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Making Large Group Classes (Ensembles) Engaging and Productive.


Here's my problem: I'm an instructor of a 'Medical English for Nurses' college class. There are roughly 45 students in a class. If the Zoom lesson were to be in a meeting manner where every participant were in there own space with their own camera/mic setup, all would be fine. The problem is, the students are divided between two very large lecture rooms and I am sequestered in a small office equipped with a notebook computer and headset. The lecture rooms are equipped with a large screen for the students to view, but only a notebook computer (computer and built-in mic) for output to me. It means, I can't make any use of breakout rooms and for the most part, I can neither see nor hear students with any clarity. It means I end up being a talking-head and their is no interaction. This is meant to be an interactive class. When I do pair-work or group-work, I am disconnected from the activity. I cannot monitor and mix with the students. When students respond to questions, more often than not, I have no idea who is responding nor really have any idea what their response was.

So, my question is, does anybody have some ideas wherein I can engage these classes in a manner in which I am not just lecturing to dead air?

This was really frustrating last year and is not conducive to having a productive lecture. The students, myself, and the college (who are responsible for the untenable setup) were wholly unsatisfied. I have been lecturing there for 20 years successfully, and now, due to Covid related restrictions am seeing it totally unravel.

What do you do when you present to a large audience in order to get feedback and interaction?


Community Champion | Customer
Community Champion | Customer

Hi,  Frodis


Your question is the best solution depends on the size of the room, what position the students are sitting in, and whether or not acrylic panels are installed for shielding.


I don't know if this will fit what you want, but I will describe my idea as a reference.


1.A microphone speaker camera will be installed in each lecture room and connected to a PC.

2.One of the students will operate that PC and participate in the Zoom meeting

3.Students who have questions will raise their hands and speak up when asked by you.

4.If you want to get a good look at the student's face, you can ask them to come up to the camera and speak.


Depending on the size of the room and the acoustic environment, a microphone speaker camera, for example, the Logitech MeetUP, can be used in many cases.
The Logitech's recommendation for MeetUP is for huddle rooms, but the camera's wide 113° angle of view and the sensitivity of the microphone make it usable in larger rooms than recommended.

In addition, remote control of the camera's pan, tilt, and zoom may be supported from within a Zoom meeting.
According to my confirmation, remote control is possible with the lower-end model BCC950 and the higher-end model Rally PTZ Camera (CC4900E).