Best Practices for Teaching with Video Conferencing
Work to bridge the social barriers of students sitting as groups in separate rooms by:
Learning all students’ names in each location (consider having students put up name cards for the first few classes).
Calling on students from both locations.
Asking the remote location as well as your classroom if anyone has questions (e.g. "Does anyone in Shanghai/New York have a question?").
Asking students in one location to comment on opinions, answers, etc. offered by students in the other.
Setting up cross-site project groups early in the semester, etc.
Never having side conversations with people in your room while students or faculty in the remote location are talking.
Recognize that you and your students are more or less on camera in a TV studio. This can be tricky when some cultures are more accustomed to interrupting others and stepping on others’ words (such as in New York!). Keep in mind the basics of voice-activated microphones (that it’s easier to engage in a dialog when one person is speaking at a time vs. interruptions). Point out a camera’s ability to present significant light and dark contrast (don’t wear highly contrasting clothing nor all bright or all dark), etc.
Establish and communicate ground rules and guidelines for videoconferencing etiquette.
Make certain that materials that you plan to distribute in your physical classroom are also available online and accessible by the students in the remote locations.
Be cognizant of less overt forms of communication that could be lost in videoconferencing classrooms, such as body language suggesting confusion or discomfort.