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How to Use Interactive Tools
While the tools you have may vary a little with the web conferencing platform, you should have enough choice at your disposal to offer a range of activities in your online teaching sessions. Here are some suggestions that you should consider to maximise the interactivity of online sessions.
Include a mix of interactions, variety will help make your session interesting and engaging.
Questions and short tasks form the backbone of your interactions. Make good use of images where appropriate. If you have a webcam this can be used to good effect by moving it to show equipment, a work space or a physical activity taking place around you.
Calling on participants on a regular basis is a good technique to ensure that your learners are switched on and tuned in to the lesson. Create interactions and get participants to ‘do something’ at least every five minutes. Try to mix the interactions up a bit to keep them on their toes. For example, if every interaction was in chat, it would soon become boring and predictable. So make use of chat, whiteboard, microphone and polls – they are great facilities!
Implement ground rules. Ground rules are critical to the success of any learning experience – but particularly so in the online classroom. You should set the ground rules, model them, and maintain their usage throughout the course.
Have fun and relax. Remember that you will not have perfect classes all the time. If you go with the flow and embrace the experience, your expertise and enthusiasm will relax your participants, create the learning environment, and help you prepare for next time. Keep your tone relaxed and light, but vary the intonation and keep that broadcaster high energy level up.
Have a look at this video to see how to use interactions in your sessions.
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