Not everything will be able to fit on the screen so some compromises would need to be made if the student has a smaller screen, especially using RStudio since the application itself has multiple sections. For students with a smaller screen the etherpad link would need to be hidden or in another desktop (i.e., virtual desktop)
These screenshots are on a 12.5” laptop with a 1366x768 screen running KDE in Linux:
The Zoom window needs to be manually set and then the rstudio/bash window would be used to cover the speaker images.
In Zoom the chat has a minimum size it will let you shrink the window to. So you want to make sure the important part of the video window does not get covered by the chat window. The participant list would be covered by chat, but this should be okay since students would only use it when they need to flag for help.
You can also maximise the video and working screen. The main drawback here is that the student will not be able to see any conversations in chat. So questions, solutions, and tips that are discussed in chat may be lost.
Here the right 2 panels of the RStudio window are dragged to the right so they are hidden. This maximizes the script and console panes so the instructor may need to be careful when using the environment, files, and plot panels while teaching.
These screenshots are from a 13” Macbook with a 1280 x 800 resolution.
The chat screens would be hidden under the student application window.
The goal for helpers is to maximise the amount of screen space for things they would need access to, to help students.
The important features for the helper are:
Instructor video: For the helpers, they should aim to make the shared video the same size (or smaller) the student would use. This can help with any screen viewing issues that can be pointed out.
Workshop chat: Students will ask questions here for helpers to respond to.
Who needs help: Zoom’s participants list can give various flags (e.g., green yes, red no, go slower, etc). The longer this window is, the more student statuses the helper can see without scrolling.
Workspace application window: This window does not need to be as big as the student’s since the helper is not going to be learning like the students. The usability of this window can be compromised for other windows since the main goal here is to run commands to help debug student questions.
Notes/Extras: Some workshops have a dedicated instructor taking notes in an Etherpad. But it is also important to have some form of communication of only the instructors/helpers handy so real-time logistics can be worked out. There is a small overlap between the etherpad and WhatsApp screen. But you can click on either one at the same time (i.e., the windows do not completely cover each other). This makes it easier to toggle between the 2 screens but also always being able to see new messages or content.
Screenshots are from a 1920x1080 screen:
You might get more real-estate with side-by-side mode.
Your phone can also be used during the workshop. Here are some examples of how a phone can be used.
Since screen real estate is limited, instead potentially using two workshop chat systems, We can opt to not use the Zoom chat in lieu of the Etherpad chat. This way the workshop notes are also readily visible to the students (and you’ll have persistent chat).
The students would minimise the participants list so only the status buttons are visible. Main downside is there will be some unused space on the screen, but this can be used to move between another window that overlaps with other screens.
It is a little tricker for smaller resolution screens, since there needs to be overlaps. When the student’s RStudio window is active, they will only see the status buttons. But the most recent chat will still be seen and they can quickly click to see the Etherpad notes if needed. The Etherpad window should be stretched past the middle of the screen, otherwise the CSS flow will cause the Etherpad chat to be the entire window and the notes part will not be visible.
This post is a case-study on many of the logistics running an online Carpentries workshop. In particular, what we could expect a student to see when they are trying to follow along. We cannot assume everyone has the luxury of multiple monitors when attending a workshop. For instructors teaching future online workshops, I hope this post can serve as a guide or reference to your students on the best way to manage their windows during an online workshop.