Video Conferencing and Interaction Tools
Meaningful interactions play a key role in improving student performance and course completion. Educational technology can help instructors create these interactions in face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments. Read below to learn more about these tools. For tips on how to effectively teach with these tools, visit our Interaction and Engagement page.
There are two University-supported tools available for hosting online meetings: Zoom and Webex. CELT can help you choose which tool is right for your goals and help you effectively implement online meetings into your teaching. This document compares the different video conferencing tools on our campus.
Interactive and collaborative activities can be difficult to achieve in large lecture classes and online environments. GoReact and iClickers can provide opportunities for students to interact in meaningful ways.
Choosing and Using Video Conferencing and Interaction Tools
Should I Offer Synchronous Online Meetings?
Benefits of Synchronous Online Meetings
Students can feel isolated when learning online. Webex and Zoom can be used to enhance student interaction in the following ways:
- Provide feedback on students' work.
- Answer students' questions related to upcoming exams or projects.
- Check students' understanding by using interactive features such as the whiteboard and polling.
- Connect to students on a personal level.
- Allow students to meet in small groups.
Tips for Successful Online Meetings
- Have a clear goal for the meeting. Students will then know the purpose and how they can benefit from the meeting.
- Share the meeting agenda with students ahead of time. This way, they can be better prepared.
- Enable audio for meetings. This allows students to access the meeting by using their phones.
- Provide a test session for students who might have technological difficulties.
- Hold online meetings during scheduled class time. If you need to transition online during the middle of the semester, hold class when students are already expected to be present.
- Record the meeting if appropriate. This way, students can review afterward.
- Provide a backup plan for students who can not participate. For example, you can offer to hold several meetings, and/or provide the recording of the meeting for students to view and respond.
Common Challenges for Online Meetings
Although synchronous online meetings are beneficial for online learning, there are some commonly reported challenges.
- It takes time to plan. Therefore, we recommend that you limit the meeting numbers. Please refer to the tips provided above regarding successful online meetings.
- Technology difficulty. It is not rare for one or more students to have low bandwidth problems or other technical difficulties. Test sessions can help alleviate this problem.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that can be used to for online instruction and collaboration at any time. Zoom has been integrated with Brightspace, so meeting links can be posted directly within your Brightspace course.
All PFW faculty, staff, and students are eligible for a free Zoom account. Watch the tutorials below for help with activating your Zoom account and scheduling Zoom meetings.
Webex is a video conferencing tool that may be used for online instruction and collaboration at any time. Webex sessions can be recorded and shared later.
WebEx requires you to sign-in using your @purdue.edu credentials. Visit WebEx to log in. Make sure you are using either Chrome or Firefox and select to “Run” the browser extension when prompted.
Share Meeting Information with Students
To share meeting information with your online students, download the example message [DOCX] to post in your Brightspace course site.
Find your Webex Session Recording
Your WebEx meeting recording will be stored on the Purdue West Lafayette portion of the common instance. Follow the instructions below to access your recording.
- Go to https://mediaspace.itap.purdue.edu/
- On the top right, click Login.
- Login with your Purdue Career Account. You should see your name on the top right after logging in.
- Click on your name, and choose My Media to view media under your Purdue Career account.
- Click on the title of a specific meeting to see the media details.
- Under the media player, choose the method by which you want to share your video.
- Link to Media Page: This allows the viewers with the link to see the recording on the media page.
- Embed: This will make the media public to the world, but allows you to embed the recording directly into your Blackboard site, and any webpage.
GoReact is a video tool that allows students to record and share videos for assessment and feedback.
Students can record individual or group videos for virtually any assignment, such as presentations, skill demonstrations, simulations, performances and more. You can evaluate student work with points and give detailed, time-coded feedback. GoReact also offers open- and closed-peer review to allow students to provide feedback on each other's work.
GoReact has been integrated with Brightspace, allowing students to access GoReact activities directly from your Brightspace course and grades to transfer to your Brightspace gradebook.
To learn more about GoReact, please refer to the following resources:
- Get Started with GoReact Assignment Creation in Brightspace
- Creating GoReact Assignments in Brightspace
- GoReact Assignment settings
- GoReact Training Recording
- Student resources page from GoReact
- Faculty Testimony
Poll Everywhere is a web-based audience response system that lets speakers embed live activities directly into their presentations. Using a variety of activity types, you can turn a series of slides into an effective, interactive experience. Get to know participants, gauge their knowledge of a specific topic, and capture their valuable feedback at scale. Poll Everywhere can be used via the Chrome addon or slideware (PowerPoint and Keynote). Starting Spring 2022, All Purdue Fort Wayne instructors can use Poll Everywhere through a campus-wide license.
Check the following resources to learn how to use Poll Everywhere for teaching and learning:
- Login to Poll Everywhere Guide and Login to Poll Everywhere Video
- Understand Poll Everywhere activity types
- Navigate Poll Everywhere and create activities
- Installing Poll Everywhere for Google Slides
- Use Poll Everywhere in Powerpoint on a PC
- Use Poll Everywhere in Powerpoint on a Mac
- Export Poll Everywhere Activity Results to Brightspace
- Faculty Testimony
- Tanya Soule: Poll Everywhere Testimonial
- Tanya Soule: Poll Everywhere Testimonial
To learn more about Poll Everywhere, visit the Poll Everywhere Support page.
iClicker is a classroom response system that allows students to actively participate in classroom activities.
iClickers can be especially useful for adding meaningful interaction in large lecture classes. With the receiver and response pads, you can administer short quizzes, take attendance, play learning games, instantly assess students' comprehension of your lecture, and more.
View Sociology professor Patrick Ashton's presentation (PDF) about the many ways he uses "clickers" in his classroom to engage students in thought-provoking discussion of sensitive issues. Go to the i>clicker web site to read cases studies by faculty using clickers in a variety of disciplines.
Contact the ITS Helpdesk for more information about getting started with i>clicker.