Planning your session

Live sessions can be used to provide tutorials, Q&A sessions, seminars, discussion spaces and key lectures

  • Give learners plenty of warning: send the invitation early to maximise attendance, share clear learning objectives with students as early as possible, and include any interesting challenges or problems that will be solved. Providing pre-sessional materials and an agenda will give students time to prepare their questions and feedback.
  • Aim to cover less than normal: build in more time for interaction, especially as you get used to new ways of teaching, so that you don't find yourself rushing to cover material.
  • Think visual: as much as possible avoid sharing long text on your screen - this should be sent as pre-sessional material.
  • Work with others: you'll benefit from having atleast one other person with you to help you manage the chat and questions - particularly if you're session is for a large group.

Setting up

Top tips for setting up your sesssion in MS Teams or Zoom 

  • MS Teams: an ICT supported tool which can be used to host live events with students. For normal meetings, such as tutorials, 1-1s and group sessions MS Teams is likely to cover your required needs.
  • Zoom: a separate tool used to run live sessions with our online degree students, it's preferred by some departments due to various features not available in MS Teams that make it easier to engage with large group; including gallery view, Q&As and collaborative workspaces. Talk to your faculty EdTech team or contact digitallearning@imperial.ac.uk if you would like to try using Zoom for your live sessions.
  • Meeting or webinar: when setting up your session in Zoom you will need to decide whether to host a meeting (generally for smaller groups, more interactive) or a webinar (up to 500 attendees, instructor has more control).
  • Recroding: in general, it's not good practice to automatically record meetings as you need to get consent from participants before starting to record. Webinars are less interactive and are commonly recorded, but it's still good practice to inform attendees that the session will be recorded.

For detailed instructions and guidace please contact your faculty EdTech team or contact digitallearning@imperial.ac.uk 

Running your live session

These tips will help you get the most out of your live session

  • Style: use conversational language where possible, formality in this setting can slow down communication and make learners feel disconnected. Try to keep up the tempo, instructors who speak with high enthusiasm are more engaging.
  • Timing: allow proper time to engage with the Q&A, many instructors find that they are able to engage with far more students during a webinar than in a normal lecture.
  • Tools: use whiteboard and annotation functionality so that you can highlight content and create visuals on the fly. Use break-out rooms to give students time to reflect or work on team projects.

Publishing your content

The final step is to share your content and utilise feedback to create a tailored experience

  • Navigation: unless you were runnning a private meeting you will likely publish your recording to a central repository for your course, whether it be in pantopto, MS Teams, or in some other location.  Name each video appropriately so that students immediately know where to look for specific content, and ensure that the video is properly situated in the course.
  • Feedback: if you've included any comprehension checks keep an eye on the attainment outcomes and comments, you can use these to shape short feedback videos or live sessions which are tailored for your cohort.

Click here for a list of additional equipment that may improve your remote media quality 

Please note that some tools referenced in our guides (e.g. Zoom) are not yet supported by ICT. If you have questions about implementation please contact your Faculty EdTech team