Remote Online Teaching
like on Zoom, MS Teams, Blackboard etc
CODE OF CONDUCT - ground rules for attendees at remote digital educational sessions
All trainees - please read through these tabs
Online remote teaching platforms – like Zoom, MS Teams, and Blackboard Collaborate – are useful tools that facilitate online communication and teaching between learners and educators on the GP training scheme. The future will be to add these to our repertoire of teaching tools (just like other types of HDR sessions like F2F small group work, projects, events outside etc).
However, with remote digital teaching platforms, there is a particular concern about the safety of the session. Is someone secretly recording? Who else in a participant’s vicinity is watching if the screen is turned off? Who else in the vicinity can hear the conversations? No doubt this has an effect on the learners – some may feel apprehensive to voice true and honest opinions. Some may fear retribution for what they say. And all of this undoubtedly has a detrimental effect on the educational climate. And we have noticed a number of trainees doing things which we find is unacceptable. Things like
- Playing on their phones when they’re meant to be in an educational session that they are paid to attend.
- Doing emails whilst pretending to be engaged with the session.
- Chatting privately to their mates through the chat facility about things nothing to do with the session.
- Children being present during the educational session
- Others like partners passing in and out of the session
- Calling in from inappropriate places – like the bus, a public library, outside in a public place.
Therefore, we would like all learners and educators to read the following code of conduct and remain mindful of its contents at all times. The safety of our learners is our number one priority and we trust our community to use platforms like Zoom, Teams and Collaborate appropriately to enhance learning opportunities for our trainees. If the Code of Conduct is not followed then the meeting host will remove that participant from the meeting. No one likes doing this, but we hope you can understand the reason for doing so.
All trainees are expected to adhere to the following rules and expectations in order to ensure the best possible learning environment throughout all online learning sessions. We expect all participants to behave with the highest of decorum online – just as you would do in person. Harassment and intimidation are overtly unacceptable and inappropriate behaviours, but discrimination and disrespect are too. Please see these rules as a precautionary measure to ensure all attendees have respect for one another and to be able to celebrate and learn from the differences in each other in a safe mutually beneficial learning environment.
Developed by Dr. Ramesh Mehay, Aug 2021
Top Tips for Teaching Remotely
- Prepare – check all the equipment works IN ADVANCE. Good WIFI is essential. Make sure all your documents are open on your computer. Don’t waste time opening tonnes of folders. Learners will switch off! Consider sending some pre-session material: a pdf handout, a youtube video etc.
- Select an uncluttered room to engage in the session. DON’T use your bedroom! Use something professional. Make sure there are not too many personal effects otherwise others will be interested in your room rather than your teaching session.
- Have an opening session. Where you provide time to let latecomers join. Not everyone is a time focused. Allow people to chat and talk. In fact, get a chat going to settle them all in – open the chat box. Have a chitter chatter. Don’t just keep them all in a waiting room until everyone is there. Let people in like you would do in a physical room. Greet and make them feel welcomed. Show genuine desire to be there.
- Set your Aims and Objectives (or Intended Learning Outcomes) – have a slide or document summarising these. Come back to these often to help your learners see where the session is at.
- Don’t use new fancy tools for the sake of it. Simple is often best. You can make things interactive with simple things. Use tools ONLY if they have a purpose.
- Have regular breaks. Breaks are important to get people to recharge and refresh. Stay hydrated throughout the session – it is surprising how much you can forget. Pace yourself through the session. Remember to engage break out activities which gives the facilitator a bit of a break. You don’t want to feel exhausted after your session.
- Look after the Online Learning Environment. Look after everyone’s feelings – note the quiet ones. Engage them with paternal kindness. Temper heated discussions. Create a safe place. Make it fun.
- Make an ending section. Don’t just abruptly say “hope that was useful, bye…”
- Close on Time. Control open ended ruminating meaningless discussions. Finish on time (or earlier). Don’t use more time to teach than you need. If you have 3 hours but your session really only needs 2, then use 2!
This is a great little video summarising it all:
An intro to Blackboard Collaborate
A short film about how to run a teaching session on Blackboard Collaborate:
A link to the Blackboard help page for more detailed advice about the functions in the Blackboard room e.g. breakout rooms:
Top Tips for using Zoom
Other Tech Tools for teaching
My favourite tools are
- Google forms to create real time polls and questionnaires is quite simply amazing. Look at this YouTube tutorial.
- Mentimeter – polls, quizzes, word clouds. Free if just using the odd one or two polls here and there. Tip – don’t create a number of polls or quizzes together. Separate them out – because Mentimeter allows you to create lots of “one-poll” items for free.
- Padlet – beautiful boards
- Kahoot – online tool that gamifies quizzes
- Nearpod – a hub for all the learning materials that teachers may want to include in a teaching session for learners to access.
- Random Name Picker – when no learners volunteer to do or say something, this fun little number might help. Beware, you don’t want learners to feel apprehensive or anxious as it can inhibit learning. So, use it for opinions and things rather than recall of factual knowledge.
- HeyHi’s online whiteboard – a great whiteboard accessible on android and apple devices. Get learners to add to the board. Collaborate.
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