Tips for Video Conferencing Instruction


    Videoconferencing is voluntary, teachers are not mandated to provide videoconferencing for students. 

     Students may be unsure of how to act and feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.  Students may feel like they are watching television and lapse into a passive mode.  It is important to have strategies for engaging students, putting them at ease, facilitating discussion and making everyone feel a part of the class. Here are some suggested tips and guidelines for those that are embracing multiple alternatives for eLearning instruction, in this case videoconferencing.



    Make course materials available.

        Post assignments, handouts, notes and supplemental materials/rubrics on Google Classroom and give access to students before the class begins. This will give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with materials. 

        Provide personalized feedback to students upon completion of their work.

    Develop the use of communication and collaboration tools.

        It is important to connect with each student to keep them engaged.  
        Plan and provide for student-to-student, student-to-teacher and teacher-to-student communication and collaboration.


    B.   IN THE CLASSROOM (Engage Students, Encourage Discussion, Establish Rapport and Promote Interactivity)     

    • Arrive early.
    • Set your eLearning / video conferencing expectations of students.
    • Discuss etiquette, student responsibilities, logistics and proper ways of interacting. For example: how will students get your attention to speak
    • At the beginning of each session, remind students that they are expected to participate.
    • Remind the students that this is a two-way video, which means that anything they say or do may be amplified and will be seen by all.
    • Have materials out and ready to present before connecting.  
    • Ensure that students can see and hear you, the class and any projected media.  Always ask if everyone can hear and see you properly before you begin. 
    •  Ask questions directly - by name.
    • Students may have trouble ‘jumping into’ the class discussion since body language that indicates they want to speak is less noticeable.  So it is important to periodically ask for opinions and see if there are questions.  Additionally remind students of the protocol to indicate they want to speak or enter the conversation.
    • Show interest in all students: Make a point of communicating with students by name.
    • Students may have difficulty staying engaged, if the teacher is not engaged, tense or bored.  Make the session as energetic and interactive as possible.
    • Try not to think of yourself as being on camera, just behave and talk naturally.
    • When answering questions
      • Look into the camera and answer the person who asked the question.
      • See if the question can be answered by another student to generate discussion. 


    C. Best Practices on Camera

    • Be aware of outgoing video.  Assume that students can see and hear everything.
    • Be mindful to protect student and teacher private information.
    • Monitor student to student interaction.  Ensure that students are not making other students uncomfortable.
    • Eliminate Background Noise  
    • Background noise can be very distracting to the video conferencing class. Avoid noise such as rattling keys, side conversations, tapping pens, papers rattling near microphones and doors opening and closing.   Remind students to turn off their cell phones at the start of each class.


    Remember:  In video conferencing visual and non-verbal aspects become more significant.



    Be the first one to arrive and last one to leave, ensure that videoconferencing is closed when you are finished.