Videoconference tools such as Google Meet, Webex Meetings, and Zoom — the three tools featured in this guide — can be used as simply as possible to facilitate class sessions online, but their features also allow you to orchestrate some complex interactions. The purpose of this section is to provide sample activities that leverage videoconference tool features and provide some ideas about how they can work in concert to increase active learning in the Live Online classroom.
Note: We created this guide to help faculty at Glendale Community College enhance their synchronous class sessions. Google Meet, Webex Meetings, and Zoom are the current videoconference tools supported at our institution. We have omitted discussion of any features of these tools which are not available at our institution.
A word of empathy…
Some of these activities require students to switch between apps or use videoconference tool features they may have never used before. Therefore, keeping your students’ perspectives in mind will give you the best opportunity for a worthwhile experience. For example, when students only have a smartphone to attend Live Online class meetings, they will have more difficulty switching between or accessing apps outside of the videoconference. As well, students may be interrupted frequently if they are at home caring for a family member. They may also prefer to maintain the privacy of their surroundings by turning their video off. Given these possible circumstances, it’s important to set expectations with your students while simultaneously recognizing that some leniency may be in order.
Keep your videoconference tool updated
Many of the activities in this section will only work with a recent version of the videoconference client (for desktop computers) or videoconference app (for mobile). Therefore, at the beginning of your course, recommend your students upgrade to the most recent version of the desktop client or mobile app for the videoconference tool used for class meetings. Also, many of the activities in this book will not work if students or instructors access the videoconference tool through a web browser instead of the desktop client (if available) or mobile app.
For your convenience, here are download links for you to use or share with your students: