Remote Online Teaching
like on Zoom, MS Teams, Blackboard etc
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
- Mentimeter – polls, quizzes, word clouds
- 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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