The new academic year 2020, is, in actuality, way different than previous academic years.
All schools and universities have had to transition to remote teaching over. This sudden shift has made teachers scramble new ways to teach their students and of course, serve the best of their services and do justice to their experience and knowledge, despite having difficulties in taking online classes as not all are tech-friendly.
Here, in this article, we have enlisted few easy strategies that you can begin trying and implementing in your teaching today to bring a bit more of your personality to your online courses.
Make a schedule
First and fore mostly, you need to prepare a schedule prior conducting an online class. From reading a textbook to watching pre-recorded or live lectures or working on assignments/studying; all of these should be covered in your schedule, so you don’t miss any crucial part of your lesson. Most if not all syllabus will list which topics will be covered in each week; try to stick to that pace, at least.
Don’t try to be a superstar to make great videos
Your years of experience and knowledge make you an outstanding instructor. So do not deprive your online students the opportunity to learn from you. Your extra effort in making a great video may hamper your knowledge deliverance.
Look for videos that convey the information his/her students require, learn from it and record your own video in a matter of 15/20 minutes and provide your students with relevant and current information to help them achieve their learning activities and assessments. If not, you can make a PowerPoint presentation of your video lecture and share with your students to review. This will interest your students and make them more engaged.
Here are tips to help you record yourself:
- Try recording your video while sitting in your backyard, or while you are out for your evening walk.
- Create and narrate an animated explainer video i.e. use an avatar or animated character instead of your face.
- Record while you lecture, and be sure to have a visual to lecture with so your students have something to focus on.
- Since your students need to be able to hear and understand you clearly, have clear sound/audio.
- Keep your videos short and simple so keep your videos under 10-minutes.It is a good rule of thumb to keep your students engaged.
- Caption your recorded video for accessibility.
- Be sure to put your best side forward by paying attention to your camera angle.
Add humor to your video to increase interest
Scroll down on any social media feed and find a funny meme, gif, or quote that stops and grabs your attention and probably resonates with you in some capacity.
The same effect can happen for your students in your online course when you do something to grab their attention and make them giggle for a second, think about something from a different angle, or give them a quote that will be stuck in their head for the day.
Not only memes and GIFs, you can add some memorable quote, catchy song or rhyme, interesting video or funny personal story and record it!
All these, would add interest as well as boost engagement and learning in your students.
Maintain contact with your students
Since, teachers and students are separated from their students due to COVID. You can use the opportunity of remote learning by making use of numerous excellent tools and techniques that will allow you to stay connected to your learners.
Tools and tricks to stay connected
To stay connected conduct surveys to measure how students are doing academically and emotionally, and follows up on responses, create an online community using collaboration tools to offer everyone a chance to have their say, hold small group meetings using a video conferencing tool or find more ways to maintain contact with your students.
Whether it’s an online or offline class having few students with confused or blank facial expressions is common, although it’s harder to find that during online learning. So you can either post questions on eClass discussion boards, ask students to email the topic they’ve trouble with or have a question answer session at the commencement of your online class or after finishing.
Stay positive and take mental health breaks
Remote learning is the “new normal” and alike others, you too, may have troubles in making a shift to it. The entire experience of teaching online will be different but don’t treat “different” as equivalent to 'difficult'. Stay positive and try to cope with the different and have mental breaks when required.
Do you have any amazing strategy on your mind? If yes, do share with us.