When someone decides to take an e-learning course, one of the negative factors is not being able to have direct contact with the teacher. They are afraid that due to the distance the relationship will be colder and more distant, and that they will not be able to solve their doubts directly. By means of the different digital options available, this cold relationship can be avoided and students and teachers can be brought closer together. Videoconferencing is one of the most widely used alternatives for this purpose.
Positive points of videoconferencing
With videoconferencing you get a real time contact with the student. You will be able to solve all their doubts at the same time as well as getting feedback, as these queries can be used to improve future courses or explanations.
The ability to eliminate the barriers of distance and time are some of its great virtues. You will get closer to the student and avoid the feeling of loneliness and isolation that this type of course tends to produce.
Another of its great options is that they can serve as a link between the students themselves for joint work or for a debate. In this way, you can create an atmosphere similar to that of a face-to-face class.
How to make the most of videoconferencing?
In order to make good use of this tool, the main requirement is that you know how to use it perfectly. If you are going to use it for the first time, it is really important that before a real videoconference you try to practice with someone you know. This will allow you to explore all the options offered by your programme and to see if they are really valuable. By doing this you will overcome your fear and you will be much more relaxed when you are online. Over time and with practice, you will see how familiar you will become with the programme.
The main objective is to come across as natural, so it is also important that you are not seen to be reading. It gives your listener a greater sense of assurance to see you relaxed and confident in what you are saying. Ideally, make it look like a conversation rather than a private master class.
One of the essential elements that you must guarantee is working properly is the microphone. To check its condition, if you have practiced before, you will be able to see if it is faulty, what the problem is and how far away you need to be to be heard properly.
It is very important because a bad sound can distort the explanation and can prevent your listener from hearing you properly.
When you start the videoconference, at the beginning, it is advisable to tell them to let you know if the sound is not good so that you can solve it immediately. This can prevent a video conference from being disastrous and not being able to get the most out of it.
Another very important element is the camera. It is essential that you have the best possible image quality. In order to achieve this, it is important to ensure a good position and adequate lighting. Natural light is ideal, but artificial light can also achieve a great result. Before you start, check it out.
The camera will show what you look like. It is important that you look good. Remember that this is one of the few moments when your students will see you in person. Look neat, groomed and professional.
About the environment, observe which parts of the room are visible and if they convey a good image. Avoid cluttered spaces. If you can opt for clean white walls, they will create a more professional image.
With regard to the students, it is important to bear in mind that just as it took you time to get used to the videoconferencing software, the same thing can happen to them. For this reason, one recommendation is that at the beginning of the conference you offer them a brief introduction to its use and functions. You can also send them an email with a written explanation as a follow-up.
But you should bear in mind that some of the functions offered may not be necessary for this conference. Explain only those that you are going to need or even explain them when you are using it. Keep in mind that overloading them with information at the beginning may cause them not to pay attention to the information as much.
Finally, the relationship with the students must be clear. To achieve this, it is important that you establish the topics to be covered at the very beginning. This will avoid awkward questions or questions that do not fit in with the topic you are presenting.
As a great bonus for all the students, you can record these videoconferences for those who cannot be present live so that they can watch them as many times as they want.
With all these tips you will have no problem in your videoconferences. You will be able to provide a great service to your students which will help you to produce a quality e-learning course.