8 simple and effective tips to improve your online teaching
Teaching online has advantages and disadvantages. Here you will learn how to improve your online lessons and make the most out of them!
With the ongoing pandemic, most schools, universities are shut, which means that students are at home, taking their classes online. There are various methods that can be used for teaching online, such as zoom calls, google meetings, and many more. The great thing about teaching and working from home is that you can choose to work from any location which provides you with an adequate internet connection.
Advantages of teaching students online
Even since 2020, there’s a new term that’s being used: “the new normal.” Our world changed when one day we went from normally heading out to work and being able to hug our friends to wearing a mask, staying at home, and socially distancing ourselves from the rest of the world. Due to this so-called new normal, online teaching has gained immense popularity, and some advantages of teaching students online are:
Due to online learning, teachers can now make use of a number of various tools, such as PDFs, podcasts, videos, mail, etc. By extending their lesson plans from just textbooks to real-time websites, teachers can make students understand better and thus become more efficient educators.
2). Accessibility of time and place
Students can attend lectures online from a location of their choice. It also allows schools to reach out to students and go beyond their geographical boundaries. Moreover, these lessons can be recorded, which means that students can keep coming back to understand a concept as and when they wish.
Online learning is far more affordable than day schools. When students learn online, automatically, the costs of transport, student meals, and most importantly, real estate are reduced, making online learning far more affordable.
4). Suits a variety of learning styles
Not every student will learn the same thing in the same way. While some students may prefer learning in a classroom, there could be others who are more comfortable with learning alone. Online learning lets you personalize this experience.
Disadvantages of online learning
Just as there are advantages to learning online, there are a few negatives that can’t be ignored. Some drawbacks or disadvantages of learning online are:
1). Inability to focus on screens
Online learning is significantly different than studying in schools. When students are studying online, they are more prone to other distractions such as social media and apps. Teachers have to be more interactive, and they should keep their content short and crisp to keep students engaged.
2). Technical Issues
Without a consistent internet connection, students and teachers won’t be able to conduct their sessions without errors. While internet issues are not a major worry in big cities, connectivity could be a problem in small cities and towns.
3). Sense of Isolation
Online lectures eliminate physical interactions between students, their friends, and teachers. It causes a sense of isolation and could lead to bigger problems of mental illnesses.
These are just some of the disadvantages of online learning.
Online teaching tips
Online learning is a new form of learning which means that teachers and students are still learning how to work with utmost efficiency. Here are our top 8 tips that we hope will enhance your online teaching experience:
1). Record your lectures
For your lectures to be accessible to all, record your lectures in advance and then send them to your students. This way, students who are unwell or have network connectivity issues can view it at a later, much more convenient time for them. You can use Google Meet to record your lectures.
2). Keep your videos short
Videos that are longer than 15-20 minutes will take a longer time to load if your students have network connectivity issues. If you have long lessons planned, then it may be best to record multiple videos.
3). Test your slides
Before sending out your lectures, make sure that your presentation is mobile-friendly. Sometimes when students view presentations on their smartphones, visibility issues may arise. Make sure your fonts are visible across all platforms. You can also add pictures to your presentation through your smartphone.
4). Use available resources
It is unreasonable to expect that teachers on their own can produce a semester’s worth of teaching material alone. Instead, make use of videos that are readily available online to help with explaining concepts and making your life easier.
5). Make sure that your videos have open access
If any of your suggested resources aren’t accessible to students, you’ll receive a thousand notifications asking for solutions. To avoid this unnecessary drama, make sure that the files you send are accessible to all.
6). Providing interactive activities
Just because you aren’t teaching in a classroom, that doesn’t mean you can’t interact and get your students to participate. Management systems such as Moodle, Blackboard, and Edmodo have a wide range of functions that let you build quizzes. Use these to make your lessons more interesting.
7). Setting reasonable expectations
When you create quizzes, make sure that they can be answered with the resources which have already been provided to them. Give your students short essays to write on a particular lecture to see how well they’re performing.
8). Don’t hide your feelings
As humans, you are bound to get overwhelmed. If this is your first time taking online lessons, then let your students know that you are learning too. Ask them for their support, ask them to remain patient, and ask for the positive feedback. These will help you grow.
Online learning is a new form of teaching and learning; therefore, it requires some trial and error. Plan your lessons according to what works for you, your students, and what doesn’t. Research on how to make online learning a better experience for you and your students.