In this 45 minute interactive session, we will present and discuss our experiences facilitating a 3 session video conferencing course held on 3 distinct conferencing platforms, namely, BigBlueButton, MS Teams and Zoom to explore the universal use of these tools to enable engaging sessions that promote community building and “humanize” the learning experience.

Conferencing tools might hold possibilities for intimate human connection that have been overlooked in the often-critical dialogue of our times. Much of the rhetoric around the adoption of video conferencing platforms as the new ‘in-class’ synchronous environment has been focused on the lack of personal connection due to absent physical presence, and the need to develop greater ‘technical expertise’. However, missing within this rather overarching ‘apples to oranges’ comparison seems to be approaches and activities that allow video conferencing tools to promote and/or realize these intimate connections. They seem to be hidden behind individual attitudes regarding their use, (e.g., fear, cognitive overload, institutional enforcement, etc.), and we hope to share our thoughts with the broader community to further explore our experience for future design and application.

As well, we will be sharing a Pressbook digital resource, which contains clear guides for applying best practices when utilizing video conferencing platforms, in general. It also contains ‘recipes’ for pedagogically effective activities, which strengthen the three Presences (Social, Teaching and Cognitive), of the Community of Inquiry model. We hope to refine and expand its contents so look for any and all feedback from this community.


Chris Ryan
Technologies Strategist | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Chris works to help instructors clarify their learning outcomes and the best path(s) to these outcomes. He works by applying time-proven learning design theory to articulate a variety of solutions to effectively mix KPU technology with instructor experience. Chris loves to learn and deepen his knowledge of real-world and online education to not just transfer curriculum through pedagogical principles, but enliven it with creative applications.

Lisa Gedak
Teaching and Learning with Technologies Strategist | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Lisa aims to inspire faculty to innovate their teaching practices by using modernized strategies that support their chosen pedagogical approaches and create technology implementation opportunities. Lisa assists the faculty in re-imagining their course and program design. Lisa is passionate about instructional design, the intersection of pedagogy and technology, and philosophical approaches supporting learner-centred education. Lisa is currently completing a Master of Arts degree.

Session Recording