ONLINE TEACHING: 5 HELPFUL TIPS FOR TEACHERS
By Nathania Goddard
With the COVID-19 health crisis ongoing in the country, schools are expected to remain closed for an extended period. A schedule for their reopening has yet to be decided, and with alternative modes of learning and teaching being encouraged for the next school year, many academic institutions are considering bringing classroom discussions online.
But what do these changes in teaching platforms mean for teachers and instructors? How will teachers accustomed to a classroom setup adjust to a virtual setting? How will they teach and communicate lessons effectively? How will they keep students engaged while in quarantine? These are just some of the factors to consider when teaching students online, especially when doing so for the first time.
Teachers have to keep in mind that given the current circumstances, students are not always readily available to go online. Some will experience difficulty connecting to the Internet; others may have special needs that must be considered. As best as they can, teachers must ensure that no student is left out in the process. With this said, here are some suggestions that can help teachers conduct online classes more effectively:
- Teachers must know the appropriate teaching method to apply. Pearson Education suggests two methods of teaching online: synchronous and asynchronous. The synchronous method makes use of live online lectures, while the asynchronous method allows students to work at their own pace. A good teacher must know the right combination of these methods to deliver instruction more effectively.
- As much as possible, the teacher should be available to the students. Scott Cooper, marketing manager for online learning platform GO1, said that teachers should establish their presence online to readily address student concerns. They must expect that students may find themselves confused with instructions or have queries about the lessons, which they can respond to using email, messaging applications, and online discussion boards.
- Teachers ought to design lessons and conduct discussions using accessible learning resources. While they can make use of digital learning materials, such as slideshow presentations, video presentations, and links to free educational services online, teachers should also consider providing learning techniques and exercises that students can perform within their homes and alongside their guardians. These include arts and crafts, experiments, and other hands-on activities that may be done using reusable materials and household items.
- Teachers should try to foster a sense of community among the students despite physical distance. Assigning tasks for pairs or groups may be able to help students become more engaged in the lesson as they try to communicate and share ideas with their peers.
- As much as possible, the teachers should integrate current and relevant issues in online discussions. Acknowledging these issues may broaden and deepen the students’ understanding of how crucial the present circumstances are and encourage them to help one another cope better.
Teaching students online amid these difficult times can be challenging but certainly not impossible. With cooperation and creativity, teachers can also help one another in learning and coming up with other strategies to make their online teaching more effective.
Cooper, S. (2016, September 24). 10 best practices to be an effective online teacher. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/10-best-practices-effective-online-teacher/amp
Pearson. (n.d.). Best practices for online teaching (video). Retrieved from https://pearson.wistia.com/medias/zdcz1uyfyq
Pearson. (n.d.). Tips and tricks for moving your course online (video). Retrieved from https://pearson.wistia.com/medias/juxn6chl6a