The session will center on how to create or improve a strong online class community through student connection assignments I call Interacts. Students engage with each other synchronously face-to-face at their tablets, computers, or phones via their free Zoom account. The interactions take various forms and are relevant to nearly all fields. For example, students may watch a video clip, then answer a series of course related questions/dialog prompts with each other. Or, in my class, students share their experiences in relation to a course concept such as discrimination, relational dialectics, friendship, perception, etc. Some of the Interacts involve improvs & communication skill practice, and some of them simply require answering questions together related to an assigned reading or textbook material. Most of the Interacts involve 2 partners; however, I also have them do a group Interact centered on their romantic relationship experiences (or observations of others’ relationships) that is one of the class’s most popular assignments. I switch partners so they get to know a variety of their fellow classmates. One student records the meeting and submits the file to Canvas so the instructor can view the interaction.
Interacts apply to nearly all fields – Languages, History, English, Social Sciences, Art, Music, Business, Sciences, Communications (obviously), and even Math. Any instructor who wants students to learn from engaging with the course material through dialog, sharing experiences, and the insights of each other can use this kind of assignment.
The session’s focus is on practical hands on aspects of how to implement and manage the assignment and includes student interaction clips as examples.
Shy or nervous students’ perspective of Interacts: Selected clips of advice to future students that give a sense of how shy students or students who were initially nervous about interacting in this way perceived the Interacts: https://flipgrid.com/+4alfvcg
• Implement Zoom Interact assignments relevant to specific course content into their online classes, which will improve student connections and strengthen their course community.
• Manage the Interact assignments efficiently without excessive instructor time.
• Identify various ways Interacts can help make their course material more engaging and impactful for their students.