Balancing the various elements at play in a Zoom class may feel more like a juggling act. A recent Faculty Focus blog post provided tips to engage students via the Zoom chat box from a possibly unlikely source: live videogame streamers. The following are four takeaways to use when thinking about how your students use the chat box feature.
1) Establish rules for using the chat box. Live streamers publish ground rules for their audience, and you can, too! Setting some ground rules letting students know what and how they communicate can help to set expectations and help to get students more substantive, productive chats.
2) Consider having a student chat moderator. Live streamers also employ an outside moderator to regulate the chat boxes during a live stream. Simultaneously playing a video game, speaking, and reading questions would take quite a toll on even the best multi-tasker, but it is similar to what instructors do while teaching online. Having a designated chat moderator can help to facilitate the more meaningful questions, flag for when someone did not grasp a concept, or reinforce the established chat rules. Having your students serve as chat moderators is a way to get students involved more deeply in the lesson and could be empowering, too!
3) Schedule Q & A times in your synchronous lessons. As live streamers might need to focus their attention on somewhere other than a chat box, so might instructors need to focus on delivering class content, troubleshooting a technical issue, or dealing with some other part of the online teaching experience. Scheduling Q & A parts in your lecture not only provides a time for addressing points made in the chat box that you might have missed, but it also breaks up the lecture and gets students involved with the class and each other.
4) Realize that if you run out of time for all of the questions, that’s okay!