Zoom is the new classroom

Adorable Guide Dogs Host Zoom Call
Zoom is the new dog park.

If we like it or not, Zoom and other online web conferencing (Google Meet) is here to stay and the “easy” days of normal may never be “normal” again. How do you replicate what we did in the classroom in zoom? A: You can’t.

If you are expecting to fully engage your students with your live lecturing performance you will be sorely disappointed with the level of participation.

Students most likely will have their webcams turned off. They may not have a private space or many other reasons why it is uncomfortable for them to allow you (and ALL their classmates) into their home/car/porch/tent/etc… Because their webcam is turned off, you can not see their face or read their reactions to the discussion.

Why the summer sound of noisy crickets is growing fainter
Crickets chirp when it’s silent.

Have you tried asking an open question in zoom only to be answered with silence [insert crickets chirping]? Students may not be paying attention or know how to interact in this new classroom. Building class-community and connections with students from the start may help easy their tensions when trying to interact with their instructor and classmates. Give students a chance to use Zoom reactions vs verbal responses. Then WAIT…until ALL students have responded in some way.

You may have also heard about Zoom fatigue. Imagine a student who has 3 lectures on zoom in one day. Now imagine having three 1-hour to 1.5-hour long meetings in one day via Zoom. YUCK is right! Only ask participants to turn on webcams if it is absolutely needed.

So how do we teach inside of Zoom?
I fall on the side of using Zoom to support the content, rather than deliver the content. Zoom makes it really easy for us to create, edit, and link in Moodle a screencast of our content. We use Zoom to screencast our content into micro-lectures, then use our live class sessions in Zoom to discuss, reinforce, and expand upon concepts. Sounds like a new type of flipped-classroom!

There are hundreds of tips and tricks to use while teaching in Zoom. The best advice we can give is to practice – practice – practice. All of the reactions, filters, polls, screen-shares, etc are only great if you know how to use them and seamlessly transition from one to another. We can help you get started in the ATC!

Need to talk through your course plan with an Instructional Designer?

Post UPDATE: Learn Zoom through LCCs Linked-in Learning platform.

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