Video Conference Best PracticeSimon Clarke,Shetland College, UHIApril 2013
Objectives• Identify the challenges in teaching by VC• Explore possible solutions• Consider the whole package for VC ledmodules not just what happens in the VCsuite.
Technical Problems• An extra layer of complexity to go wrong!• How can we protect ourselves?
Engaging Presentation• What could be done better here?
Inclusion• How will the remote students feel?• How could inclusion be better managed?
Audience Behaviour• What do you require of a conventionalclass?• What should you require of a VC class?
Lack of feedback for the tutor• Remote sites will be “muted”• Only the last site to have spoken will be onscreen.
VLE support is VitalContent displaced from the VC to the VLE.
VLE advantages• Accurate and Reliable• Lecturer freed from dictating• Students freed from note taking• Not a disaster if VC session is missed orthere is an equipment failure.VC session can concentrate on beingstimulating and interactive.
Twin Screen Arrangement• Incoming signal, from remote sites• Outgoing signal from a range of input devices
Visual Inputs; Object Camera• Touch Screen PC• Object Camera• Potentially as visually rich as conventionalteaching
The Audience Experience• Students should see both speaker andpresentation• Remove the presentation when not in use.
Combining local and VC delivery• Lecturer needs to face both the cameraand local group.
Focus on the current speaker• Presets to quickly switch between views
Lecture Theatres• Audience camera and lecturer camera• Need to select the appropriate one• Need to adjust both• Need to ask the audience to sit together
They’re behind you!• How could this lab session have beenbetter managed?
Active Listening• Break up presentations into short sections• Actively seek input from all centres• Encourage students to interrupt withquestions and comments.The possibility of interaction affects theway people listen, even if they don’tpersonally speak during a session.
Longitudinal Dialogue• Expect students to come to sessionsprepped by having read ahead• Assessment and feedback needs to forman effective cycle of dialogue andimprovement• VC is only a small part of the “contact” thatstudents require
Recordings• VC session recorded centrally• Available via a hypertext link from VLE• Shows speaker and slides, questions fromthe class
What is Streaming For?• Offers security of delivery andflexibility to students• Only a recording – not interactive• Only stored for two weeks – not along term resource• Availability may affect whetherstudents turn up for the live session.
ConferenceMe, PC based VC• Ordinary PC, with an inexpensive webcam• Much less expensive• Potential for home access.• Causes quality and management problems
Conclusions: Programme Design• Redesign courses and modules to workthrough the medium of VC.• All VC modules should be supportedwith online materials – for security ofdelivery and to displace content form theVC session.• Induct students in VC and VLE –manage expectation and behaviour.
Before the VC Session• Rooms need to be booked and thebridge informed prior to the class toensure a smooth start• Manage VC rooms to ensure equipmentis arranged appropriately• Be familiar with the VC equipment priorto the class
During the VC• Manage your local cameras for aprofessional presentation• Don’t just be a talking head. VC can be asvisually rich as face to face.• Be student centred – VC should beinteractive• VC use is a significant learning outcome inits own right – require appropriatebehaviour from your class
After the VC• Make recordings routinely available tostudents – most recordings are notcurrently used.• Be available to your students by phoneand email - the equivalent of speakingafter the class. Teaching should be anextended dialogue with students.