Are You Engaging and Inspiring Your Online Learners?

We were thrilled to present at the National Career Development Association conference this year! Our session? “Engage and Inspire! Tips and Tricks That Take Your Online Classes to the Next Level.”

#NCDA2021 was virtual again but did not disappoint. The program included a number of technology-related topics, as well as thought-provoking keynote sessions.

Feel free to browse our slides (below) and visit the companion Resource Guide for more information.

If you attended our session – Thank You for being there and for your participation in the conversation. 🙂

Tech Twins Talk Tech With Peak Careers

The Tech Twins were honored to have a discussion with Jim Peacock of Peak Careers. We talked about “Must Have Technology tools,” as well as go-to resources we use, and even highlight some tips for preventing, minimizing, and combatting tech stress. Watch the Video:

For more info on the tools we mention, links are here. Loved talking with each other and with Jim, and it gives a sneak preview of some of what we’ll be sharing at NCDA.

Tech Twins at NCDA 2021!

The Tech Twins are very excited to share that we will be presenting live at the 2021 NCDA conference! What would have been a pre-recorded demo of different tools and techniques will now be an experiential time together! We’ll present of what we’ve discovered this past year that has worked well in our classes, and have a time for participants to try out these tools while also sharing what’s worked for them. A mutual learning experience! Hope you’re able to join us. Click here to register!

Polling in Zoom

Decided to mix it up a bit last week. I did still partner students in breakout rooms to come up with definitions and examples of assigned sampling modes, but wanted to have a quick activity that would require everybody’s involvement, so decided to go with a poll. The topic was using incentives in sampling. The results of some of the poll questions are below. As you can see, their results were split, which gave an opportunity to discuss (or not discuss, just tell) as time permitted.

I think it did what it was supposed to do, which was to gauge their knowledge, get everyone involved, and to mix things up in terms of how I was engaging them. We also used the annotation function in a poll way. See here:

I asked them to guess what the research says about characteristics of volunteers. So, a different way to poll them for their thoughts was to have them indicate on the slide above. That also worked well, and helped me to get through the points fairly quickly, just focusing on the ones where there was a split response.

Another way is to use the zoom tools in the participant area. You can ask yes/no questions (or true/false questions where true = yes; false = no). You could have them write in the chat as well, although, that’s a little harder to manage if you have a large group, doesn’t result in the concise data that the poll feature allows, and won’t work well with multiple questions. Still, it’s an option, and might be a nice way to mix things up a bit.

A low tech option for polling would be a thumbs up or thumbs down option, having participants hold their thumb up or down to yes/no questions.

One more cool tool for polling – 2 of my students introduced the class to coda.io, and one of their activities was a poll. The topic was on psychologists as academics, and more specifically, how to be culturally aware and respectful in the classroom. They created the poll below – and you can see that people had the option to add in their own ideas, too. I did, and immediately had several people give it an “up vote” or a yes. I like the interactivity/user ability to add to that this tool provides.

Would love to hear your ideas about how you poll your students, and process the results.

Beyond the text tool in Zoom

Last week I gave myself 2 challenges for my teaching in Zoom. I accomplished one goal, but not the other. The goal I didn’t accomplish was having a large image for students to write into. One idea I had was a giant key that would stand for “key takeaways” from the day’s class. I just couldn’t find an image I liked, and I also ran out of time to get there. So I’ll try again this coming week.

I was successful with having students use the stamp function. The class was research and design; the topic was social significance and statement of the problem. After presenting what these 2 constructs were, I had the students refer to an article and evaluate the article for how well the authors addressed the key elements we had just discussed. I try to vary this – on example 1, I just asked 2 students to look at the article and give their thoughts. On example 2, to draw everybody in, I asked the whole class to make their mark. While I could’ve asked about individual ratings, it seemed like we were all around the same place, so I just noted that no-one said it was out of this world, and asked the class to comment what the authors could’ve done to push it closer to that ideal.

In a different class, we combined the table idea (which is typically my go-to) with the stamp feature on zoom. This is for an intro class on Health Service Psychology, so the students are learning about values of psychology. When in face-to-face class, I usually have this as a handout and have them self-evaluate. I really liked having this group activity via Zoom (So the challenge will be how to keep this when we do go back F2F). As you can see, students stamped how they felt about each one.

If you haven’t discovered this yet, when you finish your annotating activity, if you don’t erase it, it will stay there even when you move to the next slide, unless you erase it. Sometimes I forget and have to take a moment to erase it. For this activity, though, it was a bonus. I started by duplicating 2 slides in Powerpoint – one which was the simple table above for them to annotate, and the next which I had created beforehand that showed how the psychologists in the study rated. The “ratings” were purple stars. By keeping their ratings, we got to see in an instant how our group as a whole compared. This turned into a conversation about the comparison. As an aside, I was disappointed about the ratings on the value of career-related issues, but in the discussion, many explained that they were thinking about day-to-day services they would be providing, and to whom (many were interested in working with kids, or trauma) – so that made that rating a bit more acceptable. 🙂

So, two more Zoom teaching days in the bag. What’s on for next week? I’ll probably still seek to use the idea of an image to have them build on. Maybe I’ll play with the whiteboard function, although I also like the idea of being creative with the Zoom backgrounds. Just came across this helpful site with some innovative ideas that I’ll be considering. Good to have options!