Sharing content with students and presenting
- Slideshow presentations – most webinar platforms allow a teacher to share presentation files directly in the form of a PDF or PowerPoint, or by sharing their screen or applications. Share Content in Microsoft Teams | Share Content in Blackboard Collaborate
- Video clips – short video clips can be powerful for provoking discussion, but due to limitations of attendee internet connections, this doesn’t always result in good experiences. However, short clips may be suitable for sharing. Most platforms give the option to share computer audio when sharing content. Alternatively, you might want to post a link in the chat for students to watch for a few minutes and then return to your session.
- Webcam feeds – Having a webcam lets students see you and – where appropriate – one another as well, helping foster a community in the cohort by letting them see your expressions and body language. It can be more engaging to see you speak than it is to hear you over PowerPoint slides.
Interactive tasks and collaborative exercises
- Whiteboards: These can be engaging tools that allow learners to collaborate, for instance through collective contributions in which all attendees are able to participate.
- Collect terms, write in other languages, mark components on a map or image. These also make great warm-up and icebreaker activities for early sessions.
- Blackboard Collaborate Manage Session Settings | Annotation Tools
- Chat: give your attendees a question or scenario and ask them to share their answer or opinion using the chat function. This is great for peer learning and starting group discussions. Extract key points or trends as you read their replies and consider inviting individuals onto microphone to build on their contribution in more detail.
- After a breakout group activity: Invite representatives of each group to feed back to the class on what their group discussed. They might want to share any documents they were working on or simply speak for a couple of minutes. Promote them to a presenter role to share files and control slide orders if necessary. Support Students to Engage with Breakout Groups.
Guidance: Whiteboard in Teams Meetings | Whiteboard in Blackboard Collaborate
Breakout Groups in Blackboard Collaborate | Promoting attendees to Presenter roles in Collaborate
Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams
Manage attendee permissions in Teams Meetings | Promoting attendees to Presenter roles
Receiving non-verbal feedback from your students
Teaching in online sessions can often feel like “speaking into the void” and can be disconcerting for the first-time facilitator. Using the built-in tools available may help to bridge that void and foster meaningful feedback and interaction with your students.
- Hand raising – use the ‘raise hand’ feature in online sessions to establish online etiquette, for students to indicate they have a question. When a student wishes to come on microphone to contribute or ask a question, the hand raise function can help you manage attendees so they do not speak over one another.
- Voting – use the raise hand feature to gather quick feedback from students – for example: “Please raise your hand if you agree with this statement on the slide.“
- Feedback status – attendees are able to set statuses, such as agree/disagree statements and to provide emotional responses. Encourage your attendees to use chat emojis in a similar way. Ask them periodically to let you know how they are feeling; for instance, a smiley if you understand and are happy with the presentation so far, if they are ready to move on, or if they are clear about a point discussed.
Raise Hand and reacting in Teams Meetings | Raise Hand in Blackboard Collaborate
Feedback Status in Blackboard Collaborate
Collecting responses and posing questions to students:
Blackboard Collaborate: Polling is built in as a feature. See: Blackboard Collaborate Polls
Microsoft Teams: Enable Microsoft Forms when setting up a meeting to use polling. See: Polling in Microsoft Teams
What other apps could I use to pose questions with my students?
Many teachers engage their students by ‘breaking up’ their presentation with activities that involve full class participation in the forms of voting, multiple choice questions and small competitive questioning activities. This allows you to gauge the level of understanding of your students, identify gaps in knowledge or understanding, whilst also facilitating an active learning session rather than a passive experience.
As in face-to-face teaching, there are many student response apps that can be used online to engage your students. See the student response apps toolkit page for a summary of approved examples.