Dr. Jo Horsburgh, Principal Teaching Fellow in the EDU, used Teams to design and facilitate a session for a PGCert module

This session was originally planned as a three-hour face to face session with some pre reading and questions. 14 students were enrolled for this session. In order to move from a face to face to an online session, I set up a group in Teams and enrolled all the students.

We kept to the allotted time for this session, but I tried to account for students who wouldn’t be able to join us at that time by creating resources that they could access later. All students were emailed with a plan for the session, instructions for the activities and links to resources. These were also saved in Teams. The pre-reading and questions remained the same and I set up a separate channel where students could post their responses to these questions.

For the first 90mins of the session I pre-recorded a voice over PowerPoint presentation using Panopto which presented the key ideas and concepts for this session. Within this presentation I included 4 ‘stop and think activities’ which replaced the class discussion that we would have done in the face to face session. I suggested that when students viewed the video presentation they paused at these points, considered the questions and made a note of their answers. I also encouraged students to post their responses to the pre reading task during this time. I used the chat function in teams to post instructions and reminders to students during this time e.g. welcoming them to the session, signposting the activities and reminding them about taking a break.

Following a break, I then used the video meeting function in teams to facilitate an online discussion of the stop and think activities. I began this part of the session by getting students to introduce themselves. Whilst most of them knew each other, they were a new group for me and I also thought it was important that everyone got to say something to check that their video and audio worked. In addition, this also makes it more likely for students to participate if they have already said something.  I outlined the housekeeping and ground rules for the session e.g. keeping microphone off unless wanting to speak etc.

One limitation of Teams is that you cannot see the participant list and chat function at the same time. However, I found that I could swap between the two sufficiently to see if there were any questions or comments in the chat that I needed to pick up on. Otherwise, the students looked after the chat function themselves. This chat is saved and so can be accessed later, including by those students who were not able to attend the session.