Familiarity and expertise with the interface page for interactive communication is half-the battle in interaction with students (in my case, Blackboard Vista, and Wimba Live Classroom). Many of the difficulties that I have had in working with synchronous learning online have been interface-knowledge related. Knowing what buttons to push to achieve video and audio communications, and understanding computer problems related to microphone levels and camera settings can make or break a classroom interaction session. In the video clip and in Table 1 I have illustrated items to be on familiar terms with if you are effectively functioning with synchronous communications online. (I am relating specifically to the Wimba room I am used to, however other online meeting software will have similar controls.) You can include full audio/video communications or just audio, as group conversations of a simultaneous nature are useful, should the video component not be of necessity.
Table 1 --Features to be Noted