Invigorate your web conferences with active learning

Active learning keeps students engaged, increases knowledge retention, and helps instructors reach higher-level learning outcomes. Best of all, active learning is fun!

This guide gives you practical examples of active learning strategies designed for WisLine Web with Blackboard Collaborate and usable in any web conference. These activities require little preparation, take only a few minutes of class time, and work with a wide variety of topics. Try one in your next web conference.

 

Introductions on a Map

Duration: 1-2 minutes
Setup: 5 minutes
Objectives: Access and motivation, socialization
Features: Whiteboard, pointer tool
Try it Live

Description: Ask students to pin a marker on a map, indicating where they live or work. This activity provides students a gentle introduction to web conference interactive tools. This activity also builds online community by showing students where their peers are located nationally or internationally.

Instructions: Include a map on a slide in your presentation. Display the map in class and give your students instructions on how to place a marker using the web conference pointer tool.

 

Poll

Duration: 1-2 minutes
Setup: 5 minutes
Objectives: Socialization, assessment
Features: Whiteboard, polling tool
Try it Live

Description: The poll activity is one of the simplest activities for an instructor to set up, and it doesn’t use advanced whiteboard features. Ask a multiple choice question on a whiteboard slide. Ask the students to answer using the built-in polling feature. Tally the results and post them for students to see.

Instructions: Create a presentation slide before class with the question and multiple choice answers. Use the polling menu in class to set the poll to the appropriate number of responses (Yes/No or A-E, for example). Display the poll slide and give your students instructions on how to use the polling feature to respond.

 

Likert Scale

Duration: 1-2 minutes
Setup: 5 minutes
Objectives: Access and motivation, socialization, assessment
Features: Whiteboard, pointer tool
Try it Live

Description: This activity is a visual poll. Present a prompt to your students. Ask each student to pin a marker on a scale indicating his or her response. An activity like this could be used to spark class discussion, to measure prior knowledge, or to assess learning.

Instructions: Create a presentation slide with a prompt. Add possible responses to the slide, arranged on a continuum. Display the slide in class. Give your students instructions on how to place markers using the pointer tool.

 

Drag and Drop Poll

Duration: 1-2 minutes
Setup: 15 minutes
Objectives: Access and motivation, information exchange, assessment
Features: Whiteboard, selection tool
Try it Live

Description: This activity is a kinesthetic poll. Ask your students a question. Have them answer by dragging icons from the center of the whiteboard to the correct response. This technique could be used to introduce students, to spark class discussions, or to assess learning.

Instructions: Create a presentation slide with a prompt. Position the answers in two columns on either side of the slide. Load your presentation into Blackboard Collaborate. Use the clip art tool to add icons which float on the slide. Save your presentation as a .wbd file to preserve the icons. Display the presentation slide in class. Give your students instructions on how to drag the icons using the selection tool.

 

Drag and Drop List

Duration: 1-2 minutes
Setup: 15 minutes
Objectives: Assessment, information exchange
Features: Whiteboard, selection tool
Try it Live

Description: This activity is a more elaborate version of the Drag and Drop Poll shown above. Present students with several images or phrases. Students must work together to sort the images into the right categories. This activity can be used to measure prior knowledge or to assess learning.

Instructions: Create a presentation slide before class with your categories. Load your presentation into Blackboard Collaborate. Use the clip art tool or text tool to create images or phrases which float on the slide. Save your presentation as a .wbd file to preserve the objects. Display the presentation slide in class. Give your students instructions on how to drag the images or phrases using the selection tool.

 

Learn More

For more activities watch Going to Make you Sweat: Active Learning in Web Conferences.