Distance learning has become the norm as students don’t have the luxury of time to attend tuition classes in different locations. Online tuition and private tuition have made life easy for most students these days. Home tuition these days has become less of a possibility due to the pandemic. So as long as social distancing needs to be maintained, online learning seems to be the way to go.
So, here are 7 tips to spice up distance learning and keep it engaging!
Teachers need to pick an appropriate online platform to use. Many teachers make the mistake of using platforms that are difficult to navigate. Or they simply do not have enough tools as other online platforms. Others may make the mistake of using platforms that may not be accessible to everyone. For example, Microsoft teams is only accessible for those with Microsoft accounts.
Thus, teachers should research well-known and established online platforms so that it’s not an inconvenience. After picking the appropriate online platform, teachers should also be familiar with the platform that they use. Many teachers miss out on being able to use the various tools to improve their lessons as they are unaware of many. Researching what’s available on the online platform is important.
Teachers need to have the necessary equipment to give a better experience for their students. Teachers need to ensure that they have a working webcam so that they can produce quality videos. This is necessary for students to be able to see what is going on without much struggle.
A high-quality microphone is also necessary so that students can understand their teacher clearly. A stable internet connection is also essential so that the lessons continue without lag or connection issues.
If the teacher is conducting the lesson from the setting of their home, it is necessary for them to consider setting up their background. Students generally have a short attention span which makes it very important for teachers to consider their home setting.
Having a messy table with pictures and paintings in the background will almost ensure that the students will pay more attention to the background than the lesson. Thus, the best option is for teachers to have a monochromatic background that is not bright with no objects that can distract the students.
Teachers must be understanding of their students. Some students may not be able to take part in online classes either due to connection issues, or any other such valid reasons. Thus, teachers need to ensure that these students also have an option to be able to learn and not fall behind compared to their peers. Teachers can thus consider either recording lessons or release their annotated slides.
IT’S NOT THE SAME
Many teachers treat their online lessons as if they were live lessons. Although this is a good mentality to have teachers also need to understand that online lessons are different. Being at the comfort of their homes with their gadgets within reach, students generally have a much lower attention span during online lessons.
Thus, teachers can help to make lessons more interesting and effective by making them shorter and more compact. Or they could allow students to have small breaks between their lessons. This work-rest cycle can help students keep their mind fresh and active without becoming too bored.
Many students find it difficult to arrange a consultation and remedial sessions for online lessons. Probably because they are too afraid to ask or that it is too hard to arrange online.
Thus, teachers need to make it clear to students what their office hours are. Students need to know when tutors are free to conduct remedial or consultation sessions outside of usual lesson time. Not every student is comfortable with asking questions during lessons; hence this is necessary.
Teachers can also arrange small sessions after their lessons to help students who got lost during the lesson. This will ensure students leave the lesson understanding what they have been taught.
No one is perfect. No matter how much effort a teacher puts in and no matter how well-thought-out their lessons were, there will always be flaws. Sometimes these flaws are easier to spot for students than teachers themselves.
Thus, it is important for teachers to regularly ask for feedback. These can be done after every lesson, or a feedback form could be sent to students to fill in their own time. Regardless of the method, teachers will be able to improve in their teaching methods and style based on their students’ feedback.
ALL IN ALL, although traditional classroom-style learning has its own benefits, online learning is the new norm now and its best for tutors to adapt and adjust to the changes. With a little effort, it’s possible to craft an effective distance-learning session!