The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives as well as the global economy. This has also been successful in shaking the roots of the education sector. In the light of this global crisis and subsequent national and provincial lockdowns, educational institutions like schools and colleges had been shut down temporarily. Though, it does not seem that they will re-open anytime soon. Therefore, educators across the globe discontinued the tradition classroom system for teaching, as the Covid-19 virus spreads with physical contact. Thus, social distance is vital during these hours of crisis. This scenario opened up the doors and possibility for online education – both learning and teaching to flourish worldwide. In the same scenario, many of us are moving online. Through this piece of article, we’ll have to look at what all you need in place, to execute an efficient online class session
1. Getting to Know Technology.
Online classes are a comparatively new thing for everyone, hence troubleshooting is not a bad idea! It is important for you as a teacher, whose planning to run an online class to get familiar with the best software for online teaching that you have chosen for yourself.
2. Always be Prepared for Unexpected Experiences.
Having a glitch or technical errors while operating software is very common and natural. It can be while accessing a video, researching online, or simply while linking tasks. Hence, to play smart, it is important to have a backup ready in advance. This should be communicated to students as well so that they do not suffer losses at their end. You should be ready to face any type of technical challenge during an online class!
3. Be Interactive and Visually Present.
It is not a surprise that online classes via Teacher App or other software, is a comparatively new experience for students as well, hence it is your responsibility as a teacher to make them comfortable around the technology and also to make sure that they understand their lectures properly. This can be done by being present on screen both visually as well as sonically. On any fine day, students would lose interest if a voice would speak to them on a virtual screen, hence it is important for you to be present on-screen, displaying human characteristics.
4. Keep Things Clear
Online education is a comparatively new experience for students as well, hence it is very important for you to inform your students that their grades will be determined on the basis of their participation. You should set clear timelines for assignment submission and tasks so that your students can get habitual of the process. Else unnecessary confusion will brew later.
5. Establishing Comfort and Building Community.
In the lack of physical interaction, students look up to you for inspiration, hence, it is important for you to break the ice and make your students feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts, queries and excitement. It also helps in eliminating fear and anxiety for them. It is recommended that you should humanize your online lectures as much as possible. It can be done by sharing a welcoming video, photographs, video links, etc. Your lectures must incorporate video conferencing to eliminate social isolation. Taking regular updates about the lives of students also help in the process, followed by regular feedback on lectures.
6. Encourage introspection and communication through group discussions
It is essential to monitor each student’s participation at the individual level. You should have a record of each student’s pace of learning as it is different for each.
7. Request for customary feedback and be watchful of misunderstanding
You should regularly check in to see how things are going with your students. This can be done by one-o-one discussions at an individual level with each student. You may also make use of quizzes, surprise tests, open-book tests, etc to check the awareness of the subject amongst your student community.
The complete shift from traditional to online education can be a bit difficult. It is hence essential to work on effective teaching patterns as well, using advanced and smart pedagogical approaches and getting hands-on new devices and applications that may be essential for the smooth running of your online class. By encouraging group-based learning, continuous communication, and active participation, an online class can be conducted easily and successfully. It is a scientific fact that students learn visuals better than texts. Hence, virtual visuals-based learning must not be discouraged in a digital world. A teacher is also a student and hence, there is zero harm in learning a new way of teaching! Stay tuned for more tips and tricks for executing a smart class online, easily! Till then, Happy Online Teaching!