In the wake of the pandemic that brought the globe to a stop in early 2020, the use of online learning skyrocketed. From kindergarten to university, schools around the world had to shift the way they taught.
To get the full benefit of online learning, there needs to be a concerted effort to provide structure since children can easily be distracted and go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities
One of the major challenges for teachers is to create a learning environment that is engaging and will stimulate learning. Other challenges range from technical difficulties to zoom fatigue, teachers who value interactions with their students are working hard to stay on top of their game.
One of the best methods for keeping students on task has been the creation of virtual office hours. Teachers can make themselves available at a particular time for chatting or video conferencing.
Here are 5 golden rules that will ensure online learning be fun and educational
⦁ Understand the value of digital tools:
Teaching is hard. Teaching online is even more so. As a teacher, you are faced with a new scenario and the challenges that come with it. Focus on the available digital tools, which ones will work for you, and focus on those to create a plan. Once you’ve got this mapped out you can go on and create an online course that is fun and informative.
Go-to tools this year are grounded in collaboration, interaction, and students’ voices. They provide equitable opportunities for students’ access to the same kinds of educational reasoning, thinking, and discourse while learning remotely what they would if they were learning face to face.
⦁ Encourage students to create a “digital space” at home:
While students are quite adept at using digital technologies, they are not used to them being used for educational purposes. Encourage students to create a space where there will be no distractions, have a strong internet connection, and comfortable furnishings. This will ensure that they focus on what is going on “in-class”.
⦁ Human Connection:
With online teaching, a social aspect needs to be built into the course. Online learning can feel isolating for students, as an educator you need to build in a lot of activities that have a social aspect to it, students need to feel a connection to the course, teacher, students and be motivated to participate. Activities could include working with a partner, working in a group, and frequent interactions with the teacher.
These social activities may include discussions, feedback about assignments, encouraging students to have one-on-ones with you, and most importantly respond to student questions promptly.
It has been proven that social interaction helps keep the learning momentum moving, leads to great student retention and student educational success.
⦁ Interactive learning:
Want to recreate an offline classroom environment? Then make sure to add opportunities for the students to have real-time interactions during online learning.
Provide opportunities for students to apply the new knowledge and skills they are learning by practicing in as realistic a setting as possible. Activities that make students think about responses, make decisions and solve problems encourage active learning and also promote higher order thinking.
Try using the same features you would during traditional school learning, like breakout rooms where the kids can interact and have discussions. Make sure that each student participates in these sessions.
Using available digital tools such as chat features will allow students to ask questions and you to answer without interrupting the flow of the class.
Students need to have a sense of accountability even while e-learning, it is important to assess students regularly to ensure that this sense of accountability remains.
⦁ Ask questions frequently to keep the class interactive and to keep the attention of the students.
⦁ Quizzes, assignments, and tests will ensure that students stay on top of their studies.
⦁ Use gamification learning to keep the students interested, motivated, and interested in the subject being taught.
Students need feedback to reinforce that they are on the right path, correct any misunderstandings they might have, and validate their unique perspectives. During online classrooms, respond to individual and group assignments and remain active in discussion forums, yet avoid giving participants the answers. When designing an e-learning curriculum, provide context-sensitive feedback that presents information in a new way
As teachers face unique and different challenges with online learning you need to be creative and innovative to make online learning a smooth process for the students. It is a two-way channel, where both the teachers and students have to feel that connection virtually.