Do you have or are you considering using video-conferencing/webinar software to create a virtual classrooms? If so, how are you considering using it? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Staff development
- Marketing – taster sessions for up and coming courses
- Master classes
Deliver online courses
- Design short online courses that are held entirely in the virtual classroom
- Deliver virtual classroom staff development courses
- Deliver learning straight into people’s homes e.g. online cookery and MFL courses
Deliver blended courses
- Create courses that are a mix of face-to-face and virtual classroom
- Create courses that mix online VLE input with class discussions in the virtual classroom
Hold classes across community locations
- Bring a teacher to learners who meet regularly in community groups
- Join groups to a tutor across community locations. Laurance Elliot and Tim Taylor from Morley College have enabled Performing Arts learners to connect through a webinar project called Remote Exchange.
- Swap face-to-face tutorials with appointments in the virtual classroom – save learners travel time for very short appointments
- Deliver support tutorials for learners
- Re-engage learner who are at risk of dropping out.
- Save travel and time and hold professional discussion meetings with apprentices
- Deliver training to apprentices
- Provide support to apprentices
- Stop staff travelling from different sites, save time and money by using the virtual classrooms
- Do you belong to external groups, invite them to use your software to cut travel costs
- Hold first interviews for new staff
- Provide opportunities for students on job search to practise online interview skills
Hold revision sessions
- Hold revision session in the run up to exams as an optional extra for students
Deliver classes in adverse weather conditions
- Continue to deliver classes when it snows!
Deliver (drop-in) support sessions
- Allow learners across a range of classes to drop in and ask questions during support session. Sessions could be held where any student on a maths or English course can drop-in to ask a question.
Bring in outside speakers
- An expert from industry could inspire learners, being busy people they may be more likely to agree to give 30 minutes of their day for free via webinar software then a half day or day to travel to you.
- International speakers could be invited
Deliver student voice sessions
- invite learners across programmes to join a student feedback session online
Develop online teacher networks
- Encourage internal staff to hold CPD meetings
- Develop networks of practitioners across providers.
- Support the writing of collaborative bids, through online meetings
- Hold project meetings online
- Hold update meetings online
Things to think about – questions for you to consider from Morley’s experience:
- Is connecting through a virtual classroom the same as being face-to-face?
- What are the constraints when using video-conferencing software?
- How user friendly is it? How easy is it for learners and teachers to use?
- What does it cost? What are the cost savings/benefits?
- Does it require any resources – equipment, software?
- How can you test your ideas, prior to implementing them?
- How to you make new delivery options manageable?
- What happens if the Internet connection fails you? Do you have a backup plan?
Software used at Morley College
Written for HOLEX by Ideas4Learning Limited