synchronous online teaching

Why Teachers Are Switching to the FigJam Whiteboard

Traditional slide decks for hosting content in live videoconferences have the major drawback that the content is static and fixed ahead of time. Students can only watch passively and respond through the chat box on the side, and their comments are easy to miss if

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Can Student Chat during Class Be a Good Thing?

The ubiquitous cell phone and laptop have made student chat a common part of live classes, much to the consternation of instructors. Not only does it distract the teacher, but studies prove the common-sense intuition that distractions undermine learning (Blasiman et al., 2018). But a

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Gather and Discuss: A Backchannel Alternative

Over the past few years, it has become popular in education to broadcast the “backchannel” to students during a large class through a dedicated Twitter hashtag or some other social media app. The idea is that it allows students to make comments on the

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Turn Breakout Rooms into Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are becoming more and more popular in higher education. Participants solve a series of problems—each correct solution unlocking a clue or item to the next—while racing against the clock (or other teams). Knowing that this type of gamified learning format could potentially excite

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Tips for Facilitating Live Online Events

The global pandemic has caused emergency shifts in how we teach. Online learning is nothing new, but transitioning a once-dynamic in-person class to a screen in a synchronous format poses some challenges for “new to synchronous” teaching faculty. As two department chairs at a mid-size

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