Tips for Teaching in the Videoconferenced Environment

Tip #1: Watch Your Own Lectures

A great resource for improving your presentation skills is your own lecture recordings. If you've lectured before in the MD Program, spend some time watching these lectures to see and hear what the students see: your pace, your style of presentation, your Powerpoint slides.

Don't be too harsh on yourself (few people enjoy watching and listening to themselves), but you may learn some things about how you present that you may wish to improve on.

To view your own videos,

  • Go to portal, and log in with your UTORid and password
  • In the list of MyCourses, click on the course you are teaching
  • In the left menu, click on Lecture Recordings or Recorded Lectures
  • Click on a week to view a list of the recordings for that week, and then click on a lecture to view it

Can't remember your UTORid? Email from your utoronto email address.

Tip #2: Remember--There Are Students In Two Sites

It may seem simple enough, but it's surprising how easy it is to forget that there are students who are not in the room with you when you become engaged in teaching.

Some Dos & Don'ts:

Don't walk up the aisles during the class--you'll be out of camera range and the far site will lose sight of you

Do ask for shows of hands, but remember to look at and comment on the show of hands at the far site (via the confidence monitor) as well as the local site

Don't answer questions of students who have not used their microphones; ask them to repeat the question using their microphone so that the far site can also hear it

Do play classroom games, but think in advance how to adapt them for the multiple-site environment. If you give out rewards, for example, enlist a student to give these out at the far site.

Do use the lapel microphone so that all students can hear you, even when you walk away from the podium

Avoid inviting students in the local room with you to come up and ask you questions after the lecture. Try to leave adequate time at the end of your presentation for questions from both sites to be addressed. Saying, "I'll be around after the class for more questions," excludes the far-site students from the conversation.

Tip #3: Go to Mississauga

If you teach regularly, make a point to teach from Mississauga for at least 20% of your classes. While students at both sites receive the same content during videoconferenced lectures, having the lecturer in the same room can help engage students, will help foster your relationships with them, and help ensure that they feel they are valued members of the program.