Teaching on Zoom: The Real Version

Updated: Apr 16

Anja Franck, Joseph Trawicki Anderson, and Richard Georgi | 13 April 2020

All photos courtesy of the authors.

“We need to move to online teaching,” they said.


“Okay,” we said.


“It’s super easy,” they said. “Just record the lectures on zoom.”


“How hard can it be?” we wondered. “There are three of us and together we have about six million higher education credits.


“Hey,” we continued, “let’s even do it a bit fancy and record it live in a lecture hall.”

Well, the following is what actually unfolded.

10:00

Joe and Richard meet at the department to record lectures.

Anja is not feeling well so she will join via Zoom from home.

10:30

“Okay, we figured out the logistics. We’ll call you from a lecture hall and do the recording there.”

11:00

“Does it work now?”

“Anja, can you see the PowerPoint on your screen?”

“Not really; it’s blurred.”

11:30

“Does it work now?”

“Anja, can you see the PowerPoint on your screen?”

“Not really; it’s blurred.”

11:45

“Can you see it now?”

“Not really; it’s still blurred.”

“What about switching to a different computer?”

12:00

“Okay, it works.”

“Let’s start the lecture.”

Press record.

12:05

Still recording.

12:12

“Wait! The webcam keeps auto zooming.”

“Can’t see anything in white on the screen.”

Pause the recording.

12:16

“What’s happening?”

“There’s no image.”


12:17

“Oh, the image is back.”


12:20

“Let’s move to another lecture hall. It’s probably the projector in this room that’s the problem. We’ll call you when we’re there.”

12:24

“Does it work now?”

“Anja, can you see the image?”

“No, not really. Anything in white is still blurred.”

12:27

“Let’s try to build a stand out of these chairs. Maybe that will help the image?”


12:30

“Oh shit! That isn’t really stable…”

“Wait, Anja, the computer fell on the ground! Hold on. We’ll call you back!”


12:42

“Anja?”

“Yes.”

“Is it better now?”

“Not really…”


12:49

“What if we change all the white boxes into red text. Does that work?”

“Well… It’s still not really clear…”


13:04

“What if we change to the iPad?”

“Nope.”


13:06

“Now!! It’s working!”

“Wait! Noooo! Why has the projector stopped working?”


13:20

“The connection was broken. We’ll call you via Skype on Joe’s phone.”

13:22

“Richard is trying to fix the thing. We’ll call you back on Zoom.”


13:25

“Why is Zoom not connecting…?”

13:26

“Hmmm… what if we try and do it like this…?”


13:27

“Anja, stop laughing at us.”


13:30

“WTF is happening now?!”


13:35

“It’s recording!!!”

14:29

“It’s done! We survived! Or did we?”


Stay safe out there!

Keywords: #onlineteaching #zoom #coronaintheuniversity #fail

Anja Franck, Richard Georgi, and Joseph Trawicki Anderson do research and teach in the School of Global Studies. Together they coordinate the Masters course Global Migration and Security.

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