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Become A Master Online Teacher

Here are some tips and tricks that can help teachers conduct online classes effortlessly and engage students better.

As schools remain shut for a prolonged period of time and the verdict for online classes continues, teachers must gear up for the new normal with LIVE, online learning. Online learning has seen exponential adoption amongst students during this pandemic and schools as well as institutes have switched to an online mode to ensure that India’s learning never stops. While this continues to benefit students, switching from offline to online platforms has been a challenge for many teachers as they are not used to conducting classes in the virtual world. 

Here are some tips and tricks that can help teachers conduct online classes effortlessly and engage students better:

1. Supplementary content – The current online platforms used by schools are not conducive for teaching and content is also seen as a challenge as in online one does not ‘write and teach’. Subjects are taught on slides and therefore a teacher needs a lot of supplementary material. One can create a slide before a class begins using material from sources like NCERT on PowerPoint or googles slides, so that the dependency on writing everything, reduces. Teachers can also use Viacom as a writing pad to write on a ppt. In case one is not adept at creating an online presentation, all you need is a whiteboard and a marker to write the key points and do a virtual session. Therefore it can be a combination of technology and the tools available offline. 

2. Keep the video on - Studies have shown that students are more attentive and engaged on an online platform when the teacher keeps the video on. Even if the teacher is using slides for teaching it is recommended to show one’s face in between slides. 

3. Fixed schedule - It is seen that while learning online, students tend to be less serious about the sessions. It is always advised to fix a schedule for the sessions in advance to create a sense of seriousness as well as routine life. 

4. Increase student participation - The session should include activities for students to participate making the session a two-way communication. Student participation will increase attentiveness and engagement overall. Teachers can include activities like polls and quizzes to keep their minds working. 

5. Test your slides - Many students might be attending the online session from their mobile phones making it mandatory for the slides to be displayed efficiently on a small screen. A teacher should make sure that the slides created by them are well-displayed in smaller screens without being cropped. 

6. Use accessible content - The content used by the teachers should be easily accessible for students. For this, one can either use a pre-developed content or share the source with the students. The accessible content will help kids learn better and remember it for a longer duration as they can revise it later. 

7. Provide and receive timely feedback - It is very important to provide feedback to students to help them improve and keep engaged during the course. Hence, feedback regular intervals will be beneficial for students, take timely actions and help them to focus on the course better. Giving feedback is as important as receiving it. Timely feedback from students will in turn help teachers to understand need gaps in their teaching process and make necessary changes to improve at every step. This approach will create a two-way feedback process. 

8. Addressing the issue of connectivity - Many students may not have a stable internet connection. It becomes very important for teachers to help out those students and compensate for the sessions missed by finding a reasonable solution for the same. 

9. Community building - Building rapport in an online class is considerably harder than in a face-to-face environment. While video conversations are effective and human, they simply don’t equal to being in the same room. For this reason, it’s important to build a sense of community among the students, so they feel part of a group and want to continue learning together. 

10. Have a back-up plan - There might be situations where there will be technical/connectivity issues where the links or videos might not work properly. It is better to have a back-up plan for all assessments and assignments which is based online. It’s better to be transparent with students about technology failure. 

As teachers across the world successfully shift gears to virtual, it is important to realise that it takes practice and patience to better the art of online teaching. Through these tips, teachers will be able to engage with multiple students in an online class and both students and teachers can look forward to more interactive sessions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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