Conducting your online teaching
In this section, you’ll find information on: how to record a session, advice on ways in which you can begin a session, and how you can let the students introduce themselves.
Your computer should be ready now, so you can go ahead and get started with your teaching. You should log into the online classroom about 15-20 minutes before the teaching is due to start, so that you can check your sound and picture quality.
Make a recording
Both staff members and students are able to make a recording in any room they are a host for. The recording can be used as a way for students to repeat the session, for submitting coursework requirements, or to record meetings.
Welcome participants to the session and take a moment to clarify what the expectations are for the session
One way for students to feel as if they have been acknowledged during an online teaching session, is if you log in to the room about 15-20 minutes before the session starts. That way, you can use the time to talk to those waiting for the class, or to show that you’re open to taking questions. By doing this, they won’t be in any doubt that something is in fact scheduled for that room. This can remove any uncertainty around the first online seminar.
When the online seminar starts, you should welcome your students to the room, and go through your plan for the session. A lot of students like to know what will be expected of them in each session. Thus, it may be wise to include a clarification of expectations at the start of a semester, and at the start of each session. You can clarify aspects such as:
- Will the students need to have their cameras on while in the online classroom, or just in their own group rooms?
- Will the students be given the option to turn their microphones on while in the online classroom, or just in their own group rooms?
- What will the lecturer expect of the students when it comes to their active participation during a seminar?
If the students know what is expected of them beforehand, it’ll be easier for both the lecturer and the students to work together during the online seminar.
Online teaching is different to classroom teaching, and we therefore do not recommend that you use the same plan for both kinds of session. We would advise against the tutor keeping the typical lecture structure, where they would talk for 45 minutes straight. A good rule is to talk for a maximum of 10 minutes before you introduce some form of student activity.
Below, you can find a few tips to make the online teaching session more interactive:
- Take a break of about 5-10 minutes during your presentation. In this time, you can turn off screen sharing, while the chat field (or other communication channels) are prioritised, thus showing that this time is to be used for a student activity. The students can ask questions and type in their own comments. You can also encourage students to use the Gallery view so they can see more people than just the speaker.
- You are welcome to end each segment with a challenging question or a statement to stimulate a discussion.
- And if you want feedback on something specific, it may be a good idea to make a poll, rather than asking the students to use the chat field. It would also be easier for students to answer a specific question rather than an open one. Another advantage of doing this is that the students will be anonymous when answering a poll, unlike in the chat field.
- If you do decide to use a poll, however, it may not be a good idea to publish the answers immediately. Doing this would run the risk of students going with the flow and answering what other students have answered before them. Wait to publish the results until everyone has had a chance to answer.
Taken from Effective webinars:
Above, we recommended that your presentation of the course content does not last longer than 10 minutes for each segment, and that you should insert a student activity between each one. Below, we’ve listed a few tips on how you can facilitate this interactivity:
- You can use polls before and after the each session to ask students questions, such as what they are going to learn during the session, what their expectations are, or simply to ask them how they are doing.
- Answer all of the questions or comments as soon as possible, so the students feel that they have been seen and heard.
- Ask questions frequently and request that students answer in the chat field. Ask questions that you actually want the answers to, rather than questions that are simply being used to check that the students are paying attention.
- Experimenting with other collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Office 365, Padlet etc. By using such tools throughout the session (e.g. to take notes) the students will have access to the material they have worked on after the session has ended.
- It could be advantageous to have two people conducting the teaching. That way, you would have someone to share a dialogue with, and the students would gain more variation by listening to two people rather than one.
- It is popular to include videos in teaching sessions, usually because they are more professional and better constructed than a live presentation. A short video can provide an extra dimension, but before adding a video, remember:
- The students can watch the video whenever. They have come to the teaching session to listen to and communicate with you.
- Uploading a video can also result in delays over the network, and this may cause connectivity and loading issues for some of the participants.
- It may be useful then to use the online teaching session as a space to talk with the students and provide opportunities for them to work together. If you have a video that is essential for the students to watch, you can request that they watch it prior to the session.
Taken from Effective webinars: