Let’s take a look at the key things to consider when planning a live session.
Much like on-campus lectures, its quite challenging to maintain the attention of your audience in a live session without some forms of interactivity, especially if the session is an hour or longer.
When planning your live session be sure to include regular points for interactivity - roughly every 15 minutes at least should help to keep the audience engaged. You can always inform students at the start of the session that you will invite comments and ask questions throughout to help encourage their engagement.
Take a look at some of the tools typically available to consider how you might
- Polls - which typically need planning and creating in advance of the session.
- Voting - which can be used during the session without preparation.
- Chat - for learners to comment, ask and answer questions without the need for microphones.
- Whiteboard - a collaborative space where you can draw and write in real-time and invite questions.
- Breakout rooms - used to divide up large groups into smaller working groups for a range of activities.
There are a wide range of approaches to planning live sessions and the approach you take will, to some extent, dictate the type of interactivity you can deploy. In some cases, the interactivity will be built in whereas in other cases it will be a show and tell approach. Whichever approach is chosen, interactivity within a virtual seminar will take some planning and consideration. Take a look at some examples of live session structures below to help you think about how you might plan your sessions.
A task-based session with a predetermined activity which can make use of virtual break-out spaces/groups. Used to support collaboration and practical application of course content.
A prerequisite activity is shared via the VLE, such as a research task or journal review. Learners present their response to the task in the live session and receive feedback. Used to support engagement with the course content and ownership of students learning.
Show and tell
Students are requested to share insights from their experience or output from a group activity with their peers. Used to provide an outlet for group work
A dedicated assignment discussion session with the tutor providing guidance on how to get the best from the set assignments. Used to provide assignment activities and answer student’s questions.
The tutor poses a series (2-3) discussion topic starters with students contributing their opinions and perspectives. Used to generate debate and discussion around contentious or challenging content/issues.
An open session with no predetermined content. Students pose questions to the tutor. Used to provide students with a space to answer questions in real-time.