Online teaching and virtual classes are taking off, but these changes prove to be a major adjustment for teachers used to the physical classroom setting. Connecting via webcam isn’t easy, and it takes creativity to keep the students’ brains stimulated. Since students are taking online lessons outside of their regular school hours and are at home, they’re surrounded by several distractions, making it challenging to keep them engaged and interested.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about your mortgage for your home now as you can keep your job and students engaged with these six efficient tips—improving engagement and fun educational times.
Practice ‘Active Learning’
Most teachers rely on lengthy lectures to fill in a conventional class meeting, but even the most productive and dynamic instructors can’t pull that off in an online setting. That’s why most are resorting to practice ‘active learning’ where they keep students outside of the classroom engaged. You can do this by adding a mix of discussions, collaboration, video, audio clips, and hands-on tasks to your course.
Adapt In-Class Activities
It’s standard for teachers to give students a quiet ‘reflection time’ to work on activities alone or read a book in a physical classroom setting. However, long and dense texts can be challenging reading on-screen, and silence doesn’t go well with virtual classrooms as it makes a student more prone to getting distracted. You can avoid this by actively keeping your students typing, scrolling, clicking, or talking throughout the lessons.
Break Your Lessons into ‘Digestible’ Chunks
Time is vital in online teaching. That’s why you need to break up long lessons into small and digestible chunks. Doing this allows you to instill a fast-paced learning environment and help students become more engaged and learn more. So, stay away from lengthy explanations and slides, and break it into two to three sentences or so to keep them interested.
For students learning in online classrooms, isolation can be a massive contributor to why they may feel demotivated. That’s because they may think no one will notice nor care if they miss class, making it all too tempting for them not to attend classes when they don’t feel like it. You can help your students through this by involving them more.
You can do this by learning their names and calling them by their names throughout the lesson, ask for a follow-up on previous lessons, discover their interests, provide regular feedback on their work, and generally give a reassuring presence.
Take Advantage of Technology
Online teaching can have its challenges, but it also gives you the chance to explore digital teaching tools that can streamline your lectures. Whether it’s a discussion board or virtual games, you can use it to your advantage and make your lessons more fun for students and keep them on their toes.
Whether you’re teaching online or in a physical setting, being there for your students physically and mentally is the most helpful thing you can do. Ensure you have a ‘social presence’ in your virtual classrooms and encourage your students to do the same. Doing this gives them the assurance their professors are still people, and they can converse with them normally outside of class, making them more comfortable and willing to attend classes.
Teaching in a virtual setting takes creativity, and online environments can be challenging to grasp at first. Still, with effort, time, and the practices mentioned, you’ll be giving your students the best online learning experience possible—and they’ll be more than excited to log into your virtual class than ever before.