VC classroom

If you have decided to use video conferencing as a collaboration tool for your course, consider using paired local environments to emphasize course topics in a global context.

From environmental science, to art history, to physics, students benefit from paired classrooms when they:

  • Gather primary source data in their local cities.
  • Analyze the differences or similarities in data.
  • Assess and discuss the quality of data and its availability in different locations and cultures.
  • Learn to collaborate with faculty and peers in remote locations.
  • Participate in both “local-live” field trips and “remote-virtual” field trips.
  • Learn to effectively present findings and conclusions with collaborative technologies.

Faculty can also expose students to “local” faculty, writers, scientists, artists, etc., who “visit” and interact with their paired remote classes.

Strategies to enhance the VC Classroom experience

While similar to seminars and other active-learning or student-centered teaching strategies, VC classes should also focus on distinct teaching requirements and bridge the social barriers of students in separate rooms.

  • Embrace and include elements of the different locations in the curriculum.
  • Give assignments, promote discussion, etc. about the locations included in the course. For instance, and depending on the topic of the course, instructors could have students discuss architecture, behaviors, values, accents, historical issues, settlement and migration patterns, approaches to health issues, and the like at each location. Students could work together in groups across the locations to explore similarities and differences.
  • Encourage students to compare local customs and data and find commonalities and differences between paired cities/cultures.

Factors to consider when choosing VC:

  • This is the highest video, audio, and file sharing option.
  • When best practices are followed, students at each site feel fully included in the class.
  • Need room-based VC systems at each location and to coordinate with each site for scheduling.
  • NYU staff will be able to provide support and address quality issues, should they arise.
  • This is the least flexible option.
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