Live Streaming FAQ's

This FAQ has been compiled to support colleagues involved in teaching with Live Streaming from teaching spaces. You can find out many more answers to your questions by visiting: Digital Education Systems for Live Streaming from teaching spaces.

The term Virtual Classroom is used throughout this page; the University currently uses three Virtual Classroom platforms: Microsoft Teams, Collaborate Ultra, and Zoom.

Live Streaming FAQ's

Where can I find a list of all the rooms that have Live Streaming functionality?

Which Virtual Classroom can I use in these rooms?

All 90 rooms have been equipped with the relevant technology to support Live Streaming across all three Virtual Classrooms. Microsoft Teams and Zoom desktop applications are installed on the lectern PCs to make it easier for you to start your online session when you are in-room. You will need to access Collaborate Ultra through your Minerva module.

A comparison grid outlining the capabilities of all these platforms is available to download:

Virtual Classroom Comparison for Live Streaming

Support for cohorts based in China
If you have staff or students based in China who need to access your live stream you should avoid Collaborate Ultra as this currently inaccessible to users from China.

How can I find out about the equipment in the room before I teach?

To see a detailed list of the technical equipment, the lecture capture category and photos of any central teaching space visit Room Information.

How many screens will there be in the room?

The majority of rooms will only have one projected screen at the front of the room and a lectern PC. A very limited number will have a second monitor.

Why do I need to bring my own device to log in to specific University of Leeds systems?

To log into Minerva, or your chosen virtual classroom on a PC in a central teaching space you should have you own device (mobile phone, tablet, iPad/laptop) with the Duo Mobile App installed so that you can complete the two factor authentication. Visit Duo two factor authentication – FAQs.

Audio and Video

What will my students online see and hear?

Your online students will see whatever you share with them in the Virtual Classroom of your choice.

You will need to make sure your online students and in-room students are seeing the same content. Two of the more simpler ways to share content are to either:

1. Share the camera and microphone feed from the room allowing your online students to see what the camera is positioned to capture (as a minimum, the lectern and the projected screen at the front), and hear the audio recorded from the room.

2. Share your PC desktop with your online students at the start of the session and run the whole class with your desktop content being shared with your online and in-room students – this requires the least interaction but does mean you will need to be careful that no personal data is visible as you move around your Virtual Classroom/desktop.

Can I bring my own laptop in?

Yes, you can. Two of the most common scenarios are:

1) If you want to share content from your own laptop, connect it to the University’s wi-fi network and join the Virtual Classroom session from your laptop. You will need to connect your laptop to the in-room system, (there is usually a HDMI wire on the lectern to enable you to connect external devices) so that you can share content from your laptop onto the presentation screen at the front of the room.

2) You want the option to join the Virtual Classroom on a second device. The first device would be the lectern PC – start the meeting on this as normal, you can then join the meeting on a second device. In Microsoft Teams for example, when you join a meeting from a second device, you are given the option to Add this device or Transfer to this device. You would choose Add this device, this would then allow you to keep your microphone and camera on and present content from your laptop.


If you join the Virtual Classroom on a second device, and a separate account, you will need to turn the microphone and speakers off on your second device to avoid audio feedback (echoes) in the room.

Can I bring my own device to log in to the Virtual Classroom so I can monitor online activity.

This could be helpful if you wish to monitor any online activity such as chat but bear in mind that in-room students may not have access to this if they are not connected to the online Virtual Classroom. If you are monitoring the Q&A or chat online using your own device be mindful to relay any questions or comments to in-room students.

Do I need to use a microphone in the smaller seminar rooms?

It is essential you use the microphone provided in the room. If you do not use the microphones online students may not hear you and the audio quality of the lecture capture recording will be compromised. Most rooms will have a lapel microphone enabling you to move around the room. The lectern may also have in-built microphones but audio quality will decrease if you move too far away from the lectern.

How will I know if my online students can hear me? What can I do if they cannot hear?

We advise you to always do a quick audio check with your in-room students and online students at the start of your session. Adjust the volume on the in-room microphone or by using the control panel on the lectern. Ensure you are not muted in the Virtual Classroom. You could use emoticons in the chat (if enabled) or a quick poll to get responses from your online learners in relation to the quality of the audio.

If you continue to experience audio issues in the room, please contact the Estates and Facilities Help Desk on 0113 343 5555.

If any of your online students are unable to connect synchronously due to technical difficulties, and you are recording the session, remind them that they catch up asynchronously when the recording is published.

Do I have to record my teaching activity?

It is not a requirement of live streaming to record your teaching – however this can help support online students who may have connectivity issues as they will have a recording which will enable them to catch up asynchronously, helping to alleviate their stress should such a situation occur.

What will be recorded by the lecture capture system if I use it to record my teaching?

The addition of live streaming functionality in the room has not affected what is captured by the lecture capture system.

All live streaming rooms are a minimum category of silver. This means all rooms are equipped with the option to use audio, video (of the lecturer) and projected screen and all can be lecture captured.

Should I record these sessions using lecture capture or record the online meeting or do both?

It is recommended that you use Lecture Capture to record your live streaming sessions. The audio and video quality has been optimised to ensure a good playback experience for students. Scheduled teaching sessions will automatically be recorded and uploaded to Mediasite and shared with students on the module within Minerva within 72 hours (3 working days). Any other sessions can be recorded on an ad-hoc basis using Record Now.

Will video of my students be included in the lecture capture recording?

Students should not be mandated to use their video in online environments. Remember that if online students choose to display their video and you are sharing this to the projected screen, to in-room students, this may be lecture captured. Prior consent is needed to record students.

See Audio Visual Recording Policy: Guidance for Staff 

Interactivity

Can I annotate on my presentation slides in rooms with interactive screens?

Yes, in rooms that have interactive screens you can annotate presentation slides and this will be captured if you share this desktop in your Virtual Classroom session.

How do I take questions from my online learners?

If you want to give your online students the opportunity to ask questions there are a number of ways to achieve this. You could use the meeting chat, a Padlet to avoid the distraction of the chat, or a collaborative document.

If you decide to use the meeting chat, this will be difficult for you to monitor throughout. Set aside time to take questions in-room and via the chat for a few minutes (like you would in a traditional lecture), and make it clear to your students that it will be unmonitored by you the rest of the time.

A Padlet or collaborative document gives an equitable experience to both your in-room and online students as you can ask both groups of students to use it to ask questions. Both groups of students will see what questions have been asked, and you will avoid the need to enable chat that will be unmonitored. Remember to ensure you plan in time to take questions. If you’ve not used Padlet before, see Using Padlet for questions and discussions.

Should I encourage in-room learners to log on to the Virtual Classroom?

Think carefully about this, asking your in-room students to join the Virtual Classroom has the potential to introduce conversations around technical issues and connectivity into the in-room experience that will then need resolving before you can continue.

Any in-room students accessing the Virtual Classroom on their own device must mute themselves and turn off all sound. If you find there is audio feedback (echoes) in the room or coming through the speakers in the room ask all in-room students to check their devices.

Can I use a whiteboard?

In rooms where there is a physical whiteboard and presentation screen, if you use the whiteboard, the camera is positioned to capture both the screen and the whiteboard. If you share the camera feed with your online students this is what they will be able to see.

If there is a digital whiteboard in the teaching room you are using, you would need to log in to the Virtual Classroom meeting from this device to be able to share the content with your online students which can complicate set-up.

For this reason, you may find it easier to use the digital whiteboard in the Virtual Classroom of your choice. Some rooms have an interactive screen which are useful for digital whiteboarding – share your virtual classroom digital whiteboard on the in-room presentation screen so that your in-room and online students can see it simultaneously. Not all rooms have an interactive screen, so you should check the room equipment to see if one is installed if you need to whiteboard.

Training and Support

Is training provided?

OD&PL are offering two different training sessions:

Short one-to-one sessions for academic colleagues who wish to visit a Live Streaming room to explore the technology and ask questions from Facilities support staff. These will be delivered on campus. These will be available in the first two weeks of September. See, Live Streaming sessions

Longer 45-minute sessions will be available to teaching staff who wish to experiment with the technology in the room but also connect with online colleagues in their school or faculty using a Virtual Classroom of their choice. Participants will need to schedule an online meeting with their colleagues in advance. This will then allow colleagues connecting remotely to experience Live Streaming from a student perspective. See, Live Streaming sessions

I'm thinking about using Live Streaming and have some questions, who can help?

For questions about room equipment and setting up in the room please contact the Estates and Facilities Help Desk on 0113 343 5555.

For questions relating to the Digital Education Systems you may want to use for live streaming (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Padlet), please contact the Leeds IT Service Desk and your query will be dealt with by the relevant team.

For pedagogical advice, please visit:

What technical support is available in the Live Streaming rooms?

If you encounter a technical issue during the set-up of your teaching session contact the Estates and Facilities Help Desk on 0113 343 5555.

What happens if my online students have technical difficulties?

Students are advised to troubleshoot their technical issues by searching online. The following sites provide comprehensive guidance:

If they are unable to resolve the technical issues they can request support from the the Leeds IT Service Desk.