Groups of educators known as Teacher Learning Communities continually enquire into their profession and, as a result, uncover, create, and negotiate new meanings that improve their practice.
Online learning is prioritized in these communities for teachers. Members identify objectives, frequent worries, or difficulties that arise in a classroom and discuss them to develop doable and realistic solutions that will best address the challenges. Along with giving instructors a place to share information and experience, these communities also give them a chance to learn from newer teachers who are more versed with current pedagogical training procedures and practices. Online Learning Communities for teachers thereby improve professional growth.
Some of the best tips for launching online learning communities for teachers
Online learning communities help the teachers in various ways in online training. Know how you can launch online communities of learning and the importance of community in online learning.
Ensure you have a plan
It can be challenging to think about facilitating conversations and connections when there is so much to accomplish. A strategy will assist you and your students in developing the proper habits and establishing a regular rhythm since consistency is bred by a plan. It will also assist in maintaining concentration and keeping everyone on an online learning community platform in the case of (further) interruption during a period of ongoing uncertainty.
Recognize your target market
What are the people’s backgrounds and areas of interest in your online class? An easy approach to learning more about students’ interests, things they find interesting or amusing, as well as their aspirations and passions outside of the classroom, is to conduct a student interest inventory. These insights offer plenty of material to tie course material to topics that matter to students in order to make interactions more pertinent and interesting. During the online course’s opening, have students respond to these questions. As an icebreaker to get students talking and reflecting together, you might also go over the results with the entire class.
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Select leaders for the online learning community
Leaders of online learning communities uphold discipline and inspire the group’s participants. They must therefore be enthusiastic about the subject and ready to lend a hand. These people can also keep an eye on the internet debates to make sure everything is going according to plan. For instance, they can settle disputes by privately emailing the parties concerned and defusing the issue. Being a leader should be a choice because it requires effort, commitment, and time. Additionally, hold regular sessions to inform the online students and solicit their unvarnished opinions.
Choose the best platform for Online Collaboration.
Only a limited fraction of the many available online collaboration platforms will be able to suit your needs. Not to mention that you probably lack the time and resources necessary to make simultaneous use of various online collaboration platforms. Just a few of the alternatives include project management software, blogs, online forums, and social media platforms. You must take into account that even these have subcategories.
Decide on involvement guidelines.
What amount of involvement are you anticipating in training online? Will the grading system take this into account? Students who don’t participate in group projects or conversations can undermine efforts to create a thriving learning community. It’s crucial to understand that the typical academic requirements, such as enforcing correct syntax and punctuation, may discourage participation, especially in online discussion forums. By letting student personalities shine through and relaxing the rules to accept memes, GIFs, and video snippets as legitimate forms of communication, we can encourage involvement.
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Clarify your engagement goals for students and what success looks like. Even if this is your first experience instructing an online course, setting some level of expectation will give you a starting point from which to measure improvement. Additionally, it makes sure that your students are aware of what constitutes positive engagement and how their efforts will be recognized in online training. Objectives worth exploring include participation, the breadth and caliber of students’ comments in discussion threads, sentiment analysis, and even a decrease in the number of student emails that land in your inbox.
Develop Personal Connections
Building a personal connection is essential in an online learning group, and it is a sense of community in online learning, speaking of comfort. Each individual in your group has a unique personality, background, and set of preferences. They are devoting some of their time away from their demanding day to joining the online learning group. Create an introductions board so that everyone may mingle and express their individual interests and viewpoints. Encourage online students to respond to comments and engage in meaningful conversation with their classmates.
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