CoverUnit 1. About this bookFour reasons not to require students to be on webcam all the timeQuick resources about pedagogy and technology that may be helpful to shareForewordAcknowledgementsUnit 2. Examples of whole-class activitiesCreating a mindful learning environment using Adobe ConnectCreating community agreements collaboratively with online students: Reasons, anti-racist considerations, and logistics in Adobe ConnectThe use of a large chat pod to encourage chat participation about particular questionsUsing large slides and a smaller chat pod to focus attention on mini-lecture contentCreating opportunities for student voice in online classes by using polls for feedbackUsing polls to guide class check-in timeUsing a poll and a second chat pod to wrap up the class sessionAdobe Connect status icons: A useful feature to increase engagement Bringing all students onto webcam together for special circumstances: Using a large video podUsing PowerPoint portrait-oriented slides to maximize content sharingGroup presentations in Adobe Connect: Using an extra wide video pod and dedicated second chat pod for Q&ALive drawing using a second webcamUsing a large webcam pod and large chat in a panel view layout: How to create a custom virtual stage for successful guest speaker presentationsDedicated chat pods for simulated client role play video exercise in an online skills-based lab“Good point. I agree.”: Challenging students to create “thoughtful contributions” in classA Moment of Action: Opening an inclusive, engaged, and trauma-informed classroomIn-class breaks: The importance of taking a break during online classes and considerations for break activitiesCommunity-building in Adobe Connect: Using layouts and different pods to facilitate games and icebreaker activities Building online class community through photos and storytelling“Student Spotlight” Activity: Cultivating an Empathetic Online CommunityUsing emojis in Adobe Connect to encourage student engagement AHA moments: Connecting online course content to field educationUsing layouts to facilitate guided mindfulness, meditation, and yoga in Adobe Connect classroomsMindfulness and the engaged online classroomChair yoga in the online classroom Using PhotoVoice as a teaching tool in the Adobe Connect classroomUsing a creative award presentation to review semester content and leave a lasting impactCreating a virtual quilt: A final class activity/toolUnit 3. Examples of small-group breakout activities and debriefsEnriching classroom discussions with breakout roomsEnhancing student engagement in the 10-minute breakout activity: Pre-assigning groups and rolesShowing note pods from breakout groups in one layout to debrief or monitor progress of a breakout conversation: Using a birds eye view setupKWL charts: How to implement this teaching technique in the Adobe Connect online classroom Breakout exercise for collective syllabus annotation in Adobe ConnectConcept mapping: Bringing Universal Design for Learning to the Adobe Connect classroomAn example of using the whiteboard for small breakout groups in Adobe Connect: “Draw Poverty”Scripted role play in Adobe Connect: Practicing clinical skills in an online classroomDimensions of self care: Exploring clinical issues for social workers in an online classroomThe use of polls to facilitate post-role play exercise debriefing discussions in an online skills labEnding a course with gratitude: A unique and memorable activity acknowledging student contributions to the class communityAppendixAuthor biosAdditional resources about online education from our authors

Using emojis in Adobe Connect to encourage student engagement

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Short description

This chapter will discuss the benefits of using emojis in your online classroom, as well as different ways to incorporate them into your class sessions.

Teaching & learning goal

The teaching and learning goal is to encourage active participation during class discussions and enhance the learning environment for all users.

Activity and results

As Instructor and leader of the instructional team, Ms. Wilson Gonzalez was responsible for providing course materials, lectures, and class agendas for the online course. Additionally, she was responsible for creating a classroom setting where students actively engaged in discussions. The material for this online course, Domestic Violence and Social Work Practice, covers difficult material, and given the statistics on domestic violence, often has students sharing personal experiences.

Having taught this online course before, Ms. Wilson Gonzalez knew that active engagement was crucial and saw the potential benefit of encouraging the use of emojis during class.

As a Live Support Specialist (LSS), Ms. Downs was responsible for organizing the classroom in Adobe Connect. This role includes uploading class materials, including slides, polls, music, and videos, as well as setting up breakout rooms in advance and providing technical support to students and instructors throughout the live class sessions. Following each live class session, Ms. Downs was also responsible for writing a brief participation report that included transcripts from the chat.

Benefits of using emojis in an online classroom

Serving in the role of a LSS enabled Ms. Downs to see the potential benefits of promoting the use of emojis during class. Emojis provide an instant way to express a mood or feeling without spending time searching for the right words and typing them out. Since emojis are commonly used in informal and personal communications, they are familiar and natural for most users to incorporate into a chat. It made sense to let students know that they had the option to use emojis in our classroom to build our classroom community through the shared experience of emotional expression.

The Instructor and LSS worked very closely to encourage students to use the emoji feature in Adobe Connect. The course, on domestic violence in social work practice, covered a great deal of sensitive and activating topics which led to some very emotional conversations.

As every class is different, and not all instructors might want students to use emojis, we felt it was important to set the tone and let the students know that we wanted to invite them to use emojis to connect with one another, as well as the instructional team, on a more personal level.

Different ways to incorporate emojis into online class sessions

The Instructor and LSS believed that emojis could be used to convey a mood or reflect an identity or interest in the Attendees pod next to their names. We decided to use them next to our names so students could easily see how the emojis quickly personalized our names. We encouraged students to do the same, and it became very natural for students to put an emoji next to their name at the beginning of class. This led to some lively icebreaker conversations about why someone chose a particular emoji. It was nice to see students interacting on a deeper level than the usual “Hi Everyone” that most students typically type when entering the room. Instead, we were seeing them engaging with one another and sharing some of their interests before class started.

We also thought that in the chat, the use of emojis could provide students with a quick way to respond in the moment rather than taking the time to write out a lengthy text response to something that came up in discussion. This was especially helpful when students were sharing personal experiences or giving a presentation. It was very common to see hearts in the chat as students wanted to show support for one another.

Student Reactions

We received positive feedback from the students in this course about how having the ability to use emojis helped them feel more connected to one another and that this led to them also feeling more comfortable sharing personal experiences as they related to the course content. Many students reported that they used emojis regularly in their everyday lives, so it made sense to be able to use them in class.

Students for whom English was not their native language reported that it was particularly helpful for them to be able to respond quickly instead of spending time thinking of the best way to articulate their response. They indicated that sometimes the chat can move very quickly and that there had been times when the discussion had moved to a different topic before they were able to complete their comment. When they finally did complete it, their comment could have been misinterpreted or seemed inappropriate or out of place for the current discussion. Emojis were a very welcome addition to the classroom experience.

Technical details and steps

At the beginning of the first class, we let the students know that they could now use emojis in Adobe Connect.

1. LSS provided them with instructions on how to use emojis in both Mac and Windows operating systems (Image 1).

2. Next, LSS offered students an opportunity to experiment with using emojis in the chat so they could become familiar with how to quickly access the emojis and ask questions if they had any trouble finding the emojis or using them.

3. After that, LSS let the students know they could place an emoji next to their name in the Attendees pod by clicking on “edit my info” and selecting an emoji of their choice (Image 2).

What this looked like in Adobe Connect

Note: These screengrabs do not include a Video pod to show the instructor’s webcam, which is recommended for all layouts. Instead, the screengrabs focus on the tools mentioned in this chapter, i.e. the Attendees pod where students can add emojis to their names, the Chat pod where students can use emojis in addition to text, and a Share pod showing a slide with instructions for how to access emojis. Readers who plan to use emojis should remember to include a Video pod in their layouts.

Image 1: Screengrab of an Adobe Connect classroom showing instructions on how to access and personalize emojis in both Windows and Mac operating systems. To use emojis in the Adobe Connect classroom, you need to open your operating system’s emoji keyboard. Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe. The name visible in the room is one of the authors.

Image 1 Alt-Text: This is a screengrab of an Adobe Connect layout that includes an Attendees pod, Share pod, and Chat pod. The Attendees pod’s menu options are visible and include “Edit My Info,” which is the feature that enables users to add an emoji to their username. The focus of the layout is on the Share pod, which is displaying a slide with instructions on how to access the emoji keyboard on your computer. The title of the slide is “How to access and use emojis in Adobe Connect.” The body of the slides first says “Windows: Press and hold the Windows key, then press the period key. The emoji keyboard will appear. To select an emoji, double-click on it.” Then it says “Mac OS: Press and hold both the Control key and the Command key simultaneously, then press the space bar. The emoji keyboard will then appear. Next, click on the emoji you wish to use.” The screengrab also shows an image of an open emoji keyboard, which provides a menu of emojis to select from.

 

Image 2: Screengrab of the same Adobe Connect classroom, showing emojis in the Attendee pod on the left side of the layout. Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe.

Image 2 Alt-Text: This is a screengrab of the same Adobe Connect classroom that is displayed in Image 1. The difference is that the emojis menu is now closed, and the Attendees pod shows emojis next to the author’s name.

Acknowledgements

Ms. Wilson Gonzalez would like to acknowledge the creativity and professionalism of Ms. Mary B. Downs in providing not only the instructions on using emojis in Adobe Connect, but also actively providing the support for their use during live class sessions.

Ms. Downs would like to thank Professor C. Danette Wilson Gonzalez for quickly adapting to the new emoji feature and recognizing the many ways that emojis could enhance the learning experience for the students in the course.

Suggested Citation

& (2022). Using emojis in Adobe Connect to encourage student engagement. In , , , & (Eds.), Designing Engaging and Interactive Synchronous Online Class Sessions: Using Adobe Connect to Maximize its Pedagogical Value. EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/designing_engaging_interactive_synchronous_online_classes/using_emojis_in_adob
CC BY-NC

CC BY-NC: This work is released under a CC BY-NC license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you (1) properly attribute it and (2) do not use it for commercial gain.

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