Online class guidance

Modified:2021-04-04

Due to the epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, many classes will be given remotely at the University of Tsukuba instead of in the classroom. This page explains the procedure for taking online classes for students. The first half explains the preparations for those who are new to the information environment at the University of Tsukuba, and the second half explains how to take distance classes for everyone including current students.

Roadmap to online classes

1. Preparation

In the following, we will explain the preparation for taking online classes for newly enrolled students.

Glossary
  • ICT Guide ( Japanese / English )
    A survival guide for the university’s information environment. The following explanation will also be given with reference to the ICT Guide pages. Follow “(E)” links for English pages.
  • Unified authentication system
    A system that manages so that login names and passwords that are common to many systems can be used. The ones with “(Unified authentication)” below are used with this common login name and password.
  • Office 365 email (@s address)
    Email address assigned to all students. Important contacts come here. Be sure to read it. (Unified authentication)
  • Zengaku Computer System
    A personal computer (PC) terminal and server installed in the satellite terminal room on campus that can be used by students. (Unified authentication)
  • TWINS
    System for registering to attend classes and referring to grades. (Unified authentication)
  • KdB
    subject database. You can search for information on all classes in the school / graduate school. (No login required)
  • manaba
    A learning management system that allows you to see the course page for each registered course and is used for distributing teaching materials, contacting about courses, and submitting assignments. (Unified authentication)
  • Office 365 EES advantages
    Various services provided by Microsoft that can be used by students at our university. Not covered in the ICT guide. It includes Teams, which is groupware used in online classes, and Stream, which is a video distribution service. It is used by using Office 365 EES advantages authentication that is different from the unified authentication.
Terminal

In order to take online classes, terminals such as personal computers (PCs), tablets and smartphones are required.

The following is reference information for those who will acquire the device as of April 2020. However, even if all the requirements are met, we cannot guarantee that there will be no hindrance to attending online classes, so please understand and refer to them.

If you are going to buy a PC now, we recommend a notebook PC with a 13-inch display, which makes it easy to carry between your home and university and makes it easy to browse video classes and create documents. Considering the possibility of participating in online classes and seminars that are held in real time (rather than recording), it is advisable to have a microphone and a camera. If you cannot attend or view remote lectures alone in a quiet place, having a headset (with earphone and microphone functions) should be a good idea. The wireless LAN function is indispensable for using it  on campus as students are allowed to connect their PCs. Please select the wired LAN function according to your home environment. Since there are many choices of software, it is recommended to use Microsoft’s Windows 10 or Apple’s macOS (Students can purchase Apple products at discounted prices from “Apple on Campus” site).  8GB or more memory is strongly recommended. CPU (Central Processing Unit) specs cannot be said unequivocally, but as a guide, choose an intermediate or higher level (Intel Core i5 or higher) CPU. You do not need to buy a PC with Microsoft Office or an antivirus software pre-installed, as Univ. Tsukuba students are licensed to use them without any additional fee.

Communication line

It is recommended to have a fixed line internet connection to your home or apartment. When taking an online class, it is necessary to download data and watch a bulky video, so a line with no communication restrictions is recommended. Please be aware that there is a possibility that the maximum number of packets may be reached in contracts such as mobile phones that have an upper limit of communication volume.

 

1.1 Unified authentication

The unified authentication system is responsible for “authentication” (work to confirm that the user is who he / she is and to use the system) so that you can use many important systems on campus. It is very important to manage the unified authentication ID (login name) and password correctly in order to protect personal information such as e-mail, class attendance and grades. Follow the steps below to understand Unified Authentication and change the initial password given at the time of enrollment to a password that you can remember.

Try
  1. Please read and understand ” 4.1 Unified Authentication System ” (E) of the ICT Guide carefully.
  2. Please access https://account.tsukuba.ac.jp/index-e.html and change your password from the initial password distributed at the time of admission to something you can remember. The password can be set to a maximum length of 16 characters, so select a password that is at least 8 characters and difficult for others to guess.
Check item
  • What is your UTID-NAME? What is UTID-13?

 

Now you can use various systems on campus with UTID-NAME or UTID-13 and the password you set.

1.2 Office 365 email (@s address)

Office 365 Email (@s address) is an email account assigned to all students. Whenever there is a message from the university, it will be sent to this address, so it is important to always check. Especially, those who have a habit of using only LINE and other SNS should be careful.

Try
  1. Read ” 9. How to Use Office 365 Email ” (E) in the ICT Guide .
  2. Sign in to Office 365 email from https://cloudmail.u.tsukuba.ac.jp/ and create and send a test email using “Outlook”. Make sure that the destination is the email address of yourself or your family who can confirm the incoming call, and that the transmission is properly done.
  3. Set it so that you can read it on your terminal such as your smartphone so that you can always check the incoming emails to Office 365 email. If you have an email address that you normally use, please set up forwarding so that Office 365 emails will be forwarded to that address.
Check item
  • What is your Office 365 email address?

 

Up to this point, you can read and write Office 365 emails by signing in with your unified authentication ID and password.

1.3 TWINS and KdB

TWINS is a system that manages class registration and grades. In order to take credits for classes, it is necessary to register for all courses taken during the designated period. In addition, there is a bulletin board in TWINS to post notices related to classes. KdB is a database that allows you to search for information on all classes in schools and graduate schools. You do not need to log in to browse KdB.

Try
  1. Please read the entire “ 5. TWINS Usage Guide ” (E) of the ICT Guide .
  2. Please log in to TWINS from https://twins.tsukuba.ac.jp using the unified authentication ID and password, and confirm that you can see the information on the “HOME” page, notices, and academic calendar. (It is not necessary to register for classes now.)
  3. Please read ” 6 Browsing Syllabus Using KdB ” (E) in the ICT Guide .
  4. You can see the list of classes offered in your academic department / specialty group / degree program by accessing KdB from the button “KdB commentary subject list” on the TWINS menu or https://kdb.tsukuba.ac.jp. Please confirm that this is possible.
  5. Click the “Logout” button on the TWINS menu to log out of TWINS.
Check item
  • In what period do you have to register for courses that begin in the Spring A module?
  • When is the term-end examination period for subjects that end in the Spring B module? When will the grades of that subject be disclosed on TWINS?

 

Now you can login to TWINS with your unified authentication ID and password. Before registering for actual courses, please attend the orientation of the faculty / specialty group / degree program.

1.4 manaba

manaba creates a course page that can be used from the web for each lesson and allows faculty and students to share teaching materials electronically, take surveys, and submit and submit assignments. The system. After completing the course registration at TWINS, students will be able to access the courses of the course they are taking. When conducting online classes, manaba will play a central role in sharing teaching materials, distributing explanation audio files, and making links to video files known.

Try
  1. Please read ” 7. Learning Management System (manaba) ” (E) in the ICT Guide .
  2. Access https://manaba.tsukuba.ac.jp and log in using your unified authentication ID and password. You will not be able to see the course page of the lectures until you register for the lecture on TWINS.
  3. Check the basic settings and individual settings according to “7.3. Initial Settings” in the ICT Guide. Please turn on various reminders so that you can receive Office 365 mail until you get used to manaba.
  4. When using manaba to distribute materials in the orientation, a contact course will be set up before orientation.If you can find the course at your “My Page”, please check the notice and materials on the course page.

(Reference) Office for educational cloud’s  manaba page
(You can also log in to manaba from this page, but you may not be able to access it immediately after class starts due to congestion. It is recommended to access https://manaba.tsukuba.ac.jp directly. )

Check item
  • Please check how to use the “Registration Key” to join the course by yourself. By using the “registration key” distributed by the instructor, you can use manaba courses without registering for courses in TWINS. However, please be careful. In order to take the courses and earn credits, you must register for them on TWINS.

 

Now you are ready to use the learning management system, which allows you to share materials and video files for each lesson.

2. Participation

2.1 Office365 EES advantages Sign-up and Sign-in

In online classes, services provided as “Office 365 EES advantages” such as Microsoft Stream for video distribution are used. In order to use Stream, it is necessary to first sign up (register) for a service called Office 365 EES advantages, and sign in (log in) using the new user ID and password (separate from unified authentication) set there.
* You may not be able to see the MS-Teams calendar for a while after signing up. It will show up in a few hours to a day.
* Students enrolling after April 2021 do not need to sign up for themselves. Registration (sign-up) to use Microsoft products will be done by the university administrator. (For more information, click here Procedure for preparation to sign in to Microsoft 365 and take online classes(PDF))

Try
  • (Preparation. Sign out) If you are already signed in to use Office 365 mail in your web browser, go to https://www.office.com and press the account manager button in the upper right of the window to sign-out.
  • (Sign-up : Newcomers of April 2021 and later, skip this step and go to Sign-in directly.) Please sign up according to the instructions for students on the EES advantages page . Please note that the account name used at this time is UTID-NAME @u .tsukuba.ac.jp (not @s) regardless of the school year . Also, set a password different from the one for unified authentication.
  • (Sign-in) Please sign in (log in) to https://www.office.com with UTID-NAME @u .tsukuba.ac.jp and see what kind of service you can use.
  • (Stream) Click the Stream icon of the video distribution service (if it is hidden, press “All apps” to find it) and see the uploaded lecture video.
Check item
  • What are your Office 365 email address and Office 365 EES advantages account name?
  • Is the password used for Office 365 EES advantages sign-up different from the password used for unified authentication?
Caution
  • You cannot sign in to both Office 365 email (@s) and Office 365 EES advantages (@u) at the same time with a single web browser. If you want to sign in to both at the same time, start two web browsers and sign in to @s and @u respectively.
  • Emails sent to UTID-NAME@u.tsukuba.ac.jp will be automatically  transferred to UTID-NAME@s.tsukuba.ac.jp.
  • In @u’s Outlook (outlook.outlook.com), you cannot receive any mails.

 

By now, you can use the Office 365 EES advantages service group including Stream for viewing videos of online classes.

2.2 Typical style of online lessons

There are three typical types of online classes that can be considered. The following describes the case where materials are distributed via manaba, but it is also possible to use another web page that is not manaba. Please follow the instruction of the teacher in charge of each class for the actual distribution method and the method of interaction with the teacher such as questions.

Material (manaba) + explanation voice (manaba)

Lecture materials such as PDF files and audio files explaining them will be distributed on manaba. Please listen while listening to the audio files while attending the materials.

Video (manaba + Stream)

It is a format where you take a lecture by watching a PowerPoint presentation or a video recording of the lesson in the classroom. If the link to access the video is announced on manaba, you can watch it by clicking on it, but the video itself is placed on a distribution server such as Microsoft Stream or YouTube.

If you want to view the video placed in Stream from manaba, sign in to the Office 365 EES advantages (@u) in one tab (window) of the browser in advance, and link to the video in another tab (window) Please click to see the video. When you click the link to the video without signing in to @u, a message asking you to sign in is displayed. After signing in on another tab (window), reload the page of the link to the video. Please play it again.

When the video is played in the browser window and the display is small, you can enlarge it by pressing the “Full screen display” button on the playback screen.

Real-time online classes (Teams, Webex, Zoom)

It is a format in which lecture materials are distributed in advance and participants can participate in a class in real time at a set time. There are two methods, one is to use an electronic conference system where student participants can speak and give presentations, and the other is to watch live lectures. To participate, it is necessary to connect to the electronic conferencing system or live distribution system with a web browser or a dedicated application in advance by the method specified by the teacher.

Below is a link to pages in Japanese explaining how to join a meeting (join a class) using a typical electronic meeting system.

Microsoft Teams (Requires Office 365 EES advantages Signup)
Cisco Webex Meetings
Zoom

About copyright

Generally, in order to use a copyrighted work, the permission of the right holder is required in principle. When using materials and teaching materials in class, there are exceptional cases where copyrighted materials can be used without permission, and there is a possibility that the materials and teaching materials will be distributed to students using them even in online classes. However, receiving the material does not mean that the student is allowed to further reproduce or distribute it.

In addition, the audio and video of the lesson are generally subject to copyright protection, so it is not possible to copy or distribute them beyond the range permitted for the course.

(reference)