Using Synchronous Tools in Online or Traditional Courses –Google Hangout

Google hangout

For my synchronous session I chose Google hangout. I have used Blackboard Collaborate for my Chicago City College courses (with varying amounts of success).

I think Google hangouts would be excellent for online office hours and small student projects.

This is an assignment I used to do in my MWF Face to Face class (see below).  I think a Google hangout would be perfect way for me to introduce this assignment into my online course and my current one day a week course. My Thursday night course consists of commuters so practicing together in a group would be a problem.  The problem could easily be solved with a closed hangout group –me included of course.


  • Once we got to the Classical period, students were put into groups of 5 or 6
  • Each group was given a musical form (theme and variations, rondo, strophic, or verse chorus)
  • They were required to make instruments from materials they found or bought—no ‘real’ instruments allowed.
  • They had to create a specified number of measures.
  • If there were students in the class that played instruments and usually there were (MTSU has over 350 in their marching band), I would put one musician in each group.
  • They were given a month to complete this project—meanwhile we studied musical forms and listened to classical music in class.
  • They would then perform for the class.

The students had a great time and actually had a better understanding of form.


About christinepoythress

Tiny Biography: Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, I’ve wandered from coast to coast, so I am a bit of a gypsy. I left home at 17 only to come back to mama’s house seven times—but all that’s Sprinkled amid my wanderings are the many creative hats I’ve worn. Like many artistic souls, I have supported myself with my craft (singing in multiple churches) and with those ubiquitous pesky food and beverage jobs. Most of my adult life, I have been an actor/ singer/musician of one ilk or another. I started out as a folkie, but, after I fled to California in 1970, I discovered classical singing. So while I was in LA studying singing, I began taking acting classes. I wanted to be an opera singer who did more than park and bark. I had a few tiny parts in commercials and feature films—got my toe wet with extra work. Chasing the operatic dream, I did a stint in Manhattan studying and coaching while serving steaks at the fabulous Mrs. J’s Sacred Cow. I had the opportunity to sing three guest performances of the National Anthem in Madison Square Garden—2 for the New York Knicks and 1 for the Rangers. That was a thrill. Shedding my operatic skin, I moved back south in 1980 spending the next 13 years belting out country and rock tunes. During this 13 year hiatus from the legit singing (I am a soprano), I played “flattop” guitar in a variety of country bands and was the “girl” singer at the Silver Saddle Saloon in Atlanta, GA. I also worked the Southeastern hotel circuit as a solo act. I played the gamut of venues from swanky to honky-tonks—thankfully, though I did witness a brawl or two, at no time did I perform behind chicken wire. I went back to school when I was 43 and completed my Bachelor of Arts degree; then, it was off to Nashville where I earned my Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, TN in 2000. After graduation I began teaching in academia in the spring of 2001. I got involved with Instructional technology during the mid-2000’s. Now I teach primarily online classes for both Middle Tennessee State University and Chicago City Colleges. In 2009, I began working in film and television again—with a bit of theater thrown in for good measure. I now call myself a freelancer because I have 3 university adjunct positions, a church job, work as an actor, teach a bit of voice in my private studio, work as a Digital Faculty Consultant for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, and, occasionally, pet sit for my friends.
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