Classroom Tips for Successful Virtual Exchange Experiences

By Caroline Cornett and Jennifer Williams 

This post is meant to help in the Class to Class Virtual Exchange, a highlight of the program! We share tips on video call etiquette, potential discussion questions, tech tips, and possible guidelines for students and teachers. 

We recommend that prior to the video call, you take time to plan how it will go. As the teacher, be sure to discuss this with the other instructor so you have the same expectations for your classes. Here are a few things to consider in your planning, with more detailed information on etiquette, discussion questions, and roles below.

  1. Length of the call: Your exchange can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as over an hour. Think about how much information your class will want to share and make sure you leave plenty of time for them to have a quality experience. 
  2. Roles: Think about if you would like to assign roles to students (more information below). This may help facilitate conversation, prevent tech issues, and ensure there is a record of the discussion. As the teacher, look over the roles on this document and see if you would have an interest in using them.
  3. Set expectations about etiquette. Recommendations are offered below.
  4. Work with your students to determine a list of discussion questions you would like to use in the call. Again, a list of suggested questions are listed below. Feel free to add your own depending on what works best for your exchange. 
  5. Have fun! The goal of this time is to have a positive, shared experience with a group of people leading different lives than you. Every challenge is an opportunity to work together, so enjoy the chance you have to connect with another class!


Initiating the exchange: 

  • Be on time to the call. 
  • Before beginning, ask if their video and audio are working well on their end.

When speaking:

  • Be respectful. Approach the call with an open mind, an open heart, and a readiness to treat others as you want to be treated. If you are calling with a class in a region you know little about, take a bit of time to research customs and common courtesies in their area. 
  • Make sure to listen and respond to their ideas. Don’t just move onto the next thing on your list when it is your turn to speak. Follow up questions and compliments are fantastic for establishing an engaging, naturally flowing conversation. 
  • Speak loudly and clearly when it is your turn to talk. 

When listening:

  • Mute your mic if you are not speaking.
  • Ensure that one speaker speaks at a time.
  • Be an active listener! Keep your eyes focused on their screen and do not work on other assignments during the call. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with other students, so give them your full attention.

End of the exchange: 

  • At the end of the call, thank the other class and say goodbye. 

Tech tips:

  • Close extra computer apps that may be putting a strain on the Wifi signal.
  • Prior to the call, do a short test to make sure your audio and video are working. 

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  1. Share your definitions of climate change created in Week 1. 
  2. What are each of your top 3 causes of climate change? Share and see if you have any in common.
  3. Talk about what your environment is like. Do you live in the city? In a rural area? What is the weather like usually? What makes your respective regions different?
  4. Share your 4 Major Effects of Climate Change. How are they similar or different? This is a good opportunity to use the Global Map of Climate Change Effects created in Week 2. 
  5. Earlier in Week 3, you discussed how Earth’s average temperature rising by 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius would impact animals, plants, weather patterns, and human activity. Share your predictions.
  6. Discuss what has been your favorite part of the Climate Action Project this far, and what you are looking forward to in Weeks 4-6. 

Student Roles


  • Initiate the call, helps welcome the other class
  • Choose students to speak
  • Help guide the conversation if needed


  • Helps introduce the class and close the call
  • Brings students up to speak when it is their turn


  • Mutes and unmutes the mic depending on who is talking
  • Makes sure the video is always working
  • Alerts the teacher if there is a technical issue

Note taker

  • Writes down the information shared by the other class for use after the discussion ends

Student speakers (if teachers agree to present parts of their projects thus far)