By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba
When we listened to students in facilitated focus groups this fall about their remote learning experiences, they said it would be helpful to have a central place to meet virtually with their instructors, eliminating the need to search for meeting links and access different platforms.
Your integrated Webex room in MEETS provides a consistent and easily accessible space for hosting virtual classes, office hours, and individual student appointments. Students know where to meet and do not need a special link to join the session. However, the space serves more than just utilitarian purposes.
Coming together with students in MEETS also provides what many students are hungering for right now – connecting with their instructors, albeit through activities in virtual spaces. Students this fall expressed appreciation for introductions from their instructors who said a bit about themselves and the ways they planned to support students. Live synchronous sessions with interactive activities, recorded and optional to attend, were highlighted as positive. They also valued opportunities to ask questions and have them answered in real time.
Supportive of multiple USask’s Learning Technology Ecosystem Principles, (characteristics of effective digital learning spaces), MEETS helps us to create courses with spaces that are accessible, active and social and efficient and easy to use. Students can connect with people, concepts and ideas that they need in MEETS when it is set up to enable these experiences.
Other advantages of using MEETS are:
- It is easy to set up sessions (see this short video) and easy for students to enter a session with one click of the Join button.
- Setting up office hours is quick and simple; this 2 minute video for students shows them how to sign up. (Please share with resources here with students.)
- You can create one set of office hours for all your classes, once per term for the entire term, through Appointment Booking, and then all students can see their options.
- You can change the designated ‘Host,’ as explained here.
- When you set up appointment slots for students, one student can sign up per slot and only that student sees the slot on the student view of the MEETS schedule. Canvas identifies users by their NSID which prevents another course user entering the virtual space during the appointment
- Student view of the MEETS schedule and platform is available.
- Recorded sessions are accessible to all users in the course in Event Recordings, for streaming or download
- Although MEETS is restricted to the students in your course, a link is available accessed in your Event Details (+ person icon), to share with guests
- Recordings of individual appointments (perhaps scheduled for office hours, interviews or oral exams) appear only in the Host’s USask Webex account in Recordings
- Attendance recorded for sessions is accessible only to the instructor(s)
If you’re not already using MEETS, consider using it in your courses. IT Support has published some support articles in their Knowledge Base about this Canvas function.
If you’d like a copy of an instruction document for students about MEETS, please email GMCTL@usask.ca with your request.