With the great facilitating skills of teachers, I’m sure lessons that are done in online classrooms can be made fun and engaging! However, most teachers are used to face-to-face instruction. And being assigned to an online class is quite a challenge. Hence, the question, “How do you make a virtual classroom fun? came in.
One of the huge challenges online teachers face is how to stimulate minds and to keep students interested in learning. Keeping students motivated takes work. Online teachers need to redefine their teaching strategies for what really works in a particular virtual class and what doesn’t.
As virtual classrooms continue to become very accessible, online teachers have to make a big leap of adjustments in order to accommodate students’ learning needs. For an interactive lesson to take place, you have to take from your bag of teaching strategies the most fitting and the most effective. There should be interaction behind screens. As to how to do it, continue reading and see if you have done these things in your virtual classroom before.
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How Do You Make a Virtual Classroom Fun? 6 Interesting Ways
To help you in keeping your students engaged and motivated, let’s dive into simple yet interesting ways of making a virtual classroom fun and engaging. By taking hold of online teaching formats, these interesting ways may help meet your students’ individual interests and can keep you connected.
1. Make a creative introduction of yourself
Make the most of your ‘Getting to know you sessions’. The first thing to do when meeting your online learners is to let them know who their teacher is. Students will be very excited to meet you. Therefore, you should think of a creative and interesting way of introducing yourself that will leave an impression on your students. Speak enthusiastically yet with a very natural tone. It helps to freshen up the online learning environment.
You can prepare a PowerPoint presentation or a quick video presentation to make it more organized and systematic. Before your students have their self-introduction, you should present yourself first. It’s important so that your students will feel comfortable in your class. You can make it interactive by including fun facts about yourself and your heartwarming teaching experiences. And you can have a check-up activity afterward to see if your students are really paying attention.
Give your students the first impression that the virtual class you’ve created is an interesting one and that you can be their effective online teacher. Although self-introduction can be easily done, there are ways in which you can make it interactive and fun. So, it should be an important part of your lesson plan during the first day of classes.
2. Observe the proper pacing of the lesson
Never go too fast, never go too slow. Always consider the performance of your online learners. A virtual classroom can become productive if the students are able to catch up. Just prepare all the resources and learning materials needed. If there are links and apps to be used, be sure to inform students about them in advance so they can download or check them.
Break up lessons and divide learning competencies accordingly. Never introduce two complex items at the same time. Although online learning allows students to ask questions and clarifications to teachers directly, it doesn’t mean that they have to be given the same quantity of learning competencies as face-to-face instruction.
To chunk the lesson appropriately is needed to make your instructional delivery fun. Students usually get bored with heavy discussions. You should edit your slides, and don’t overcrowd them with too much information. Moreover, there should be a smooth transition from one learning activity to the next so students will not be wondering, “Is this still about the first learning activity?”
3. Allow virtual learners to brainstorm
The preparations you make will pay off if the students are involved in the discussion. They should be allowed to brainstorm and collaborate with their peers. By creating small groups, you can assign them tasks accordingly and let them discuss through break-out rooms.
Learning how to collaborate in a virtual classroom is needed to ensure that students are maintaining connections with their peers and are building community. There are ways to get your virtual learners to interact with their classmates as they can in face-to-face instruction. You can use online tools such as Padlet, Stormboard, MS Teams, and Google Suite. Through these tools, your virtual students can share their ideas and insights collaboratively.
4. Inject an ice breaker
Break the ice and make the students enjoy it! Let them stand and move about. You can also have fun games like charades and ‘Bring me’. Having icebreakers in your virtual classroom will not only build students’ relationships but also encourage them to engage deeply in online learning.
Icebreakers are creative ways to connect with your students and you’ll get the chance to know them better. You can also make use of the creative question and answer portion as an ice breaker. And you can use it in the motivation part to find out students’ existing knowledge.
Keep your icebreakers short and simple. Encourage each of your students to participate. You can use the Hat app to call names randomly. It’s really fun and exciting.
5. Make use of activity-based learning sessions
One way of encouraging your students to actively engage in your virtual classroom is by giving them activity-based learning sessions. Assign them tasks. This will also teach them how to be responsible. Prompt them to increase their performance by making them work.
Students feel bored if they are just behind screens listening to you. This particular scene should be weaned off from your virtual classroom. Stimulate their senses and involve them deeply so they will remember information more effectively.
Your virtual classroom will be extremely interesting if your students are performing at their best. Well, it depends on your facilitating skills and how you plan your overall virtual classroom. Using activity-based learning is included in the list because it has been proven effective in making a virtual classroom fun.
6. Make lesson content relevant to students’ everyday lives
Students will see clearly the connection of things and will retain information easily if the learning material has close relevance to their everyday lives.
If students can relate to every learning instance, the virtual classroom you’ve created will be very fun and productive. Noticeably, students interact more if the topic has something to do with their lives. They can easily see the connection of things and tend to remember them forever. If it is an English class, students are more inclined to compose essays about their experiences. The more you contextualize topics, the more you signify the subject matter’s relevance.
Incorporating a fun environment in your virtual classroom is very possible. Convert your virtual classroom into something that promotes interactive and engaging learning. The awesome ways above and somehow help you create one and perhaps you have more to share.
Feel free to comment below and together let’s empower our virtual learners with the best education they deserve.