Do you think distance and online learning have appeared out of nowhere?
The truth is, education’s shift towards distance learning had been steadily growing long before this pandemic. And it’s here to stay.
Effective online teaching depends on learning experiences that are appropriately designed and implied. Learners all around the world have different learning styles, therefore, you must design learning activities that include multiple modes of learning and the teaching model should also be adapted to the new learning environments.
How To Improve Your Online Teaching?
Online classes have become an incredibly popular way for schools to grant continuity in education. Teaching online requires different strategies when compared to the traditional classroom, so you must adapt to the online learning environment, to make the virtual classroom experience effective and engaging for your students.
Let’s look at 6 strategies that you can implement to improve your online teaching and make your virtual classroom a successful experience for both you and your students.
1. Make Teaching Effective and Interactive with Flipped Classroom
Gone are the days when children had the patience to sit through lessons without being distracted. Teaching resources are a must-have for online teaching in today’s world if you want to hold kids’ attention.
The flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a form of blended learning that reverses the traditional school arrangement by providing instructional material outside of the classroom, often online. It incorporates activities that were traditionally considered homework into the classroom. Students in a flipped classroom watch video lectures, engage in online discussions with other students or do study and research at home before engaging in any concept in the classroom with your guidance.
Under the flip learning model, you allow your students to learn at their own pace when they get home so that they are better prepared to keep up in the classroom. It flips the classroom time to explore different real-world implications of a concept that students have already studied at home, therefore, it becomes far more interesting for students.
2. Establish a Sense of Comfort and Create a Supportive Learning Environment
The best of lessons are often learned when students forget that they are being taught. So, just by establishing a sense of comfort, you will be welcoming students to a new learning opportunity – just as you would do in any classroom. It will demonstrate enthusiasm and excitement about participating and make their learning experience far more personal and memorable.
While teaching virtually, you need to be engaging and supporting students right from the start and for the duration of the lesson, to ensure that your class achieves the expected learning outcome. The best way to establish a sense of comfort for your students is by encouraging interaction between you and your students and from student to student.
3. Create Opportunities for Synchronous Meetings and Asynchronous Connections
When schools are closed and students are spread across multiple horizons, it’s still possible for you to connect with your students and gather them synchronously. Synchronous meetings are perfect for when your students need answers to a question right away and also great for times when you want to gather your students to brainstorm ideas in real-time. Another benefit to synchronous communication is that it is useful for building rapport among students.
However, asynchronous communication allows students more time to gather information and resources before answering questions. To create asynchronous connections, you can post a prompt based on a reading assignment previously assigned and give students a set timeframe to return to topics that have not been fully discussed to promote contribution.
4. Think Creatively and Strategically About Homework
Assessments and homework are one of the most challenging aspects of online teaching. Generally, learning management systems include a range of functions to create interactive learning activities such as quizzes. Proctoring a test to evaluate students’ understanding can be impractical in an online classroom, which is an opportunity to think creatively and strategically on how to foster and apply their knowledge in new and creative ways.
For instance, you can allow your students to take different paths where students individually or collaboratively complete writing assignments, develop a group project, make presentations, write an essay, create a poster or express their understanding in some other creative ways like video format or complement oral assessment.
5. Use A Mix Of Learning Tools to Enhance Engagement
With technology supporting the learning process more than ever, you can create a virtual classroom environment that allows you and your students to collaborate and engage just as well as if you were in a traditional classroom. Introduce collaborative learning tools inclusive of discussion forums, chats, blogs, news feeds or set up an ‘off-topic’ board for students to post about whatever is on their mind. Using a mix of learning tools makes your virtual classroom more interesting and exciting, increasing student engagement and productivity.
These learning tools allow you to bring the real-time discussions of the classroom into online teaching, allowing your students to engage in meaningful discussions often, and not just about classwork.
6. Provide Ongoing Feedback
Feedback is an essential component of all effective learning environments – even more, in an online classroom. As a teacher, your feedback helps to create an eLearning experience that is informative, engaging and motivational for your students while it also works as a guided next step towards achievement.
With constructive feedback, students can identify which behaviours or skills need to be improved, recognize their mistakes and compete against their personal bests rather than each other. Instant feedback helps students develop awareness towards learning and eventually develop strategies for tackling weak points themselves.
Need more help with online teaching resources?
If you are looking for an LMS to help your school tide over the second wave of Covid, LearnPanda’s LMS brings together a hybrid learning management system to create a supportive and secure environment for continued learning anytime, anywhere.