InteDashboard is team-based learning software that was conceived with the mission of enabling more learners in higher education, workforce training, or schools to benefit from Team-Based Learning. When using InteDashboard in an online setting, using a collaborative web conferencing tool will create a more engaging environment that will be closer to an in-person session experience. We have put together information on four collaborative video conferencing tools you can use with InteDashboard for a successful online TBL session.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows the user to hold virtual meetings with video and audio as well as to conduct live chats. Zoom is a great tool for online TBL sessions because it allows the users to form breakout rooms and have small group discussions like they would have in an in person-TBL session. It is possible to pre-assign breakout rooms for every session, provided the student email id matches their Zoom email id. While using Zoom, the participants can also share their screens, which allows the teams to focus on the same question while working on TRATs and Application exercises. Zoom allows the instructors to record their sessions, and this can be useful in cases where there is a need to review the class session or when there are students who miss a session.
Microsoft Teams is another collaborative tool that allows for video conferencing. On top of having the functionality of a video conferencing tool, Microsoft Teams has a very comprehensive chat function, which allows the chat to continue even when the video conference is not going on. This function can help teams to coordinate their schedules in an asynchronous online TBL session. Teams can keep in touch without having to use a separate messaging tool. Microsoft Teams also makes it easier for users to access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real-time, allowing teams to manage their time better and collaborate on their work more effectively. Microsoft Teams allows the instructor to form breakout rooms by starting a different channel for every team. Although it is a little more complicated to move between a breakout discussion and the main session discussion quickly, it still provides the small group discussion environment that is necessary for TBL.
WebEx is another video conferencing tool that can be used alongside InteDashboard to conduct online TBL sessions. WebEx allows its users to provide details about their backgrounds to the other participants during the online session - this can be very useful in online workshops using TBL with participants who do not know each other. This feature can help participants get to know each other quickly. WebEx has a chat function that can be used to ask questions, a screen sharing function to foster collaboration, and breakout rooms feature to allow for team discussions during TRATs and application exercises. It also provides the instructors with the option to record their meetings for future use.
Blackboard Collaborate is another collaborative video conferencing tool that can be used to lead a successful TBL session. It has all the functions needed for a TBL session such as chat, breakout rooms, screen sharing, and the ability to record the session. One thing to note is that Blackboard Collaborate does not allow for preassigned breakout rooms. Therefore, breakout rooms can only be formed when the online session starts. To not lose any time, it will be a good practice to have a second person, other than the facilitator, assign the participants into breakout rooms.
Other than the video conferencing tools, there are other collaborative tools such as messaging apps (Whatsapp, Slack, and Messenger) that can be useful during an online TBL session. Teams can use these apps to coordinate their time tables and collaborate on team assignments. There could be multiple hosts for an online class. Instructors and other hosts can use messaging apps to coordinate the back-end tasks of an online session. File sharing tools are also an important part of successfully putting together an online TBL session. File sharing tools such as Dropbox, ShareDrive, and Google Drive allow team members to remotely work on the same document in real-time, thus providing an experience closer to an in-person TBL session.