With the disruption of social gatherings that is brought by Covid-19, there is an even increased discussion about plans regarding the continued use of online learning for most educational institutions. While this idea is receiving more acceptance now than it did at the start of the pandemic there are many strategies emerging in the light of it, that focus upon institution based strategies and techniques. However, in this article we want to provide some guidance specifically targeted upon individual tutors taking or looking to take online classes.
Starting from the Basics
Student Needs: Students of any level will be requiring course and text material. They also need a portal via which they submit their assigned tasks and receive the teacher’s feedback on what they have done. There should also be a place that allows them to ask questions and the knowledge of when and how the teacher will be responding to them.
The Teacher’s Needs: The instructor will need to deliver the study material to their pupils and should have a stable way to communicate with them. There are various types of communication necessary in this situation. Students must have complete information about what work they have to do, how the teacher wants them to attempt it, the process of submission and being able to get full feedback once their assignments and projects are submitted.
How to meet these needs?
All of these requirements can be pretty efficiently handled by most schools and universities who have a learning management system at their disposal. Furthermore, the skills that the instructors are developing through these circumstances will benefit them greatly once the traditional education system resumes. Teachers will become more adept at using electronic devices in class and can continue to use more speedy and interactive methods for hands-on learning.
The first impulse and worry of any teacher proceeding to take online classes is thinking about how to deliver their lectures. There are various methods you can use which include recording the lectures, creating PowerPoint presentations and slides, or having live online sessions. It is not very difficult to make a video or a narrated slideshow with the technology we all possess now and once you become familiar with the process. It might be confusing for some instructors at first but with the rapidly changing world order today we need to swiftly adapt to countless new things that we have never done before in our lives.
Planning Strategies to Implement
Here are some tips for the online lesson planning which you can easily execute:
- A course site can be created in the LMS of the institute you are affiliated to.
- Upload any future assignments into a separate assignment section.
- Make sure that students have clear instructions about the projects, how they need to be done, and any handouts and references that are associated with the work.
- Upload all the reading material that students need to access files.
- Create a forum or discussion platform where any student can ask questions and remember to check it periodically. You can even set a reminder for yourself to keep from forgetting.
- Make a class communication strategy that all students are aware of and know what you expect of them and how their needs will be met.
- You can ensure regular communication with the class by sending out weekly updates and reviews.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Lessons
The disturbances of the current scenario are major enough to force the whole world into shutting down, so they can also impact the schedules and availability of the students you are teaching, especially on a college and university level. Think about whether it is really essential for the students to be present in live sessions at a specific hour for the lectures. Recorded lectures can be listened to by the pupils in their own time proving to be more convenient.
In turn, live sessions can be set up periodically through the week where students can join the teacher for virtual support and guidance and inquire about anything they find confusing in the lecture. This ensures the learners have access to all the necessary content and also the opportunity for getting additional support.
In a real-life class environment many students informally assist each other in learning which can prove to be very beneficial. In your batch, there can be a variety of slow learners, to ones who have average skills and then the ones who excel at everything and are incredible assignment writers. Ordinarily, if the students’ attitude allows, their classmates will turn to them for help in the subject they are good at. As a virtual teacher help your students to simulate a real class environment as much as possible to raise levels of productivity and lesson involvement.
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