Tips for Teaching Online
Teaching from home is the new normal and more so following the outbreak of COVID-19, which has forced schools and universities to shut down to contain the spread of the virus. While some educators may have no problem shifting to this new normal, many will find it difficult to adapt to this change and will struggle to support their learners in the learning process. To aid educators coping with the new normal, we have compiled a list of tips to help you teach your learners from home amid this pandemic.
Choose an LMS
The first and most essential thing to do is choose and set up a learning management system (LMS) for the learners and parents to carry out teaching from home. This can be a district provided LMS such as Canvas, Google Classrooms, Blackboard, Moodle, or a self-created class website.
You need to maintain a single digital platform where you can update all the information for your learners and parents. The updates can include critical information such as the week’s schedule of assignments, instructions for completing and submitting work, reminders, educator contact information and availability, and so on.
Are you looking for a way to facilitate your online learning course? Consider using Pedagogue. Pedagogue also gives educators the power to create, share, and reuse interactive learning experiences and assessments while leveraging over 30 learning content templates.
Create a routine
The remote learning system is different from a real-life schooling system. Educators should set up a proper daily schedule/routine and keep learners updated about it to avoid any confusion among the learners. Whether the schedule is all academics or simply an interaction, it should be clear when both the educator and learners need to be logged on. Having a proper daily schedule is necessary, especially for families who have more than one child and share one device. Most schools select two check-in times, a morning meeting and an afternoon check-in, allowing families flexibility to organize the at-home school schedule.
Prepare for your classes
Since learners are at home, maintaining discipline is a big challenge for them. Many will find it hard to cope with the routine; some will be late; others will miss the class check-in time all together. Therefore, it is essential to have a proper lesson plan prepared well in advance. Educators need to make sure to have the syllabus or study materials updated clearly before the class begins. This will help learners understand what they will learn, keep them informed about all the necessary materials, and help them take a more serious interest in their learning.
Record your lessons
Recording the lessons and sharing them with learners is one of the simplest ways for any educator to teach learners from home. Educators can record a video of themselves delivering a lesson and then share it with the learners via a URL or an email attachment. A recorded lesson creates the opportunity to maintain the educator’s “presence” and engage learners as if they were in the classroom. Also, learners can play the video repeatedly to understand the concept or review the lessons taught.
Some options and tools to record lesson plans include voiceover and recording functions in multimedia presentation software, screen, and video recording tools such as Loom, Screencast-o-Matic, record functions in web-conferencing applications such as Adobe Connect or Zoom, smartphone video, or computer webcam recording.
Create lively discussions
Of course, an online classroom is different from a conventional classroom. Unlike in conventional classrooms, the online classroom lacks physical interaction and direct communication between the educator and learners. So, educators need to initiate discussions for learners to participate in the teaching and learning process. This can go a long way in affecting how learners feel in the class. Educators should encourage participation, much as they would in a conventional classroom. This promotes learner involvement and makes learning more interesting.
Give students personalized feedback
Most learners need additional support or help from educators, either because they are slow learners or have certain learning issues. In conventional classrooms, learners can directly ask questions of educators to clear up confusion or to help them understand the concept. However, learners may find it impossible or complicated to ask questions in a remote learning system. In such cases, educators can call learners who need additional support and provide them personalized, targeted instruction over the phone or through web conferencing. They can ask learners to provide input such as the method that they find it easy to learn, the activities that help them understand better, their interests and learning preferences, and the subject they find most difficult.
Educators can also ask learners content-based questions to assess their comprehension of the lessons, work through problems, or reason together with the learner to understand their issues and plan more effectively for the next class.
Give students enrichment opportunities
Intense learning for long hours makes learners lose interest or excitement to learn. To keep them engaged, educators can provide certain virtual enriching opportunities or activities like puzzles, games, STEM experiments, and so on. They can also encourage learners to move around and be active. To provide such opportunities, educators can refer to platforms such as Enchanted Learning, World Book for Children, Brainpop, Everyday Mysteries, GoNoodle, and STEM Bob.
Evaluate your performance and your students’ performance
Educators can send assessments to learners via email attachment to be completed and emailed back. To gather feedback, they can utilize online assessment tools such as Google Forms, Kahoot, and Quizlet. Educators also can provide self-assessment opportunities to learners by asking them to reflect on their learning and academic performance, set goals, and create action plans.
The sudden transition from conventional teaching to online teaching is tough, especially for conventional educators. I hope the above tips will help most educators master this new normal.