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Useful Tips for a Successful Online Lesson

Below are some useful tips for teachers to hold a successful online lesson.  If teachers have difficulties and problems, they are most welcome to contact ITSC (3963-5192):

  • They may come back to campus and use the classroom computer.
  • They may borrow webcam, headset,  writing tablet and visualizer from ITSC.
  • They may seek advice and do rehearsals with ITSC colleagues.

1. Check your computer and Wifi – You need a fast computer (i5 or above) and a stable Internet to share your screen smoothly.  Check your Internet speed using https://speedtest.net.  You need at least 20 Mbps up/down bandwidth.   Ask if your student can hear and see your presentation smoothly.  If not:

  • Make sure others are not using the same Wifi connection.
  • Disable the webcam video and show your screen only.
  • Come back to campus and use classroom computers.

2. Use a headset mic – If you are using a notebook, note that built-in microphones do not have echo-cancellation ability.  Students may hear an intermittent speech.  If so, use a headset microphone.   If you are teaching languages, suggest your students to use headset as well.   Make sure you have a quiet place to hold your lesson.

3. Use a webcam – It is more engaging if students can see you.  If your computer doesn’t have a webcam, borrow one from ITSC (it  includes a good mic).   You will feel more engaging if you can see and hear students too.

4. Record your lesson – Some students may have connectivity problems.  Remember to record your lesson that they may watch again and again.  You may also use Powerpoint to do a screen recording.  Watch this video on how to enable this function. You may upload your video to one of the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Stream – you may restrict students from downloading your video.
  • One Drive – it is like Google Drive. You may share the links with your students.  Students may download and view it without worrying about the Internet connection.   Students may use OneDrive to upload their project files as well.

5. Use Meeting Chat – As you cannot see all of the students, you may use Meeting Chat to ask them questions, giving summaries, and posting quick surveys.   A simple polling can help students summarize their learning.  Meeting chat is the most powerful tool to engage students.  

6. Taking attendance or doing a quiz – You may use Microsoft Forms (https://forms.office.com).   You may copy and post a link for students to respond via the Meeting Chat.  Unlike Google Form, Microsoft Forms can be accessible in mainland China.  Click to see a simple user guide.

7. Use your mouse as a pointer – To help students see what you see, use the mouse pointer.  You may download and use penAttention to highlight your cursor with a color circle.  If you are using powerpoint, you may turn on the pen and draw during your slide show.

8. Screen Sharing – There are three kinds of sharing – Desktop, Windows, and Powerpoint.  We suggest you:

  • To share Windows whenever possible.  Make it full screen that students will be easier.
  • To use Desktop when you need to show how to start an application only.
  • Not to use powerpoint recording.

9. Student Groups – You may create private subchannels for student groups (group 1, group 2, group 3, etc.), and assign students into each group.   Each subchannel will have Posts and Files, allowing students to upload and share their presentation files.

10. Co-Editing – You may upload a file (e.g., Word or powerpoint template) and ask students to co-edit it.   Students can launch a chat for the co-editing.   You can ask students to keep different versions to monitor their progress.

11. Schedule Meeting –  You may schedule your online meeting via the MS Teams calendar, and assign the meeting to a particular Team/channel.  From [Meeting Detail] popup, you need to do two things:
  • Right click [Join Meeting]and copy the link that you may send to students.
  • Click [Meeting Options] and open the web page.  Set [Only You] to be the presenter. Others will all be [Attendees] that their mics will be muted by default.

Do you have other useful tips you want to share with other teachers?   Please write to ITSC (itsc@hsu.edu.hk) or contact Lavender (lavenderchoi@hsu.edu.hk) / Tinson (tinsonseto@hsu.edu.hk).

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