The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics Online (TALMO) Conference took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. It was a great event and excellent to listen to other educators on their experiences of teaching and assessing online. There was some excellent presentations from a wide range of perspectives. Some interesting points were:
• It is very common for students not to engage verbally using their microphones during live lessons so if you've been experiencing this then it's quite normal. Students seem to much prefer the chat option.
• There is some great options for writing on a screen using either a touchscreen and stylus or an additional interactive whiteboard like a Wacom Bamboo.
• When teaching remotely and students can see you, try to be some bit animated: smile, move your hands, avoid speaking in the same tone throughout etc. It will engage students better.
• Teaching online is still new to everyone so the 3 Ps go a long way, be: Personal, Polite and Patient.
For teachers starting in the world of pre-recorded lessons and screencasts for teaching, there's no doubt that they will be asking themselves a number of questions such as: how long should the video be?, how detailed should I make it?, what if it's not of a good enough standard? These are all perfectly normal. According to renowned education professor with the Open University, Paul Kirschner, the most important thing is to keep it short and simple. He recently gave an online presentation with ResearchEd on Ten Tips on Emergency Remote Teaching which can be viewed here.
It is also interesting to know that the optimum time for an effective pre-recorded video is up to 6 minutes. Between 6 and 9 minutes engagement begins to drop and after 9 minutes engagement drops considerably. A very interesting article on everything you need to know about screencasts can be found here.