Interactive online lecturing for smaller classes

Interactive online lecturing for smaller classes

  • If your normal lecture for 5 – 80 students involves pair or small group work
  • AND/OR a presentation or lecture
  • AND/OR question and answer sessions

Click on the + to see what each topic contains.

We recommend:

  • Arrange a webinar using Virtual classroom (YouSeeU) and alert students of the time. Virtual classroom is integrated in Brightspace, and will appear on their calendar with the link.
    Does Virtual classroom not comply with your needs? Compare other online meeting tools.
  • BUT explain that it will be recorded so they can join live and interact OR watch later and post questions on Brightspace.
  • Use Breakout Rooms during the webinar. You can easily sort students into smaller groups with a set time-limit. Students can then work together to discuss, upload presentations, annotate content, and share their desktop. The work in this space will not be saved or recorded.
  • When you are recording online lectures, be extra aware of the privacy of students. Ask students to turn off their cameras before initiating a recorded lecture and if it is exceptionally necessary to include the student(s) images in the recording, make sure to clearly explain it in advance to the class.

(if students wish to self-organise groups or need longer than an hour for group work)

  • Arrange a webinar using Virtual classroom (YouSeeU) and alert students of the time. Virtual classroom is integrated in Brightspace, and will appear on their calendar with the link.
    Does Virtual classroom not comply with your needs? Compare other online meeting tools.
  • For group work, use Brightspace forums as the main point of interaction. This gives students time to self-organise into groups after the webinar, and can report back either via video or present in a future webinar.
  • Ask your students to disable their camera during the lecture. It is only by exception allowed to make recordings where students are visible. If it is necessary for the student(s) to be visible, this needs to well substantiated and clearly explained to the student(s).

Questions:

  • Proximity: this simulates the small classroom experience and still allows for interaction and group work.
  • Time and Resources: If students have poor bandwidth or challenging schedules, however, then Option 2 is better.

With any new tool, it is advisable to test it first, especially your microphone and the settings. However, this is relatively similar to other conferencing software that you might be familiar with. When in doubt, consult the manual.

Useful tips & tricks

  • Inform students that the lecture/webinar will be recorded and posted on Brightspace at a specific date and time.
  • Notify students about the process ahead of time: for example, policy for using the microphone and asking questions.
  • Limit yourself to the core content of your lecture. Many find giving an online lecture more difficult (and more tiring) than in the real world.
  • Mute all the participants at the beginning of your session. Background noises (such as coughs, washing machines, etc.) can be distracting. Use the plus button > mute all.
  • Use keywords and images as much as possible in your slides. If you want to know more about creating slides for online education see: Factsheet using visuals.
  • End the lecture with clear agreements about the follow-up. What do you expect from students and where can they find the relevant information.
  • If you choose to record a video lecture or feedback videos, consider which themes students usually have a lot of trouble with? What would you normally elaborate on during the lectures? Focus on these.
  • Open the session at least 10 minutes before it starts.
  • Build in room for questions. Let students ask questions after each topic/chapter in your presentation. Use the chat or ask them to turn on their microphone.

If you want to know more about comprehensive online learning – beyond lecturing – see our Remote Teaching & Learning guide. If you want information on lecturing to large audiences online, see our factsheet here.

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