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Online Lectures and Labs

This page is for the students who are attending labs and lectures online. Below you will find information on how to watch streaming lectures, join a lab group, access your labs, and make the best use of them.

What are online labs

Each week we will be running online lab sessions where you will be able to meet tutors (and sometimes lecturers!) face to face, chat with them in real-time, ask questions, and even share your screen so that they can help you. Labs will be arranged using Microsoft Teams (see below)

We will use Microsoft Teams to run online labs. You can enrol via Streams and change group if you want to.

Remember that all lab times on streams and on this website are listed in AEST (UTC+10), for students who might be in China just subtract 2 hours to get to Beijing Time/CST (UTC+8), but remember to adjust for daylight savings after 3/10/2021.

We are working out the best ways to support you remotely, so be prepared for online labs to change slightly over the semester to best meet your needs.

What are physical labs

For students who are able to study on campus, you are welcomed to join our physical labs.

The only difference between physical and online labs is that you will meet your tutor in person - face to face, chat with them in real-time, ask questions, and even share show your screen so that they can help you.

What are streamed lectures

Each week Charles will stream the lecture content so that you can access it through the COMP1720/6720 Team and through a tab in the COMP1720 Team (see below).

You can also watch on Twitch, or Youtube

When you’re watching a live streamed lecture you can ask questions on Teams and Charles and the tutors will answer them during the lecture!

How to access Microsoft Teams

You can access Microsoft Teams through the ANU Office 365 homepage, just click “Login to Office 365” on that page and sign in with you uni ID and password.

accessing Office 365

You can go to the Teams app right in Office 365. While you’re in Office 365, why not update your avatar to a friendly picture of yourself so we know who you are?

accessing Teams

Now that you’ve logged in, you can join the COMP1720 team with this link.

Next time, you can just select COMP1720/6720 in your Teams main screen:

accessing COMP1720 in Teams

Microsoft Teams works best as an application installed on your computer. Hit the “Download app” button to get it installed.

Attending your lab

For online labs, each lab group has an individual channel. Your tutor will assign you into a lab channel just before labs start in Week 2. You’ll be able to see channels in the left-hand sidebar. For now, all you’ll see are admin channels: “General” and “Announcements”.

accessing channels in Teams

Your tutors will start a video meeting at the beginning of your lab to cover any new admin information and provide overview of the content for the week.

Once this has finished the call you can ask questions in your lab channel’s chat.

If you ask a question, your tutors will either chat with you about it, or start an instant meeting. If you see a meeting show up in the chat stream, there will be a “join” button that you can click to join in. Even if you haven’t asked a question it’s nice to join these meetings to see what problems or ideas other folks are discussing in the labs.

Remember: labs are times to work through the content on the lab page, even in online labs you should still be doing this!

If you want to chat with camera and microphone in your online lab make sure you’re in a quiet environment, with a simple background behind you (like a wall), and that you’re dressed appropriately. It’s best to use headphones with a microphone for videoconferencing through Teams. We encourage students in the labs to have a camera available on their laptop for labs.

For physical labs, all you need to do is to be prepared and come to the computer lab N115/N116 on the ground floor of CSIT building.

Meeting with other students

During labs, you will have some group tasks to do with other students. In this case, you can start instant meetings right in the chat with the little “video camera” icon:

accessing channels in Teams

You can also post gifs during labs, or just drag in bits of art you’re making in P5.js! I’m not going to tell you to make COMP1720 memes during labs. But I’m also not not going to tell you to make COMP1720 memes during labs. So I hope that’s understood.

Finding the streaming lectures

Just go to the Video Streams tab in Teams:

streaming lectures tab

When a lecture starts, it will be announced in the general channel and you can chat in that channel to ask questions. The lecturers will be looking at the Teams chat for questions and discussion (so not Twitch or Youtube chat)

Names and Profile Pictures

In Microsoft Teams, your real name will be shown. It would be great if you could add a profile picture or your real face, or if you are uncomfortable with that, perhaps a sketch that you have made that represents you (perhaps your name tag from assignment 1?).

streaming lectures tab

You can change your profile image in Office 365 by following these instructions.

In particular, anime/cartoon/pop-culture/meme/pets profile images are not appropriate for our labs. If we see this kind of profile image, we will privately message you to remove it. Sorry about that.

Having a real profile picture of yourself is more professional and friendly for an educational environment. It also means that your lab-mates and tutors can connect to you as a real person and not an anonymous commenter on the internet. We think this can really help to encourage positive social interaction within our labs. Good social interaction actually leads to you learning more!

What we expect from you

Labs might be your only chance to meet other students and tutors during COMP1720 in real-time. Make the best use of them by doing the following:

  1. Ask questions in the chat! The tutors are reading the chat and will address questions in the lab over video if they would be interesting to the group. If you have a great question, it might be worth putting on the forum for tutors and other students to read as well.

  2. Talk the other students! You are free to use the chat to talk to other students and help them out if you have some tips.

  3. Expect to be challenged. Tutors are not going to do the work for you. You should expect tutors to ask you how the lab tasks work, and why you think they’re important in the course. Don’t worry if you can’t answer right away, you’re allowed to think and answer in the chat.

I’ve done all this and I still can’t access my online lab!!

Ok—it’s easy to feel isolated or lost if things aren’t working in online labs but we do our best to make it easy for you. Your tutors will be searching for you if you don’t show up in your lab so look out for emails or messages from them. If in doubt, ask a question on the course forum.

I need help outside of my lab time!

There’s always help available on the course forum. If you really need help, you might find other students active in the “General” channel on our Teams group during another online lab time if it’s quiet.

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