Below are some things to consider when holding a classroom session using Google+ on-air Hangouts.
These are some of the shortcomings we've experienced when running classes this way.
- Whoever starts the on-air hangout must remain in the hangout
- Video is recorded to the personal youtube account of the person who starts the hangout
- Video URL doesn't use the hangout name
These are the problems that resulted from the shortcomings above.
- Session leads have to start their own hangout and use their own youtube account (unless someone does this for them)
- Participants have to switch to a different youtube page every hour
- Video URL won't be known until the hangout is started
Here is what we did to avoid or alleviate the problems.
- Have one support person who can start each session and remain connected during them
- Allow a 10 minute break between session to allow time to create the new hangout and update relevant links
Create a dedicated classroom page that gets manually updated before every session
- This page should contain an embedded link to the video and an embedded webchat to the channel for asking questions
These are the things we did on a regular basis.
- Create the hangout with on-air option, use the session name as the hangout name,
- Invite instructors, update dedicated classroom page with the Youtube link and session name
Add to YouTube comments (note that http:// is missing, youtube won’t allow full urls): "Watch the video and ask questions at <classroom page>"
- Check youtube comments for questions anyway
- Let the instructor know about comments on IRC or youtube (if desired)
- Update the even schedule page with video link after the broadcast