08 Jun


Practical strategies for keeping lessons interactive and students engaged while running a socially distanced and combined remote delivery class



When we return to the classroom social distancing and some learners joining via live streaming means we face different challenges. 


However, it is important that we maintain good teaching practice to ensure we involve our students and keep things varied and interesting. We want to ensure that we aren’t tempted to go into lecturer mode where we talk at the learners and they just listen for long periods of time. 


     As normal use a variety or resources, stretch and challenge appropriately and keep feedback        regular and varied (involve the students). Here are some ideas :


  • Turn chairs, still at the allocated desk, to face each other to enable talking in pairs. If able to use Zoom use breakout rooms to enable those on live stream to talk in pairs (allocate in advance so easier to manage)
  • Give students mini whiteboards (or more cost effective, several laminated A4 blank sheets of paper and 2 marker pens each which only they use). They can use these in lots of ways e.g. to write answers/ideas, ask each other questions /record answers then share them visibly online and from a distance in the classroom
  • To foster interactivity use Web-based polling tools like Mentimeter or Zoom polling which allows you to obtain real-time feedback from all students both in the classroom and though livestream through their phones. Zoom has a polling tool that allows students to respond to multiple choice questions as well as nonverbal feedback icons (raise hand, yes, no, etc.). Another tool, PollEverywhere, provides a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, word clouds, and open-ended questions. Students can respond to PollEverywhere through a web browser or via texting and you can show the results on your screenshare
  • InvolvE learners in feedback - put flipchart paper up in different parts of the room (judge how many in line with social distancing). One person at a time can record their ideas/summarise discussions or 1 person can collate and stand at the flipchart while small groups verbally share their answers or ideas from their desks
  • Stretch and challenge- share differentiated worksheets/tasks in advance with those on live stream and give learners the opportunity to choose which one they want to complete. Share time allocated to the task and set time limits for everyone to see (timer on the board or shared screen or give countdowns to best manage both groups)
  • Slot in time in every session for questions from those in the class and those on livestream - they can also share on chat/padlett/even email. At the end of each session, give students a chance to answer a few questions about how things went, responding to prompts such as: what have I learned, what am I confused about, what do I want to learn more about? This helps to check learning
  • Checking learning – plan in stages for  Q and A involving livestream and those in the classroom. Continue to give everyone thinking time before answering in the group. Nominate learners using targeted questions during feedback to ensure equal involvement
  • Use a variety of resources to contextualise topic materIal – visuals, listenings,
  • videos, Youtube. Both halves of the class can access at the same time. These can also be sent in advance to flip learning with discussions/questions in the lesson
  • Instead of having students watch as you write on the whiteboard where it can slow the pace down and you may find it difficult  to manage both the remote and socially distanced class, create slides  summarising the information you expect to get from your learners that you share in class and virtually though screenshare
  • Replace lectures and explanation components that usually happen in class with short videos or a combination of short videos and curated open resources with student response activities that students can do before class. Where possible, use online tools, like Kahoot, that students can access on their individual devices rather than shared pens and have plenty of fresh post-its for collaborative brainstorming etc

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