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Moderate the Online Classroom

When teaching Blendflex classes, it’s important to keep in mind that you have students present both in person and virtually. So that your virtual students can enjoy the same benefits as your in-person students, the online classroom should be moderated, and students polled for feedback. Be sure to include your virtual students in the discussion, asking them questions and looking for their hands to be raised.

This type of instruction can be frustrating for both faculty and students if the instructor’s attention is divided between his or her instruction, the in-person students, and the virtual classroom. Best practices recommend having a secondary person serve as moderator of the online classroom. To accomplish this, there are several things you can do:

  • Request a graduate assistant and assign that person to moderate the online environment.
  • Ask a former student to attend in person and keep in track of the virtual environment.
  • Ask one of your current students to be the moderator. This can be the same student each week or a different one. You might offer extra credit as an incentive for them to serve as moderator.
  • If you co-teach the course with another instructor, one could serve as moderator and the other lead the class.

If you are not able to have someone else moderate, it might be useful to join the Zoom meeting from a secondary device and keep it near you while you teach. This way you are not tied to the classroom podium and can move freely about the room. You can also think of this device as another seat in your class, so as you make eye contact with your students, remember to look at the device and make “eye contact” with your virtual students, using that opportunity to engage with them and check for raised hands and questions in the chat.

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