Delivering the session

Check all students have the joining information (the rules and etiquette should be part of this or a separate sheet) and clearly explain the content and objectives of session.

Netiquette (docx)

Make sure the session is recorded and that the recording of the session commences at the correct time. Studies have shown that recorded sessions are an important tool for the students who may use the recorded sessions in a variety of ways, for example to catch up if they missed the session, for revision or for reviewing to go over something they might not have understood.

If a student is having problems, one good idea if possible, is to log into the session from two accounts, one as moderator and one as participant, so you can see what students are seeing and troubleshoot issues that arise. Use a laptop or second computer for your ‘student’ login.”

Ensure that you have the contact numbers ready in case you need to call for technical assistance.

Outline your session with an overview.

Introduce sessions with an icebreaker activity and use the time to make sure students are comfortable with the Collaborate features and understand the etiquette.

Keep activities simple, short, focused, and learner centric. Prompt frequent discussion. Blackboard Collaborate sessions should be of reasonable duration, not exceeding 60 minutes.

Energy and enthusiasm is more important with Collaborate than at a face to face presentation so there should be no reduction in the quality of the session if the students have to turn off their video to improve reception. Even if the connection is slow and you have to turn of the video, use your web cam at the start and at the end as this helps maintain a good rapport with the students.

Decide if and when to schedule any breaks.

Know what your plan is if a student drops out or you drop out of Collaborate.

Have a ‘Plan B’ ready to put in place if the session is unable to continue.

At the end of the session, take a screen grab of the Collaborate chat to reflect upon. This might also be a useful resource; for example, to use the points raised in the discussion board or as the basis for a further activity.

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Pause for thought

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