Main roles of breakout rooms: supporting active learning, maintaining engagement and creating the sense of commmunity. @RonOwston @ContactNorth
Sustained engagement using breakout rooms throughout the course is more valuable than one-off activities. Assigning pre-work (reading, collecting data) makes sessions more effective. Defining & clearly communicating the activities boundries is important. @RonOwston @ContactNorth
If you have groups discussing different topics you may want to allow students to choose a group. All these options are useful but it's very important to remember that setting all this up takes some extra time (we need to count that in). @RonOwston @ContactNorth
Remember to enable all the functions you want students to use in breakout rooms before starting the rooms (incl. allowing students to record the session). @RonOwston
Communicating with the rooms is also very important. Students can ask for your assistance and you can either immediately go and support them or if you have many simultaneous requests you can click "later" and students will get a polite message asking them to wait. @RonOwston
Providing students with *structure* for the task is very important. Assigning students *roles* (e.g. facilitator, recorder, researchers, reporter, etc) also makes it more effective & engaging. @RonOwston
Some discussion ideas for breakout rooms shared be @RonOwston @ContactNorth. Another option is having students collaborate on a whiteboard. I find sharing documents in the breakout rooms tricky, not available in all Zoom version so need to find workarounds. @RonOwston
You can also have students use multi-user external tools in the breakout rooms. I usually create Google Docs for each group. Other tools you can use are Jamboard, wikis, Google Slides. @RonOwston
It is a bit more tricky to use single-user external tools. Some tips from @RonOwston.
Ideas for debriefing after breakout rooms. It's a good idea to have ALL groups submit an artefact (even if not all can present due to time constraints). Preparing a template can make things more effective. I think it's very important to keep enough time & do debriefing WELL.

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More from @Anda19

19 Nov
Looking forward to hearing more about students' experiences of online teaching. Thanks @MaxineDavid for this great idea! It helps us avoid the trap of thinking only from teacher perspective. #PSAwebinar
Main challenges: lack of social interaction, feeling of isolation, technical problems that can hinder participation, disconnect with the deeper purpose of studying (I find that interesting!) & lots of insecurity regarding the future from the career point of view. #PSAwebinbar
In terms of workload: teachers tend to overcompensate by increasing the nr of activities; there is also a large variety of methods and tools used, not a lot of coordination so that can lead to cognitive overload. #PSAwebinar
Read 8 tweets
12 Nov
🧵Do you sometimes feel that the narrative of your course would be strengthened by having your students engage with someone *working* in the field you are teaching about? Here are some things to keep in mind when including a guest practitioner in your course. 1/ Image
Most importantly: the practitioner's intervention should be *meaningful* four your students' learning journey. It needs to come at the right time, complement your teaching and provide students with access to *new* knowledge and expertise, or a different perspective. 2/
*Embedding* this activity in your course is equally important. Think about the timing & choose a topic where the expert can bring most added value. Make sure the dialogue with the practitioner is connected to the other course activities & make these links explicit to students. 3/
Read 10 tweets
27 Oct
One thought has been on my mind lately🤔: what is the line between carefully designing your (online) course and over-designing it? If someone follows all my suggestions as a learning designer will they not end up overwhelming the students... and themselves? 1/
We need to be very careful. While thinking & rethinking the content & sequence of learning activities is important, the *bigger picture* is equally crucial. It has to do with the cognitive load. Also, remember these are not *normal* times... 2/
So, every time you create an activity: try to estimate the time it will take, think of the feedback you will provide, reflect whether it needs to be graded or not and most importantly, if/ how it contributes to the learning process. If it's superfluous, leave it out. 3/
Read 4 tweets
26 Oct
💡Having taught fully online for many years, I hardly ever think in terms of sync/async. Live sessions = exception, used for clear purposes. Working w/ faculty that comes from teaching f2f, I need to put myself in their shoes & approach teaching online from a very different angle
As a learning designer, *empathy* is very important. Everyone comes with a different "luggage" of previous experiences & teaching philosophies. I try to listen to their stories & work out together smth that *makes sense to them*. Teaching a course well can be done is so many ways
@leohavemann thanks for the inspiring chat and the first (hopefully) aha moment of the week ;)
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
Here's a quick "Learning Design Essentials" guide. It builds on threads I've written in the past months and because content on twitter can be so elusive, I thought it's worth trying to capture it in one place. Thanks to all of you who contributed & will contribute :) Image
1. This is about designing *asynchronous* online learning by using a storyboarding approach. Think about the narrative of your course and find ways to express it through a sequence of engaging learning activities.
2. Here are some thoughts about planning *synchronous* sessions. It's all about scaffolding students' learning by using the benefit of immediacy and creating community learning spaces.
Read 8 tweets
14 Oct
🧵Ok, so I'm a big fan of asynchronous online learning, but if you really want to use live sessions as a part of your online course, here are five things I think can help you create a consistent and enjoyable learning experience. 1/ Image
1. Take a moment to zoom out on your course. From this bird's eye perspective, think about which learning goals can be *best* achieved through sync interaction. Be honest & resist the temptation to answer "all". Conversely, think of what parts of your course could be async. 2/
2. An efective live sessions has clear objectives. It can be a regular checkin/ community building, a feedback session or a deeper exploration of a complex topic. Something that benefits from immediacy. Communicate this to students clearly, incl. any required preparation time 3/
Read 7 tweets

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