Online teaching is one of the central things that an educator does now.
To make your online teaching better and effective for students, you can use some tips to level up your online game. Here are some key tips that'd notch up your online teaching.
Record Your Lessons
One of the key reasons why people prefer online classes is flexibility. Online teaching for school students has defined time slots; however, internet access and quality can hinder fixed time. For this reason, it is important that you record your lessons and not conduct them via live stream. In case, any student is unwell or cannot attend the class; they can access your recorded lessons as well. After sharing the recorded video, you can do a live stream discussion. However, it is recommended that you record videos to explain the subject topics to ensure that every student can access that.
Teaching students is time-taking, especially when you suddenly switch in an online environment. Thanks to COVID for making us realise the importance of using web tools for teaching and learning needs. While you deal with students and create content for them, consider the following tips:
- Short and crisp videos is key. Longer videos play with the learner's attention span but can cause problems in working due to network issues. Stick with short videos and try that they do not exceed 15 minutes. If there's any particular topic that cannot be covered in this duration, consider splitting it into parts.
- Record videos of yourself speaking and explaining. Anyday, a recorded video is better than a slideshow and PPT. Videos that show teachers; faces are more effective compared to simple narrated slideshows.
- Use your content multiple times as well as use online resources. It is unrealistic that you can produce high-quality videos on every subject topic by yourself. Prioritise topics as per their difficulty levels. You know your students well and the subjects you teach. Based on that, you can create videos that you know are important and use readily available resources for students to find easy to understand. There are a plethora of online resources available just a few clicks away. Make use of that.
- If you're explaining multiple topics under a subject in a single video, add timestamps for students so that they can access particular topics based on your input. This way, students won't have to watch the complete video to access their topic. This would also help them in the revision of particular topics. This way, you can always trim down your videos to any particular topic and share with students who might need to study selected topics.
- For all the topic charts and slides you'd be sharing, do a check beforehand on a smartphone. Cross-check that all text is readable on small screens. Alter font sizes, colours, template designs and screen ratios as needed.
Avoid Frequent Changes
Initially, you might want to try multiple things and strategies in your online classes. However, make sure you take student feedback and work on it. Once you find out strategies and a set pattern working out for your class, stick to it. Since online instruction is different from conventional classroom instruction, frequent changes can create chaos for students. Also, students do not enjoy frequent changes in their learning styles. It's better to repeat the same structure and activities.
Let Students Take Control
Online classes come up with small challenges for students. These challenges turn into an email from students and drop in your inbox really quick. Another challenge of online classes is peer engagement. Conventional classroom instruction aids peer engagement very well, and eLearning partially devoids students of peer interaction. It comes to instructors to facilitate this and help students with peer-to-peer interaction. Needless, to say, it is rather important to help students cultivate social skills, communication skills and help them in character building. To help students with their small tasks and challenges, you can set small online groups of students and ask them to support each other before sending you emails directly. You can break the ice by starting conversations among these groups and telling them where and how they can help each other. Some groups will get along, and some will not, but this little tip would surely make a huge difference for students. They will feel socially supported and ill help you by reducing your inbox traffic as well.