We live in a disruptive digital world where trends change daily. Given the events of 2020 and the social distancing norms introduced by WHO, many K-12 and university institutions shifted to online learning.
Faculties and teachers around the world simply don’t want to risk the spread of COVID-19 in classroom environments, which naturally led them to online teaching.
According to a University of Potomac research, 77% of educators believe online learning is just as good as traditional, if not better. Nearly 70% of students agreed with their mentors, with 67% of teachers stating videos, blogs, and other online media are fundamental teaching tools in 2021.
While students can and should learn online, teachers shouldn’t leave things to chance and let them study without supervision.
There are subtle but effective ways in which teachers can integrate themselves into online learning and help them study more efficiently than they would alone.
Let’s discuss several research-backed tips for teachers to improve their online teaching presence without interfering with individual students’ learning habits in 2021.
Tips To Improve Your Online Teaching Presence
1. Motivate your Students through Feedback and Mentorship
Students need some wind at their backs to accomplish academic assignments, essays, and other projects. It is the role of the teacher to motivate their classroom to work hard even though online learning measures are in place.
According to Research.com, a 15-25% enrollment drop is expected by the end of 2021 as a result of the global pandemic. This means that those students who first enroll in K-12 and college courses this year may not have the privilege of attending any traditional classrooms.
Furthermore, this opens the door for students to drop out or have poor performance as a result of not feeling they belong in a school.
Giving each student objective feedback is extremely valuable for their perception of your role as a teacher. Make it clear that the feedback you are giving will not reflect on their grades and assume a mentorship position. Help your students learn instead of simply ticking off academic boxes as outlined by the faculty.
2. Use Video Conferencing Tools to Be More Present with your Students
While you can delegate assignments and homework without engaging your students beyond that, why not go a step further?
Thanks to the web, you can guide your students along their studying path via dedicated video conferencing tools.
There are a variety of useful, reliable video conferencing tools out there, and some of them are already in use by schools worldwide. Here are some of the most prolific ones for you to consider:
- Google Hangouts
- Dialpad Meetings
Each of these tools has something unique to offer to teachers. You can schedule video lessons, go over assignments and homework as a group, or let students present their projects.
Faculty members can also benefit from using these platforms during social distancing to better coordinate their lectures and organize exam periods.
You can make it clear to students to use Top Essay Writing whenever they feel overwhelmed with the number of essays or assignments to write. Similarly, students should be encouraged to use video platforms amongst each other to do homework or form study groups.
3. Enable Students to Work Together via Online Collaboration Tools
Speaking of collaboration, it is an element that is sorely missing from online learning. As a teacher, you can start using a project management platform, which your classroom can then migrate to.
Project management platforms are designed to make group projects and collaboration smoother and more streamlined. The best platforms to consider are:
- Microsoft 365
Again, the choice of a project management platform for your classroom should be determined by the type of work you do with your students. Some lean toward file sharing and presentations, while others enable video chatting and project organization.
4. Help Each Student Organize Their Study Time through Coaching
Students who learn from home will inevitably find themselves with a lot of free time. This time can be used to organize personalized coaching sessions with each student in your group.
Coaching is a process of facilitating personal development through careful guidance and mentorship.
Each student can say what their likes and dislikes are with studying and your curriculum, and you can use that knowledge to shape your lessons.
You can also set personal goals with each student to help them achieve their academic potential outside the regular curriculum. This would be nigh impossible in traditional education, and online teachers should use the opportunity to coach their students.
5. Enquire About What the Students Would Like to Learn Online
Everyone in the world is facing the weight of COVID-19 measures, teachers and students alike. According to ESL Authority, 41% of US teachers feel out of their depth with educational online tech, making it difficult for them to teach online.
Asking your student group to politely explain to you how certain online platforms work and how you can use them for their benefit isn’t wrong.
Moreover, students will feel humbled that you’d ask them for an opinion, and you’ll grow in their eyes as a result. You can also ask students which subjects and lessons they’d like to learn about next to customize the curriculum a little.
Teaching students to use online tools to improve their essay writing and written papers is another great addition.
Students can use Lets Grade It to check their papers for plagiarism before handing them in for grading. There are plenty of ways for you to collaborate on learning about online platforms alongside your students, and this is only one of them.
6. Build Relations with your Students Beyond the Curriculum
Since you have a lot of free time to spare outside the regular online curriculum, you can improve your online teaching by changing topics sometimes. Ask your students about what their goals in life are, what they like to do, and who their idols are.
You can build strong relationships with your students through small talk during an online lunch break or a coffee-time group chat.
Keep things noncommittal and make sure that everyone is aware that they are in a safe space while talking to you. After all, you will be back to teaching them again tomorrow or the day after.
7. Engage Students by Asking them for Thoughts and Feedback on Your Teaching
Lastly, a great way to grow as an online teacher is to simply ask – what am I doing wrong, and what am I doing right?
It will take students a few tries to get there, but many will gladly tell you what’s good and bad about your teaching methodology.
Don’t take their comments to heart and stay objective about their feedback – some may be giving feedback for the first time in their lives.
Write a list of comments and advice you got from students and see if you can implement any of it into your future online teaching.
If you apply their criticism, they’ll see that you genuinely care about their feelings and experience in online learning.
Online Teaching Mistakes to Avoid with your Students
While there are ways for you to enable your students to study more effectively and become more academically accomplished, there are downsides to online teaching.
As mentioned before, many students are prone to feel lonely, depressed, or experience imposter syndrome as a result of not interacting with classmates physically.
Here are some things which you should avoid doing to help your students overcome anxiety and embrace online learning:
1. Mix up your lesson types
You can do a lot when it comes to online lesson types. Sticking to traditional presentations and plain text is a disservice to the medium. Instead, find videos, blog posts, podcasts, and other types of media to share with students.
2. Let students speak up
It’s easy to get carried away by something you are passionate about, be it math, history, or the English language. Teaching in an online environment puts you in a unique position where you can allow students to present things interactively.
Make your classroom an interactive experience rather than focusing your efforts on monologue.
3. Meet students on their turfs
Once you hand out homework and assignments to your students, they’ll likely have questions for you later on.
Share your social media handles with your students and let them know they can reach out to you. Don’t worry – few students will take you up on that offer, but you will still be seen as a modern and trendy teacher.
4. Embracing the Online Learning Norm (Conclusion)
Whether you teach preschoolers, teens, or college students, signs indicate that online learning is here to stay. It remains to be seen how formal education will adapt to the new norm however since traditional learning has been in effect for decades.
Today’s students are fully prepared to use the web to their advantage in learning, and teachers need to find ways to meet their learning standards.
There’s no doubt that public and private institutions will come to terms with online teaching, and education professionals like yourself will benefit from it over time. As you learn how to teach online more efficiently, your skillset will expand and more students will look up to you with fondness.
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