Delivering Virtual and Online Lectures
Tips and strategies for delivering virtual and online lectures
From the MSU Roadmap
- Instruction and learning modalities, virtual: Students and faculty work together synchronously though web-based communication technology.
- Instruction and learning modalities, online: Interaction, learning and dialogue does not require any in-person meeting and are most often offered asynchronously to allow students to access learning at their convenience.
Instructors can deliver lectures virtually through real-time synchronous web conferencing sessions or online asynchronously by recording a video using lecture capture software and posting it to a course in Brightspace/D2L.
Virtual Lectures (synchronous, real-time, live)
WebEx is available for conducting live class sessions and can be accessed by all students and faculty. In order to make WebEx live synchronous class sessions go smoothly and be more effective for your student’s online learning, follow these tips and strategies:
- Schedule these synchronous live sessions during the days and times when you would have met for the course.
- Record the session and post a link for students who can’t make it.
- Run a test session to make sure that WebEx runs properly on your computer and to become familiar with its tools and features.
- Connectivity problems can happen. If students are experiencing difficulties, let them know it's okay and they should rejoin as they are able.
- Use a microphone or headset. The audio quality using these tools is typically better than than your computer’s built-in options.
- Control background noise. Ask your students to stay muted unless they are going to speak. Encourage use of earbuds or headphones and refrain from typing unless they are muted. Instructors also have the ability to mute all participants. NOTE: Due to campus-based emergency circumstances, students may not always be able to find quiet space and control interruptions by roommates, spouses, children and pets.
- Consider using WebEx’s Chat feature or keeping the video feed off. This frees Internet bandwidth, allowing students to listen without worrying about their appearance.
- For synchronous (real-time) online sessions, be aware that you’re often being invited into a student’s home. Please practice respect and understanding.
Visit MSU's WebEx website to get started with WebEx.
See the Classroom Lecture Technology page to use WebEx in an MSU centrally-managed classroom.
For assistance with WebEx: email@example.com or 406-994-1777
Online Lectures (recorded, asynchronous)
TechSmith is a basic lecture capture software for recording screens and narrating over a PowerPoint, document, image or website using a device’s microphone. Information for using TechSmith produced recordings can be edited and uploaded to a Brightspace/D2L course for your students to view.
To create effective recorded lectures for your student’s online learning, follow these tips and best practices:
- Length: Provide short mini-lectures that are 5-15 minutes long. Aim for bite sized chunks of information that target 1-2 pieces of content at a time. Students are less likely to watch a 45+ minute recording online. Longer lectures can be broken up into parts where new topics or concepts are introduced, i.e. Part I – Concept A, Part II Concept B.
- Composition: Avoid including large amounts of text on a screen that students will have to read while listening to audio. Audio narration over images and few key words or bullet points is more effective when it comes to learning through recorded lectures.
- Tone: Try to communicate in an informal, personalizing way. Research suggests students are less likely to pay attention when a more formal, robotic tone is used.
See the Classroom Lecture Technology page to use TechSmith in an MSU centrally-managed classroom.
For assistance with TechSmith, contact Colin Smith at MSU Academic Technology and Outeach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-994-1978.
Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT) Studio
The TLT Studio is available to all faculty who are interested in developing additional digital course materials. The TLT Studio offers access to a small lecture capture recording suite that provides a contained space and computing and recording equipment for the development of video and audio content through TechSmith and other tools.
Additionally the TLT Studio hosts the LearningGlass where instructors can create high-quality videos that record directly to a personal USB storage device with a single button push. Visit the TLT Studio website for example videos made with the LearningGlass.
For assistance with the TLT Studio, contact Colin Smith at MSU Academic Technology and Outreach at email@example.com or 406-994-1978.