Videos are useful resources in online teaching. However, students might be easily distracted when viewing videos posted on Moodle at home or even during teacher presentations in Zoom sessions. As such, students could be assigned collaborative tasks in Zoom classes to help their sense-making of the video clips’ key elements. Students could be arranged into different Breakout Rooms for their sense-making dialogue, supported by different tools.
In this learning task, students were shown a video clip on the mentoring systems used in Japan and they worked collaboratively to make meaning of the clip in their Breakout Rooms. Using Google Slides, students were provided prompts (column and row headings) to help them organize their observations. To encourage their in-depth deliberation, students then used the observation to develop their views on how the actions of mentees and mentors helped improve instruction in the mentoring process.
The students’ collaborative work in completing the table on Google Slides in breakout groups (can be done on Google Docs) provided a ‘focus’ for student discussion. The allocated and limited time during Zoom classes creates clear group goals and a sense of urgency, thus increasing the groups’ momentum.
In this example, after the breakout session, the teacher invited several groups to report on what they had discussed, using Shared screens (table in Google Slide) to further in-class knowledge building. To allow more varied in-class activities, students in different groups could be assigned different aspects, for jigsaw learning. Students were also given time to comment on their peers’ work, which served to demonstrate how peer assessment could be carried out in Zoom classrooms. Students can also gain first-hand experience on how peer evaluations could benefit the learning of all students involved.