There are several elements to consider, with regards to engagement and content structure. Leading the session with the timings will be useful to guide students through the content for the session. This includes: 

  • Highlighting the time of each task 
  • Where the task is taking place (with any appropriate links) 
  • What they will be using to complete the task 
Decorative: Image Description [two peoples hands can be seen. One is holding a pen and writing on some paper. They have a laptop on either side of the paper which is in the centre of a table]
Decorative: Image Desription: [A picture of graph paper with the blackline showing a pulse or heart beat]

Pulse checking

It is recommended to build in pulse-checking or pauses for reflection during your session. This will allow students to stay focused, ask any questions regarding the content.  You can also use these moments to create small sense-checking tasks. These sense-checking tasks also enable you as a lecturer, to identify any misconceptions and redirect the teaching and learning to support the participants.  

Consider the comparison to traditional face-to-face teaching; since you can no longer instinctively see body language and facial cues from your students, these pulse-checking points need to provide you with the confidence that your students are keeping up and engaging with the lesson.

Pulse-checking using quiz based tools are useful for sense-checking tasks. Depending on your requirements there are several activity ideas that can support you. 

Live response and feedback (synchronous)

If you would like to engage you students and gather live feedback. We would recommending leading an activity with Poll everywhere. This tool can help you design a multitude of questions styles and can be used with a wide range of devices to give live responses to answers. This tool also gives the option to hide names, which can be a useful starting point to engage participants who find contributing difficult. Please see the information below to find out how the tool can be used: 


Gathering information (asynchronous)

If you would like to gather information from participants, but being live isn’t necessarythen you can use your VLE’s Multiple Choice Question tool, this will allow you to gather information and look at the results when you need. Microsoft forms also allows data collection in a similar manner.  


Take a moment… What opportunities are there for pulse-checking activities? Can you create a pulse checking activity for a future session? How will this develop your students understanding and support your teaching/assessment?

Tip: If you are trying something new, run a practice session with some colleagues to trial the advice in action and to receive some peer-to-peer feedback