Three Simple Technology Tips for Teaching Adults Virtually

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Even an experienced APSI workshop leader may have a bit of trepidation alongside the excitement, if leading a virtual APSI for the first time. If you are looking for additional resources to most effectively conduct a virtual APSI, there are tons of tools and resources on teaching adult learners in a virtual environment - so many in fact that at times it can feel overwhelming. So here are three simple ways that technology can assist you in incorporating multiple modalities into your virtual APSI, along with links to more detailed setup resources. 


Group work:

Many web-conferencing systems provide the ability to create (and even pre-assign) breakout groups. The benefit of using breakout rooms is that as the leader, you can move throughout the groups to check-in to listen and coach, much as you would with breakout groups in person. Here's a quick video and help article on how breakout groups can be facilitated in Zoom, for example. Some web-conferencing options (like Zoom) enables the facilitator to switch between large group discussions (like introduction and share outs) and smaller breakouts on the same web-conference meeting, with the click of a button. 


Interactive Quizzing: 

Polling and quizzing is not just fun and games - although there's nothing at all wrong with a little fun. There's even research that shows having fun can positively impact learning and memory, particularly for adult learners. Interactive polling can not only be fun, but it can be a useful tool to facilitate engagement like implementing teaching methodologies like the 'muddiest point'.  Here is an article on how iClicker, for example, can be used to facilitate active learning even in a virtual setting using diverse question types (like open response and target questions). 

The video below shows how you can get started using iClicker in less than two minutes and your APSI workshop participants can join for free for 14-days, more than long enough to use throughout your workshop. 

Click here for more information on getting started with your free iClicker account. 


Asynchronous feedback:

As a teacher, you are understandably adept at giving feedback. While there is value in written feedback on projects and submitted work, there is significant research like this study that shows that in virtual/distance learning environments, asynchronous, audio feedback can be even more powerful than written feedback. You may consider providing your workshop attendees with an audio or video recording of your feedback. There are easy recording options like (the relatively low-key) recording on a smartphone or tablet feature and emailing to workshop participants. For those ready for more advanced audio/video feedback options, a screen-recording software where you can record and annotate directly 'over' a project submission, can enable you to provide rich, contextualized feedback to your workshop participants. In addition to recording yourself using the web-conference software, there are also free and easy options like Screencast-o-matic. Click here for a list of other screen-recording options. 

We hope that these ideas provide a little inspiration as you prepare for your APSIs. Remember, as always, when it comes to supporting your needs as an AP or pre-AP teacher, we've got you covered. Please feel free to like or drop a comment below to share tips that you may have for other teachers planning a virtual APSI. And, if you're looking for BFW resources for your APSI, click here to connect with your BFW representative.

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