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#36 - Run a webinar with a main speaker and feedback through text messages

  1. Remote students can feel isolated and disengaged.
  2. Streaming presentations online gives a greater sense of participation, but audience interaction is needed to enable active learning.
  3. Webinar technologies are now common place in business and everyday life, we can use their features to enable interaction in webinars.
Solution overview

Teaching online doesn't have to be complicated. You can replicate an ordinary lecture, using carefully managed text chat to give a sense of social presence. The trick is to establish the right protocols for the audience, so they message each other, the teacher, or the whole class, where appropriate. There are several tools available at Warwick, including Starleaf (recommended for large groups and where high quality is required). Some videoconferencing tools include a text chat channel (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Microsoft Teams). The main speaker might be at Warwick, or elsewhere with an internet connection. Use this to bring a wider range of people into your sessions: expert speakers, people from diverse backgrounds, teachers at other universities, people in the workplace. Use this to allow participation from students wherever they are, widening participation and enabling more flexible learning. Some videoconferencing tools include a system for recording meetings. You might also record a meeting using Echo 360 Lecture Capture.

  1. Which platform is right for your session? Here are some basic guidelines:
    1. Microsoft Teams meetings can be set up by any member of the university using the Teams system. They include text chat, desktop sharing, audio and video. Teams meetings have a maximum limit of 250 people, however, for interactivity, they work best with smaller groups. You could use them with a facilitator monitoring text chat, and summarising messages and questions for the main speaker. Teams has a built-in system for recording meetings.
    2. Warwick has a restricted number of licenses available for Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. This supports 250 participants, but has some additional pedagogic features beyond those provided by Teams (breakout rooms, polls). To find out more, contact AV Services.
    3. Starleaf is a more sophisticated videoconferencing platform, compatible with the hardware installed in some specialised teaching rooms. AV Services are also able to temporarily install the system into other rooms.
  2. Contact AV Services for help if needed.
  3. Prepare and distribute guidelines for all participants before the session, so that they know the purpose, structure, rules, and working practices to be used.
  4. You might ask a volunteer to create a summary of the session, and share it with the whole group.