How Can I Create Engaging Class Discussions In EagleVision?
Teaching in EagleVision can be an adjustment if you are used to teaching in a “traditional” classroom setting. At times, you may feel as though you are talking to your computer instead of students. However, your students are on the other side of the computer and they are waiting to be engaged!
- Ask the right questions. Ask open-ended questions that allow students to reflect on their own experiences.
- Give the discussion a purpose. Explain WHY you’re talking about something. Students want to know why the content is relevant to their learning.
- Establish ground rules. During your first EagleVision session, establish some ground rules for discussions. For example, does everyone need to raise their hand and be called on to speak, or can people simply turn on their mics and have open discussions? If you are teaching an EagleVision Classroom course, will all students be required to come up to the camera to speak? Will you use a signal to let students know if they are monopolizing the discussion? Share these ground rules ahead of time and ask your students for their input.
- Help students feel they have something to contribute. Sometimes students just feel like they have nothing to contribute… so they don’t. Try using the “Reflect, Chat, Discuss” approach to discussions. For example, first, ask a question and give students a minute to reflect on their thoughts individually. Next, use the Breakout Rooms to let students discuss these thoughts in small groups. Finally, bring the groups back for a larger discussion. Everyone should have some comments to share at this point! This gives you the ability to call on specific students if needed to get the conversation started.
- Provide enough “wait time” after asking the question. Sometimes, waiting for a student to respond to a question can feel like an eternity. Give the student the time needed to consider and answer the question. If 10 seconds pass and the student does not have an answer, call on someone else and remind the student that you will come back to them. Make sure you do come back to the student, so you create an expectation of class participation.
- Be sure to ask your students to activate their webcams when participating in discussions as well.
Some additional tips to get students talking:
- Follow-up/probing questions.
- Relate personal experiences
- Think, pair, share- ask them a question, think about it, partner with another student, share thoughts, then bring back into a larger discussion
- Let students know how they will be evaluated, establish class policies
- Give students time to discuss, digest, pause, wait for them. Communicate that there is value in the discussions.