Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR, Stanford University
Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies, Stanford University
Edited for McNeese faculty members: Dr. Wendi Prater, Director of eLearning, McNeese State University
Some students may need to web conference into a on-campus class. The challenge is to make sure that students joining by web conference feel like full participants in the class. Web conference participants often struggle with poor sound quality and a sense of disconnection, so the main challenge of these situations is usually making sure that the sound quality is good enough for students to hear.
- Use Microsoft Team or BigBlueButton, as you would in small classes. Mute all participants, and make sure someone is monitoring chat.
- Use Chat in Moodle or connect by mobile phone, if web connection to weak or is not an option for the student.
Tips for tool recommendations using Microsoft Teams and BigBlueButton:
- Position your computer so that students can see and hear as well as possible. If necessary, repeat on site/in classroom student points for the web conferenced crowd, only if you are close enough to be heard. You might consider bringing or borrowing a microphone to make it easier for students to hear the on campus discussion.
- Solicit input from web conferenced participants, as students connected online may have a harder time breaking into the conversation.
- Assign a student to moderate the web conferenced chat and to speak up for an online participant with a question or a raised hand.
- Share handouts and slides in advance to make sure online participants can look at them. These handouts and slides could be shared via links in the web conferenced chat room or by directing the student(s) to the appropriate place in Moodle where the materials may be available.
- Rethink your classroom activities to make the class more interactive even if web conferenced students don’t have ideal connections and aren’t able to hear and see everything perfectly.
- Have students write and comment together on a shared Office 365 work space through MyMcNeese or a Google Doc.
- Try using Poll Everywhere, Microsoft 365 Forms in MyMcNeese or Google Forms to collect student responses, and then share results with both in-person and online students.
- If doing group work, consider an alternative activity for web conference students. If multiple students are online, put them in a group together to discuss.
- Record lectures using your phone, or video cameras or audio recorders that you have on your computer or tablet. Upload to Moodle when you’re done, along with any slides.