The switch from face-to-face to remote lessons, which began in COVID-19, has become more and more common. What has emerged is that while there are still many challenges, remote lessons can be effective in their own right, and many believe they will continue to coexist with face-to-face lessons after the campus reopens, rather than being a temporary fixture until COVID-19 dies down.

Zoom and other video chat features (e.g., chat, breakout rooms, etc.) and the unique strengths of online lessons make them more effective in some respects than face-to-face lessons.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of remote lessons and the preferred structure of remote lessons, based on my own experience with them.

Pros

Easy Recording

Even in face-to-face lessons, a recording is not impossible, but it is not common. You need to prepare for it, such as setting up your camera equipment. With remote lessons, it is possible to leave a recording with a single click. The saved recordings are saved as a file.

In addition to the lesson, any questions or comments from students can be archived as well. The recordings will be available for students to review later or to share with students who are absent for whatever reason.

Capacity

The lesson is not much different when dealing with 10 people than when dealing with 100 students. Also, you don't have to worry about location, even if the number of students increases dozens of times. Also, you can exchange questions without feeling the distance.

Group Work

The results show that discussions are more lively in group work than in face-to-face meetings. One reason for this is that people want to talk to someone else because they have been experiencing a period of self-restraint and the number of situations in which they talk to others has decreased dramatically. They also feel more comfortable talking to each other remotely because they don't have a strange feeling of distance from the other person.

Chatting

The chat feature in video chats, such as Zoom, allows participants to send messages and interact with professors and students at will. Chatting allows all participants to have a chance to speak during the lesson. Furthermore, for those who are not comfortable speaking in front of others, the hurdle is lowered a bit. It can be used to checkpoints of interest or to conduct quizzes to ease the atmosphere.

Cons

Professor-side

Mechanical Trouble

Before giving a lesson, they would do a connection test beforehand. Even though there were no problems in the test, problems such as disrupted video, choppy audio, or no connection are likely to occur once the lesson starts. The stability of the video and audio communication depends on the specs of the PC's CPU and memory as well as whether the Internet connection is Ethernet or WiFi.

How To Avoid And Fix Video Issues

Hard to See Students

When dealing with a student who has never met you before, it is difficult to get a sense of distance, such as how much to say. It takes more time for the professor to get to know the students and recognize who they are than in person. This makes it more time-consuming to prepare for the ice break and preparation before entering the lesson. It is also difficult to get a feel for the atmosphere and the response of the lesson on the screen, which can be a big detriment to brushing up on the lesson.

Students-side

Less Interaction

None of the students taking the course become friends with each other. Usually, if they are in the same lesson, they can develop into friends from there. But with remote lessons, students don't interact with each other as much, and this can be a disincentive to attend lessons.

Not Knowing When to Ask a Question

Not only professors but also students find it difficult to speak up because it's hard for them to grasp the atmosphere in the classroom. In a face-to-face lesson, professors can detect if students have questions or concerns from the expressions on their faces, but in a remote lesson, they tend to just go ahead with it because it's hard to notice.

No chit-chat

Chatting with other students during breaks in the lesson or in between lessons is relaxing and helps students to concentrate. However, this is drastically reduced in remote lessons. There is no concept of neighbors or talking to each other.

Easy to Slack off

You can't tell if a student is really taking the course or not. Basically, this is rarely recognized if they are not listening or doing something else. In a face-to-face lesson, this does not occur and the student needs to be focused. However, in a remote lesson, this presence is significantly lower and requires checks to ensure comprehension.

Best Practice

70% Volume

Remote video chat tends to cause system trouble, students have difficulty participating in video chat, and other unforeseen problems. Since the lesson is delivered through a screen, it is necessary to be creative in conveying the message, so it is necessary to speak more slowly and explain more often than usual. To solve these problems, it's a good idea to reduce the amount of curriculum in advance.

Keep Students Engaged

Many people lose focus during remote lessons. We should try to make the lesson more participatory than a normal lesson. You need to increase the opportunities for students to speak and group work.

Use Presentations or Video

The distribution of materials is smoother than in person. Screen sharing and presentations on the Internet will also make it easier to understand the lesson. Even after the lesson, it is a good idea to prepare review materials on the Web to deepen the level of understanding.

Fully Equipment

In order to avoid mechanical problems, it is a good idea to have the necessary equipment for video chat. In particular, you should use Ethernet rather than WiFi, try to make the communication as stable as possible, and buy a headset to make the voice communication smooth.

Stay Better Place

Also, remote lessons should provide the best environment for video chat. A private and quiet place where you can't hear the sounds of daily life and noise is preferable. If you can't create such an environment at home, you should take measures such as renting a separate office.

Let’s Make Lessons Remotely

Remote lessons and Virtual Office Hour would be an important opportunity to connect professors and students in a COVID-19 environment. Also, if you want to set up an Office Hour, I recommend Remotehour, which allows students to talk to you with no installation or registration required. It's just one click to get started, so give it a try!