Fiona's App Challenge: App Four - Lync (Skype for Business)

Lync (now known as Skype for Business) lets you have a conversation, presentation or discussion with students, colleagues or specialists, regardless of where you all are.

You can set up a Lync meeting from your computer and send out an invitation to students.

Take a look at this sample I recorded when I tested out some of the features of Lync meeting spaces, including using the whiteboard tools, sharing a PowerPoint, running a poll and showing my webcam (3 mins 04 secs). As you'll see, it pays to prepare ahead of the session, so that your presentation is ready to load, and you have the question for your poll to hand to copy and paste.

Take a look at this example from Enabling e-learning. The subject of the webinar is Getting started in an innovative learning environment. It's aimed at educators rather than students, and uses a different webinar tool, but gives you an idea of what's possible.

To see how you can insert your Lync/Skype for Business recording into the iQualify learning platform, watch this 1min 33sec video.

Can a web conferencing tool such as Lync amplify or transform the learner experience?

Amplification Hold a series of live chat sessions at scheduled times which your students can join to ask questions of you and discuss aspects of the course, particularly at the end of a module or before an assignment is due. This could replace tutorial sessions that you currently hold through a chat tool. Record these sessions and make the recording available afterwards through your learning platform, so that those students who are unable to attend the live session, can benefit from watching the recording.

Transformation Invite a guest speaker to run a session on a topic that students find challenging. Encourage your students to submit questions for the specialist to answer, both beforehand through the discussion channels and during the live session. Record the session and make it available in your learning platform afterwards. Follow up the session with a quiz in the learning platform, which covers the topics discussed by the specialist. A quiz may need planning and setup before the course goes live to students, so you'll need to have discussions with your specialist about topics and question themes early on in the planning process.

Now challenge yourself
  • Set up a Lync meeting through Outlook and invite a colleague
  • If you have a webcam, turn this on
  • Use your microphone to speak with your colleague
  • Load a PowerPoint presentation
  • Annotate a slide using the whiteboard tools
  • Chat with your colleague using the instant message tool
  • Create a silly poll

Microsoft produces its own set of training videos.