As a result of the prevalence of coronavirus these days, online teaching is becoming the trend. Many teachers have resorted to electronic platforms to present their lessons in a virtual environment to virtual students. There is no doubt that it is good for students to continue their studies, but this work requires double effort from teachers because an online teacher needs to connect with the students, get them engaged and deliver content with clarity.
To help you succeed in online teaching and implement effective teaching online, I’ve put three main tips that you should start following right now.
Planning means you should take a lot of forethoughts. You have to understand what you are teaching and prepare the steps your students should follow to reach the learning objectives. You should also let them know what these objectives are. Although planning is a pretty simple idea, it is fairly difficult to execute perfectly.
Here are the steps you need to take if you would like to implement sacksful planning for online teaching:
- First figure out exactly at the end of the unit, what you are hoping your students will be able to do. These are the unit objectives that you should put with care because everything you do during the unit should work toward these objectives. When you put these objectives, focus on what the students will be able to do by the end of the unit rather than the content you want to cover. Your ultimate goal is to lead your students to success, not get to a specific point in your curriculum.
- Design assessment tasks in line with the objectives you put. If your objectives are an expression of what your students should be able to do by the end of your unit, then the assessment tasks should check whether your students are able to do these things or not. If you say your students will be able to do A, B, and C by the end of your unit, you should assess whether they can do them at the end of the unit.
- Now that you have put objectives and designed assessment tasks, you need to figure out what skills they need to improve on. In other words, what they need to practice. That is what steps they need to take afterward to make sure they fulfill your objectives. I call these steps as the “Follow-up activities” that students should do successfully so that you can feel comfortable that they have achieved the desired learning objectives of the unit.
- After you have taken your students through the unit and graded the assessment assignments, it is time to reflect on your teaching. Were you able to lead the students to achieve the mentioned objective? Did enough students succeed that you can move forward without worrying about their progress? If students did not succeed, what kept them from succeeding? How can you do things differently the next time you implement your teaching to ensure that your students are more successful?
- Redesign your teaching so it more effectively helps students achieve your objectives. Include the knowledge, skills, and instructions that you think the students missed and needed to perform better.
One of the best ways to help students understand new knowledge or get a grasp of difficult skills is through modeling and scaffolding. It involves that you show your students how things are done. You may assume that students already know exactly what they need to do. More often, this is not true. Students always benefit from watching the teacher model skill or activity. They need first, to look to some examples of how to act, what to do, and how to succeed.
Here are some different ways you can use to model for your students:
Model desired personal characteristics:
Present yourself as a role model for optimal behavior during a lesson. At any given time in your online class, you are asking students to be punctual, responsible, creative, and respectful to others. Students are more likely to meet these expectations if they see you meeting them as well.
Model a task:
Let’s say you want to teach essay writing to your students. You can do one of two things. You could tell the students exactly what they should do to write a good essay and let them do it, or you could show them how to write a good one. Select a topic and follow the same steps you want your students to follow to write a good essay. This way, there will be no confusion about what you are expecting from them.
Model metacognitive thinking:
You may want your students to become better thinkers and arrive at conclusions more efficiently and effectively. You can achieve that if you show them how your thought process works. For example, in math class, you can walk your students through the process of solving a problem. In language classes, you could walk your students through how you would break down a word for proper pronunciation and potential meaning.
Let the students do the modeling:
Give the students the opportunities throughout the class to model their strengths to the class by allowing them to share their ideas with other students and let other students learn from each other.
Using modeling makes a huge impact on how well your students understand the skill or knowledge you are working on. Sometimes, students need to see how it is done, not just hear how it should be done, in order to find success.
3. Supporting Student-Centered Learning
In modern education, there is a trend for embracing student-centered learning. Here are the benefits that students can get from supporting student-centered learning in online teaching.
- Student-centered learning depends mainly on getting to know what students already know. This can affect what new information is important to them and how they process new information. So, to support student-centered learning in your teaching online, students should be free to work at their own pace, starting at their ability level or base of knowledge.
- Reflection is a very important part of student-centered learning as it leads them to look back at what they learned, how they learned it, and where they need to go from here. To support student-centered learning, online teaching environment should provide the students with more opportunities for this type of reflection.
- Students who are involved in student-centered learning have reportedly been more motivated and satisfied with the learning experience. This is because they are more likely to feel accomplished by their work than if they were simply doing what the teacher told them to do. Putting that in mind, you should design interesting and engaging online material for your students.
- Student-centered learning is open to differentiation, which allows all students to progress although they are developmentally and cognitively different. Online teachers should think seriously about leading all of their students to reach a specific spot at the end of the class.
One of the biggest obstacles online teachers may face is the students who are not engaged. Studies have shown that using interactive learning tasks, asking students to control their learning, and take responsibility for their development, lead to more motivation and progress from the students than in traditional classrooms.
I’m About to Launch a Resource Guide for Online Teachers
This guide is coming as soon as possible including all possible workable links to useful websites, Youtube videos, ppt slides, and other valuable online resources that all online teachers need to learn more about:
- Their English language level (links to the best placement tests).
- The best apps for language learning.
- Links to a lot of English courses that meet different English levels.
- How to practice speaking English with native speakers.
- Methods and approaches to teaching English.
- Lesson planning and assessment.
- How to teach English to young learners.
- How to teach the four English skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing.
- Valuable resources for teaching English for academic purposes and business.
- Using visual aids and technology in teaching English.
If you are interested in getting this resource guide, email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) with just “Interested” in the subject line so that I will notify you when I have already launched this guide telling you how to get it and how much it costs.