5 golden rules for a successful videoconference for educational purposes

We all hope not to have to relive a situation of prolonged school closures, as was the case in the spring of 2020. But if that were to happen, we can be better prepared and benefit from the experience acquired! We offer you 5 simple and effective tips for a successful videoconference for educational purposes.

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We all hope not to have to relive a situation of prolonged school closures, as was the case in the spring of 2020. But if that were to happen, we can be better prepared and benefit from the experience acquired!

Here are 5 tips for a successful video conference, regardless of the platform used. 

These tips are based on documents prepared by schools, the experience of parents at home with their children, and the organization of our own. online training (over 30 in May and June 2020 only!). They may be enhanced with your own recommendations or specific features related to your communication platform. (See also the infographic further down on this page.)

  1. Explain the rules of videoconferencing before, with a reminder at the start of the session (when to open the microphone, raise your hand, etc.). 
  2. Give short and clear instructions. 
  3. Aim for a maximum of 20 to 40 minutes of sustained attention.
  5. Focus on small groups to promote interaction and the development of emotional ties.

And this last tip, we allow ourselves to develop a little more ...

Favor smaller groups, even if it means repeating the session.

Lived situations:

  • 3e primary year, 45 little "cocos" who do not necessarily know each other on the screen ... Many will spend more time looking at how others are dressed, in which room they are or even who they are, rather than listening to the teacher .
  • In secondary, young people are worried about their image and their self-esteem is sometimes fragile. Why not bet on the expected participation result at the end of the session, or prepare interactive questions using an application such as WooClap (wooclap.com) or Mentimeter (mentimeter.com), rather than insisting that they keep their cameras on?
  • In teacher training, 32 participants in a session supposed to help them create their first video capsule… While some are trying to disentangle themselves between apps and video platform by slowing the group's progress, others are ready to launch their YouTube channel! Unfortunately, the trainer cannot answer all of them and many are left unsatisfied ...

To support this assumption of the need for smaller groups, a study published in the International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design in 2019 comes to the conclusion that 12 is the ideal maximum number of people for a post-secondary online course. It's hard to say why it should be more among our youngest, especially on the premise that an online course cannot be the direct transposition of a face-to-face course.

To go further in the organization of all this, we can look at the principle of reverse class.

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About the Author

Audrey Miller
Audrey Millerhttps://ecolebranchee.com
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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