Schools have adopted a new approach in teaching to ensure public safety during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the shift to a virtual learning setup has posed challenges to educators. So, to help teachers turn online schooling into a conducive, engaging, and effective learning experience for students, here are some pointers for you.
Avoid Making Lessons Bulky
Make your lectures easily digestible to students. In a long-distance setup, students cannot absorb extensive lessons. So break it down into short discussions for easier comprehension. Avoid presenting materials that are lengthy and text-heavy. Instead, use minimal text and supplementary graphics in your presentations to make it more understandable to students. Also, try to deliver your lectures in less than an hour. Extending your discussion time will not make it more effective; it will encourage disengagement from your students. Always take into consideration your students’ short attention span. Tailor-fit your lesson plan according to their learning capacity to yield more fruitful results.
Accommodate All Learning Styles
When crafting lesson plans, make sure they cater to all learning styles. Your online presentations must have visual and auditory components to guarantee the students’ full understanding of the lessons. You can use multimedia elements, such as educational videos, as a supplement in your discussions. Using these kinds of aid will activate the senses of your students and make classes more stimulating. You have to find other ways to deliver your lessons aside from text form. With the amount of distraction in a home setup, you have to make use of your creativity to sustain their interest.
Divide Your Class into Groups
In a virtual classroom, it’s difficult to encourage participation from every student. It’s challenging to attend to the needs of each student. Aside from that, a large group can be intimidating to students and prevents them from actively engaging in the discussions. That’s why it’s ideal for keeping your class below 30 students. According to academician Elliot King, it’s best to group students in a cluster of 10. That will help you accommodate every student and ensure they fully understand the lectures. Also, with the reduced number of individuals in a class, you can achieve increased engagement and interaction from the students.
Assign Offline Projects
Make virtual learning more substantial by assigning students with homework they can accomplish without the aid of the computer. Assign projects that involve activities that can be carried out inside the house, such as arts and crafts or photography. As much as possible, give out tasks that encourage interaction with their family members.
Why are these at-home projects important? Because you also have to build offline engagement and exercise your students’ creativity, especially in such a limited learning setup. Moreover, students are more drawn to subjects filled with enjoyable and enriching tasks, not only lectures and readings. Aside from that, these activities buy you time to prepare succeeding lesson plans for your class.
Challenge Their Creativity
Incorporate homework that involves the use of digital tools. Capitalize on their interest in technology. Assign tasks where they can brush up on their knowledge in Office and Photoshop applications. Instead of giving out research and writing assignments, integrate projects that involve video editing, basic graphic design, podcast creation, and PowerPoint reporting. Keep in mind that tasks like this are crucial in harnessing their creative potential.
Choose a Hassle-Free Platform
Choose a top-notch platform to carry out your lectures and share materials with your entire class. It has to be convenient and reliable with easy navigation features every student can understand. Steer clear of systems that are problematic and riddled with glitches. Constant technical problems can get in the way of your teaching. So, it’s best to perform dry runs before settling with a platform.
Keep Your Lines Open
Virtual interaction may appear impersonal to students, especially those who have grown accustomed to face-to-face interaction. So, it’s essential to establish an open line of communication with your students. You must inform your class on your availability for consultation and your preferred means of conversation. Make yourself available to students, especially when they need help, just like how lawyers deal with Uber-related accidents. You must be reachable in your social media channels and email. You can also carry out your one-on-one coaching through video calls.
In this manner, you can meet the expectations and needs of your students despite the long-distance arrangement. However, your availability shouldn’t be 24/7, as this would tire you out. That’s why you have to communicate your days and hours of availability. It would be better if you schedule your consultation sessions in a way that’s convenient for you. Doing so will also help you manage your time for your other duties as an educator.
Overall, the transition from a classroom structure to a virtual setup can be an enriching experience if you integrate modern-day approaches to your teaching style.