Part 3. Back Channels for Informal Communication
For many instructors, teaching during the pandemic has meant holding classes in Zoom. The “chat” feature in Zoom provides a way for students to communicate informally with instructors, using text as well as emojis. This “back channel” communication can give instructors immediate feedback on the clarity of course content while also offering quiet students a chance to participate, and all students a less risky way to ask questions than raising a hand in class. To enable back channel communication when returning to in-person teaching, instructors might solicit feedback using TopHat, InScribe (a free tool that can be added to Canvas), or Piazza (available through IU eTexts).
This quick tip has been drawn from “Improved student engagement in higher education’s next normal,” by Ed Glantz, Chris Gamrat, Lisa Lenze, and Jeffrey Bardzell, in the Educause Review, Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
If you want to share your own ideas for what you will keep in your teaching when you head back to the in-person classroom, fill out our form and add your idea to our collection (to appear on our website in late April).