Due to the global pandemic, schools around the world have adopted online learning to continue giving quality education to learners. Classes are moved online and this is something new for teachers and learners. With this, as a teacher, I can’t help but ask myself, “How can I help make online education more effective?”
As we face this grand switch in education, I need to equip myself with smart strategies to give my students excellent online learning experiences. As a teacher who used to teach in the classroom, how can I positively impact my students’ online education experience? This can be very challenging, and I’ll be sharing clever tips so students are at their best in an online learning environment.
In the Realm of Online Education
Online education has been considered one of the greatest educational revolutions. Notably, more and more students and even professionals find it advantageous and productive. Hence, they opt to enroll in online degree courses and programs.
Taking classes and courses through online platforms, millions of students around the globe today have benefitted from the big change in education. Therefore, an online teacher like me has to make online learning really effective and productive.
I know the parents of my students are expecting much from the educational system and should not fail them. Moreover, the students should get more even the situation we have today.
There should be more learning opportunities for them while adapting to the greatest trend in contemporary education – online learning.
I know that most students are getting used to the traditional educational system, but through the extraordinary efforts of teachers in making online education effective, these students can easily adapt to the big change in education and even become more productive.
Allow me to express my thoughts on how can I help make online education more effective. It’s more incredible than what you think it is. I have tried the effectiveness of the following strategies and perhaps these can make your online classes.
<<<Want to improve student learning in a virtual classroom? Consider the following effective strategies for improving student performance in online learning.
How Can I Help Make Online Education More Effective?
Grab these 7 great tips and see the difference!
1. Get well-versed with technology
Technological literacy matters.
I intentionally have this number one among the strategies because I really find this imperative. Since online education is delivered through the use of technology, as a teacher, I should equip myself with the technological advancement needed.
The advances in technology offer us comfort and flexibility, but as teachers, we should make ourselves tech-savvy to effectively meet the needs of our learners. This can be challenging but with our best efforts, we can give students enriching experiences that online learning affords.
Whether it is asynchronous or synchronous delivery of instruction, I should know exactly how to go about it. First and foremost, I should know the difference between the two.
Respectively, in other words, whether students will just be required to access learning materials online or attend real-time online classes, it should be both an enriching experience for them. And, I am the way to make it so.
It seems to be paramount. Thus, I am attending training and webinars to equip myself with helpful ways of technical support and troubleshooting. I have to keep abreast of the different platforms and be skillful in using them.
I remember my first time having my online classes, my students were asking if I could see them well and they asked for assistance on how to download materials. Good thing that I have armed myself with the know-how because students will be relying on you for assistance.
I really took the time to familiarize myself with technology and the different learning tools. Being technically proficient can do a great deal.
2. Be more flexible
Overall, the flexibility that online education offers makes it more attractive to students. The concept that students can learn at their best time and at a reasonable pace gives them ultimate control of their learning perspectives.
To make them fully enjoy the flexibility of online learning, as the teacher, being the captain of the ship, I should be flexible myself.
Although online education has become more accessible than before, it can fail at some point. Therefore, you should be flexible with your guidelines, deadlines, and rules.
Moreover, our strategies should establish flexible strides to give students meaningful online learning experiences.
Just like in a traditional classroom, you should craft house rules that are flexible. It’s a common scenario where students can’t meet the deadlines for the submission of outputs and you should make them understand the appropriate actions on what they will do to comply with the required outputs.
Furthermore, since technical challenges will really occur like students having difficulty connecting or some links to resources that aren’t working, you should be ready with a plan B.
Certainly, online education calls for our due consideration as teachers. Things can’t be perfect and smooth-flowing. In this sense, we are ensuring to our students that we are flexible in our ways and no two days are the same.
It seems likely that students can surely benefit from online learning.
3. Intensify your online presence
Aside from the student-friendly schedule formats, we can maximize student learning by intensifying our online presence. Appearing on the screen should be supported with a clear voice, appropriate facial expressions, and gesticulations.
Having online learning that happens in real-time could really be challenging because technology may fail at some point. However, if you are always there to give students specific instructions on what to do in case unexpected things happen, it will lessen the issue.
Interacting in a virtual hall makes students more engaged to listen and participate. Therefore, aside from the gestures and energizers, you should make the necessary preparations before you appear on the screen.
Dress properly. You should be composing yourself just like you are in a conventional classroom. If you do so, most likely your students will do the same. Anyway, wearing proper clothes should be in your house rules as well.
4. Make activities interesting
Winning the hearts and minds of our learners poses a great challenge. One effective strategy is to make online interactions fun and interesting.
The live-streamed lectures are made more meaningful if the activities you have prepared are interesting and age-appropriate. Video conferencing is something new to students, so as the learning facilitator, I should keep them excited about the learning tasks I have for them.
It requires me to make the necessary preparations, study the topic more even though it’s already familiar, and design creative activities. The live chat itself should be made interactive.
Moreover, most of my learners really love interactions, so I have to make it even more interactive. I research helpful learning tools and strategies to maintain a lively online learning environment.
If the activity requires group tasks, then I should be ready for strategies that will make breakout sessions interactive. This should amplify individual engagement so students get hooked on the lesson and are more interested in participating.
So, for example, even though it’s a simple reading activity I should transform it into a give-and-take storytelling session.
I incorporate games to maintain my students’ attention. I know that this is one of the challenges in online learning because if you are not equipped with varied online teaching strategies, your students tend to get bored and feel inadequate.
5. Create a community and set high expectations
Our online classes can become even more attractive by establishing a strong relationship with our learners and by setting high and clear expectations. A simple act of looking for them when they aren’t around, checking their whereabouts when they’re absent even for a day will make sense.
Entertaining their queries, whether during synchronous sessions or during off-classes, can make a difference. This is a way of telling your students that you care for them and that they matter.
Building a sense of community in online learning is important even though we aren’t seeing our students personally. It’s crucial.
These children might already feel comfortable learning at home while sitting on their favorites chairs or couch, they will even feel more comfortable if they feel your concern by being responsive to them.
Very well, even though learners are not attending your classes in person, they deserve all your support and help them all the way. The clear expectations we set should help them catch up with their lessons and should frustrate them in any way.
By maintaining open communication with your students, you are initiating a meaningful bond that will make them perform better and improve their grades.
Therefore, meeting their needs can help motivate them to study more and keep pushing through. By actively reminding them, just like you do in a face-to-face class, you can create wonders.
6. Get ready for the unexpected
Poor internet connections, poor bandwidth, weak monitors, and many other technical issues can make you and your students problematic and frustrating.
In online learning, we have to expect the unexpected so as not to hurt our expectations. It can be a more fruitful learning encounter for your students if all of you are aware of some technical problems that may arise.
Hence, it should be noted that online learning poses challenges that we should learn to adapt to in order to achieve a productive online learning environment.
When the struggle is real, we should accept the circumstances with open hearts and minds.
However, it is still best if you know how to handle things by always having a backup plan if things don’t turn out to be as planned. When it comes to online classes, disruptions due to poor internet connectivity and problems with links to resources are common.
What I do is, I should be ready with other options like preparing other parallel learning materials and giving students reliable access to them.
Moreover, your way of connecting with your students despite the challenges online education may pose can spell out your genuine dedication to your work.
7. Show mastery of learning materials and double-check resources
For your students to get the real value of their online classes, never face them unprepared. If you stammer at explaining a concept it will leave an indelible impression on your students.
Prepare. Prepare. Study. Execute.
You’ll be off to an insightful beginning if you show mastery of the learning materials. Since you are the main component of the educational setup, you need to do more to give students that unforgettable AHA moment because they learn best from your instructional delivery.
This is possible if you have a full grasp of the concepts you are teaching.
Moreover, by ensuring the credibility of the learning resources you share, your students are given a profound foundation for their learning experiences. Thus, your mastery of the subject matter best correlates to the academic performance of your students.
Sharing learning materials with great expertise will help students perform better as they decode them most efficiently. Moreover, if students realize that they can learn best even in this new setup, they can reduce their resistance to change as they are more used to face-to-face interactions.
8. Simplify content
Learning at home can be very tedious when people around aren’t cooperative. Distractions can happen that may affect the attention span of students. Hence, you need to simplify and modify your lessons to make them reasonably short but all-inclusive.
By creating short yet interactive presentations, students will be more engaged to complete their learning tasks compared to lengthy discussions and broad activity sheets.
9. Promote social interaction
Even though students will be learning behind screens, you can still instill the value of social interaction and enhance their communication skills.
By assigning group tasks and by allowing students to interact using breakout rooms, you are helping them to intensify their connections in online learning.
When students are given the best chance to reach out to their peers, they become more confident that online learning is never a hindrance to establishing good relationships and friendships.
10. Apply differentiated instructions
Every student has unique interests, skills, learning needs, and experiences. That is why as a teacher, you need to go the extra mile to offer individualized learning experiences to your students.
Individualized instruction is never impossible in remote learning. You just have to plan things out to know your students very well and to make a careful assessment of their capabilities.
Differentiated eLearning has always been possible. Basically, you just have to identify their needs and craft learning activities that intensify differentiated instruction to make online education more effective.
We need to fully embrace online education, as it gives us the most incredible way to stay connected with our learners due to the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, being the latest wave in education, online learning has gained popularity. Hence, it’s an essential requirement to get used to it no matter what.
As teachers, we have to reach out to our students effectively and make online education productive. This can be hard to practice in the beginning but with our consistent dedication to teaching, we can make things happen in the online world of learning.
You can key in your positive thoughts about online education below and together let’s overcome the challenges along the way.
We should not allow our learners to be left behind. Pop your ideas below.
Together, we can make online education more effective.
You’ll love this video.