The global online education sector is estimated to be valued $325 billion by 2025. As progressive it is getting, in the end you are teaching humans. They are students from all walks of life. To keep them focused is also a priority for online teachers.
Engaging students in the online learning platform is one of the secrets to guaranteeing that they succeed successfully. Also, to get the best out of what they're doing. And among the most successful strategies to make students more interested in what they're learning and make it immersive.
With collaborative learning methodology, students get actively engaged and play an active part in the learning process.
The following are easy approaches to involve your students by making your online education experience more engaging.
1. Lectures. Not sermons.
You would want students to be personally interested in the process of learning. And although your classes have been great, they don't magically morph well into the virtual mode.
Several online students would be able to stay focused on an entire 50 - 70 minutes of regular class lectures. Take a short break every 10-15 minutes. Ask questions from the students. Or request for reviews. Use other methods to split up time during the lecture.
You also might want to consider delivering brief illustrated videos from YouTube or curriculum content providers to illustrate the main points.
You might also want to include a one-page analysis of the main points in your lectures. You can share that on your LMS. If you teach using the board frequently in your regular class, students would then find such descriptions extremely helpful.
You might as well record and upload your lectures for long term student reference. However, confirm your institution's privacy controls for Zoom classes recording before you plan on uploading them.
2. Involve your students more.
Design the curriculum at least once in every two weeks to include student presentations. This implies that your course fixates on student participation instead of just speeches. Give your students a situation and ask them to cooperate together in a Skype session, a Zoom class, Google classroom, or a similar space. Then have your students report back to the classroom with their strategies.
Put up questions and give them five to ten minutes to give responses. Or you could just call students at random. This helps ensure that they take part and pay attention instead of doing something else online.
Let the student pick the learning method they like.
Offer the student the option of where, to begin with, a variety of topics and categories. They will immediately pick up the appropriate material and get interested in the curriculum. They can all be directed along with the training course with guidelines or maybe some mandatory units if required.
But allowing them to decide the order wherein they understand subject matters encourages and engages the student. You can also assign your students to explain a topic or a subtopic on a weekly basis. This way, your students would be excited to prepare a lesson and would be able to understand it better.
3. Motivate students to self-assess themselves.
Provide a 10-pronged questionnaire for each week's activity. Many LMSs have an integrated quiz feature that you can use. Let students realize that their test results do not contribute to final grades.
In fact, give responses that clarify the correct response and relate each query to the reading content. This way, students can study the information they've gotten wrong and appreciate why they haven't answered the query correctly.
Include a quiz every week, but still, involve questions related to the content covered in previous weeks. There is a lot of information that implies that this method enhances student knowledge retention and learning process.
4. Be Creative. Improvise
Your students may be aware of online games; you might as well use it for your own advantage. Set up an online game for your students and ask questions about the topic in your course. Play with them throughout class or for 10 to 15 minutes during your work hours.
Give the top three contenders extra credit in your class. You might end up having some student start their own online game for the subject to be addressed in class. Always be ready to improvise. As any great teacher would do, be open to suggestions, and receptive to what's going on and, if necessary, change course. You’re supposed to have a strategy.
If something feels like it doesn't work or you're losing support, try other methods and tools. You could also try asking more questions or conducting some engaging non-teaching sessions.
5. Adopting interactive resources.
Allow your students to collaborate and work together as teams to address their problems. Educational institutions are often unwilling to have students work together because one student embodies the team's responsibility. Especially if you set up a team project on your online classroom time, you can assess how teamwork functions.
Whether you're using resources like google classrooms or Zoom calls, you can consult these teams and inspect how collaborative work is advancing. You could also provide the team with opinions and thoughts. If students create materials together, you might as well ask them to use Google Docs and share the file.
This way, you will track the performance of their joint effort to ensure that everyone has participated. Think of unique teaching methods. In an unconventional classroom setting, teaching takes place before class through external resources, and "conducting" takes place in class.
Think of how you should be involved in class and invest more time performing, responding, and communicating with one another. You may rely on external tools, such as videos or documents. This would help complement the more organized coaching or teaching that might be performed in a typical classroom environment.
6. Plan and pan out the work schedules.
Online work hours can be of considerable value to academic staff and students equally. Students can be hesitant to address doubts during classroom time and in a small class.
Although there's a lot more, you can do work hours. You can evaluate the tests, respond to questions, and motivate your students to discover relevant topics. Zoom will be a perfect way to contact the teacher as a group or as a one-on-one lesson. Schedule the meeting schedules so that students can sign in individually or in groups.
7. Deliver content that is applicable to the pandemic.
Nearly in any online course, there is a possibility to link information to the pandemic. Very often, the students ask why and what they're studying. In a degree program, educators can analyze the psychological effects of seclusion and shelter at home. And also how people will respond when they can take public transport again and get back to work.
There is plenty to explore in political theory and how governments and policymakers have responded to the crisis. Also, there is a lot of conversation about how economic analysis has affected our comprehension of the advancement of COVID-19. Discussing pandemics and diseases in all research classes would be a prerequisite.
8. Prior information on the lesson plan.
Before you commence with something else, update the lesson plan to the learning management system ( LMS). You must do it immediately if you did not do so at the beginning of the program. Whether you're using a whiteboard, Canvas, or some other LMS, uploading your curriculum, coursework, and even updates are convenient to do and an excellent way to connect with students.
You can publish text or video-based updates. Video-based notifications are a good way for students to see you and understand better. Video clips can be directly integrated on your LMS or handset, and then uploaded. You could get assistance with this through the Instructional Design team at the institution or the tech support.
9. Compose a follow-up statement
It’s quite easy to inundate details to discourage us from obtaining valuable information, so be sure to follow up with an email that provides valuable details in a straightforward and understandable manner. These include:
- A brief explanation of what happened in the classroom
- A link to the lecture, in case a student wants to re-watch the lesson (if it has been documented )
- Any references to topics that have been discussed in class with a comment to dissect what they actually are and how they are relevant — these might be websites that you've visited during the lecture, video content that you've seen, or things that people shared in the group, etc.
- Very simple and direct ideas about what students should achieve before the next time you conduct the class, the project objectives, and where and how to send their assignments.
It has now become all the more important to understand the importance and relevance of online teaching. Keeping students engaged during online classes is just as simple as involving students in a regular brick-and-mortar class. It all begins with being social, respecting their views, including their methodologies and routine, all applied in the course.
Remember, it would be best if you and your students come halfway. This would make the students participate more in your lesson plans, consequently leading to an effective and streamlined curriculum. Experimentation and evaluation of your teaching methods would make your students take an interest in their course.
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