7 Effective Tips On How To Prepare For Teaching Online
As we move forward with all the events going on and new barriers popping up, it is important that we find ways to adapt. Every profession that is still in active operation has had to find ways around this so-called "new normal". But there's one profession that, by far, has the highest responsibility in adequately preparing: teachers. Teaching requires grabbing the attention of an individual or a group of individuals. With our current situation, most teachers have to do this online. That, in and of itself, may seem like a daunting task, especially for teachers that have been teaching face to face for years. If you're in the position to have to teach online, and you're relatively new to the concept, here are 7 effective tips on how to prepare.
1. Plot the Course
Because of the nature of the internet, one has to clearly plot out and consistently refer to the syllabus. This may be done in a multitude of ways. You can email it to your students so you can have a physical chart that they can see. All of this requires that you formulate the right course. When it comes to course authoring using high-performance software is a must. Creating and distributing this online course will be the most crucial determinant to whether or not the knowledge transfers over to your student. The responsibility, after all, is on you to do that. With the right software, you can make this not only educational but incredibly entertaining if you're so inclined.
2. Keep It Simple
The more a student has to do in order to access the information they need, the less likely they are to do it. If you decide to go the route of complex and complicated hoops, the entire point will quite possibly be missed. Because of this, it is always best to deliver the information directly. That's what the student needs to know. Be as engaging as you need to be with anecdotes and teaching tools, but in terms of things to refer back to, keep it as clear cut as possible. The nature of the internet is much like a squirrel. It's either concise or interesting. Brevity is honored.
3.When to Add Time Constraints
Because the internet is the centralized source of all the world's knowledge, it might be easier for students to cheat. This is true, but the mode of teaching is shifting away from the standardized exam format. Because of this, the importance is placed more on a student understanding a concept. If one is going to test the students, the primary tool one has is the time constraint. Force them to answer quickly, much like in a classroom setting.
4. Setting Deadlines
The deadline is arguably more important than the time-constrained test in this online format. When you set a deadline, do not deviate from it. Set up penalties for late work. The student is going to go on and on about having a weak connection and unstable internet. Sure, it's highly unlikely, seeing as they're been fine up until that point, but hear them out. But no matter what you do, this is your point of authority. Keep the deadline strict.
5. Active Communication
The best part about online classes is that you get to actively engage with your students in a way that is focused, albeit distant. It is a space that most millennials and Gen Z students feel most comfortable in. To be able to actively communicate through the internet, you might make breakthroughs that the "pressure" of face to face teaching.
6. One-on-one Options
As much as the online model is booming, be open to one-on-one options. This might not mean an actual face to face interaction, seeing as that is becoming increasingly difficult, but give the option for personal tutoring and teaching. Since all of the paperwork and grade calculations can be automated, this frees up time for allocating additional attention.
7. Be Open to Criticism
We're not perfect. This is a new mode of teaching that has yet to be fully standardized. It's rapidly becoming the gold standard, but still has some kinks to work out. With that said, being open to constructive criticism is crucial for improving and building on a new platform. Over time, it will work itself out, and being open to improvement allows you to get ahead of the curve.
Transitioning to online instruction may be difficult for some. There's a whole different strategy afoot when it comes to the online model. But over time, and with enough experience, like anything, methods will improve and classes will grow.