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ISLA (Inclusive Synchronous Learning Activities) guide

This guide will explain what the capabilities and use-cases are for rooms set up for ISLA teaching.

Setting up for ISLA

Teaching considerations:

  • Assume that more time will have to be devoted to explaining how differently attending students will interact and engage in the session, as well as planning for both online and in-person interactions yourself, such as checking the chat, changing camera angles, etc. Make sure you plan time for all of these things into your lesson plan and communication to students. 

AV tips:

  1. If this is your first time logging into a City computer in a while, give yourself some time at the start of the session to log in as this may take a while. ISLA functionality only works when using the Pod PC. You cannot use your laptop to deliver ISLA sessions, as the Pod PC is connected to the cameras, LCD screen and microphones in the room. 
  2. Set the camera to your preferred position, either: 
    • Positioned in the audience with view of the Pod and teaching zone, including nearest whiteboard.
    • View of yourself from the Pod.
  3. If the Teams meeting is neither audible, or visible, select device settings located in meeting settings and change the audio output, and camera output until correct speaker, microphone, and camera settings are selected.  
  4. If the PC volume output is too loud, adjust this to the required level on the PC, not the Crestron panel.
  5. Lower house lights to appropriate level for webcam.
  6. Mute the audio speakers on the Pod to avoid feedback.

Admin requirements:

  1. Check that the Microsoft Teams meeting has been scheduled for each class. These can be recurring. Send the link to all participants in advance.
  2. Book Lecture Capture, if using. If you have Lecture Capture booked, you will not need to record the Microsoft Teams call. 
  3. Ensure all students in the room have a laptop, iPad or tablet with headset, earphones with built-in microphone, like the white iPhone in-ear ‘phones. This is only required if you intend on grouping students together across both in-room and remote attendees.

During an ISLA session

Teaching considerations

  1. Encourage students to use the chat function to ask questions. Make sure that you have built in enough time to read through the questions in chat, or have scheduled a Q&A as part of the session.
  2. Clarify consent for the recording: students who do not want their contributions to a face-to-face class recorded should be referred to guidance about lecture capture. This might, for example, involve students sitting further back from the camera, and being aware that conversations held near the microphone might be recorded.  

AV tips

  • Once your Microsoft Teams meeting has launched, drag your Microsoft Teams interface over to the right-hand screen/monitor or dedicated pod monitor for Teams and have your lecture notes/slides/presentation on the other screen.
  • To share content, select share located at the top of the Microsoft Teams interface. Select either share screen, or share window, depending on your preferences. Once shared, the Teams window will reduce in size. Also, a red bar will appear around the content you are sharing to the Teams meeting.   
  • Select the centre of small Teams window. This will increase the size of this window. After this, maximise this window on the right hand Pod monitor or whatever monitor does not have your presentation/slides/notes on.
  • To ensure that students are audible to online participants, select the ISLA MENU button, located at the bottom of Crestron panel (shown below), this will take you to a secondary page where you can select camera views and the visualiser as an option for sharing. Select ceiling microphone unmute. This will activate microphones located over student seating.  

Crestron panel displaying ISLA menu button


  • To change camera view, select Camera setup on the Crestron panel (shown above), and select rear camera. This will change the camera view on Teams to face the students.  
  • From the Microsoft Teams interface, select Chat. The Chat will pop up on the right hand side of your Microsoft Teams interface.
  • You do not need to record the Teams session if you have requested Lecture Capture correctly and you only want the Lecturer and presentation recorded. 
  • When you are presenting to the class, i.e. no class discussion, you must mute the ceiling tile microphones. These are very sensitive so can pick up any noises which could distract the students viewing on Microsoft Teams. These can be muted on the Crestron Panel in the bottom right.

Admin requirements

  • Ask all students to mute their microphones when not speaking
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