10 Strategies for Effective Online Teaching

10 Strategies for Effective Online Teaching

10 Strategies for Effective Online Teaching

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_WomanAndComputer-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingThe shift to digital teaching and learning has been a sudden one. Teachers and students alike are still navigating this change, which has been a long time coming, though the suddenness has been unprecedented. The climate in which we are currently living has shown us that digital education is here to stay and that we all must adapt. While there is shift is not without challenges and there is certainly a learning curve involved, there are certain strategies that teachers can employ in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. Discussed in this post are some such strategies for effective online teaching, which can be a resource to teachers. A future post will explore the student side and discuss strategies for effective online learning. It is true that digital interactions will never fully replicate the in-person classroom experience, but there is plenty that teachers can do to make the experience as pleasant and engaging as possible for everyone involved.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_ComputerStress-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingKnow Your Technology. Whatever platform you are using to conduct your online classes, make sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of how it works. Do some trial sessions beforehand and troubleshoot any issues that come up. This will help prevent any technical mishaps during sessions and equip you to be able to answer any students’ questions about the platform.

Be Flexible. Having a plan for your lessons is always important and provides much needed structure. That said, one of the many things this pandemic has taught us is that anything can happen at any time that can completely disrupt our plans. Such is the case with technology. You can do all the preparation in the world for your lessons, but unforeseen issues, technical or otherwise, might arise from time to time. Have some backup plans in mind and account for the fact that not everything is going to go according to plan all the time.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_BoyOnComputer-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingMix Up Your Session Structure. Many students have a hard time sitting through hour-long lectures even in a classroom setting, so they’re probably going to have an even harder time sitting through hour-long virtual lectures. Mixing up the structure of the sessions is a useful strategy. You probably don’t want to lecture for more than 15 minutes in one stretch. Incorporate interactive and hands-on activities into the sessions as much as possible. Especially if you’re working with younger students, try to include movement-based activities throughout the session.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_CoffeeAndComputer-300x225 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingBe Mindful of Your Environment. Our surroundings play a role in our ability to learn effectively. In the same way that you would make your classroom pretty to keep students engaged, try to make the environment in which you are conducting your sessions as pleasant as you are able. Perhaps choose to do your sessions in a room that has a nice background, or make use of a fun virtual background that is available on platforms like Zoom. At the same time, make sure that your environment is not distracting, either to yourself or to the students. Try to make your environment as neat and clean as possible.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_CatAndComputer-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingMake It User Friendly. When it comes to online teaching, simplicity is key. The students might be struggling to learn the new technologies on top of adjusting to having to do all their schooling at home. If they are investing too much time and cognitive resources figuring out how to use certain technological features or navigating logistics such as handing in assignments, they might feel too burned out to focus on the course content. Therefore, it is important to make the technological and logistical navigation as easy for them as possible. If needed, do a demonstration of how certain features work or make a video guide for the students to follow.

Make Your Expectations Very Clear. On a similar note, make sure that you are crystal clear with your students about what exactly you expect. They should understand how they are being assessed, how to turn in assignments, and how and when they can contact you if they need assistance. The clearer you are upfront, the fewer logistical issues you and your students will have to deal with later.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_2Computers-300x247 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingIntegrate Small Group Activities. Students are going to be missing out on interaction with their peers. Even if multiple students are accessing your live online instruction at the same time, they are likely still feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Breaking them up into small groups and having them complete group projects virtually gives them a chance to interact with their peers and is also a fun way to engage with the material they have learned.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_PrettyOffice-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingMake Yourself Available to Students. Given that the students are missing out on in-person interaction with you, it is more important than ever that you make yourself available to them virtually. Consider having virtual office hours or allowing them to set up virtual appointments with you if they need assistance with course material or are struggling in any other way. That said, make sure you are also taking time for yourself. It is easy as a teacher to get caught up in supporting your students, but you do not want to get burned out yourself. Self-care ensures that you are providing the best instruction you can to your students.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_GirlByWindow-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingAsk for Feedback. As an educator, you know that you have as much if not more to learn from your students as they do from you. Get their input on how the classes are going and try to integrate their ideas. Today’s youth tend to be well-versed in technology, so they probably have valuable feedback for enhancing the experience. Get an idea of what kinds of assignments or projects they would be excited about—perhaps something involving TikTok, IGTV, or YouTube video submissions.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_ManAndTablet-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingHave Fun! Even though it’s not in person, your energy is contagious, and positive energy is the one contagious we could all use right now. We are not in an ideal situation, but you can do your part to make the best of it. As best as you can, have fun with whatever material you are teaching, and encourage that in your students too. Whether it be with art, music, videos, jokes, or stories, try to bring your personality into your online instruction and make your class one that your students can get excited about, even if it’s from home.

Blog123_OnlineTeaching_ComputerAndBook-300x200 10 Strategies for Effective Online TeachingOnline teaching is an adjustment for teachers everywhere, but it can work and can come close to in-person instruction. With every challenge comes learning opportunities. The shift to online education presents a valuable opportunity for educators to grow and develop in their profession. We would love to hear about your experiences with online education. Share your experiences, challenges, and lessons learned in the comments below, or better yet, on Konversai. Konversai is your one-stop shop for any and all personal human knowledge through live video conversations and is a resource to teachers and students alike as education makes its shift to the digital space. The platform brings together knowledge providers, who have the option of charging for their sessions, with knowledge seekers, who can enjoy a personalized session on exactly what they’re looking to learn on a particular topic. All that’s needed is a device with Internet connection and Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. All users are encouraged to be both knowledge providers and knowledge seekers on any and as many topics as they wish—the only limit is your imagination.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make Konversai part of your educational experience. Get started with Konversai today.

 

By Pavita Singh

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