This page will walk you through various scenarios of using an online meeting software with your face-to-face class. These scenarios and the guiding questions that follow will help you create a plan based on your classroom situation. The scenarios use Collaborate Ultra, but the process would be similar for any webconferencing tool. 


Scenario 1: Guest speaker at a distance

An expert in your subject area has agreed to speak to your class. They are located in California and cannot attend in person due to time and travel constraints. However, they are willing to attend virtually during your normal class time.


Software: Use the existing Collaborate Course Room in myLesley  or create a Collaborate Ultra webinar session. Send the guest speaker the guest link so they can sign into the webinar at class time.


Hardware: You can probably get away with just your laptop and the built-in speakers and microphone.


Process:

  • Plug your laptop into the classroom projection system. Be sure to connect the audio cable.
  • Navigate to your myLesley course site and then to your previously created Collaborate Ultra session. Click the session link to launch the webinar.
  • Check your audio and video settings before the start of the webinar to ensure they are working properly.
  • Your guest speaker will enter the webinar session. Your students will be able to see him/her on the screen and hear them over the classroom's sound system.
  • If your students have questions for your guest, repeat the question for the guest as he/she will be able to hear you best as you are closest to the microphone on your laptop.
  • When class and webinar session is over, exit the webinar and disconnect your laptop from the projection system. 


Scenario 2: Make up class where everyone attends online

Two feet of snow fell earlier this week. Your students have made up some of the time lost using the discussion board or submitting assignments in myLesley. However, there are many questions you would like to address, but don't want to answer each student individually or take time out of the next class meeting. You decide to meet online for a Q&A on the assignments and demonstration. 


Software: Use the existing Collaborate Course Room in myLesley  or create a Collaborate Ultra webinar session. Notify your students of the date and time, and send them the instructions to access the webinar.

 

Hardware: You can probably get away with just your laptop and the built-in speakers and microphone. It is recommended that you use headphones as it will improve the audio quality. The headphones with a microphone that come with most cell phones will often work well.


Process: 

  • Navigate to your myLesley course site and then to your previously created Collaborate Ultra session. Click the session link to launch the webinar. Each person (student and instructor) will need to do this step.
  • Check your audio and video settings before the start of the webinar to ensure they are working properly.
  • Participate in your online meeting. Use the audio, video, and text chat to communicate. Use the whiteboard to share content and collaborate. Use the screen sharing feature to show something on your computer.
  • When the webinar session is over, exit the webinar.


Scenario 3: A student cannot attend class (mixed in-person and online audience)

You normally teach face-to-face, but one or more students will be attending class virtually. This is the trickiest scenario as there can be many variables. It is not difficult, but does require thinking through the content and activities that will be taking place in your class that day.


The lecture scenario: You will be sharing content on your computer, perhaps a Powerpoint slide, website or application.


Software needed:

Use the existing Collaborate Course Room in myLesley  or create a Collaborate Ultra webinar session.  Your online students can click on the link at class time to attend virtually.  


Hardware needed: 

Your online students will need a microphone and speakers on their laptop or computer to hear and ask questions. The headphones that come with most cell phones are usually sufficient.


You, as the instructor, will need your computer. It is recommended that you reserve a USB microphone from webcheckout.lesley.edu. A conference microphone will sit on a table and plug into your computer and pick up sound throughout the room. This will allow the student to hear both you and the other students in the room. You may use the webcam and speakers and microphone built into your laptop, but the online student will only be able to hear you (as the person the computer is pointed at) clearly.

  

Process:

  • Plug your laptop into the classroom projection system to project all your computer content on the screen for the in-class attendees.
    • Connect the USB microphone to your laptop. If possible, place it closer to your students.
    • Navigate to your myLesley course site and then to your previously created Collaborate Ultra session. Click the session link to launch the webinar.
    • Check your audio and video settings before the start of the webinar to ensure they are working properly. Make sure the audio is set to the USB conference microphone.
    • Upload any content you wish to share to Collaborate Ultra. Showing your Powerpoint through Collaborate Ultra will ensure that both your in-person and online students can view it clearly.
      For other types of content such as a website or application demo, you may use the screen sharing feature in Collaborate Ultra. Again, this will ensure that everyone can clearly see the content. Pointing your webcam at the projection screen will usually not be sufficient for the online attendees.
    • Your online students will enter the webinar session.  They can use the audio, video, and text chat to communicate. You may need to repeat questions or comments from in-class students further from the microphone for them.
    • When the class session is over, everyone exits the webinar.


Optionally: If you frequently write on the whiteboard or physically demonstrate something in class, you may wish to add a camera on a tripod connected to your computer to allow the online students to see everything clearly. You can reposition the camera as needed.



The class discussion scenario: This scenario is very similar to the lecture scenario, but there is a greater need for the online attendees to be able to hear and see what is happening in the classroom. If they cannot hear the questions and comments from the rest of the class, they will not feel included and will not have received the same information as the in-class attendees.


Software needed:

Use the existing Collaborate Course Room in myLesley  or create a Collaborate Ultra webinar session. Your online students can click on the link at class time to attend virtually.  


Hardware needed: 

Your online students will need a microphone and speakers on their laptop or computer to hear and ask questions. The headphones that come with most cell phones are usually sufficient.


You, as the instructor, will need your computer. It is highly recommended that you reserve a USB conference microphone from lesley.webcheckout.com. This will allow the student to hear both you and the other students in the room. You may use the webcam and speakers/microphone built into your laptop, but the online student will only be able to hear you (as the person the computer is pointed at) clearly. Having to repeat everything your in-class students say for the online students can quickly make the discussion cumbersome. 


Process:

  • Plug your laptop into the classroom projection system to project all your computer content on the screen for the in-class attendees.
    Note: Depending on your content, you may not need to use the projection system during a discussion. However, if you often find yourself turning to your computer to share something that just came up, it's a good idea to do this in advance so you are prepared. 
  • Connect the USB conference microphone to your laptop. If possible, place it closer to your students.
  • Navigate to your myLesley course site and then to your previously created Collaborate Ultra session. Click the session link to launch the webinar.
  • Check your audio and video settings before the start of the webinar to ensure they are working properly. Make sure the audio is set to the USB conference microphone.
  • Your online students will enter the webinar session.  They can use the audio, video, and text chat to communicate. You may need to repeat questions or comments from in-class students further from the microphone for them. Placing the mic in the middle of the group will minimize this.
  • When the class session is over, everyone exits the webinar.


Bonus: Discussion with breakout groups

For the most part, breakout groups can be handled in the same way as class discussion. When you get to the moment of putting people into groups, you have two options:

  • If there are enough students attending online, they can be their own group. There is even a Breakout Groups feature in Collaborate Ultra to allow them their own space.
  • If you only have one or two online students, assign them to an in-class group and then move the computer and USB conference microphone to that group. The laptop computer becomes the virtual student. If you have in-class students that are comfortable with Collaborate Ultra, you can ask one student in the group to sign into the webinar on their laptop to allow the online student to participate in the group. Then you will not have to move or disturb your computer setup.