To impede the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions across the world including schools and universities are relying on online learning to serve students. Online learning is not familiar to many educators. If you are one of those educators who are looking for how to teach online or alter their teaching approach for better results, keep on reading.
We have some of the best tips and tricks to excel in your online teaching business. Online teaching is similar to teaching in the classroom in many ways. But even the teachers find tracing in an online environment difficult due to lack of preparation.
Setting a schedule and routine
One of the important elements of teaching online is setting a schedule. Use student organization tools these will helo you make your easier routine for your students. A fixed schedule can help you address the problems with self-regulation and time management. Do your best to create and follow a routine in your online class environment. This practice will make your students comfortable and the delivery of lessons more efficient and faster.
For example, you can start with greeting your students and proceed to a lighter activity that involves all the students. It can be a small interactive session and then proved to your regular class. Also, make it a practice to mix your classes with interactive activities and mini breaks for the students to relax.
Make a course schedule
Another important thing of teaching online is ensuring that your students understand what is expected from them. Putting extra effort into creating a course schedule like listing each module with learning resources, activities, and assessments, etc. will help you organize things. The course schedule works as a map for students to know the content of the course and it helps them to track the progression from one module to another easily.
While it is good to have a proper schedule and routine when teaching online, be ready to adjust your schedule in response to student needs. Start with a schedule, but be flexible to change it if required. For example, there might be scenarios where some students might not progress well compared to others.
In such situations, you must be prepared to come with different strategies to help your students succeed and complete the class. Be ready to adjust the due dates and modify the module lengths whenever required. Instead of trying to make adjustments when the need comes, it is better to keep a plan b for everything that you do when teaching online.
Put yourself in the shoes of students
When you are teaching online, it is important to familiarize yourself with the online class environment. Putting yourself in the place of your students will help you view things from their perspective. Make sure you preview your online courses as a student to analyze what works and whatnot.
Analyze your own courses to see whether all the learning activities are properly structured and the texts are visible and readable. Check whether your students are able to see the answers to the quizzes after submission. Previewing a course not only helps in finding the errors in your courses, but it will also help you understand the overall value your students gain after completing your courses.
Facilitate student engagement
One common thing most teachers forget when teaching online is to engage their students, especially in group classes. No matter whether you are taking one-on-one sessions or group classes focus on engaging your students to make your class interesting and assure that they are progressing well with the lessons. Also, ensure you find effective ways to encourage student-student interaction.
Consider time zones
One perk of online teaching is you get to teach students from different parts of the world. While it is a good thing, it might be overwhelming initially as you are serving students in different time zones. It is recommended to plan for this in the beginning so that you can plan your classes better. When you are using deadlines and timed tests, consider the time zones of your students.
Offer timely feedback on tests and assignments
Teaching online involves conducting tests and assignments online. You must make it a practice to provide timely feedback to your students for the assignments. It provides added value to their learning and you must not delay the response.
Some of the challenges you might face are keeping up with analyzing the performance of students and grading to ensure they are staying on track. If you are using online tutoring software to develop your online teaching website, make sure you implement tools to analyze the participation and performance of your students
Develop a support system
A study revealed that orientation alone will not help with online course outcomes, ongoing support is required for better results. Although online teaching facilitates independent learning, students still need support from online tutors and peers to succeed.
You can conduct a separate interactive session every week to help your students interact with the tutors to seek additional support whenever required. Develop chat rooms and discussion boards to encourage student-student interaction so that students can communicate and learn from each other.
Utilize group communication sessions wisely
When you are using group communications, make sure you plan it ahead. Group sessions should be used for direct tutoring. It can be used to address any concerns or offer support for common problems and it can be a great way to collect students’ feedback as well.
If you take group classes often, make sure you keep a separate session for communicating with your students and make it different from the regular style. You can make the group communication sessions relaxed and optional. Even if no one turns up for all sessions, offering such an option would be helpful for students when a need arises.
Choose your platform wisely
The first step of teaching online is choosing a platform to deliver your classes. While you can use free platforms like Google classroom or marketplaces like Udemy, having your own online teaching website outweighs all of these options.
Having your own website facilitates creativity and freedom to take classes according to your convenience and preference. You can use good online tutoring software to create a tutoring website of your own with the essential features and teaching tools to develop your online classes.
The past year has seen an increasing number of schools, colleges, and freelance teachers moving to online teaching. Taking classes online is a great way to extend your teaching to a global student and to make extra income. While moving from face-face teaching to a virtual environment doesn’t come easy for many, these tips and tricks will help you get going and establish yourself in the online learning space. Set up an online tutoring platform and start serving your students right away.