The rise of COVID-19 has made virtual classrooms an overnight phenomenon. However, the shift toward distance learning was already happening even before the pandemic. Several schools and institutions have announced that they will begin offering online-only studies in the past few days. In addition to traditional face-to-face classes, many teachers are also working on converting their classes to online. This blog talks about 10 tips for supporting teachers struggling to teach online.
This process can take a long time and be very challenging to implement. In addition, it can be very difficult for teachers to figure out what online courses will work best for them. Here are some tips that can help you improve online teaching and make you an expert in online learning.
Simplicity is essential
Every teacher understands how difficult it is to explain new instructions to their students. It usually begins with a whole-group walk-through, followed by an endless stream of questions from students to clarify the next steps. One of the challenges of distance learning is that you and your students are no longer in the same room to address misconceptions collectively.
Remember that even simple structures can necessitate meticulous work: As students figure out what to do within defined parameters, tasks with few instructions frequently result in higher-order thinking.
Record your lectures rather than streaming them
Students who are ill or have problems with internet access will miss a live-streamed lecture. You can record videos and send them to your students so that they can watch them according to their convenience. Aside from lessons, you can also record yourself explaining assignment directions for students who perform better when told what to do verbally.
Videos that are longer than 15 minutes may cause slow downloads and distractions. If you want to say more, make two or three short videos.
Display your face when you teach online
According to studies, video lectures that include the face of the teacher are more effective than simply narrated lectures. So, try to include a video of yourself in between your slides.
Provide detailed instructions when you teach online
Students will be discouraged from watching online media that lasts more than 15 minutes. Instead, suggest the required parts (for example, 13:35 to 16:28), as this can pique students’ interest. Label resources in the order you want students to approach them if you provide more than two.
Allow students to take charge
Set up online group spaces for small groups of students and ask them to support and consult with one another before sending you emails. You can ask a few questions to help students break the ice and begin a conversation. Some groups will click well, while others will not, but this simple tip can help students feel socially supported while reducing inbox traffic.
Don’t hide your emotions
Keeping your emotions open to your students can be a great instructional strategy. Tell your students that this is the first time you teach online and that you are learning as you go. Ask them to assist you; they will be supportive because they understand your feelings.
Make your lessons interesting and interactive
You can include written responses, drawings, quizzes, polls, collaboration boards, and other forms of student interaction. In addition, you can tailor the type and difficulty of assignments to meet the needs of each student.
Slides should be tested
Test your slides before recording them on smartphone to ensure that all text is readable on small screens. Double-check font sizes, colors, template designs, and screen ratios.
Use group communication with caution when you teach online
Direct teaching should not be done through group communication. Set up “virtual office hours” on a video conferencing tool like Zoom instead. Simply log in at the scheduled time and wait for students to arrive. Focus on providing social support and determining whether any issues require immediate attention.
This can also be a great way to get student feedback on your online teaching. Make meetings optional and keep things light. There is no need to be disappointed if no one shows up: students are still pleased that this option is available.
Students usually don’t like it if frequent changes are made in their learning style. However, they are comfortable repeating the same teaching and learning structure. Once you’ve found a teaching style that works for you, feel free to use it every week until you’re back in your classroom.
Teachers understand that the role of a teacher in a virtual classroom is critical to student success, and it necessarily involves a slightly different skill set than in-person learning. The elements of a successful online teacher include creativity, specialized training, curriculum knowledge, and a huge amount of preparation.
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