Teaching in an online environment presents its own opportunities and challenges when it comes to student engagement. MobLab's library of games and experiments can help maintain a level of interactivity for instructors and provide memorable experiences for students. With the MobLab-MindTap integration, it is easy to run games and experiments in your online classes with students participating remotely or asynchronously. Let’s see how!
Running MobLab activities in live lectures online through teleconferencing or live streaming is very similar to how you traditionally run activities in a physical classroom. If you’re new to MobLab, we recommend reading our Cengage Quick Start Guide.
If you or your students use Safari as your desktop or mobile browser, please take care to enable cookies and disable “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” to allow MobLab to launch correctly. See this guide on enabling cookies for more information.
Each MobLab game comes with student instructions (see below). Making sure your students understand gameplay is essential. Here are two options for delivering instructions:
- Post the pop-up URL on your class website. This URL is not behind a login wall, so students can easily access it. Students will have access to the text, video, and PowerPoint game instructions.
- Download the PowerPoint template from this pop-up and post it on your class website.
- Review the game instructions with your students if there is a live element of the online class.
After having students review the instructions, it is recommended you run a quiz using our survey tool to check for students' understanding prior to playing the game.
To run activities with a live online audience, have students log into their MindTap account. Laptop and desktop users should be encouraged to use Firefox or Chrome. Students using iOS or Android can access the activities by following the instructions on our Guide to Using the MobLab App through MindTap. Also, see our Student Guide for using MobLab in MindTap for PDF instructions you can redistribute to your students.
When you and your students are ready, start an activity by selecting it in your playlist and then clicking Run Game. This will open a game session for your students to join by clicking on the link to the MobLab activity in their MindTap learning path. An “Almost Ready!” screen will list the students who’ve joined the session. You can start the activity at any time by pressing “Begin!” Students can continue to join while the activity is running.
While your activity is running, your console will display the status of each group of student players in the monitor tab. You can also open a detailed live monitor of each group and/or add robotic players to fill groups that aren’t full.
Once your activity is finished, you can launch the results summary window and share it with your students to debrief them on the outcomes of and lessons from the activity. If you are not meeting with your students in a live online setting, you can Save As Image and share this with your class later!
Using MobLab in an Asynchronous Setting
For asynchronous courses, there are a few parameters to adjust to allow students to participate in the activity.
Game duration is the length of time during which the experiment will be available for the participants. We recommend games outside of class be scheduled for at least 24 hours, but no longer than 96 hours. This ensures students don't forget about the game or procrastinate. It also gives you time before your next lecture to review and prepare remarks about the asynchronous game.
All Play Only Robots - Most asynchronous games are best played by grouping students with robotic players. This means they can get instant feedback about the game results. To get students to play with robotic players, check the "All Play Only Robots" checkbox in the game configuration. In a handful of games and surveys where students play individually, it's not necessary to match students with robots.