Tips to create engaging live sessions

Live sessions (LS) offer opportunities for interaction between students and with the instructor. Students have seen the video lectures and they have read the course materials. They are now ready to actively practice, consolidate, confirm, and transfer their new learning.

7 Things to Know When Facilitating Live Sessions

  1. Acknowledge your students’ presence: Call them by name and address time zones or geographical differences (weather, seasons, etc). Read the roster to see where they are located.
  2. Cultivate a sense of community by setting the right climate of trust to develop inter-personal relationships for safe interaction. Facilitate discourse through your leadership and guidance. Model the interactions you expect from them. Guide them to construct and sustain meaningful reflection and discourse. Provide opportunities for feedback and sharing of experiences.
  3. Start and stop the session on time. Most learners work full time and set aside defined time for this session. Your LS should model punctuality and well-organized events.
  4. Show the relevance of the weekly topic to the course and students’ work, by explicitly making the connection for them during presentations and in-depth discussions.
  5. Don’t repeat what’s in video lectures. They have already watched them and they have read the course materials. Build from there, enhancing and reinforcing the topic, connections with real cases, and opportunities for group and whole-class discussion under your leadership.
  6. Provide real-life, current examples. Videos and the readings in your course are not updated every term, so the live session is your opportunity to bring in or request students to share how up-to-the-minute events, cases, or situations relate to the theoretical frameworks or topics being discussed.
  7. Help students own the live session. Let them create questions and have small group discussions. They could review or evaluate teams’ live presentations. Ask them to play roles in class management (keep the session on time, take attendance, help people who are not logging in, etc.). They can play a part in creating their learning with you and their peers

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