Right now teachers across the world are making the switch from a traditional classroom to online teaching. We know this is a stressful time and we would like to provide a few quick tips on how to create an effective and flourishing virtual classroom.
- Make yourself known right away. Introduce yourself to the students if they are a new class of students. Describe what you will be teaching them and how you will be teaching them.
- Be simple. One of the struggles of an online classroom is that students aren’t physically together to try and tackle a confusing assignment together. Online classes tend to take a lot of self-direction, therefore it’s important for the assignments to be simple so that every student can understand and complete their work.
- Be available. Make sure your students can get ahold of you if they don’t understand something. Have “office hours” where you are available for calls or meetings. You should also make sure students know how to try and contact you outside of those work hours for any emergencies that may arise. If you are communicating with your students they will see that you value their engagement.
- Use online resources. Online material is available in troves. It’s important to help your students determine in their own life which sources are valid and trustworthy – and which are not.
- Establish a digital home base. To keep things simple, make sure you have a hub for your students. This can be a district-provided learning management system like Canvas or Google Classrooms, or it can be a self-created class website.
- Skip the lectures. Keep things interesting with adding in a video or telling them a story. Keeping students on their toes will keep students engaged and appreciative of their teacher’s efforts.
- Prioritize longer, student-driven assignments. Planning is going to take more time and require more attention to detail. To manage your time efficiently, you will want to prioritize these assignments.
- Individual touchpoints are a must! Your students will miss human connection that is cultivated in a traditional classroom setting. These are the little interaction you have in the hallways, before and after class, or during breaks. You can create these touchpoints through email, video messages, phone calls, comments on their work, etc.
- Be clear and concise with your assignments. Working online can be confusing at times, so make it easy for them to know what they have to do each week, when the work is due, and how much it counts toward their final grade.
For extra help with online teaching try checking out these online professional development courses from CE Credits Online.
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