The combination of webcam and screen-sharing make Zoom a great solution for presenting course material, and bringing students into that presentation can increase engagement and interest. The activities in this chapter provide students an opportunity to wrestle with course concepts that are primarily instructor driven.
In this section:
- Identifying/Labeling Elements of an Image – Share Screen Annotation
- Give Remote Control to Students
- Small Group Brainstorm – Whiteboard
- Large Group Brainstorm – Zoom and Google Docs
- Highlight Race/Where’s Waldo – Screen Share Annotation
Both you and your students can simultaneously annotate when screen sharing is on, regardless of what’s being shared. The annotation tools include, among others, a basic drawing tool, text boxes, and stamps. Since all participants can draw/write at the same time, classes larger than 15 participants can result in a lot of overwriting; therefore, consider splitting students into groups that will participate at different times.
- Share the image on your screen.
- Provide students guidance on what they should identify/label (e.g., “Label the structures inside a cell,” “Trace the current flow on a circuit diagram,” or “Identify the ‘message’ of everyone’s body language in this image.”)
- Ask students to select the Annotate button and begin labeling the image.
- Debrief: Review the annotations, delete duplicates and respond to errors.
Zoom allows you to give a student remote control access of your computer, making it easier to have impromptu explanations or demonstrations without them having to run resource-intensive applications (e.g., Photoshop, SPSS, ) on their machine.
- (Prep): Open the application and file that you want to share.
- Zoom (live): Only share the window with the file or the running application and not your desktop.
- Select Remote Control, and choose the student who should take control.
- To regain control, click on your screen. The student will still be able to take control of your screen until you Stop Share.
Virtual whiteboards function similarly to their physical counterparts, so they are ideal places for collaborative brainstorming. Using the Annotation tool, students can type, draw connections, or diagram ideas.
- Select Share Screen, then Whiteboard.
- Provide students with brainstorming guidance.
- Select the Save button to download the whiteboard if you wish to refer to it again later.
For brainstorming with groups larger than 15 participants, Google Docs will likely lead to a more manageable experience than the Whiteboard. For large classes, you can break students into groups, then label sections of the Google Doc for each group or create separate Docs to record their ideas. Afterward, the Doc(s) can be shared in a “classroom” space, such as Canvas Discussions.
- Google Docs (prep): Create and title a Google Doc. If you plan to break your class out into groups, create a page for each of the groups.
- Save the link somewhere where you can find it during the Zoom meeting.
- Zoom (live): Provide students with brainstorming guidance.
- Paste the brainstorming Google Docs link(s) in Zoom Chat.
- (Optional) Send groups to breakout rooms.
- Bring groups back together and debrief as needed.
- Follow up: Post the brainstorming Doc in Canvas (e.g., in a Discussion, Announcement, or Page) using the Google Drive Plug-in. See Embed Google content with Google Drive for details.
A fast and light-hearted activity, Highlight Race is an easy way to re-engage students after 3-5 minutes of lecture, and it gives instructors valuable just-in-time feedback that they can use to immediately course-correct. It can be used with any subject and with either texts or images.
- Have students select the Annotate button, then choose the Draw button, and then select the transparent rectangle or circle.
- Inform students that they will have 1-3 minutes to locate all of the items.
- Review the results after the time has passed, and ask students if they agree with everything that’s been marked and if anything was overlooked. Discuss/resolve any misconceptions.
Student Presentations – Breakout Rooms
It may go without saying that you could use Zoom as an alternative to in-person student presentations, but maybe it’s worth reimaging. Consider, for example, having a class session that is dedicated to practice/feedback prior to final presentation – during the session, you could break students into groups of three or four, and have each group critique each other’s presentations. You could even wrap this into a larger process, engaging groups through brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and the final presentation.
- Canvas: Create an assignment for students to submit their draft outline and/or materials (e.g., PowerPoint slides)
- Zoom: Provide students guidance on how to evaluate the presentations: what they should look for and how to give effective feedback. They should use the rubric for the final presentation.
- Send groups of three or four to breakout rooms (or fewer if the presentations are more than 10 minutes). Students each present, followed by five or so minutes of feedback as time allows. Remind students that they will have to keep close track of time in order for everyone to get a turn to present and receive feedback.
- Bring the class back together to debrief.
- Follow up – Canvas: Create a short assignment that asks each student to create a summary or list of how they intend to improve their presentation based on the feedback they received during the session.