- Fall 2020
- Graduating during a pandemic: words of wisdom from 7 FCAT students
- Communication professors developing tools to tackle online abuse
- 2020 Convocation Medal winners
- SFU students launch initiative to share the stories of those lost to COVID-19
- Printing for good: SFU staff, students and alumni volunteer with the B.C. COVID-19 3D Printing Group
- Building community in online lectures and labs
- SFU students feed healthcare heroes and boost the local economy, one meal at a time
- Going above and beyond to build community: Marion Walter wins Work Performance Award
- Peer-reviewed podcasts: Amplify Podcast Network produces podcasts as scholarly communication
- Announcing the Greg Younging Undergraduate Award in Publishing
- FCAT faculty members awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grants for research and innovations in digital media
- Spring 2020
- Fall 2019
- Summer 2019
- Spring 2019
- Fall 2018
- Summer 2018
- Spring 2018
- Fall 2017
- Spring 2017
- Fall 2016
- Summer 2016
- Spring 2016
- Fall 2015
- Summer 2015
- Spring 2015
- Fall 2014
- Summer 2014
- Spring 2014
- Fall 2013
- News archive
- Future students
- Get involved
- Current students
School of Interactive Arts & Technology, Technology & Society
Building community in online lectures and labs
With the transition to remote teaching, SIAT instructors are being mindful of how they can provide students with opportunities to interact in lectures, stay connected to one another, and facilitate feedback.
While recorded lectures are often available to provide students with flexibility, some instructors are encouraging students to attend live lectures to facilitate interaction and engagement. “I tried to recreate as much as possible that social, class atmosphere where people are aware of each other in the class and provide ways for them to communicate with each other,” says Susan Clements-Vivian, instructor of IAT 100 Digital Image Design and IAT 208 Drawing Inquiry.
While this is easier with smaller groups, one popular technique that Susan used to engage students in her larger first-year course was to ask questions in the live lecture and have students vote on their answers using emoticons in the text-chat box. “This worked in the same way that an iClicker would in a big group and helped keep large classes interactive,” says Susan.
Encouraging teaching assistants and students to provide peers with real-time feedback was also effective in Susan’s smaller drawing class. Since teaching assistants and instructors would normally move about the classroom to provide feedback on students’ drawings, Susan structured her course in a way that allowed students to continue receiving this real-time feedback. To do this, she set up an iPad on a tripod and pointed it at her easel for her drawing demonstrations. Students could then watch the demonstration and ask questions or upload photos of their own drawings and the TA would monitor the discussion board and provide feedback while they were working.
Dividing students into smaller breakout rooms is another way in which some SIAT instructors are replicating the interactive elements of lectures and labs. In Zoom and Bb Collaborate, students can be assigned to breakout rooms where they can get together with other students and work on assignments collaboratively. In some courses, students then post their work to discussion boards where peers and instructors provide feedback. “Just like you would in any class, students have the opportunity to get to know each other [through the breakout rooms],” says Susan, who used the breakout rooms and discussion boards as a way for students to build a sense of community and learn from one another.
These methods used by Susan are being used in many SIAT courses to maintain a strong sense of community in courses and provide students with a platform to share work, socialize, and receive feedback. Despite shifting online, SIAT courses continue to be community-driven courses where students can connect and collaborate with instructors and peers. While the delivery methods have altered, the learning experience remains unchanged thanks to the commitment of SIAT instructors and students.