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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Math Classes in Hybrid and Online Environments

Teaching a mathematics class in an online or hybrid mode? We've worked with faculty in the JMU Mathematics and Statistics department to gather some resources for you.

On this page:

How can I use Webex to write equations or other procedure-based information for a synchronous class or for asynchronous recording?

This can be accomplished by using a smartphone with front and rear camera in WebEx. Invite the phone to a Webex meeting call from an instructor's Webex personal meeting room, like this one. Then:

Step 1: Download the Cisco Webex Meetings app from the App Store (iPhones) or the Google Play Store (Android phones).

Step 2: Open the app on your smartphone and accept the Terms of Service. It should say “Select Site.” Enter "" and sign in with your JMU email and password.  

Step 3: Create a separate email account that is not your JMU email, since you will invite your phone as a projector to your Webex meeting which is initiated with your JMU email.

Step 4: Sign in to, navigate to your personal meeting room (e.g., and start a Webex meeting, so that you can skip entering all students' emails in a system that is not JMU MyMadison or Canvas. 

Step 5: Select the Start button. This will open the desktop app and prompt you to download WebEx plugins or extensions for Google Chrome or Firefox. You will also need to allow the camera and microphone access for WebEx. For detailed instructions, please refer to this visual guide to video converencing in Webex.

Step 6: You should see your face in a preview window. From this window select the Start Meeting button and activate the camera and microphone on your laptop or desktop computer so that they are not red. You can allow the use of your phone’s microphone and camera if asked, but keep the phone microphone muted.

Step 7: At this point your phone should be in the desktop/laptop call that you started, but the video feed might be muted. Select the video camera icon at the bottom of your phone app to activate the camera; note the small “turn around” icon in the upper right of the video popup; set this to the rear/back camera of your phone so that the projection is not triggered by downward screen mute mode. Then select Start My Video icon on the phone. This will allow the video to be shared on your main screen of the laptop.

Step 8: Now your phone should be a participant in the call on your computer; you can place the phone so that pen and paper are visible to its camera. From your desktop/laptop call, you can switch between having your desktop/laptop webcam as the presenter (showing your face or a screen share) and having your phone’s camera be the presenter (showing your writing). Your phone projector will capture your writing process, which will be demonstrated to your students through the separate email account's camera/video feed on your main screen. Refer to the following screenshot from Webex:

Screenshot of equation writing using Webex     Screenshot of equation writing using Webex

Additional notes: Your students can be presenters in your Webex meetings, too. Select the Participant List icon to open a sidebar showing the people in the call. Find the initials of any participant to switch them to be the presenter by selecting the participant and making them the Presenter. You should see the Webex "ball" or circle next to the participant's name.  

The recordings in MP4 format can be shared on many online platforms, including JMU Canvas. 

Phone setup: Place your phone on a weighted box or a stack of books at least 12 inches high so that your writing procedure can be captured clearly. Place a weighted object on top of your phone so that it will not fall. 

Photo of smartphone balanced above paper and pen to record equation writing in Webex

Credit: This part of the guide (using Webex to synchronously demonstrate procedural writing) was co-developed by Dr. Laura Taalman and Dr. Juhong Christie Liu.


What are some other options for teaching math online?


Faculty members in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at JMU have shared some options for teaching online: