Teaching with videoconferencing

Videoconferencing can be used effectively for teaching courses and the administrative functions associated with teaching. Contact us to consult on teaching a course using videoconferencing technology or view the videoconferencing best practices videos for more information.

Typical uses

  • Meetings with more than one or two participants at a site.
  • Thesis defenses where external reviewer is not able to attend in person.
  • Distributed education courses where students are able to congregate at a few remote sites.

Advantages

  • In general, the superior video and audio quality of videoconferencing enable you to teach and interact more effectively with a larger single group of remote students.
  • Provides the students with a better sense of being present in the classroom than other interactive technologies.
  • Both students and instructors generally find videoconferencing technology easier to operate than other interactive technologies.

Disadvantages

  • The initial setup and ongoing maintenance of videoconferencing hardware can be intimidating for non-technical users.
  • Videoconferencing generally requires students to travel to specifically equipped videoconferencing facilities.
  • The initial investment in the technology can be quite expensive.
  • Using Videoconferencing technology for tasks outside of presenting audio and video can be complicated by compatibility issues between different models/brands of equipment.

Things to Consider

  • Videoconferencing technology can be used in conjunction with other synchronous technologies such as web conferencing or chat tools to expand the interactivity options available to you and your students.
  • Teaching using videoconferencing will require more planning on the part of the instructor since:
    • many regular face-to-face classroom technologies such as whiteboards and PowerPoint are either not available or must be specially adapted/connected to be used effectively with videoconferencing.
    • technical failure is a possibility and it will interrupt the class.