Comp 11

Remote Lectures, Labs, Office Hours

This document explains how you as a Comp 11 student can participate in synchronous class sessions, office hours, and weekly labs remotely. You will be using Zoom, a video conferencing tool, combined with a wait-line system built with Google Forms and Sheets.

The rest of this document is divided into four sections: how to use Zoom (including terminology we'll use in the rest of the document), how to join a synchronous class session, how to participate in office hours, and how to participate in your weekly labs.

Table of Contents

Zoom Basics

Joining a Meeting

As a Tufts student, you already have access to a Zoom account! Here's how to use it to join a Zoom Meeting from a computer:

  1. In a web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox), go to https://tufts.zoom.us.
  2. Click the Join button. If this is the first thing you do with Zoom, you may be asked to download a desktop app version; go ahead and do this. Afterwards, you should be brought to a new page or the app itself where you can enter a “Meeting ID” or “Personal Link Name.” It will likely look something like this:

  3. Copy-paste the appropriate code into the box (this will be different depending on what meeting you're trying to join; see below for more info).
  4. Press Enter or click the “Join” button.
  5. Depending on your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux), the next thing you see could either be a webpage asking for permission to open a new window or application (in which case, give it permission) or a Zoom window might pop up directly.
You are now in a Zoom meeting! We will refer to this 5-step process as the “Zoom Login Procedure” for the rest of this document.

Hosting a Zoom Meeting

Before you can host a meeting, you must first set up your account. Here's what you need to do:
  1. In a web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox), go to https://tufts.zoom.us.
  2. Click the Sign In button. If this is the first thing you do with Zoom, you may be asked to download a desktop app version; go ahead and do this. You'll then be brought to a new webpage or the app itself where you will enter your Tufts login and password. If the app opens, and you see this:

    Click Sign in with SSO and then input “Tufts” at the prompt you're brought to. Your Tufts login and password will then get you into the app. If you're taken to a sign-in webpage, just sign in with your Tufts credentials.

  3. You should now see your Zoom account profile page or a main window for the app (depending on if you're on the website or using a desktop program, respectively). In the middle of the page, you will see information about your account, including your “Personal Meeting ID.” Select “Edit” for that field (on the right), check the “Use Personal Meeting ID for instant meetings” box, and click “Save changes.”
Now that your account is set up, you can host a meeting. To do so, follow these steps (you can skip to step three if you're already on your Zoom profile page):
  1. In a web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox), go to https://tufts.zoom.us.
  2. Click the Sign In button. This will bring you to a new page where you will enter your Tufts login and password.
  3. You should now see your Zoom account profile page. In the top-right corner of the page, put your cursor over “Host a meeting,” and select “Video On.”

  4. Give permission to open an application if your browser asks for it.
  5. You should now have a Zoom meeting open up in a new window. If you click the square in the top-left corner (it looks like the letter 'i' in a circle), you will be able to copy a link that will let others join your meeting. You will copy-paste this link to participate in office hours, discussed further below.

Participating in a Meeting

When you join or host a Zoom meeting, you will see a set of controls at the bottom of your Zoom screen. Please go to this Controls Help website and click on your Operating System to see an explanation of all the controls. We will explain which controls to use for certain situations in the sections below; we will use the names given on the Controls Help site in our descriptions, so please refer to that as you use this document.

Synchronous Class Sessions

Weekly class sessions will be held via Zoom on at the scheduled times. Please attend your assigned section, as Zoom limits the number of participants per meeting.

Here is how to participate in your section's class session:

  1. In your web browser, join a Zoom meeting either by following the steps outlined above OR by clicking going to https://tufts.zoom.us/j/97589030134?pwd=aDhqS0wvenV0MVZzNlNFOVNUd2VsZz09. You should be able to joing the meeting as long as you are logged in under your Tufts ID.
  2. You will then find yourself in a Zoom meeting hosted by an instructor. Your microphone will be muted by default (it's standard video conferencing etiquette to only un-mute yourself if you are talking, as any background noise can be extremely distracting to all other participants).
  3. Once you are brought into the Zoom meeting, we suggest clicking on the Chat button of your Zoom window; if you are having any audio or video issues, the professor will talk to you through this Chat window.

Office Hours

TA Office Hours

Office hours will require students and TAs to both use Zoom and a wait-list built with Google Sheets. This section describes the general logistics of an office hours session from a student's point of view; before participating in office hours, you must read our TA Office Hours Policy so you understand what's expected of you and why.

  1. First, check the Office Hour Schedule to make sure a TA is on duty.
  2. In your web browser, start a Zoom meeting following the steps outlined above. This is how you will communicate with a TA and share your screen so they can see your code and terminal. Make sure you enable Zoom's Waiting Room functionality so you don't get Zoom-bombed! Instructions for enabling your Waiting Room can be found at this link (scroll to the bottom section titled “Using Waiting Room”).
  3. To add yourself to the office hours queue, fill out the Google Form at this link. When providing your meeting URL, make sure that you copy-paste your Zoom link; do not try to type it out yourself: if you make a mistake a TA will not be able to help you and you will lose your place in the queue.
  4. After filling out the form you will see a message confirming that you're on the queue. Keep this tab open, as it contains both a link to view the status of the queue and a link to “Edit your response.” You should check the former link to make sure you're actually on the queue, and you will use the latter link to remove yourself from the queue if you no longer need help (instructions are provided in the confirmation message).
  5. When a TA is ready to help you, they will join your meeting by using the Zoom link you provided in the Form. It is your responsibility to ensure that your Zoom link is valid to avoid being skipped! See the TA Office Hours Policy for more information.
  6. You and the TA are now in a private Zoom session. You can share your screen with the TA (so they can see your code) by clicking the “Share” button in the middle of your Zoom controls. You can select to either share your whole desktop or an individual window that's open in your screen.
  7. With your permission, the TA might ask for “remote control” of the screen you're sharing. If you grant permission, the TA will be able to manipulate anything on your screen, e.g., type in your terminal or in Atom, open/move/close new windows, etc. We strongly advise granting a TA access if they request it (this is like letting a TA use your laptop to show you something or run a few commands quickly during in-person office hours).
  8. When the TA needs to move on, they will leave your meeting. You are free to end the meeting yourself or keep it going if you think you will want to get back on the queue soon.

Professor Office Hours

Here is how to participate in a professor's office hours session: https://tufts.zoom.us/my/mark.sheldon
  1. In your web browser, join a Zoom meeting following the steps outlined in above. The professors' Zoom rooms are listed on the course administration page and on Piazza.
  2. You will then find yourself in a Zoom “waiting room.” If there are no other students currently in the professor's office hours, the professor will let you into the meeting.
  3. If there is already a student in the professor's meeting (their “office”), you will stay in the waiting room until it's your turn. If there were other students in the waiting room before you, you will be placed on a queue managed by the professor. Just hang out in the waiting room until you are brought into the meeting!
  4. Once you are brought into the professor's Zoom meeting, you can chat with the professor, work on a shared whiteboard, or share your screen (the professor will help you figure these things out if you're stuck). We suggest clicking on the “Chat” button of your zoom when you first join the meeting; if there are any audio or video issues, the professor will talk to you through this Chat window.

Labs

Here are the steps to attend your weekly lab session:
  1. In your web browser, join a Zoom meeting following the steps outlined above. In Step 3 of the procedure, use the code that your lab leader has provided on Piazza for your section.
  2. You will now be in a Zoom meeting hosted by your lab leader. Your microphone will be muted by default (it's standard video conferencing etiquette to only un-mute yourself if you are talking, as any background noise can be extremely distracting to all other participants).

You are now in the Zoom meeting that will act as your on-line lab. You should be able to see and hear the TAs when they speak, and see the other students in the same meeting (either as a video or just their name in a window). The TAs will pair you off with a partner to work on the lab together in a Zoom Breakout Room, so you can collaborate and reinforce each other's learning.

Please keep your camera on, as it makes the experience feel like the community we would have in person!

Mark A. Sheldon (msheldon@cs.tufts.edu)
Last Modified 2021-Feb-01