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Saturday, March 17 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
From Mystery to Mastery: Creating & Enhancing the Ultimate Virtual Classroom Experience

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Often the highlight of the student experience in a COIL collaboration is the quality of a dynamic group interaction. However, planning an effective synchronous student interaction is a challenging hurdle when confronted with different time zones, different modalities of teaching, as well as different levels of technological support and know-how, to name a few.
Using a recent case study from SUNY Empire State College International Education, where geographically dispersed faculty members interacted with remote student groups through a series of synchronous course meetings online for a period of 8 consecutive days, including a COIL course meeting with students from 4 institutions, this presentation will share its lessons learned and discuss the practical applications of utilizing technological tools, many of which are globally available. Specifically we will discuss the use of Zoom for virtual video course meetings, with an emphasis on some key features of the application which can help enhance the session and make it more collaborative.
In our specific case study, we were faced with circumstances which caused us to create a virtual residency truly at the last minute. A faculty trip to Lebanon was cancelled 3 days prior to the pre-arranged face-to-face meetings with students. Faculty and staff pulled together to recreate a substitute method for in-person interaction utilizing Zoom, e-mail, Moodle, Video repository tools and WhatsApp as a form of backup support. We will share tips and best practices and discuss practical issues such as faculty training, common logistical problems and how to address them, methods to engage students in the virtual classroom, the need and pivotal role of moderators, what faculty need to be aware of when recording and sharing the meetings, how to effectively use backup applications, and a reflection on the varying degrees of technological support provided by different institutions.

avatar for Jeannine Mercer

Jeannine Mercer

Academic Program Director, SUNY Empire State College
Jeannine Mercer currently works as the Academic Program Director for the Lebanon Residency Program at SUNY Empire State College. In an administrative role she has overseen various collaborations between faculty members in New York and Lebanon. In this role, she has assisted faculty... Read More →
avatar for Katarina Pisutova

Katarina Pisutova

Instructional Designer, Empire State College
Katarina Pisutova is an instructional designer for International Education at SUNY Empire State College and elearning coordinator at Comenius University in Bratislava. She is currently located in Bratislava, Slovakia. She holds an MA in Adult Education from the University of British... Read More →
avatar for Rhianna Rogers

Rhianna Rogers

Assistant Professor, Empire State College
Rhianna Rogers is an associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at SUNY Empire State College. She is trained as both an anthropological-archaeologist and historian, specializing in Mesoamerica and native cultures of the United States. Rhianna holds multiple appointments at Empire... Read More →

Saturday March 17, 2018 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Great Hall FIT Conference Venue