Best Practices - Divine Mercy University

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Best Practices for Teaching Over Video

An effective use of the time includes both lecture and engaging discussion. Since everyone had to schedule time to be there in person, involve everyone throughout the session. A video recording would be more effective for a lecture only session. Give all participants the opportunity to speak at some point, use names, and include presentations by students individually or in groups.

Some tips to keep in mind when sharing your slides or presentation:

  • Use a contrasting color for your font color, such as black lettering on a light-colored background and large font size.
  • Schedule some time to test the equipment and visuals out as well as time to practice in the video conference room before the first session.
  • Plan for noise reduction. Determine how to structure when students are allowed to talk and share.

During Sessions:

  • It is helpful if everyone in both sites knows who is who, introduce everyone. Learners will listen actively when they know they will soon be engaged in the content.
  • Activities could include a debate or a role play.
  • Consider breaking learners into groups of at each site. Design group activities around a challenging problem, case, or thought-provoking question connected to specific learning objectives of the course.
  • Sharing your screen can be useful for providing examples and illustrations.
  • Consider integrating Canvas discussion boards to have groups share in writing what they have come up with.


  • Summarize key points and activities completed during the session.
  • Share notes of the meeting and all group findings to reflect what was covered and what is to be expected for future meetings in your course in Canvas.
  • Encourage students to use Canvas to access slides and materials and to post questions about the video or web conference session.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Make eye contact with the camera (The camera is your class).
  • Arrive early enough to class to get everything prepared and work out technical difficulties.
  • Be creative in how you take advantage of the technology. Think of learning activities that would not be possible in a different delivery format.
  • All content should be presented through the Zoom share my screen feature.
  • Avoid using classroom whiteboards that are used for face to face class sessions. Issues with glare, shadow, focus, and zoom make it hard for learners to see  at the far-end site
  • Always have a backup plan in case of unexpected issues or difficulties. (I.e. phone conference, using Canvas to facilitate the class, group discussions, or independent learning activities.). It may be best to inform students of the backup plan ahead of time so they can remain on task if technical issues occur.