How Can I Be More Effective in Online Classes? 5 Best Practices

When students learn from the comfort of home, the virtual learning scenario poses potential challenges that I need to be more effective in online classes.  That I ask myself how to give students equal access to quality content and deeply engage them in learning.

being an effective teacher in online classes

Photo by Katerina Holmes

Indeed, traditional learning and online learning are very different from each other.  And we need to be aware of the fact that we need to acquire technological skills if we want to teach online well.

While it’s easy to say I am an effective teacher, the real journey is never easy. Students are used to learning in a physical classroom which makes virtual learning really a unique space.


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Part of the implementation of the effective solutions to online distractions is enhancing my teaching prowess to face challenges, especially the time-wasting distractions.

How Can I Be More Effective in Online Classes?

Not so easy. But, you can go over my best practices here.

Here’s a thing.

Since students are used to being in the classroom, learning via the internet is quite new. Quite a solution for continued learning amidst the global health crisis.

The atmosphere can be filled with lots of emotions – feelings of loneliness, sadness, anxiety, and intimidation. Just don’t want to mention it. But, yes, depression.

Anxiety is pervasive. How can I be more effective in online classes? How can I help my students get excited to log in each day and get interested in their lessons?

5 Best Tips

Hear my voice.

I believe my ways are forthright. These are well-supported strategies that help create meaningful online learning experiences for my students.

1. Build positive relationships

Easier said than done considering the amazing differences from the other ends of multiple lines. However, as you conduct your classes on one online platform, grab the chance to create a unified tone for learning by establishing connections.

Kind words, expressions of empathy, a message of support, whispers of concerns, and so on.  These are perfect ingredients to make your students feel they belong.

Aside from making your learners know that you teach with compassion, reach out to them by knowing each one of them. Know their interests and learning styles. It’s a great way to build connections with your students.

Likewise, you should design activities to help them know one another in order to create an online community. Though they can be learning at a distance, they are friends and they know that they belong to your class.

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Your preparations matter. You can make the most of every moment of a class if you prepare for it ahead of time?

The very first thing I will do is to write my lesson plan. I consider it my ultimate guide.

Preparing ahead of time helps ensure that you are aware of how long certain activities require. Also, by preparing you can be ready with engaging activities that can keep every student excited.

Preparation is key to enhancing student learning and academic performance. You can be prepared to assist students with any issues that may emerge as you get ready with your online classes.

Your readiness to address varied interests in the virtual classroom will also result in increasing the readiness of the students to learn. This may improve their capacity to learn.

Being prepared can ultimately make you more effective in online classes as it can lead to effective use of time, being organized, sustaining your confidence, giving you time to address disciplinary issues fast, and giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your passion to teach. Hence, it’s a hurray to you and to your students.

3. Establish clear and consistent routines

Firstly, routines not only help students learn, but also improve productivity in the classroom, both in-person and online.

Clear and consistent routines in the virtual classroom help support student learning. When student learning is amplified, then you are an effective teacher.

Research shows that routines in the classroom, be it in-person or virtual learning, can have a good impact on kids’ academic achievement and behavior.

Establishing a schedule in your classroom is one of the best ways to help your students learn, engage, interact, and grow, while also allowing you to be more effective in your teaching strategies.

Thus, before you begin, you have to post clear routines and expectations so the following questions are addressed.

  • What time is the log-in and out?
  • What are the plans for the day?
  • Where will they get the assignments and tasks?
  • Where to deposit completed tasks?
  • How are they graded?
  • Will there be breakout rooms?
  • Are there specific assignments for preliminaries such as energizers, ice breakers, brief recall,  and so on?
  • What to do after the discussion?
  • What will happen with late submissions?

If things are made clear to the students and they understand the consequences as well, the class will go on smoothly. There might be inevitable circumstances, but with tip #2, things can be handled efficiently. So, don’t worry. I know you are always prepared for the unexpected.

best practices in online learning

Photo by Katerina Holmes

4. Be consistent and sustain the energy of everyone

Teaching demands consistency. A classroom be it online or onsite, needs consistency in everything. Consistency plays a crucial role in being an effective teacher.

Classroom management itself requires consistency and we all know how important it is in maintaining a productive learning environment.

Success in the virtual classroom needs us to be consistent in our classroom processes, classroom management, behavior management, teaching styles, and enthusiasm to teach.

In the online classroom, we can also employ a variety of teaching strategies, but consistency is one of the most effective.

We have to remember that being inconsistent in our demeanor can affect how our students regard us. For example, consistently imposing disciplinary measures on others and letting certain students get away with misbehavior will make students lose trust and confidence in us.

5. Ask for feedback and provide constructive immediate feedback

The term ‘feedback’ refers to any kind of evaluation of a student’s performance or behavior. It can also be about the student’s impression of the learning environment.

How things are going in the virtual classroom? You can directly ask your students if they have clarifications or questions about a topic or classroom routines.

Likewise, you should also provide timely and constructive feedback to the students so they can be aware of their performance.

In any of these forms, the message should be conveyed in a manner that can boost confidence and foster positive relationships.

Rather than dampening a student’s performance, feedback in the evaluation and learning process is meant to boost it. It is critical that the student’s experience of receiving feedback be both good and neutral.


There’s no reason why online learning can’t be as effective as face-to-face learning. By following the strategies mentioned above, I am sure you’re developing potential in your virtual classroom.

It’s common knowledge that a good educator is the most important factor in a student’s ability to learn in a traditional classroom setting; however, when it comes to education delivered via the internet, the pedagogical principles and practices that instructors employ are of even greater significance to become more effective.