The best lectures engage students to think critically, imaginatively, and conceptually about a specific idea, theme, or issue. They do more than just cover the material. In the face to face classroom, good lectures involve asking questions, seeking comprehension, looking at body language for engagement, and often listening to students summarize what has been presented. But how can this be done outside of the classroom? Sometimes strategies that you use in seated courses do not translate well in the online learning environment. Direct lectures of more than 15 minutes long may be one of those examples. How can faculty increase student engagement with pre-recorded content? How do educators know if students understand what they are presenting? How can they tell if their way of teaching is working for the students?
Using Google Forms
When using a lecture to deliver content, several strategies and techniques have been suggested. Sometimes, reflection answers, exit tickets, or short quizzes can be used to assess understanding. Google Forms can be used for this strategy. For example, when finished with the video, take a look at this Pre-recorded Lectures – Part 1 Google Form. This form is a simple sample of an exit ticket that can be quickly evaluated by the instructor, to help determine comprehension and evaluate next steps for the course. If you would like to use Google forms/quizzes for your class, and you are not sure how to set up a form, reach out to the Academic Technology team, we would be happy to help.
When students think of lectures, oftentimes note-taking comes to mind. Do students know how to take notes? Yes and no. Some of them do, but sometimes students need a little guidance. An activity that can go with a chunked lecture could involve note-taking. One could give directions like the following to the students.
Assignment: Take notes while watching this lecture. Pay special attention to what gets the student’s attention, and the strategies that may work to keep it. Review the lecture as many times as needed to have comprehensive notes that work for you. Instructors could then have students scan or upload their notes to Moodle or whatever communication platform is used in the course.
Using Online Engagement Tools
When teaching face to face and virtually, synchronously or asynchronously, interactive activities can be valuable to keep students engaged and the course on track. Online polling can be a great tool to keep students engaged. If you’ve ever been in a virtual conference or workshop you may have seen people use Poll Everywhere, Socrative, or Kahoot. These interactive activities allow for the instructor to gauge class comprehension, or at least get a broad overview of what is being understood during or after the class presentation.