Online education has seen a steep rise in the past few years. Ever since the pandemic, however, online education has become a cold necessity. Students, teachers, and administrators must all find ways to adapt to these changes to carry on quickly. We have the technology and the experts, but online classes lack interaction and enthusiasm.
Make Your Online Classes More Engaging
From preschoolers to Ph.D. students, everyone is plunged into their “new classrooms” and is automatically expected to cope. Because it’s relatively easy to phase out from looking at the screen in front of you, keeping everyone interested and involved becomes a little tricky.
If you are a teacher or a professor struggling to keep your online classrooms afloat, we understand your plight. Following are some ways to help you get started in creating an exciting and insightful learning space now!
1. First Things First, Get That Technical Stuff Done.
Efficient online lectures call for a smooth internet connection, a functioning microphone, and an overall good work environment. Go through demos of the online platform you plan to conduct your classes on. Get that technical hat on firm and tight!
2. No Place for Ted Talks!
Whether online or offline, nobody likes hour-long lectures with the speaker performing a monologue. Make your class interactive by using PowerPoint or Canva presentations and attractive audio-visuals. Don’t just stick to the textbook content. Explore and find interesting ways to put your material out there. Are you a digital creative newbie? Just head on to sites like Spiel to get your creative needs met!
3. Celebrate the Little Things.
The world is a little gloomy ever since the pandemic hit. Add some celebration to your classroom to spread that little dose of joy. Celebrate public holidays by having creative dress codes, or come up with your own. Simple days like Pajama Mondays, Hat Thursdays, Floral Fridays will go a long way!
4. Encourage and Bond!
It might be tough to pay attention to every student when it comes to the online medium. But reach out as much as possible and keep their parents in the loop about their progress. Acknowledge the students for the work that they do, name and appreciate them. Use the classic star or reward method for younger kids!
5. Test for Learning, Scores Can Come and Go!
Psychology research suggests that testing can improve retention, even when the tests are not corrected or scored. Conduct regular, easy tests after completing each unit. This simple action will help the students remain accountable as well as in improving their motivation and confidence.
6. New Virtual Field Trips, Same Old Fun!
Various museums and theatres offer virtual experiences and tours. Go in a group or ask your students to visit such virtual spaces. Keep a separate session at the end of every week where everyone shares their thoughts and experiences.
7. Only Pandemic-Friendly Assignments, Please!
The changes brought about by the past year resulted stressful for everyone. Students have their share of the burden too. Be conscious of this and give simple assignments that stimulate learning and interest. Get students to provide regular anonymous feedback by setting up an online mailbox!
8. Listen Carefully, Empathetically, and Openly.
Make the classroom an open and friendly space where everyone can share thoughts. Be honest and genuine about your experiences with the online medium and encourage students to do the same.
The pandemic has made our unpredictable lives all the more uncertain. Right now, all we know is that online classes are going to be around for a while. That means, like Socrates, we might as well stop fighting the change and find ways to befriend it. Explore and get creative, and don’t be afraid to experiment!