Organizing and Delivering a Live Lesson


There are several tools and strategies that you can use to facilitate a synchronous (live) lesson.

Step 1: Choose a Synchronous Tool

Below are several options that are available and supported at WMU.

  • Webex
  • Teams
  • Google Hangouts

Step 2: Practice Using the Tool

Take a moment to get comfortable using the tool. You should familiarize yourself with the different features of that tool and run a practice session with a friend or family member.

  • Check your microphone
  • Check your webcam (if you choose to use one).

Step 3: Schedule and Invite Participants

This step may seem obvious, but you will want to be sure that you schedule time to meet with your students. If possible, send the invite at least 1-2 days in advance. Even if you have a normally scheduled class time, an invitation email to participate in the online session will make it clear to your students what you expect of them. It will also give them time to ensure they are also prepared to join your online session.

In your communication to students, consider including the following:

  • A clear time/date
  • Class expectations
    • Do you want them to come prepared with questions or to lead a discussion?
    • Do you expect them to show up and simply listen and take notes?
  • Share a link or instructions for students about how to join the session.
  • Share quick tips on etiquette for students as they join a session
    • Arrive 5-10 minutes early.
    • Check microphone in case of questions.
    • Mute microphones upon entering.
  • Show sample email template

    Email Subject: [Course Title] [Course #] - Online Live Sessions Scheduled


    Dear students,

    Thank you for your patience as we work through this difficult time. This email is to inform you that I will be hosting a synchronous (live) sessions. Please read through carefully for details about the schedule, modality, meeting instructions and meeting expectations.

    Date(s)/Time(s): [list below]

    Modality: We will meet using - [insert name of tool]

    Meeting Log-In Instructions: [link to instructions here]


    • Access and learn about the synchronous application before attending the meeting.
    • Check your computer, browser and application settings at least [1 day] before attending the session.
    • Arrive 5-10 minutes early.
    • Check microphone before class starts, in case of technical issues.
    • Mute microphones once class starts. (This will cut down on background noise).
    • Only unmute your mic. To ask specific questions.
    • [insert additional expectations here]

    If you find that you are having issues specific to the technology please reach out immediately to the OIT help desk at

    Policy for missing session: This will be addressed on a case by case basis. Please reach out to me directly via email to set up virtual office hours or to ask questions

    Remember! We are all in this together and my goal is to ensure that you are successful in the completion of this course. Please stay healthy and I will see you in class!

Step 4: Quick Tips for Facilitation

There are a few simple tips that will ensure that your live session goes more smoothly.

  • Clean your desktop and close additional browser tabs to stay organized.
  • Set up your synchronous session 20 minutes early.
  • Test your microphone and webcam (if you are using one).
  • Prepare your PPT slides and have them open (if you are using them).
  • Share your screen so that students see your PPT title slide or agenda.
  • If possible, record the session so that you can share with students that weren’t able to attend.

Finally, be patient with yourself and students! This format may be new to you and new to your students.

Step 5: Back-up Plan

There will most likely be a few students that will not be able to attend due to illness or technical difficulties.

  • Have them contact the IT help desk.
  • Create a plan for students that are not able to attend. Here are a few ideas:
    • Create an alternative assignment to make up class time.
    • Email or post the recorded session in Elearning.