Teaching Using Video Conference

This article provides tips for enhancing your videoconferencing experience when teaching

The teaching landscape has been changed by technology; the question is 'how do you best leverage technology for teaching?'. Video conferencing is one of the most usable and accessible technology. Even though video conferencing is not new, the application and growth in the use of it gives it the appearance that it is new and exciting technology.

A videoconference-linked class offers the best opportunity to provide an interactive classroom across multiple rooms and campuses. With multimedia presentation and live bi-directional video and audio delivery, teaching can reach out further than used to be possible.

Southern Cross University has many videoconference equipped teaching spaces ranging from small tutorial size rooms to large lecture theatres, with the ability to connect all our campuses, and external parties. Please see here for all our videoconference rooms.

How to get the best from the video conference experience

A common misconception is that interaction in a videoconference class is difficult. The important connection made with students via eye contact must also be maintained with the students at the other classroom (the far side). This is achieved by simply looking at the videoconference camera at the back of the room. This will translate to the students in the far side location who will experience the teacher looking at them.

Inclusion: Another very effective method is to single out students at the far end and ask them a question, starting with What is your name?. Then referring to that student by their name throughout the session. This can be replicated until the teacher has a good idea of most of the farside students and can involve them by name.

Further to this, asking students to interact with each other is a bonding process. Asking the near side (room the teacher is in) and far side students to say hello to each other by adjusting the camera to both audiences is an easy way for all students to connect.

The key is to unify the group at all locations.

Can a video conference class be recorded?

Yes, videoconference classes can be recorded and are available directly after the class via Mediasite.

Five ways that video conferencing can enhance teaching

  1. Collaborative intercampus interaction - providing a vehicle for the students to present and interact with each other.

  2. Connecting with industry recognised experts - providing a cheap alternative to flying in an industry expert.

  3. Virtual field trips - connecting to other institutions in Australia and around the world.

  4. Access to previously unavailable courses - courses unavailable at one campus may be available at another.

  5. Teaching the teachers - providing a way for teaching staff to access a richer environment for learning and providing access to professional development without the additional expense of travel and accommodation.