Day Two: Thursday, 22 July 2021

Roundtable 4: How (Not) to be Virtually Boring — Sharing the Experience

Lucie Viktorová (Pakacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic)

You are here, so you have probably looked into this already: How can we go about our teaching now that it’s online? How do we engage students? Some of the suggestions might be pretty obvious (and yet still missed by some people): 1) Seek out contact, don’t just assign homework; 2) Don’t simply talk for 90 minutes straight – promote interaction; 3) Obtain feedback and keep looking for ways to improve your teaching further. And right to this point, the current contribution aims to share the experience from online teaching – what to do in order (not) to be boring.

00:30:05 Lucie Viktorová:
00:32:34 Anita Campbell: Some of the boring ones were ones in which I was the lecturer!
00:32:57 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: No Need to be too self-critical 🙂
00:33:11 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: Oh yes! Me too! 😂
00:33:13 Janina Tosic: Anita: Me too!
00:33:40 Dewi Arual: no engagement with the audience, seems to be one way
00:34:03 Michael & Birgit: D and A
00:34:25 Caren Weinberg: Pomposity
00:34:58 פאדיה נאסר: monotonic
00:35:07 Dewi Arual: other reasons – good to have few short breaks
00:35:45 Diane Scharf: The lecturer’s fascination with the subject but little interest in whether it is relevant/interesting for others
00:35:49 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: Yes, I am going back to my own uni experience when we only had overhead projectors (no PowerPoint), and it was a old fashioned style of didactic learning – if questions were asked it was often aggressive “come on… you should know this!!”
00:35:52 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: time is a different beast when teaching online
00:36:27 Caren Weinberg: not Intune with loosing audience interest…
00:36:45 Janina Tosic: This is great advice for any teacher, Lucie! Go sit in on a lecture by somebody else and see what it feels like to have to listen to a 90 Minute lecture…
00:38:58 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: We often have to do peer observation – easier now lectures are recorded and if you have guest access to courses – you can reflect on what you like and dislike about someone’s delivery style.
00:39:31 Janina Tosic: Awesome, Nikki! Do you have guiding questions or something like that to be a bit more structured
00:41:37 Dewi Arual: I think with online teaching there are more distractions
00:42:04 Dewi Arual: cannot track what they are doing
00:42:16 alex mudd: Admin – sorry I’ve joined late – how do I join the polls?
00:42:22 Lucie Viktorová:
00:42:35 Alan Faulkner-Jones: Sorry, I was late, what’s the room name in socrative?
00:42:44 פאדיה נאסר: Different mental tools
00:43:01 Janina Tosic: I don’t do online lectures, but I expect they work differently to f2f…
00:43:10 Anne Tierney: VIKTOROVA7773
00:43:27 alex mudd: thanks 🙂
00:43:44 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: Cams on is a must in our classes
00:44:36 Marlene Muller: I agree with Nikki. Blank screen/poor engagement with online tools such as padlet very demotivating
00:44:55 Bastian Mrosko: there is a greater initial distance to the students with them being at home behind a screen. In my opinion including students in the lecture makes them more interested. This is important in presence and online but we have different starting conditions and different “tools” in the lecture hall and online.
00:44:56 Anita Campbell: In a live class, greetings, body language, even what people are wearing can make it a more interesting experience for students who are wanting to bond with peers.
00:45:03 Dewi Arual: a few students consistently use the technical glitch as an excuse
00:46:07 פאדיה נאסר: In my university opening camera was mandatory, still some students
00:46:15 פאדיה נאסר: did not
00:46:48 Sigal Tifferet: I tell them cameras are mandatory only in breakout rooms
00:48:13 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: I have done both – lectures, short bite-size lectures, and live discussion. Also a “pub” quiz!
00:48:14 Ooi Wei: no lecture for my classes as well
00:48:14 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: Just realised my cam’s not one 🙂
00:48:14 alex mudd: I am only doing tutorials only (our course doesn’t do lectures)
00:48:23 Alan Faulkner-Jones: I’m doing a mixture Janina
00:48:26 Anita Campbell: I’ve made video lectures, had some quiet Zoom tutorials and face-to-face tutorials
00:48:51 Lenka Mbadugha: @ Janina, also do pre-recorded lectures followed by ‘live online tutorials’
00:49:16 Bela Gupta Pearl Academy: I record all my lectures and students can access anytime later as well
00:49:22 Bastian Mrosko: @Janina, would you keep this format when we are back to normal?
00:49:34 Janina Tosic: Thanks for sharing your experience with this in the chat! Really interesting to hear how you do your online teaching
00:49:43 Janina Tosic: Yes, I am sticking with this “flipped classroom” model.
00:50:03 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: We tend to give students the choice of cameras on/off, audio on/off or using the chat. We also use breakout rooms, but sometimes those students are communicating on other platforms behind the scenes.
00:50:05 alex mudd: some of my students are sitting on their beds doing the tutorials and feel self conscious about their surroundings
00:50:20 Lucie Viktorová: Agree, thanks for that! I would like to save the chat afterwards 🙂
00:50:33 Janina Tosic: Students have actually written in their reflection pieces that they prefer it this way: Rather spend the time together with interaction and discussion and working on Problems together than to give a lecture
00:50:34 Lenka Mbadugha: @ Janina, is this your personal choice or a direction agreed by your school?
00:51:20 Sigal Tifferet: @janina, so this is a flipped class?
00:51:35 Marlene Muller: We do all online, seminars and lectures with latter really a touch base effort due to asynchronous materials available already online. Middle East culture is also less enthusiastic re cameras. But not mandatory as uni policy. Additionally, lack of quiet spaces at home hinder some, or sharing 1 device in whole household > we need to be empathetic to that too
00:51:47 Janina Tosic: Our president gave out the Suggestion to not ask students to join synchronous sessions in the first corona Semester as our students are quite poor and many don’t have the Wifi required to take part in Video conferences
00:52:04 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: all the cams were sold out when Corono first struck
00:52:10 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: Corona
00:53:15 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: We are also aware that not all students have enough bandwidth/technology – everyone is from different economic backgrounds and we have to understand that. Also we have rural students with awful wifi.
00:53:21 Bastian Mrosko: @Janina, this is really interesting and is something I’m thinking about too. We can use the contact-time in a much more efficient way. I’m a bit worried about workload for the students if they have recorded lectures that they need to attend + tutorials.
00:53:23 Sigal Tifferet: Alex, you should define your mic
00:53:30 alex mudd: even if people have the technology doesn’t mean that they will be engaged
00:56:41 Diane Scharf: This is clear to anyone who sees teaching as communication. Sometimes I suspect some “teachers” don’t see it like that.
00:56:43 Janina Tosic: @ Bastian, yes! Totally! I stripped my lectures down by half and I had excersises before. So they have about 50 minutes of recorded lectures instead of 90 minutes f2f before. And I do about 90 minutes of excercises with them instead of 45 minutes before. So more or less, the time is the same, I just spend it differently with them. But this is a huge Problem! So many students Report that other lecturers upload 90-minute recorded lectures which take about 3 hours for them to watch (stopping and repeating bits they don’t get)…
00:57:46 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: I like the term “imposter ”
00:57:53 Bastian Mrosko: @Janina thank you for sharing, really interesting.
00:58:01 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: Interesting! We only do 50 min max.
00:58:54 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: However, I have recorded the left over material if I haven’t covered everything.
00:59:02 Janina Tosic: In Germany the traditional lecture is 90 minutes. And people really translated that to 90 minute video lectures.
01:00:06 Janina Tosic: Nikki, that sounds like a great idea which would give lecturers the Feeling of having everything covered but giving students the Information of this is important and this is more of an add-on
01:00:14 Russell Bisset: In NZ the lectures are 50 minutes, and in Austria they are 90 minutes
01:01:12 Janina Tosic: I bring in the “life besides teaching and Learning” a lot!
01:01:13 alex mudd: ultimately we are all human – not machines
01:01:18 Avraham Roos: DO we have a life outside teaching?
01:01:21 Anita Campbell: In South Africa, lectures are 45 minutes, tutorials 90-120 minutes
01:01:35 Janina Tosic: Avraham: I hope 🙂 Sometimes not, though…
01:02:31 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: @avraham I try to!
01:03:37 Karlheinz Rathgeb-Weber: 3 cheers for a Pub quiz
01:03:54 Sigal Tifferet: @Elizabeth, what are pub quizzes?
01:04:22 alex mudd: yes needs to be coordinated
01:04:44 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: @sigal a series of questions (sometimes fun) which they have to answer in a small team, the questions are delivered in rounds (maybe 4 rounds of 10 questions), then there is a winning team.
01:05:27 Sigal Tifferet: Thanks, @Nikki. On what digital platform are they conducted?
01:06:03 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: We use Collaborate through Blackboard (that is our centralised platform). ultra is used to deliver our course material.
01:06:48 Bastian Mrosko: We should think about that in Germany and Austria (and I don’t know whereelse this is the case). It seems almost impossible to me to stay focused for 90 minutes in a lecture. What we can do immediately is structure the 90 minute lectures in a way that involves short breaks, discussions and interactive parts, provide recordings that you can stop whenever you want etc.
01:06:51 Sigal Tifferet: 👍
01:10:18 Elizabeth Black: Yes – an element of co-ordination rather than prescribing the choices. But it has been difficult as we all try out new things to see what works as well.
01:10:55 Janina Tosic: Yes, Bastian! Would be interesting to see what teaching formats other countries use. And how do they use them to bring in some new ideas to the German-speaking countries…
01:10:59 Lucie Viktorová: That was my experience, too. But as said, I still see it as “work in progress” 🙂
01:13:31 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: Can we get a pdf of your slides?
01:13:51 alex mudd: I think the sessions are recorded including the chat 🙂
01:14:02 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: I think we can talk about this all day!
01:14:03 Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija: Thanks!!
01:14:12 Bastian Mrosko: Thank you
01:14:13 Lenka Mbadugha: Thank you Lucie
01:14:18 Elizabeth Black: Thanks!
01:14:26 Ooi Wei: Thanks!
01:14:33 Nikki Cousins, University of Aberdeen: Thank you all and Lucie.
01:14:36 Anita Campbell: Great ideas, thanks!