Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in online learning. The reason behind this is the greater flexibility and easy access it offers. It is because of this growth that teachers like you have new career advancement and streams of income. When you shift to online teaching, it will take some research, time, and practice to adjust. But, with a few changes, you will be able to become a master of online teaching in no time. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your online teaching courses:
- Plan the classes
In online courses, students are never physically present. In fact, they will be living in different time zones and will never be online at the same time. You cannot just wing your lecture. You need to plan. The needs of virtual students are different from their physical counterparts. You must have the syllabus and the resources clearly laid out before the class starts. This way, students can see if your class fits into their lives. Also, it helps avoid surprises.
- Master technology
In order to teach an online course, you will need to have some technical aptitude. You won’t have access to tech support all the time. And the best part of it is that you don’t really need it. If you invest in the right technology, you will be able to conduct your online classes without any hiccups. It would help if you had a computer, an online platform, and a strong internet connection. There are many learning management systems out there. Do your research, and then play around with the system.
- Set up a work environment
Remote working is a challenge. If you don’t have the right environment or self-discipline, a work-from-home job can be a nightmare. But, you can avoid this with little planning. The first step is setting up your workspace. You should use this space only for work purposes. Make sure that this space is inviting and friendly but also encourages productive behavior. Remove all the distractions from your work environments like television, household chores, or other family members. An ergonomic chair and natural lighting will be the perfect addition to your ideal setting.
- Conduct discussions
Online classrooms are different from traditional classrooms. They can feel cold and mechanical. It is essential to initiate and encourage discussions among the students. Encourage participation, just like you would do in a regular class. There are different ways of encouraging students’ involvement, including talks, assigning reading materials, monitoring progress, etc. By involving your students, you are helping students understand the material in a way they will not be able to do on their own. It will lead them to get the most out of your class.
- Communicate regularly
In an online classroom, communication is of paramount importance. You can start by introducing yourself and giving your students a chance to introduce themselves. This brings some warmth and humanity into the classroom. Make sure that your students know how to contact you. Since students don’t have you physically present in front of them, they might get nervous. You can ease them by providing a lot of feedback and instructions and answering their questions timely.
Since online teaching courses are relatively new, there is no one set way to do it that satisfies everyone’s needs. However, with some research and preparation, you can put yourself at the forefront of this online educational movement.