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Synchronous online teaching - Activities

 

Suggestions for teaching and learning activities

Engage / Check understanding

Break up your synchronous presentation by stopping for a quick activity, such as responding to a question in chat, completing a sentence, or completing another task like polling, etc. 

Polling activity can be used to ask a factual question with multiple options or students can also present their agreement/ 
disagreement with the given statements. Post-poll discussions can stimulate students to discuss areas of study in-depth.

Use the polling feature in Zoom or Poll Everywhere to ask questions and show responses in real-time. After-poll discussion can be carried out in the live video session.

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It is recommended that practice classes and examination hours is conducted as online sessions using Zoom. That mean that all participants (instructors and students) should use headsets when asking or answering questions. 

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Encourage active engagement

Use online Breakout meeting rooms to simulate small group discussions. Students may also use collaborative tools (Zoom Whiteboard; 365 doc) to record thoughts. 

Give group assignments and workshop formats for small teams to hold online brainstorm meetings and create things together using collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom White board, Padlet, etc.) between live sessions. 

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Engage students

Fishbowl is a strategy for organizing small group discussions. Half of the students are assigned to the inner circle and the other half are assigned to the outer circle. First, students placed in the inner circle or in the ‘fishbowl’ have a discussion, and the students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes. The roles are then switched. 

Both the groups can be prompted to think and make notes using some questions, such as:  

  • Two things that were new learning points for you. 
  • One idea that you disagree with. Why? 
  • One idea that you strongly agree with. Why?

Students can take turns role playing/miming a solution and others can watch and respond in chat or live discussion. Encourage students to turn off webcams so focus can be on the student miming.

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Encourage active engagement 

Use the chat feature in Zoom. Ask a question and let the students reply with a brief response. Read them out loud to the whole class. Could also use Breakout rooms with a reporter to share or Open-ended questions with Poll Everywhere. 

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Encourage active engagement 

Students think/recall about a concept/experience individually, share it with their peers, and then share it with the entire class.

  • Use breakout meeting rooms in online video conferencing (Zoom) platforms to simulate small group discussions. 
  • Use Zoom White-board or PowerPoint slide or 365 document to note their observations. 
  • Use “Private Chat” function in online video conferencing platform for one-to-one discussions in the “pair” phase (equivalent to “talk to the person sitting next to you”).

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Engage students

Create a set of class notes with blanks for important information and share it on itslearning or share a O365 document. Encourage students to fill in the blanks during the class session. Microsoft Forms can also be used for this activity.

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Engage students

Gallery walk is a way to engage students in displaying their artifacts to their peers and the teacher, for feedback and improvement. Self-reflection can also be prompted post this activity.

Use shared spaces (breakout rooms in Zoom) for small groups to record ideas using collaborative tools such as Zoom whiteboards, Padlet and Office 365 documents/slides/whiteboard, and then view those with the whole class.  

Peer/teacher feedback can be sought right after the presentation using checklists or rubrics in Peergrade or Polleverywhere. Self-reflection can be sought through critiquing their own work by stating one way that they would have improved their work provided more time, resources, etc.

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Monitor/assess understanding

Pose a question or two in a Discussion  on itslearning and have students respond for 5-10 minutes.

Students may share a selection of responses or summary of their responses with the whole class.

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Monitor/assess understanding

Individually students take a few minutes to write down the areas that they find most confusing or difficult. Peers / faculty provide explanations to clarify the concept.

Encourage students to identify any unclear or “muddy points”. Muddiest points can be added in the chat or on a shared screen or Padlet.

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Reflect on learning

Students identify their position on a specific statement (strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree). 

Students have 4 colored cards. These are held up to the webcam when asked a question to display their answer. Virtual backgrounds in different colors, or a Zoom or Poll Everywhere poll, could also be used. 

Students can be randomly picked or volunteer to justify their answers through the learning materials (reading provided, or prior experience or video watched).

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Reflect on learning

On a PowerPoint slide, put a list of ideas, terms, equation, or rationale. Students can identify the missing pieces in the given ideas/equation/glossary.

On Zoom use slides, present a list of ideas, terms, equation, or rationale. Students can respond with what is missing using chat, poll, live discussion or annotation. 

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Reflect on learning

Students identify one or two “ahas” (ideas that were new to them) and one “huh?”  (idea that is still confusing for them).

In real time students post an “aha” and “huh?” in the Zoom chat, on a Padlet or in a Q&A Poll Everywhere poll. The teacher uses these to guide discussion or future instruction. 

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Strengthen understanding

Pro/cons list is a strategy used to elicit arguments in favour or against a certain statemen.

Together create a pro/con list using a collaborative tool such as Zoom annotations, Zoom whiteboards, Office 365 documents/slides/whiteboard or a Padlet.

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Strengthen understanding

Use Zoom Whiteboard or a Padlet to have students work collaboratively in real-time to add to the concept map. 

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Strengthen understanding

Offer a visual prompt for students to respond. This can be done by sharing an image with accompanying question. Students write their reflection on the visual prompt or respond by using chat or other writeable response options.

Use a collaborative tool such as Zoom annotations, Zoom whiteboards, Office 365 documents/slides/whiteboard, a Padlet or just a simple image showed in your PowerPoint slideshow with the students responding using the Zoom chat or a Poll Everywhere poll. 

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Strengthen understanding

Entry and exit tickets are questions that are given to the students around a concept to check the understanding of the students before or after the session.

At the beginning or end of a class, students respond to a question in the Zoom chat, in a Discussion on itslearning or by using polls in Zoom or Poll Everywhere. 

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Active engagement/ planning for future learning/ connections

Use the chat feature in Zoom or collaborative writing spaces such as Zoom annotations, Zoom whiteboards, Office 365 documents/slides/whiteboard, a Padlet or a Poll Everywhere open-ended or Q/A poll to brainstorm ideas and review in class.

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Active Engagement

Students complete a 3-question quiz worth 3 points in the first 5 minutes of class. Questions for the quiz are given in the last 5 minutes of the previous class. Answers can be posted in Zoom by using the chat or a poll, or by using a quiz tool like Microsoft Office 365 Forms or Poll Everywhere.

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Providing/getting feedback on work in progress

Have students share drafts - e.g.  in a shareable folder on itslearning and/or by using Office 365 shareable documents - prior to class  and then break into groups for discussion/feedback using breakout rooms in Zoom.

Have selected students share their drafts with the class in real time and provide a way for students to give feedback using either the Zoom chat or a Poll Everywhere open ended poll.

Peergrade provides an online platform for sharing students’ work for peer review supported by a criteria-based rubric.

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Last Updated 13.11.2020