Transitioning from teaching a face-to-face class to a fully online environment can sound overwhelming, though. It is important to view fully online and face-to-face (f2f) learning environments not as competitive formats, but as alternatives that broaden the educational options for prospective and current students. The main challenge, then, for a faculty member teaching an online course is to integrate their teaching experience with innovative approaches and tools, all in flexible ways that maintain or improve learning outcomes.
Faculty who are new to online teaching, tend to gravitate towards webconferencing as a replacement for the F2F meetings. However, it is best to use synchronous tools in conjunction with asynchronous course content (i.e. teaching and learning modules). Just as it is in a live classroom, interactivity is critical in a virtual classroom. Good teaching includes incorporating multiple learning styles and interactivity. You should have specific purposes and goals for using web-conferencing tools for synchronous teaching.
Having said that, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (a tool found in the Bb learning management system) can provide a virtual online room for teaching synchronously. It’s an effective tool for live lectures.
The following Quick-Start Guide can help you teach synchronously:
1. Quick-Start Guide on Teaching Synchronously
The Center for Faculty Leadership and Development