Do you want to become a more effective online teacher? Find out the 10 best online teaching practices!
This new era brought us technologies that make the once impossible to be possible. Distance education created opportunities for those who couldn’t go to school physically. At the time this article was written, the world is still suffering from a global pandemic. Physical distance is necessary to stop the spread of the virus. That is why online learning is now becoming the new normal.
Digital learning, for the most part, had been uncommon. It is very different from the traditional learning system that we are very familiar with. Since students need to adapt to this new learning system, so do teachers.
10 Best Online Teaching Practices
Being an effective teacher is important. That is because only an effective teacher can deliver every lesson efficiently. This is also the case with online learning. Though teaching online can be a challenge, it isn’t impossible to be effective in it. Here are 10 best online teaching practices to be an effective teacher online.
Best Online Teaching Practices #1 – Make Yourself Present
Being present in a traditional classroom is easy. You just show up and teach. However, that is not the case in online teaching. You may conduct online classes through some web conference software. But after that, what’s next? In this case, you have to utilize some communication mediums to make yourself known.
You can use emails, discussions boards, announcements, and forums. It is important that you also let your students know when you will be present. You can give them a clear schedule of when you are online. If it so happens you won’t be present at the time you gave, be sure to communicate that to your students.
Online Teaching Practices #2 – Set Your Expectations
Like the traditional class, it is vital to set very clear expectations. If there are no expectations set, your students will feel like your class is free-form. These expectations should state what you expect from your students.
What can you include in your class expectations? Here is an example. Whenever you give assessments, your students must submit them within 24 hours. Another one is your students must always check in with you from Monday to Friday until noon. You can also set how much they should take part in the course. And also, you can set how they should behave during the online class.
Apart from your students, you should also include what they can expect from you as their teacher. Will you be open to private discussions? Will you provide them online materials? If so, when will you send them? When will you give them feedback for their work?
Best Online Teaching Practice #3 – Engage Your Students With The Lesson
Online learning aims to keep your students engaged in the lesson. Thus, you have to provide opportunities for them to be engaged. How can you do that? The answer is by letting your student do the work. Why? It is because the more time students are engaged with the lesson, the more they will learn.
Thinking of what work you can give your students? Here are some ideas. Ask your students to look for related resources and discuss them in the forum. You can also have your students grade their assignments. Another idea is to pull out some of the activities usually done in traditional classes.
Online Teaching Practice #4 – Use Online Forums For Student Support
In online learning, the online world is your classroom. Thus, your students must feel they are supported even if you do not see each other physically. Students have different learning types. You have to ensure that your lessons can cater to all types so students can thrive.
Some students learn by engaging themselves in discussions. That is why nurturing an online forum will be helpful to them. Through online forums, the students can interact with one another. This is like an online version of what they do in a traditional class. Some students will not actively engage in the forum. But, they will surely watch what is going on and learn from there.
Best Online Teaching Practice #5 – Craft Clear Responses
When you convey a message in a traditional classroom, your mouth’s not the only one speaking. Your tone and body language can convey what you mean exactly. However, that is not the case in digital learning. In this scenario, your written words will do most of the talking.
You may have heard the words “Think Before You Click”, especially when using the internet. In teaching online, the important rule is to “Think Before You Write”.
When you write announcements, instructions, or responses, you have to be direct and clear with it as much as possible. You have to say what you mean. Because if not, what you wrote to your students can be misinterpreted. The best tone to use when writing is simple, clear, and polite.
#6 – Fish For Feedbacks
Never be content with what you have done so far in the class. Find ways to improve. And what better way to know where you can improve by asking what your students think.
Every week, or whenever you wish, ask your students for direct and honest feedback. The feedback must include every aspect of your class. Each student must comment about your teaching methods, the content you use, and even the mediums you use. And while you’re at it, you can also ask for suggestions. You will be surprised at what ideas younger minds have.
To execute this, here are some suggestions. First, you can just straight up ask them. Post something on your discussion board and ask them to comment down below. You can also try to message them one by one. If you can, you can also create an online form for a more comprehensive gathering of feedback.
#7 – Build Good Relationship With Each Student
Though distance education has a lot of benefits, it still has gaps. One of these gaps is the lonely and deserted feeling students began to develop. Luckily, this is a hole that an online teacher can fill.
There are many ways you can personally communicate with your students. You can write personal responses in your forum or discussion board. Crafting a personalized email is also a good method. At the beginning of the course, you can give out your work contact details (not your personal ones) and encourage them to talk to you.
Having a one-on-one communication with your students is as good as having a group communication. Don’t let your students feel alone. Make an effort to reach out to each of them.
#8 – Utilize Projects
What better way to encourage your students to learn more than by giving them projects. Though this is online learning, it is still possible to include group projects. Just make sure it is feasible to do especially since they are apart from each other. Also, keep a healthy balance on these projects. You do not want to overload your students.
Projects can have a bit of a challenge. But, make sure it is easy enough for them to pass. Giving projects should be a tool for students to enhance their learning abilities. This is also a perfect opportunity for you to teach them the importance of both group work and individual achievements.
#9 – Make Use of Already Available Resources
With online learning, your students are already using the internet. They need an internet connection to attend your class and access their learning materials. Since all of you had access to the internet, why not take your class up a notch.
The internet is filled with readily available resources. There are digital publications, news sites, online videos, and more. Your students can even access more up-to-date info than what your textbooks offer. Whether they are using a computer or just their phones, these resources are available for your students to learn.
#10 – End Your Class With An Activity
At the end of the class, you don’t want to just end it. You want to make sure that your students learned something. It won’t hurt to do a final recap or assessments. This will help your students remember what they had learned. Asking a few questions about the lesson is one way of recapping.
Plus, you should keep your students hooked and motivated for the next class. You can do this by telling them what you will discuss next. You can also give them an assignment that is related to the next lesson.
So now you know the best online teaching practices to become a better online teacher. Adding these techniques into your online teaching will yield great results for you and your students. Not only you will give your student a supportive space. But you will also make your work a lot easier.
While online learning is just building its way to the new normalization, it’s best to be open for more development. Learn more about the best online teaching practices. Or create your techniques on how you can make online learning more effective and efficient.