How you can start your online meeting like a PRO 3/3

Part 3: Asking Questions

Let us imagine you are teaching. A good session gets better with student engagement and student interactions, right? Once you get started, how do you keep sustained attention? Just like in a normal classroom, build a pattern to break it. After a 15min input, do something else. As audio accounts for more than half the value of the connection, let everyone hear a different voice.

You can of course ask a question to your audience and hope someone answers. That one of the black screens flickers and you see a human, who says something relevant. But if you do not already have an engaging work atmosphere going, you risk that your question falls flat.

Here are 4 tips:

  1. Prepare questions long before you start your meeting. Have them on screen and posted in the chat. Give enough time to answer. Count to 10 in your head.
  2. Do not ask quizmaster questions à la “who knows…?”. There is no prize to win for students. Only humiliation. Instead ask for firsthand experiences. Even experiences from trying to understand the content that you are teaching. For example: “What remains unclear to you from the presentation?”
  3. Say how you want the answers formulated. Sometimes you can let everyone work on the chat for a moment. Then pick those answers that stand out. It is now much easier to get those students’ voices heard, because their contribution is already validated.
  4. You can ping a student. In the chat, you can write to all or individual meeting participants. If you want someone specific to contribute, write: “I care about what you say, please consider sharing your thought, I’d love to hear about it.” This can work well, but to set your expectations, it works about 50% of the time. So, copy-paste the phrase to 4 people.

Next up, I continue with how the PROs are using polling in zoom.

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