As more classes in every education level move online due to the pandemic, teachers must quickly adapt their methodologies to a technology-based platform. Some may have previous online teaching experience while others have little to none. The following 10 tips can help to prepare you for teaching online.
Adjust the Lessons
Whatever your discipline, certain lessons more than others may need to be adapted to better fit an online learning environment. For example, a speech class that typically requires students to make speeches to the group might need to be video-recorded and presented online to the group. Art classes along with others may benefit from Zoom-style technology to include synchronous instruction. Plan early to decide which classes may need to be revised to fit with existing technological content delivery.
Evaluate the Technology
Check with your school or institution to find out what type of technology you will be using as well as the type of IT services that are available. Find out the hours of operation for IT, so you can contact them if needed.
Check the technology systems in advance
Try the programs before the first class to ensure you can operate them correctly and that everything is working as it should.
Prepare a Clear Class Syllabus
The course syllabus may need to be tweaked to reflect the technological apps that will be used. Explain to students what they need to do, and how, as well as what to do if they encounter difficulties.
Include Interactive Activities
To keep students engaged in the class, provide ways for them to exchange ideas or participate in online discussions with their peers. This will foster a sense of camaraderie and group cohesion. Studies show that peer learning is very helpful in most disciplines.
Get Help if Needed
If you are not sure how to operate the online systems, or if a problem develops, get help from a colleague or the IT department. Experienced associates can provide examples of how to teach online through the training they have received.
Consider Open Source Resources
Textbooks, videos, lectures, and other teaching materials may be available in the open-source format at no cost or low cost. Check with your department head about options for using these resources that can save you and your students time and money.
Diversify Your Teaching Style
When teaching online, use a variety of media to hold students’ attention and provide alternate ways to access the material. Students learn in different ways, so offer options like hands-on activities, visual or aural materials, and student-to-instructor or student-to-student learning sessions.
Make It Fun
Add humor, games, or icebreakers to your lessons occasionally to make learning interesting and relevant to students. Include age-appropriate options like costume dressing for a history lesson or preparing recipes from a certain time period.
Communication is vital to online learning. Utilize facetime learning as well as occasional video conferencing with individual students, telephone chats, and email exchanges. Be available.