When a Zoom class starts, students may not be ready to talk actively about the topic and there may be silence. One strategy is to engage students in different tasks to encourage participation so as to prepare them for discussion. In the example below, students were sent a Google Form via WhatsApp and Zoom Chat when the class started. The Google Form ‘‘quiz’ asked students to answer some general questions providing basic information on Special Education Needs (SEN). The quiz served the purposes of making learning more interactive and assessing students’ basic understanding after they had read the PowerPoint posted on Moodle.
To facilitate discussion and collaboration, students worked in Breakout Rooms on Zoom to complete the quiz in groups. They could share their views and ask each other questions when they were unsure about their responses. Different question types are included (MC, short questions) and the quiz followed the lesson and PowerPoint sequence, so that, by doing the quiz, the students would have taken a virtual tour of the key topics to be covered in the online lesson.
Examples of Questions
Q3. In Hong Kong, which of the terms was used to describe the current policy for SEN students?
- A. Integrated Education
- B. Inclusive Education
- C. Special Education
Q4. The major difference between integrated education and inclusive education is
When students went back to the Zoom class, the teacher asked them which question(s) they were confident and which they were less certain about. Google quiz and debriefing for formative assessment helped the teacher to gauge student knowledge and decide what issue(s) should be explained more and which were better understood. Following their discussion in the Breakout Rooms, students generally felt excited to find out how other groups had responded to the questions and were more prepared to speak out in Zoom whole-class discussions.
Students gave the feedback that they enjoyed doing the quiz on Google Forms because it was fun and that they could work with their classmates. The Zoom activities aroused their interest and curiosity, leading them to pay more attention when the teacher discussed those questions in the main session with the whole class. Primarily, Zoom classes and Breakout Rooms can work in ways similar to regular classrooms with whole- and small-group discussion.