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Online Live Session Interactions

A page within CATL Teaching Improvement Guide

Brief Description 

Providing interactions in a live online class is important for student engagement, learning, and retention. There are a variety of ways to build interaction into live online class meetings but an instructor must be intentional with the planning and implementation of the techniques. These interactive tools can also be used to enhance in-person classes and increase opportunities for engagement with students.
Zoom is a conferencing tool integrated into Canvas. Participants have the ability to easily share content and engage with other participants using a variety of optional tools. Various features of Zoom can be used to add interactivity to your courses.
Here are a few ideas.


Use Polls

Zoom Polling

Can be used for...

- completing formative assessment through content-based questions that gauge progress toward an objective, skipping content that is mastered and focusing on content that needs more instructional support
- making a prediction about a case, a current event, a scenario, a problem, etc. 
- sharing sensitive information
- ranking what to cover or review in a live session such as terminology, concepts, articles, etc. that need more support and explanation from the instructor
- picking the content that is covered in the live session
- breaking the ice at the beginning of a live session
- getting input on the value of certain activities in the live session to help plan future sessions
Use Audio and Video

Link: Zoom Audio/Video

Can be used for...

- sharing slides and content
- integrating guest speakers, can live session and allow students to hear another perspective and ask questions of someone in the field
- sharing of examples, experiences, and work that exemplifies course concepts by instructor or student
- demonstrating (instructor or student) a hands-on skill such as splinting a sprained ankle, interviewing a candidate, wiring a circuit, laboratory preparation, etc. 
- assessing oral reports
Use Breakout Groups

Link: Zoom Breakout Rooms

Can be used for...

- debating something where students are assigned a ‘side’ to an issue and asked to discuss in a small group and share back with large group
- discussing an aspect of lesson, preparing a summary and examples for the class and then presenting them back to the large group
- working on a group project assignment
- having student-led small-group discussion where students are asked to come to a class ready to lead a small group in a defined activity
- sharing and discussing current events
- creating a workshop with drafts of papers or projects
- doing station work where students complete different sections of an assignment, view different parts of a gallery, present to different peers about a topic
Use Screen Content

Link: Zoom Screen Sharing

Can be used for...

- sharing multiple screens to compare and contrast two articles or breakout room work
- including guest speakers, solving problems, projecting current research, sharing a presentation, etc. 
- hosting a web field trip
- giving class presentations
- sharing to the whole-class internship or practicum experiences
- annotating an article areas of confusion
- annotating a paper while it is being workshopped
- showcasing a portfolio
- asking student to highlight an area of a text in question
- annotating a diagram, image or graph
Use Chat

Link: Zoom Chat

Can be used for...

- asking an icebreaker question
- asking a question to gauge learning such as "what do you think of when I say….", "Tell me how you are feeling right now" "On a scale of ___ rank…."
- intentional breaks to respond to questions posed in the chat 
- sharing an assignment to complete in the breakout group or after live session is complete
Use Feedback, Status, and Reactions

Link: Zoom Meeting Reactions

Can be used for...

- quick status check on understanding a concept
- agree or disagree on a topic
- predicting the outcome
- share thoughts/opinion on a writing, image, etc. 

Koepke, K.  (2020). Online live sessions. In Teaching Improvement Guide. University of Wisconsin at La Crosse Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from