Synchronously: Students and instructor(s) meet together online for live classes at pre-determined times. These are usually discussion-based classes, including cases, negotiations, guest speakers etc. Pros: real-time engagement with students, students can ask questions, instructors can gauge understanding in the moment through polling. Cons: students are required to have a stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth, potential for intermittent streaming delays, need for students to be online at a specific time regardless of time zone.
Asynchronously: Lectures and other learning materials are developed by the instructor and released to students to work through on their own time. Learning materials often take the form of videos, readings, quizzes, and other individual learning activities. Pros: high-speed internet is less important, students can work at their own pace (especially important for people isolating at home with families and other commitments), students can review material as needed, instructors can re-use material in subsequent course offerings, Cons: additional work is required of the instructor to create asynchronous materials, instructor needs to be available to support learners via online office hours, discussion boards, etc. Other considerations: students need to be kept on-track with deadlines, due dates, etc. For information on how to create course videos, click here.
Hybrid: Hybrid courses make use of both synchronous and asynchronous delivery. Lecture videos, readings, formative assessments, etc. are released to students in advance of class to work through and review at their own pace. Students then bring their newly acquired knowledge to a synchronous class together with their classmates to engage in discussion and more active learning activities, e.g. breakout room discussions, debates, peer assessment, etc. Pros: the best of both worlds, as described above. Cons: students need to complete the asynchronous material in order to engage effectively in a live class, careful planning is required by the instructor. For more information on hybrid (or flipped) learning, click here.
Case discussions can be facilitated online through Zoom by using the tools described below. Many of the mechanics that happen in-person can be replicated online including setting up the case, cold calling, hand raising, and sharing data. Here are brief descriptions of each of these tools:
Case documents can be posted onto Quercus for students to download in advance of class. Click here for more information on uploading files. You can also share links to web pages and shared documents in the Zoom chat. As you set up your case, you can very switch between your webcam and your shared content by using the sharing tools described below.
At any point you can verbally call upon a student and ask a question. Remember that students may not be in front of their computers for the entirety of the class. It’s recommended that you let students know in advance that you’ll be cold calling so that they can be ready. Once called upon, students will turn on their microphones to provide a response.
Students have the option of raising their hand using the icon at the bottom of the screen. When they raise their hand you will be notified in the participant list and with an on-screen pop-up. As above, simply call upon the student verbally. You also have the option of lowering a student’s hand if you see fit.
Sharing content in Zoom can take four forms:
All of these options are explained in detail here.
It can be very difficult to monitor the chat while teaching and it’s recommended that you have a co-pilot with you for all of your synchronous content. Your TA can be helpful in this regard. It’s best to set out your expectations from the outset. For example, you may want students to raise their hands if they have a comment rather than posting a chat message. You may want them to post clarifying questions for your co-pilot to answer. Setting expectations. See more chat considerations in HBP’s “Mastering Case Teaching in Online Classes (Links to an external site.)“, specifically:
The chat function in video conferencing platforms is an important tool for synchronous sessions, so understand how you will use it: Will it be part of the discussion? Can students go back to past topics? Will you follow up with them later? Consider the effect the chat has on the main channel and note when students might not be paying attention to the ongoing discussions. Set norms and follow them.
When discussing cases it can be beneficial to organize the student insights into a framework. During a normal class, this can be done by simply writing key items on a whiteboard. However in an online setting, the most simple and effective way to achieve this would be to utilize a shared document to track the discussion. The instructor can record the student’s insights within the document and share it with the rest of the class in real time.
This article demonstrates how to utilize the breakout group function in Zoom.
You would like to see your students slides and hear their voices
If it’s simply slides and voices I suggest asking groups to elect a member who you can promote during the session to the “Co-host” role. They can then share the team’s slides and advance them for everyone in the group. When it’s time for the next person to speak they can simply turn their mic on and ask the presenter to advance, etc. as necessary. This way only one person in each group needs to be promoted by you.
You would like to see students’ faces and slides, and hear their voices
If you need to see students faces AND their slides, perhaps the simplest way to do this is to ask groups to email their final slide decks to you in advance of the presentation. You could then post the presentation(s) in a module on Quercus so the whole class can access them.
When it comes time to present, you can ask all members of the group to turn their cameras on so they appear on-screen. Alternatively, you could ask them to turn on their cameras one at a time when it’s their turn to speak. Of course, their microphones would need to be un-muted as well.
You, as the instructor and the students in the class would have the relevant slide deck open, perhaps on a second screen. The presenters would verbally hand-off to one another and indicate when slides should be advanced.
Regardless of the webinar platform you use, you will have the option of inviting colleagues and guests from outside of the University community. In most cases, simply sharing the Guest Link (Zoom).
If they have slides or other materials to share you’ll want to ensure they are assigned the appropriate role. In Zoom you will need to assign your guest the role of “Co-host” once the meeting begins. Once your guest has the appropriate role, they can share their content and interact with students just as you would as the instructor.
Some best practices for guests: