Managing large groups live
So you’ve planned your live sessions, now how can you engage a large cohort online when there is only one of you.
Ask for help - Is there anyone in your faculty who can help support you, as a facilitator? Equally, is there anyone from the learning tech team who might help you manage tech issues etc? You never know, if you don’t ask.
Manage microphones - You’re probably already aware of the challenges of having lots of microphones on during live sessions. Mute all wherever possible and get familiar with how to quickly access unmuting options to allow individual contributions.
Engage with low stakes - Utilise some of the low stakes, easy to use interactivity features of live sessions. This includes chat, voting and reactions which vary across platforms. Students love a reason to use these features and they take little effort to deploy. Use these at least every 15-20 minutes to break up periods of inactivity for students.
Utilise breakout rooms - Divide and conquer. Most live sessions systems will allow you to divide up the larger group into smaller working groups. You can then, virtually, visit each group as they work on a task or engage in a discussion. This is an efficient and manageable way to provide a more personal approach and more connected touchpoints with your students, which they will value highly.