Zoom Security


Controls for Zoom-bombing

We have had recent reports of “Zoom-bombing” during some Zoom sessions at UTC.  Zoom-bombing refers to individuals either showing or saying things that are inappropriate. We wanted to provide you with information to assist you in minimizing this likelihood with preemptive and in session controls to deal with Zoom-bombing.


A fifteen-minute Zoom security webinar has been posted by the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning and the link for this session is:


We are also providing the following information discussed in the webinar for reference below…



The following steps can be taken to mitigate Zoom-bombing threats:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. Public meeting links can be joined by anyone, so do not publish the link on a web page unless it is unavoidable.
    • Set a meeting password
    • Or use the waiting room feature and control admittance of guests
    • Only share links in your password protected Canvas course or via email
  • Manage screensharing options
    • In Zoom, change screensharing option to “Host Only”
  • Mute participants upon entry and decide whether to allow them to unmute themselves
    • Select “Manage Participants”, then “More”. You can mute participants on entry, and deselect “Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves”



If disruptive behavior occurs in your Zoom meeting, here are some suggestions to correct the situation:

  • To stop unwanted screen sharing:
    • Share your own screen. You are the host and you may take screen sharing over from attendees.
  • To stop unwelcomed webcam video or sounds:
    • Select the Manage Participants button in the toolbar.
    • Locate the person’s username (which will also be at the top of their video).
    • To the right of their name, mute their webcam and/or microphone.
  • To remove the person from the meeting:
    • Next to the person you want to remove, click More.
    • From the list that appears, click Remove.
    • For an added layer of comfort, you may consider Locking the meeting so they cannot rejoin.   But doing this would prevent additional participants from entering.
      • Select the Manage Participants button
      • In the Participants window go to the bottom and select More
      • Choose Lock Meeting


This notification is from the UTC Information Security Office.  If you have any questions, email us at security@utc.edu.



Preparing for Summer Classes


For those of you teaching summer classes, the summer syllabus template is available. This template is in an accessible format. A couple of updates have been made to the template since spring semester:

  1. Reference to the current versions of the Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct (January 2020)
  2. Updating of the IT support email address to helpdesk@utc.edu.


It is a best practice to let students know the technology requirements to successfully complete a course, and because we are completely online for summer PT1 and full-terms, it is especially important. Consider the minimum hardware, internet, and software requirements students may need for your course and communicate these requirements to the students early.


Items to think about:

  • Computer or tablet
  • Speakers
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Reliable internet
  • Microsoft office
  • Other specialized software for your course


If your students need equipment for UTC courses, please refer them to IT’s Learning from Home webpage.


If you would like to email students well in advance about technology requirements for your class, you can access their email addresses in Banner. When you log into MyMocsNet, click the Self-Service Banner tab, select the Class Roster and Waitlists link, and click on course name. From there, you can check the boxes for who you want to email (or select all), and click the blue envelope icon.




In Canvas, if you wish to have your summer courses cross-listed (merged), please make a request.

In Canvas, if you need a teaching assistant enrolled in your course (once they complete FERPA training), submit an enrollment request.

If you need equipment to help you teach remotely, please visit IT’s Working from Home webpage.


Tips for Final Exams


It’s getting to be that time when we start preparing for final exams, and this semester’s finals are going to be very different! Here are some suggestions to consider:

1.   Keep to the published final exam schedule but consider giving a longer window of time for students to access the test. Students may not have access to a computer and/or Wi-Fi during the published 2-hour time. For example, consider a several hour time span or even a full day or multiple days. To do this in Canvas, set the “quiz” availability dates/times and due date.

2.   Test settings to consider: Set a time limit for the test. Generally, one minute per question is more than adequate for multiple choice, true/false, etc. For students registered with the DRC who need additional time, remember to set the extra time for those students. You can also:

  • Shuffle the answers to multiple choice/multiple answer test questions (if you have “all of the above” questions, change the wording to “all of the answer choices”).
  • Select that students can view only one question at a time.
  • Make an informed choice about when students can see their quiz responses. To curb cheating, choose to allow students to see their quiz responses (with incorrect responses marked) on a certain date, rather than immediately after they submit the quiz.

3.   To discourage cheating, consider developing a final exam that includes authentic assessment. With authentic assessment, students apply their learning to real-world scenarios. If you choose to include authentic assessment, a rubric can be helpful in grading.

4.   For conventional test questions (multiple choice, true/false, etc.), consider developing question groups so that each student gets a different set of questions. For example, if you are asking a question to identify a part of a diagram, create several questions asking for different diagram components. When you create question groups in Canvas, you can set the test so that it pulls one or more questions randomly per group for each student.

5.   Add a statement at the beginning of the test about the Honor Code. For example, you can add the Honor Code and state that if they continue with the test they are agreeing to adhere to the Honor Code Pledge:

Honor Code Pledge. (a) The University’s Honor Code Pledge states: “As a student of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I pledge that I will not give or receive any unauthorized assistance with academic work or engage in any academic dishonesty in order to gain an academic advantage. I will exert every effort to ensure that the Honor Code is upheld by myself and others, affirming my commitment to a campus-wide climate of honesty and integrity.” (b) By matriculating as a student at the University, a University student indicates his/her affirmation of the Honor Code Pledge, including the obligation to comply with the Honor Code.



Academic Integrity for Online Learning


With our unexpected shift to online instruction, you may be thinking of ways to maintain the academic integrity of your courses. Below we provide some recommendations to assist you through this transition and for future course planning.

Maintaining Academic Integrity

  1. Begin assignments and exams with the Honor Code pledge and/or an acknowledgement that the Honor Code applies.
    • Honor Code Pledge. (a) The University’s Honor Code Pledge states: “As a student of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I pledge that I will not give or receive any unauthorized assistance with academic work or engage in any academic dishonesty in order to gain an academic advantage. I will exert every effort to insure that the Honor Code is upheld by myself and others, affirming my commitment to a campus-wide climate of honesty and integrity.” (b) By matriculating as a student at the University, a University student indicates his/her affirmation of the Honor Code Pledge, including the obligation to comply with the Honor Code.
  2. Be clear and concise in your assignment expectations and instructions. Expect that students may be in contact with each other, unless it is specifically stated and restricted that they should not work together.
  3. Report all suspected academic integrity violations here.


Development of Assessments and Assignments

  1. Use the Canvas plagiarism detection software (Unicheck) for assignments.
  2. Set time limits for exams and quizzes.
  3. Create a Question Group for online quizzes and tests so each student may receive a varied set of questions.
  4. Randomize the question order on quizzes and exams.
  5. Be aware that reusing exams and assignments could result in students engaging in academic dishonesty. Google your name and course to see if there may be an uploaded past exam or assignment on a “study site”.


Additional Resources

Walker Center for Teaching and Learning – Academic Continuity

UTC Office of Student Conduct

International Center for Academic Integrity Blog

UC San Diego Academic Integrity Office, “Moving to Remote Assessments with Integrity”

Steven Martin, Inside Higher Ed, “Shifting Online”


If you have questions about the UTC Honor Code or how to report academic dishonesty, contact the Office of Student Conduct at (423) 425-4301 or conduct@utc.edu. More information can also be found online at www.utc.edu/honorcode.


If you have questions or need additional assistance on how to maintain academic integrity, please contact the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning at (423) 425-4188 or wctl@utc.edu.



COVID-19 Resources for Faculty


We are offering many resources for faculty during the transition to online and distance delivery of courses. If you need assistance you can reach us via email (wctl@utc.edu) or by telephone (423-425-4188).


For immediate help with Zoom or Canvas Studio, please see one of our recorded training sessions:


Canvas Studio


Additional resources:


Upcoming Training Sessions:


Faculty Canvas Tutorials:


Student Canvas Tutorials:


Academic Continuity Details:


Zoom Support and Tutorials:


IT Support for Woking from Home



Navigating the First Day of Classes


No matter how many years we may teach, the chaos of the first day of classes can make us feel like newbies again. And we are all too aware, whether Oscar Wilde said it or not, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” With this in mind, WCTL offers a few thoughts for navigating the first day of classes:


Capture their Imaginations: What questions and puzzles dominate your class? Why did you gravitate to this topic? At the end of the day (or the semester), on what adventures of the mind will your course take your students? Raise questions to get the mental gears churning. Pose a mini case-study from the course to capture their imaginations and get them wondering. Challenge your students to ask questions from day one.


Get to know your group right from the start: If you are tech savvy, a phone app such as Poll Everywhere, Kahoot!, or Quizlet can reveal their starting points and lines of diverging opinion. Or use an anonymous paper survey, reshuffled among the students for the purposes of discussion (without embarrassment). By getting to know what your students think, you can open the door to a more meaningful conversation that will last the entire semester. 


Tour the Terrain: Using the latest UTC Syllabus Template and your Canvas course, point out the vistas and worthwhile climbs that make your class rewarding. All too often, students can get lost in the details right at the start. Think of the first day as your chance to invite them on a journey into a new world of understanding.


These are the things any of us try to do at the start of a semester. A little reminder, though, can help us to focus on what matters. Isn’t the classroom situation that odd space where chaos and uncertainties converge, but over time confidence and insight emerge? Let the games begin by beginning well!


Resources on Approaching Day 1:





If you would like to discuss your class with an instructional developer, please contact the Walker Center at wctl@utc.edu or 425-4188.


Instructional Excellence Conference 2019


Each year in May, the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning hosts their Instructional Excellence Conference. This year’s conference on May 7th-8th featured renowned author and speaker, Dr. Todd Zakrajsek of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The attendance this year was higher than ever before and many of our UTC faculty and guests commented on the helpful teaching strategies they learned from the workshops focused on cognitive load, dynamic lecturing, and active learning. Each year’s audience seems more committed to engaging students and branching out to try new things.


One of our goals in the Walker Center is to help faculty find meaningful professional development throughout the year. By hosting the IE Conference, we have been able to bring in some great speakers, as well as provide a forum for faculty to meet and network with peers and colleagues. This year, we announced the winner of the inaugural Grayson H. Walker Excellence in Teaching Award that went to Tonya Miller of the Department of Interior Architecture and Design. Congratulations, Tonya!


2019 Experiential Learning Celebratory Luncheon

On Friday, March 29 from 11:30-1pm, over 130 community partners and UTC staff and faculty attended the first ever Experiential Learning Celebratory Luncheon in the UC Chattanooga Rooms. The Chancellor, Provost, Experiential Learning Task Force, and many other Experiential Learning partners came together to meet each other, hear Provost Hynd and Chancellor Angle’s remarks about the past, present and future of Experiential Learning at UTC. Linda Bachman, who led University of Georgia through their recent implementation of an Experiential Learning graduation requirement. There was also time for sharing reflections on building experiential learning opportunities for students, as well as areas for growth. Themes that emerged from this discussion are: Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Strategic Internship Placement, Paying students, Scaling EL / Students Workers, Graduate Studies, Faculty and Administrative buy-in, concern for faculty workload, research as Experiential Learning, and consistency and evaluation. If you have any questions or thoughts about any of this, we would enjoy hearing from you, and please do not hesitate to contact me at: bengt-carlson@utc.edu

That’s the Beauty of the Midterm Survey!

Traditionally, faculty receive feedback from students only at the end of the semester, when it is already too late to address their comments or concerns. What if you could get a feel for their experience while there is still time to do something about it?

That’s the beauty of the Midterm Survey!

By adding a short survey to your course midway through the semester, you can find out from students what issues there are that you may not be aware of, and address those concerns in time to help them get more out of the class. The students feel they are being heard, and you get the benefit of tweaking your teaching to make the students more successful in your class.

I have been talking to faculty about adding these surveys through UTC Learn, and have been able to share a sample survey with them that was created by Dr. Jennifer Ellis. She teaches Educational Technology and has been using the surveys for about 6 years. She originally pieced one together from questions she found from other schools, and she has also added a 15 minute chat component that she says takes the feedback to a new level. She is primarily connecting this way with her online students, but you could incorporate the Midterm Survey with any modality of teaching.

I spoke to Dr. Ellis about her use of the surveys and the data she gleans from the comments. She has found that any change to a course could be gauged by using the survey: for example, a change to a new textbook or eText, a new version of the learning management system, or even general changes you have made to a previously taught course.

I asked Dr. Ellis if she feels the students are honest in the surveys and take them seriously. She says that she does and she dedicates quite a bit of time to reviewing the data from the surveys and addressing what they have shared. She has the anonymous surveys, but then she also follows up with a Google Hangout or a Zoom with each student. She finds they are more candid in the anonymous portion, but together these two tools help her gauge if what she is doing is impactful, if the rigor is about right, and if they are putting in enough hours – especially in graduate level courses. For example, she expects them to put in 6-9 hours, and if they mention committing less than that to their coursework, she can let them know that may be a contributor to why they are making lower grades than they should!

AFTER the initial survey she holds a short, online, individual chat with each student. After that initial online meeting, they are more likely to reach out to her on chat again in the future when something isn’t clear. She tells them “don’t spend hours trying to figure it out, get help, ask me.” Before it ends, she invites them to engage her online in the future. After the online chat, Dr. Ellis says the 2nd half of the course tends to go more smoothly.

We talked about the opportunity for specific changes to the course, and I asked her what is the biggest change she has made that came about due to student feedback? Dr. Ellis said, “On the front end, explain the “why”. Explain the reasons for assignments, and link them back to the course outcomes. Their “voices are heard”, especially when she can see trends on certain assignments, if there is one that gets mentioned over and over. If they say they don’t see how it relates to the course learning outcomes, they may need a bigger picture explanation. She might then go back and create a short video instruction, or give more details in the textual instructions, to help them make that connection.

We spoke about the impact the surveys have on student perceptions of her, her teaching, and the course.

She has created a very transparent process. She publishes the results with comments. They can tell she has reviewed the data and spent the time needed to analyze it. This shows her support of their learning, especially the asynchronous online portion: they are allowed to be ‘seen’ and captured during the learning process.

After reading some of her survey data, I told Dr. Ellis I found this student comment fascinating, “Less discussion boards. I rarely, if ever, have gotten anything out of a discussion board in any online course I’ve taken.”

She gave me a great response! “I love all the contradictory comments I get on my Midterm evaluation. Most of the time it all balances out and I have to make minor adjustments.”

I asked her about that comment, how she addressed it, and she said she addressed this by justifying the why and going back to the course learning outcomes.

Also, she said lots of times the comments will be at both extremes: “this was the best tool, this was the worst tool”. She said you can choose to share that kind of data or not, but if you do share it, address it and give your rationale.

The Midterm Survey evaluations offer a more “timely response” than the end of semester, when there’s no chance for more clarification.  This can also help instructors professionally, as when they are looking at tenure it is another data source to help guide your pedagogical decisions.

Faculty, if you would like to try a Midterm Survey with your classes, contact us today at wctl@utc.edu . We’re happy to meet with you and get your started!


Faculty embrace experiential learning and critical reflection in a general education science course

Brad Reynolds and Tom Wilson received a Beyond the Classroom ThinkAchieve grant to fund an experiential learning activity in a general education non-laboratory science course.  During fall 2012, students in Bio/ESC 1100 (Conservation of Biodiversity) were given the option to participate in a hands-on field experience and reflection activity in lieu of taking the final exam in the course.  Instead of just listening to a professor talk about conservation, these student volunteers actually practiced conservation and contributed to a real-life conservation-based research project.  The conservation project, still ongoing, seeks to monitor the impact of upland deforestation on local amphibian populations.

Professor Reynolds and a student recording data The instructors, Brad Reynolds and Tom Wilson, took the student volunteers to a local wetland where the students helped sample and process frogs and salamanders.  Once in the field, students checked pitfall traps for animals and learned how to properly identify, sex, and measure the frogs and salamanders they discovered.  They were likewise taught how to properly record scientific data, before releasing the animals into the wild.

Critical thinking was fostered in the student volunteers through active, experiential learning and critical reflection.  Students were expected to keep reflective journals before, during, and after the experience as a means of documenting the transformation that had taken place within them.  These journals also served as a vehicle through which critical thinking and the challenging of preconceived assumptions was encouraged.  According to Brad Reynolds, “We challenged the students to actively combat the biodiversity crisis by participating in a real-world conservation-based amphibian monitoring project. The end result was that the students developed a greater respect for reptiles and amphibians, and at the same time, had their overall conservation ethics impacted in a positive way through experiential learning and reflection.”


Brad Reynolds is a faculty member in the Biological and Environmental Sciences.  In addition to the Conservation of Biodiversity course, he teaches Introduction to Environmental Science I and II.

Thomas Wilson is also a faculty member in the Biological and Environmental Sciences. He teaches Herpetology, Ecology and Amphibian Conservation.