Which will you choose? Live virtual classroom, pre-recorded lectures or no video?

Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR, Stanford University,  jdcohn@stanford.edu

Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies, Stanford University, bethseltzer@stanford.edu 

Edited for McNeese faculty members: Dr. Wendi Prater, Director of eLearning, McNeese State University, wprater@mcneese.edu


When moving your course online, there are three options to consider for your class:


Option 1 - Run Your Class Live as a Virtual Meeting

McNeese has licenses and support for faculty to use Microsoft Teams or BigBlueButton. This option works especially well for small discussion-based classes, though it’s also effective for large lectures, especially if you have a moderator.  Using Moodle with BigBlueButton or Teams makes it easier for students to locate the discussions.  If you don’t use Moodle much, you can still use McNeese’s Teams and Meet Now accounts. Read the article Web Conference, Virtual Meeting, Virtual Classroom Resources to set up your meeting sessions for the semester. 


Option 2 - Pre-record Your Lectures

If you are not comfortable presenting live, another good option is to pre-record any lecture material and upload it to Moodle. Or use BigBlueButton in Moodle to record your lecture. Using Moodle with Teams and BigBlueButton makes it easier for students to locate the discussions. BigBlueButton is already integrated into McNeese’s Moodle Site.  Teams meetings can be recorded and shared in Office 365 or on YouTube. If you follow the steps, in a few minutes to a few hours (depending on the length of the video), completed videos will be automatically uploaded to your Moodle course -> BigBlueButton.  If you don’t use Moodle much, you can still use McNeese’s Teams and Meet Now. Read the article Web Conference, Virtual Meeting, Virtual Classroom Resources to set up your meeting session. 


Option 3 - Skip using any video in the class

Many online courses do not have a video component at all. If you are not sure you have the right equipment and are uncomfortable with the tech setup, this might be a good option, at least for the short-term.  Instead you might consider the following pedagogical recommendations:

  • Annotate your slideshow with notes and share this with students using Moodle or email
  • Set up a discussion for students in Moodle. Use specific, structured questions, and let students know expectations for their responses.  
  • Share links to outside resources. Encourage students to watch videos, read articles, etc. 
  • Use Chat to have a live, text-based chat session with students. You can add chat to your course in Moodle.