Ideas for Effective Online Sessions
Teaching in-person cannot always be directly transferred to teaching synchronously online. Techniques for engaging students, live discussions and promoting collaboration can and do look very different. The interactions must be more intentional online, whereas in-person instructors can quickly scan students’ faces for feedback. This becomes more difficult when instructing online.
Take some time to plan each synchronous online session:
- Start with the main goal of the session. What is the takeaway for students?
- How will students receive information, work with that information and demonstrate that they know it?
- What needs to be included in the live sessions? What can be completed asynchronously?
The live sessions should focus on making connections (to content, other students, and the instructor) and less on taking in new content.
Here are some ideas on how to use the technology to make connections:
- Have students watch a video or read prior to the session.
- Have students complete a worksheet, answer a question, or solve a problem prior to the session.
- Have a check-in at the start of the session with students’ cameras. Get them talking! Students can then turn off their cameras if their internet connection is not fast enough.
- Set expectations and use the chat to your advantage:
- As a question-and-answer option, students can give answers to the only the instructor, or to the whole group.
- As a think/pair/share: students can respond to another student prior to responding to the whole group.
- Save the chat text for future reference and attendance.
- Allow students to annotate your shared screen or to share their own screen:
Students can share their screen to allow classmates and instructors to annotate with their
- Using annotation, students can circle correct answers, mark up a document or webpage, etc.
- Using the white board, students can add ideas or information.
- Students can share their screen to allow classmates and instructors to annotate with their contributions.
- Record each session and add the recording links to the Blackboard course site under the specific lesson. This will allow those unable to attend to view the session. It can also create a review for those who did attend.
- Read the Tips for Teaching Synchronously Online written by Heather Young Mandujano, Eastern Campus Instructional Technologist.
- Watch the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Tutorial Videos and Webex Meetings Tutorial Videos to get a handle on how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Webex.
- Watch previous Faculty Forum Sessions and On Demand Tutorial Video on the Tutorial Videos Showcase.