Online teaching is the need of the hour. With more and more teachers and students moving towards e-learning platforms, it has become important for the teachers/instructors to use effective online teaching techniques. As true for any field, techniques are developed based on the desired outcomes. For any online teaching class the desired outcomes could be:
â€¢ Improved attendance of the students in the virtual classroom
â€¢ Active participation of the learners in the learning process
â€¢ Increased learning outcomes of the learners
â€¢ Recommendation to other learners
On the basic outline of what is expected from any online learning class; the instructor can develop an effective online teaching techniques based on the available resources and need of the learners.
1. Digital Knowledge of E-learning platform
: The instructor should be well equipped with digital knowledge to deliver the online class on any specific e-learning website
or portal. The e-learning websites and portal have many important features, such as sharing of presentation/video/audio clip on screen with the student, tabs on assignments, quick assessment, submission of work done by the students, etc. An instructor can utilize these features by knowing their functioning and usage.
2. Clear Instruction, Better Understanding: For a smooth online learning class the instructor should convey a set of instructions on the topic to be taught and material required before the beginning of the class, well in advance. This will make the students more equipped and better at learning. When the class begins, the instructor should give an overview of the topic and repeat the instructions again. In a physical classroom, it is observed that students follow the instruction as well as take cues from their peers. Even if a student misses instruction, he/she by observing the activity of others in the classroom are able to connect the missing link. This is not feasible in a virtual classroom. Therefore, the instructions should be very clear and repeated twice at the beginning of the class.
3. Share study material/links/slides with students: It is always beneficial for the students if they have access to resource material, referral e-learning websites, links of downloadable slides/material. The teacher can share the links during the lecture as well as at the end of it. The teacher should include a variety of multimedia resources. The study material which includes readable text, images, videos, audio files is rich sources for the students. Different students have different aptitudes, some are comfortable with the content reading, and some need visual support. When a teacher provides study material rich in text, infographics, videos, and audio-clips then all a wide range of students gain the benefit.
4. Build your lecture smartly: It is important to keep the average attention span of any student while delivering the lecture. Long and heavy lectures can become monotonous for the students. The instructors, therefore, divide the content of the lecture in smaller portions. Each portion covers one specific sub-topic. To break the lecture in small portions the teacher uses the concept mapping technique. This is an innovative method of teaching, in which the teacher through a flow-chart/ info-graphic/ diagrams present the highlights of the topics. The systematic breaking of the lecture makes the learning process easier for the students.
5. Include interactive tools: The gap of physical presence in digital classrooms can lead to a lack of engagement of the students. The teacher can bridge the lack of physical presence by introducing games and other interactive tools to the students. This includes online games/assignments, based on visual and audio artificial intelligence systems to promote an inclusive learning environment.
6. Make learning collaborative: One-sided feeding of information can make the learning process dull and unfruitful. The digital space provides ample opportunities for the instructor to engage learners in making learning collaborative. The teacher/instructor can assign a task to a small group of students to check their reasoning/literary/or creative skills. Each group works in collaboration and presents the task/project in front of other groups.
7. Assessments: The quicker the assessments, the better it is for the students and the teachers. The digital platform gives liberty to the instructor to design online assessments to evaluate the learning abilities of the students. Going beyond the traditional question answers format teacher can involve the students through â€˜fastest â€“finger first quizzesâ€™, online discussions/presentations/ papers/podcasts, etc. The online assessment can be done through an education app. There is an online education app that provides monthly scholarships to the students based on their performance in assessment.
8. Take feedbacks: For any teacher on an online teaching platform having frequent and honest feedback is important for growth and improvement. At the end of all the lectures, having quick feedback on the class can help the teacher in making qualitative and quantitative measures. The questionnaire of the â€˜feedback formâ€™ should be short and clear.
9. Promote Referral System: All the teachers aspire to grow their studentsâ€™ base. Thus, discounts on referral help in the promotion of the classes. There are technical support mechanisms available that can trace the referrals.
10. Content is King: Any online learning class thrives on the content provided. No matter how attractive the inforgraphics/videos/ or images are, it is the content delivered during the class that makes or breaks any technique. A well researched and thoroughly build content is the ultimate technique.
Online teaching is gaining great momentum; unquestionably this is the future of education. The simple yet effective techniques make it easier for the instructor to impart education and simpler for the students to grasp.