We will do our best to ensure that you can effectively pursue the studies you desire and lead a fulfilling student life.

Executive Director and Vice President (Education and Information Systems)
OHTA Kunihiro

What type of online classes will be held at the University of Tokyo?

There are various types of online classes, but the “simultaneous interactive” type is mainly adopted at the University of Tokyo for which real time teacher-student interaction is performed with a web conference system application through audio and video exchanges. You can use this system to connect with dozens or hundreds of people in a class. The necessary preparations for using the system are explained in this page.

Apart from the aforementioned type of online classes, there is the “on-demand” type which students watch video recordings of classes, ask questions and discuss the contents via e-mail or chat tools. The “hybrid” type combines online classes with face-to-face instruction. It is noted that classes at the University of Tokyo are not online-only, some face-to-face instruction also remains. Owing to that students might have to take online classes in empty classrooms on campus before or after their face-to-face classes, depending on their timetable constraints.

What You Need to Prepare for Classes

Use of Various Information Systems

You will be using a variety of information systems during your classes at UTokyo. You should set up an account and practice all procedures for using these systems in advance. Below is a list of these systems. The detailed procedures are explained in the subsequent sections:

Network Environment and Electronic Devices

To take online classes, you will need an Internet connection and equipment such as a computer. The following is an explanation of how you will need to prepare.

Class Location Information

To participate in a “simultaneous interactive” online class, you will need to know the URL of the web conference. This information is normally posted in the “Online course information” section of the ITC-LMS introduced above. However, depending on the class, the lecturer may inform you of the URL through other means. Please refer to the “How to Obtain the Online Class URL (for Students)” regarding other ways of obtaining the URL.

When You Need help

If you have any problems, difficulties, or concerns regarding online classes, please consult the Technical Support Desk. Common Supporters (student staff) and faculty members will assist you in solving any problem you may have.

For example, the following questions and consultations are welcome.

Required Procedures to Use the Information Systems

In this section, we will explain the essential tasks that must be completed to use the information systems, such as creating an account. Please ensure to spare enough time to complete these tasks before classes start. If you have any problems with these procedures, please consult the Technical Support Desk.

Please check the “東京大学でオンライン授業を受けるために(新入生向け) 手順動画集 (Preparing for online classes at the University of Tokyo (for new students) Procedure Videos)” page (in Japanese) for videos explaining the below procedures in further detail.

Other Procedures to Use the Information Systems

Next, the procedures for performing more detailed checks and tasks on various information systems, such as logging in to each system and accessing UTokyo member-only pages, will be explained. Please ensure to complete the subsequent procedures before the beginning of the classes so that you are fully prepared. If you have any problems during the procedure, please consult the Technical Support Desk.

Please check the “東京大学でオンライン授業を受けるために(新入生向け) 手順動画集 (Preparing for online classes at the University of Tokyo (for new students) Procedure Videos)” page (in Japanese) for videos explaining the procedures below in further detail.

UTokyo Account

This is the account you will use to log into UTokyo’s ICT systems. The username may also be referred to as “Common ID”.

UTAS

This system is used to browse the syllabus for each class, register courses, and check the grades (academic affairs system).

ITC-LMS

This system is used to download class material and submit assignments (learning management system).

Zoom

A web conference system used in most “simultaneous interactive” classes.

Webex

This is a web conferencing system used for some “simultaneous interactive” classes. The system is rarely used, so you can work on it when you need it. Please refer to Webex page for details.

ECCS Cloud Email (Google Workspace)

This is a UTokyo Google account that allows users to use Google services, such as Gmail, as a UTokyo member. The ECCS Cloud Email can also be used as a UTokyo email address. Since some UTokyo web pages can only be accessed by UTokyo members, you are required to activate your ECCS Cloud Email even if you already own a Google account.

UTokyo Microsoft License (Microsoft 365)

This is a Microsoft license offered to UTokyo Account holders. This license will enable you to download Microsoft Office apps, such as Word and Excel, and use online Microsoft tools for free with the UTokyo Account. Similar to Google Workspace, some UTokyo webpages can only be accessed with a UTokyo Account. Therefore, it is necessary to use your UTokyo Account even if you already own a Microsoft account.

UTokyo WiFi

Wi-Fi services are available on campus. You will require them while taking online classes on campus. Please note that you will not be able to use Wi-Fi services unless you have created an account in advance.

ECCS terminals

ECCS terminals refer to the computers installed on campus. You can use them while taking online classes on campus. You also use them in some face-to-face classes. Please note that you will not be able to use them unless you have passed the “New User Information Seminar” course in advance.

Others

More information

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. If you face a difficulty with any of the steps, please consult the Technical Support Desk.

This concludes the preparation procedures for taking online classes at UTokyo. The site, “Online Class / Web Conference Portal Site @ The University of Tokyo”, nicknamed “utelecon”, contains considerable information on how to use the information systems mentioned on this page. If you have any questions regarding the information systems in your classes, or if you are a member of a club or study group and have opportunities to use web conferencing systems and other information systems on your own, please visit this site to find out more.