Making online classes work

In the amidst of the pandemic, colleges and universities around the world are shutting down and asking instructors to move their classes online. For those of use who teach, the question is … how? What should we be doing to make this as effective as possible for our students?

As India’s one of leadings School ERP’s, we’ve done a lot of thinking about this.

So, here we are offering some useful guidelines :

How can you make online classes work?

This is an immediate concern. Well, what exactly do you do? Well, this is tough, since we hardly had time to prepare for this transition. But here are some options:

  • Just give a reading assignment : Tell the students which parts of the textbook they should read and give them some homework. This is the default option, and we can all agree it’s not ideal.
  • Upload your PowerPoint slides online: Hopefully your class is more than just PowerPoint slides, but if that’s how you were teaching, your solution is simple.
  • Share interesting YouTube videos related to the class: This is still essentially the same as the previous two ideas, but in video form, the class gets more engaged and increases the attention span of a child.
  • Interact with students: By sharing your personal feedbacks on a document as it is drafted online, dropping into a chat room or simply acknowledging students in live sessions. Be their “the guide on the side.” Let them know that not only are they looking at you, you are looking, holding them tight. Even, if they slip, they are aware that you are right there! Your re assurance matters a lot to them!
  • Highlight students’ individual experiences : Unlike a physical classroom, students online are in different places, living different lives. Encourage them to share those distinct experiences

Embracing the digital revolution and making a leap into online classroom sessions can be nerve-wracking. Making online classes interesting is even harder. There’s an awful lot to learn and many obstacles to overcome this school year.

But, whilst online classrooms are limited in some ways, they also open a virtual doorway to new learning experiences. Learning experiences that are more accessible, more interactive and — dare we say it — more engaging than ever before. All it takes is a digital mindset, the right tools and a focused approach.

As ever, the secret sauce is engagement. If you can’t capture your online learners’ attention, then you won’t be able to deliver an effective learning experience. But if you follow our thirteen top tips, then you should be well placed to capture your students’ attention, drive motivation and encourage participation. It will be challenging, but hey, you have all the tools you need.

Good luck and happy learning.

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