All students learn best when they feel welcomed and are connected to their instructor. To facilitate this, make sure you always:
While instructing it is important to keep yourself in the camera frame so that the students can see you instruct. 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
TIP: Most video conferencing services will have your camera view in a corner. Check this as you would your car's rearview mirror to ensure that you are always in the camera frame.
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. However, video conferencing often feels disconnected because the person you are talking with seems to be looking somewhere else other than at you. This is because they are usually looking at you on their screen while the camera is in a different place. This make them appear distracted.
Instead of looking at the screen, look at the camera when are listening to or addressing your students. This will look like you are looking directly at them.
INCORRECT: The instructor is looking at the screen instead of the camera
CORRECT: The instructor is "making eye-contact" with the camera
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.
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:
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.