EAPS Remote Teaching Resources


Department Policies and Procedures

Updated April 9, 2020



The following remote teaching procedures and policies are for any class for which Course 12 is the “parent” or host department.

MIT-WHOI JP hosted classes will follow a similar-but-slightly-different format so look for guidance on those classes from Kris Kipp (kipp@mit.edu). Any classes which are co-registered with a 12.X number where another department serves as the parent/host will follow the guidelines and instructions from that parent/host department.

Institute Links

We encourage all instructors and TAs to visit teachremote.mit.edu for an overview of campus-wide resources and best practices for online teaching—including material on inclusive practices—as well as the open community site open.mit.edu/c/teachremote where everyone is invited to post resources.

For 24/7 assistance with online teaching issues, contact: teachremote@mit.edu or call 617-324-3578 (617-32-HELP-U)

Important Limited Campus Access Considerations

Based on the campus Limited Access Plan (LAP) which is now in effect, all instructors should be prepared to teach fully offsite unless prior arrangements have been made with Michael Richard (mjr@mit.edu) and Megan Jordan (mkjordan@mit.edu) to 1) be added to the LAP list (subject to Institute approval), and 2) to be scheduled to use the centralized Institute remote teaching quiet rooms. Per the new LAP rules, instructors will not be granted access to use their on-campus offices for the purposes of remote teaching, and EAPS will no longer be maintaining remote teaching facilities as a department.


The EAPS workflow includes using the MIT enterprise license for Zoom to enable remote meetings and classes. Zoom can be easily configured to automatically record your meeting/class — recording is required for all classes. Recording is not required for group meetings.

Video Dissemination and Storage
The department has set up a cloud portal for uploading class videos through the centralized, secure library hosted by the Office of Digital Learning’s Video Services (referred to as OVS). Access to the video collection for each class is secured by Kerberos/Touchstone, and governed by class registration data. Only instructors, TAs, and registered students can access the individual collections. The EAPS Education Office also has master access to the collections if help is needed.

When you log into the portal, you will only see the classes you are associated with. Registered students have view-only permissions; instructors and TAs have view and upload permissions.

Each class collection also has its own URL for quick reference and bookmarking—each individual video also has a unique URL which is sharable with whomever has the appropriate viewing permissions.

Please post the class collection URL to your Stellar or LMOD site, and reference it in class communications. 

*use of the OVS site requires certificates and Duo authentication for all users

MIT-Authenticated Zoom Portal


MIT Office of Digital Learning Video Services Secure Portal (OVS)



• Please only use the MIT OVS system for sharing video files with students. It is optimized for playback, prevents potential data loss—the OVS portal is backed up to at least two different offsite cloud servers—and ensures “continuity of care” with just one location for students to have to keep track of. In addition, the Education Office can help troubleshoot and manage files on this site. 

!! Do not use Stellar for video uploads. The Stellar system is not equipped for this and has restrictive file size limits.

!! Do not use YouTube. It opens up unintended legal issues. 

• The OVS portal upload only works through Dropbox. Please ensure you and your TAs have been granted the extended emergency 10 TB Dropbox quota by IS&T.

• Please name your files with a consistent naming convention, including the date, to reduce confusion and aid organization for students—i.e. something along the lines of:

    12.409_3.20.20_Telescope Basics 1
    12.409_3.21.20_Telescope Basics 2
    12.409_3.22.20_The Celestial Coordinate System

• Other video content can also be uploaded to your class. NB: the OVS system requires .mp4 format.


1) Set your Zoom session to record. You can set automatic (recommended) or manual recording in your meeting management settings. Decide if you want local recording or cloud recording. NB: During this time of unprecedented site traffic, rendering times to the cloud may be protracted (hours long). Local recording may be advantageous during this crisis period, as long as your local machine has sufficient space. You can then move each file into Dropbox to free up the space on your local machine again.

2) When your session ends, Zoom will finish processing the file (and if you selected cloud recording it will notify you when it is ready).

3) Move your finished video file to Dropbox (or download from the cloud to Dropbox).

4) Navigate to OVS.

5) Select the correct class video collection. In the individual class collection pane, use the Add Videos from Dropbox button to select your video file. The upload will begin and when it is complete, the system will notify you that the video is ready for viewing in OVS. From there you can make some minor edits to the file (change filename, add a description) and access the individual URL.


!! Other institutions have already reported trouble with “Zoombombing” infiltrations by internet trolls during classes. We strongly encourage you to set up your Zoom meetings using some or all of the following settings to eliminate the possibility of uninvited third parties disrupting your classes.

  1. Enable "Only Authenticated Users Can Join Meetings" in Advanced Settings. Non MIT-authenticated users will be sent to a “waiting room” and must be individually accepted into the meeting by the host(s).
  2. Set up meetings with a meeting password and send that password to students in a separate communication from the meeting invitation. 
  3. If you have enabled screen sharing for all participants, also turn on the setting for “Who can start sharing when someone else is sharing” to Host Only to preserve the ability to interrupt and take emergency control of the screen.
  4. Enable Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints.

• The Emergency Academic Regulations—communicated by Rick Danheiser, Chair of the Faculty, on 3/15—require that all classes which are intended to be held in real-time (“synchronous” format) must adhere to their normal semester time slot and schedule.

• Real-time online classes must also be recorded via Zoom and the resulting videos then posted for asynchronous viewing.

• Instructors are encouraged to keep in mind that not all students are in the same time zone and therefore a pre-recorded (“asynchronous”) format may be advantageous. 

As an alternative to a physical whiteboard, Zoom includes functionality to use an iPad or other tablet device with a stylus in screen-sharing mode in order to draw figures, annotate, write out equations, etc. If you do not have one, it may be possible to obtain a loaner from IS&T using this linked form.

• If your teaching preference is to work in front of a board, we are strongly encouraging instructors to obtain a whiteboard now for your offsite setup via an online retail purchase — not through Buy2Pay or your AA. Please turn in receipts to Brandon Milardo (bmilardo@mit.edu) for reimbursement, or use your MIT PCard.

Zoom should work for the majority of our international students, however there is a short list of countries which are blocked for regulatory reasons. Students from affected countries will therefore be reliant on class recordings.


Workshops/Webinars at teachremote.mit
Engaging Students in a Synchronous Zoom Classroom
Tools & Techniques to Support Distributed Learning Communities

Zoom Tutorial information:  
Primer PDF   |  Link to Zoom's live (free) daily webinars on a variety of topics  |  Link to Zoom’s library of other tutorials

MIT Zoom Tutorial  |   MIT Zoom Best Practices

Turn your cellphone into an overhead camera:  Open Learning Post   |   Cheatsheet Doc

Ensure that you have sufficient internet access at your remote work location. Go to www.speedtest.net to determine your bandwidth. The minimum for Zoom is 600kbps (up/down); recommended is 1.5 Mbps (up/down). Learn more about managing your bandwidth.

In the event that live-streaming your classes becomes problematic due to bandwidth issues, be prepared to switch to a solely pre-recorded workflow for your classes.
Teaching assistants who do not have suitable Wi-Fi connections can get personal hotspots through IS&T by emailing ed-continuity@mit.edu.     
Many internet service providers have opened up their community Wi-Fi hotspots to full, free public access, and have removed or increased data limits and speeds on established accounts. In addition, many are advising free or extremely reduced rates for 60 days for anyone who currently does not have a home account and needs it for schooling. See below for links to some of the major carriers. This information and the links below are not exhaustive. You or your students should seek your own service provider’s website for complete, accurate, and up-to-date information as it pertains to your individual case and service availability.
Broadband Internet Status Updates:   Comcast Xfinity   |   Spectrum   |   Verizon Fios
Cellular Data Status Updates:   Verizon Wireless   |   AT&T Wireless   |   Sprint Wireless