Harnessing the Power of Zoom for Teaching and Learning

Student sitting in front of a computer, learning virtually

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the landscape of teaching and learning, educators find efforts to engage students in the virtual environment challenging. As part of an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of medical and health professions education worldwide, Harvard Macy Institute leaders including Director Elizabeth Armstrong, PhD (Harvard Medical School), Course Co-Director Holly Gooding, MD, MPH (Emory School of Medicine), Course Co-Director Traci Wolbrink, MD, MPH (Harvard Medical School) and Course Faculty Elissa Hall, EdD (Mayo Clinic), developed a highly attended webinar “Harnessing the Power of Zoom for Teaching and Learning” on the effective utilization of Zoom for teaching and learning. 

In addition to the webinar, they offer three tips aligned with core principles of adult learning theory and education technology to assist educators transitioning to virtual teaching and learning.

Tip #1:

Remember technology alone will not facilitate learning. Your presence and how you facilitate is critical. Once you have pinpointed the content, determine your pedagogical approach and then align the appropriate technology (or in this example, appropriate Zoom feature) to achieve this goal. Reference the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Framework.

Tip #2:

Consider Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle when structuring one or a series of learning experiences. This will help you scaffold a learning experience and create an environment which promotes higher-order thinking. Consider using a template to help you get started with planning an online, synchronous learning experience using Zoom (or other web conferencing tool).

Tip #3:

Foster an environment which empowers and engages learners to socially construct learning experiences together. For example, use Zoom’s breakout rooms accompanied with other technologies, such as Google Docs, MindMeister or Padlet, to facilitate application, synthesis and creation.

Additional resources and information about Zoom tools and features are included in the webinar handout.


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