It goes without saying that Online Teaching is the buzzword of recent times and we have been talking about taking classes online and the best practices for teachers to follow in our previous blogs. Many teachers don’t have the breadth and depth of experience when it comes to online classrooms. The questions such as how to be a good online teacher and what are the best online teaching practices spring up quite often. This blog will shed light on all these and will act as a guide for online teachers. Let’s start off by looking at five tips that can help online teachers.
Tips for Online Teachers
1.Explain your Expectations
When you are in a normal classroom set up and you hand out an assignment, it will also be accompanied by extra information and additional comments from your end. When teachers take their classes online and start sharing assignments and other content online, they often tend to describe it in writing and expect the students to understand. However, there’s a chance of things being lost in translation here. It is essential to explain what you expect from the students, be it in a test or an assignment or a simple class discussion. Hold a 15-minute discussion about the assignment or create an open discussion interval where the students can ask questions and you can communicate your requirements. Unlike a physical classroom, it is hard to pick on nonverbal cues, so, creating clarity is important.
2. Be Proactive About Course Management
This incorporates checking task entries, helping students to remember upcoming deadlines, and making course alterations when they're required. It is important to see a step ahead and take the necessary steps. Being proactive means a lot of things. As far as a teacher is concerned, his/ her students may have numerous doubts, they might have specific needs during the exam time, might go through a period of stress, a teacher must see this coming and be available for their students. If you foresee what might go wrong, it will be easier to bounce back and get back on track. This brings us to our next point
3. Have a Backup Plan
Whether the web page chooses to crash or you get sick all of a sudden, there might be times during an online course when the standard beat of things will be disturbed. These events can be far less problematic to students if the teacher has already planned ahead for events like these. You should have an arrangement for how you'll convey changes to students if some mishaps occur. This decreases worry for you and guarantees that online courses will work with fewer hiccups and interruptions.
4. Examples and Illustrations
Use as many examples and story-telling as possible. Painting a visual picture and referring to already existing patterns and assignments will help your students to get a clearer picture of what you are trying to say. For this, you can split them into groups and ask them to present what they understood and the group that best matches your expectations can be cited as an example. You can also share materials from previous batches that will help ease the pain of students. There are online teaching platforms that can help teachers with sharing study materials and other content in a jiffy. Teachmint, for instance, is one such one-stop platform.
5. Welcoming and Optimistic Atmosphere
The important question that you have to ask yourself is: if you were a student, what would you feel at the end of the class? If your answer is that you are going to be tired or confused, then you need to reset your environment and re-establish the rapport that you share with your students. Convey optimism and be reassuring. Provide hope to students and don’t let them doubt themselves. Emphasize that meaningful learning is not restricted to a classroom and be the teacher that you always looked up to.
Let’s move on to look at some online teaching ideas that will help you along the way:
Online Teaching Ideas and Best Practices
1.Incorporate Student Ownership
Embracing student ownership is a great idea when it comes to online teaching. You can do this by letting your students choose their own topics for assignments, by enabling self-evaluation and letting them choose how they want to present their learning. This will help in reaffirming the connection that they have with their teacher and it is crucial for every online teacher to have a good connection with their students.
2. In-class Activities
It is normal for teachers to give a 5 minute or ten-minute break while taking classes in a conventional setup, face to face. This seldom happens during online classes. To put it simply, give your students a break. This will help in adding more life to the class. You can use this time to interact with your students about things other than lessons or just incorporate a game or even meditation would work.
3. Value Your Students
This might seem basic, but this is important. It will be helpful to you if you learn your student’s names and address them every now and then to let them know that they are valued and worthy. This will help in improving their engagement with the lessons. Provide positive criticism and try to incorporate students’ interest in the classroom.
4. Take it Slow
We have mentioned this time and again, be patient, and believe in growth. An online set-up might be new to your students. They might take time to get adjusted to the new ways. Reassure that you will be there in case of any doubts and queries.
Online teachers go through an array of emotions on a daily basis. They doubt whether the online teaching techniques they are using are worth it, whether the online teaching ideas are up to the mark and whether they are engaging with their students the right way and a thousand other questions. Today, after reading this blog, just sit back and tell yourself that you are doing a great job and that your students love the way you teach!
Just keep in mind that It is important for online teachers to invest time and effort in themselves to keep getting better at what they do. Online teaching is the future and we aim to help teachers be prepared for it. Stay tuned to our blogs for more informative content around Online Teaching and trends. Until then, keep spreading knowledge.
If you are trying to start online teaching and are searching for a good online teaching app, Teachmint is the best App. With this one-stop solution, you can manage live classes, there’s real-time student-teacher interaction, automatic attendance marking, and more. Download the app now.