Dr. Hendratta Ali is an associate professor of Geosciences at FHSU. She teaches Geology and Exploration Geology classes both face-to-face and online. Dr. Ali currently has active research projects exploring Anthropogenic Impact in a Tropical estuary through an NSF-funded International Research Experience for Students grant, and a groundwater exploration in fractured rocks funded by SEG Geoscientists Without Borders.
Dr. Ali is a recipient of many awards and recognitions, including; the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Inspirational Geoscience Educator, Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ Outstanding Educator Award, FHSU’s Tiger Transfer Champion, Outstanding Graduate Advisor, John Heinrichs Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor, Oklahoma State University’s CAS Rising Star Award, the American Geophysical Union’s 2020 Presidential citation, and the Association for Women Geoscientists President’s award.
Using Zoom In Class
Dr. Hendratta Ali uses multiple techniques to engage her online students. We share some of her Zoom strategies here:
1. How often do you host Zoom meetings each week?
I host an average of 10 meetings each week. At times, I have hosted more than 30 Zoom meetings in a week. I started hosting more meetings since the spring of 2020 pandemic transition. In some rare cases, I have had up to 10 Zoom meetings in a day. The number of Zoom meetings per day are highest in the first 6 weeks of the semester. Generally, if things go as planned, I expect the number of meetings to decrease as the semester progresses.
My Zoom meetings are spread out Monday through Friday between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Some events, like class time and office hours, have fixed days and times; while all my other meetings are staggered to accommodate schedules and time zones. I may have some meetings before 8:00 am or after 6:00 pm, although these are rare exceptions.
2. Do you use Zoom primarily for lectures or for specific learning activities (e.g., virtual office hours, class discussions)?
Prior to totally online (TOL) teaching, I used Zoom primarily for specific learning activities. A few years before the pandemic, I began to use Zoom for research meetings and virtual mentoring. Since the pandemic and the transition to online teaching, for traditional on-campus classes, I use Zoom for lectures, office hours, and individual or group check-ins with students.
How do you do so?
I organize my Zoom account by creating separate rooms for different recurring meetings. For instance, here are some recurring Zoom rooms I have created:
For recurring meetings like TOL lectures, I create appointments in my calendar and send these to students in the classes with the Zoom room link and reminder. These reminders seem to improve attendance. This strategy was particularly helpful in spring 2020 after students went home to different time zones. My Student hour Zoom link is posted in Blackboard for each of my classes. I regularly send an announcement with the zoom link a few minutes before the start of student hour. This too, seems to improve attendance.
For one-on-one meetings, I have the Zoom meeting link embedded in my scheduling app. When a student schedules a meeting, they automatically receive the Zoom link for that time in their notifications. This approach saves us all time from emailing links back and forth. Another benefit of sending the calendar invite is that the students get notifications in their time zone, which helps us avoid the confusion associated with forgetting to specify time zones.
3. Do you record your Zoom meetings? And why?
Generally, I do not record zoom meetings for privacy reasons. When necessary, I notify and ask for permission from attendees before recording. The students may want to turn-off their video, hide their names etc. when being recorded.
For my TOL synchronous classes, I sometimes record lectures if students are absent from class. I may also organize and record exam reviews, or tutorials with a small group.
4. What are the dos and don’ts that you’d like to share with other faculty members on these matters?
To me, each of these options have their advantages and I use them at different times.
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