The 8th tip for a successful synchronous session is to ask students questions during the lesson, and have them respond via chat function. Asking questions is a good way to break up a lesson and encourage student interaction. It’s also a good way to check if students are following the lesson and learning the material. Ask questions throughout the lesson, but just one question at a time, so as not to cause confusion. When planning your lesson, include notes about where you’ll pause to ask each question.
There are several benefits to having students answer questions by chat rather than verbally. First of all, it’s beneficial for shy students who are uncomfortable speaking in public; letting them text answers encourages them to participate in the lesson. Secondly, when video conferencing, it’s hard to avoid cross talking – when two or more people speak at once. Delays in video and audio can also make it difficult for students to know when someone has finished speaking and they can start.
See you next week we’ll discuss the tip #9: “Mute students when they aren’t talking.”