Scenario 2A - Synchronous communication
In online learning settings, synchronous communication sessions, like for example webinars, lend themselves particularly well to present extensive content to a (potentially large) audience.
WEBINARS. These are the online equivalent of traditional lectures. However, in webinars, eye contact between the speaker and the audience is missing, so the speaker needs to resort to some techniques to engage the audience and check that they are following the presentation. To this end, presentations can be made more lively and engaging through the use of some simple expedients, like pausing to ask questions to the audience. These questions usually serve the purpose of interrupting the flow of information by prompting participants’ reflection on content or checking understanding. In addition, the speaker should make sure that participants can ask questions and that someone (usually not the speaker) keeps track of the questions and makes sure they are answered in the course of the presentation. Webinars can also be used for quick decision making through small group discussions or polling.
Among the downsides of synchronous communication, it should be mentioned that it requires the simultaneous presence of the target audience and should therefore be organised well in advance. Recordings of sessions will make it possible for those who were not present to catch up with content, but it will not make up for the missing interactivity.
Watch the video below, if you want to learn how to set up a webinar.
BREAKOUT ROOMS. In online webinars, you can also create breakout rooms as an additional means of student engagement; use breakout rooms to encourage small group discussion, collaboration, and cooperation amongst students.
Watch the video below, to learn how to use breakout rooms.