Pretty clearly the sudden shift in education due to the global pandemic has required teachers to accommodate virtual learning. And it should mean creating more meaningful experiences for the students to let them feel welcome and nurtured.
Although giving students exciting online experiences is quite overwhelming, your fine touch of appropriate teaching pedagogies can make it successful.
Even seasoned classroom teachers who are shifting to online teaching can’t help themselves but ask: “How do you make a virtual class fun?”
Let’s take rule #1: Learning has to be fun!
“Having fun is the best way to learn.” – Albert Einstein
Making virtual learning fun and exciting can be new to in-person classroom teachers. Quite differently, in-person learning offers students myriad ways to have fun interacting with their classmates while making meaning to content. However, with your commitment, I know you can handle online learning effectively and give your students fun learning experiences.
As a classroom teacher myself, I feel your uncertainties and doubts. When pursuing our bachelor’s degree in education, I know online teaching wasn’t given emphasis. Right? But with the inspiration to teach and to continue providing our students with equitable access to quality education, we can definitely make virtual class fun.
<<Want to improve student learning in a virtual classroom? Consider the following effective strategies for making online education productive.
How do you make a virtual class fun? 7 exciting ways
A fun virtual classroom can keep students motivated to learn and to become enthusiastic to participate in the different learning activities. Also, these are helpful tips to improve students’ confidence so they can be at their best and gain meaningful online learning experiences.
Check them out.
1. Set learning goals and expectations
To ensure productive remote student learning, it’s imperative for students to set learning goals and expectations. Doing so will require your guidance and constant monitoring of student progress.
Furthermore, it’s important to train your students on how to create their learning goals. Goal-setting is crucial in teaching and learning so students can gain more focus on their studies. Their achievable goals can help them intensify self-directed learning which in turn helps them become independent learners.
Essentially, students are motivated if you help them set expectations as well. They can achieve more if they are guided on what to achieve. Although you set norms in the virtual classroom so you can manage your students effectively, it’s more meaningful if you allow your students to craft their own expectations and set their learning goals. It can make them confident and proactive.
2. Create a coherent lesson plan
Why do teachers do better when they make a plan?
A coherent lesson plan guides you in making online teaching fun and engaging. Although your teaching expertise is most needed, using a plan can make you more organized and hence, very confident.
It’s worth setting up a time for lesson planning, especially since online teaching is something new to us. Your lesson plan gives a definite structure to your lesson. It keeps you prepared and organized in giving you the right activities for the achievement of the desired learning objectives.
Definitely, a lesson is an essential teaching tool that helps you design the activities in the virtual classroom that increases student motivation and engagement. Moreover, by making your lesson plan you can set concise learning activities that are not only fun but also help students comprehend content effectively.
3. Make the motivational activity interactive
An important thing to remember when planning your virtual lessons is how you motivate your students and get their attention. Ideally, we want our students to be participative and to get the most out of learning interactions.
An effective teacher really finds ways to get the attention of students and to stimulate their interests. It’s overwhelming because students have different ways of learning.
That is why presenting the material is not always an issue in teaching but how you do it. It’s a matter of refining your teaching pedagogies to attract students’ attention from the start of the lesson.
Hence, it’s always interesting on your part to explore ways on how to motivate your students. You can check out some smart tips from my post, “What are some interesting ways to start a lesson?”.
4. Take advantage of technology integration
Online learning is all about technology integration and a showcase of effective teaching pedagogies. As teachers, we should educate ourselves about ICT integration so we can offer our students productive instructions.
It’s not about being tech-savvy, because some teachers find the term intimidating. Crisply, it’s about finding ways on how to integrate technology into your virtual lessons so your students won’t get bored. Therefore, you and your students should take advantage of using useful technological gadgets like tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, computers, and Smartphones.
For as long as they can connect to the online platform being used and can communicate and interact with one another effectively, then you should consider the gadgets they are using as a perfect addition to your technology integration.
The virtual classroom alone is a perfect way of incorporating technology.
5. Make surprises
How do you make a virtual class fun? Well, make some surprises! Celebrate celebrations! Great teachers always have something that creates wow and hurrays! Showing your favorite pet can create lovely reactions like: “What’s his name, teacher?” “I have a pet too!”
As students flip open their gadgets and log into your virtual classes, there should be something that excites them. Moreover, you can set the tone for your virtual class if your students enjoy elements of surprises. You can tell them instantly, “The early bird today will earn a badge from me!”Kids would love that!
Or can anyone sing a melodious tune for us today? Or would you like to see me dance to “the baby shark”? For sure, your kids will say yes as they are always excited to see your moves just like how excited you get when they perform too!
Well, that is an ice breaker! It sets the equilibrium.
6. Use breakout rooms
The use of breakout rooms is crucial to virtual learning. It improves student engagement and keeps students enthusiastic. Well, you’ve got to color them with amazement by giving them opportunities to share their views and work together in small groups.
Let your creativity design the activities in every breakout room to promote differentiated instruction. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Furthermore, when students are working in groups they foster good relationships and build community in the virtual classroom. Start your lesson by grouping them for your motivational activity. It’s a way of telling your students that they are in a fun virtual classroom that makes them proactive.
Best of all, the discussions in breakout rooms help build students’ confidence to express their thoughts and ideas, especially the reluctant ones. But to make this more enjoyable, you need to make thoughtful small groups to establish student connections.
7. Use interactive games
Gamification in education is really fun. It’s crucial to a student’s success in the classroom.
Generally, games can make young learners excited. So, if you use games in your virtual classroom, likewise, you are integrating technology.
Gamifying your Google classroom, for example, can make a difference in student participation. This is a good indication that making learning fun works best for student engagement and motivation.
Playing with your students remotely will not only stimulate their cognitive aspect but also foster good connections. Undoubtedly, virtual classroom games aren’t only for entertainment and education but also for building friendships and relationships.
Basically, remote games are fun ideas in a virtual classroom that make students attentive and dynamic. One pretty example I can give which I used in my virtual class is the “show and tell” game. I asked my students to bring something in front of the screen and share with everyone its importance and relevance.
As I observed, my students were very excited to share pretty things that were important to them and persuaded their classmates why they should appreciate it too.
How do you make your virtual class fun? This is always an exciting question for an effective teacher like you.
If we always aim for productive student learning, we can find ways to make learning fun. When there’s fun, there’s interaction. Ultimately, students understand and remember the lesson effectively when they enjoy what they’re doing. Hence, learning takes place. That’s how they’re more successful!
Moreover, when students have fun learning they can do amazing things. Therefore, you should provide them with enriching opportunities to be happy and have fun in the virtual classroom.
Aside from the smart tips mentioned above, is there anything you can add to make the virtual classroom fun? How do you let fun happen naturally in the classroom? Share your thoughts below.