The right methods will connect your students to the you the instructor.


1. Welcoming Environment

All students learn best when they feel welcomed and are connected to their instructor. To facilitate this, make sure you always:
– Keep yourself in the camera frame
– “Make eye contact” with the camera
– Greet student groups by their campus names


1.1 Keep yourself in the camera frame

While instructing it is important to keep yourself in the camera frame so that the students can see you as you instruct them. This helps the students connect better to you and follow along with what you are teaching.

INCORRECT: The instructor is out of the camera frame
CORRECT: The instructor is in the camera frame

NOTE: Most video conferencing services have a view of your camera in a corner. Use this as you would use your car’s rearview mirror to ensure that you are always in the camera frame.

1.2 “Make eye contact” with the camera

When you instruct students in person you generally look them in the eye to let them know that you are listening to or addressing them. Video conferencing often feels disconnected because the person you are talking with seems to be looking somewhere else other than at you. They are usually looking at you on their screen but their camera is in a different place. This make them appear distracted.

Instead of looking at the screen all of the time, look at the camera while listening to and addressing your students. This will look like you are looking directly at them and help them feel more connected to you.

INCORRECT: The instructor is looking at the screen instead of the camera

CORRECT: The instructor is “making eye-contact” with the camera

Practice

Record yourself while looking at your computer screen and then looking at your camera. Notice how it does not feel natural but also how much better it looks and feels in the recording when you are looking at the camera.

*Use cam-recorder.com if the recorder above does not work

1.3 Greet student groups by their campus names

When you instruct multiple group of students on different campuses at the same time it is difficult to greet each individual student at the start of class. However, it is important to let them know that you see and hear them and for you to hear back from them that they see and hear you. This is also a signal to them that they are a welcome part of the class.

2. Facilitate a learning environment

It is always important to keep yourself in the camera frame and “make eye-contact” with the camera. However, now it is time to have the learning begin. Students will disconnect when they do not feel heard or understood. Make sure you always:

– Call on students by name
– Repeat comments and questions from the students before responding

2.1 Call on students by name when rephrasing comments and questions

The sweetest word we ever hear is our own names. It makes us feel valued. During a video conference, it also confirms that you are addressing the correct person. To further ensure that you are communicating properly, it is essential to rephrase comments and questions from your students. This helps everyone know what was originally said and understand what you are responding to.

Instructor responds to a student’s comment by calling them by name and rephrasing the comment.

Instructor responds to a student’s question by calling them by name and rephrasing the question as a part of the answer.


REVIEW

1. To create a welcoming environment
– Keep yourself in the camera frame
– “Make eye contact” with the camera
– Greet student groups by their campus names
2. To facilitate a learning environment
– Call on students by name
– Repeat students comments and questions


POSTTEST

Congratulations! You have just learned a lot. Now it is time to show the world how much you have learned.

Take the posttest.