Online education has its own set of challenges
With the onset of the pandemic, education has seen a paradigm shift in terms of how students learn. Entering the digital era, there is a lot of anxiety, depression, disappointment, and bewilderment in the air. Online classes have been relatively challenging for both teachers and students alike. Joining classes through a webcam isn’t always fun, and both educators and learners have been struggling.
Online teaching requires a lot of creativity to keep the brains of the students stimulated. Moreover, it requires completely different skill sets to keep the students glued to their screens. Staying at home and in their comfort zone, there can be potential distractions. Keeping the students interested, motivated, and engaged in such an environment is one of the biggest challenges that educators face. They need to design and deliver interactive, responsive, well-supported, and fun lessons.
A classroom devoid of creativity will only make the students bored. Therefore, every online teacher asks the most common question is, “How can I make my online classroom more exciting?”. However, there is no straightforward answer as every classroom is different, and every student is unique.
7 Effective Strategies To Make Online Education More Interesting
Bring Variations In Teaching
Online teaching carries enough boredom with itself, and if there is no variation, your students will be less likely to turn up to your class. Therefore, you need to present your best online self and learn to look confident and clean. A good first impression will allow you to earn the respect of your students, and they will be open to cooperation.
Additionally, your classroom is filled with varieties of learners; therefore, it’s a no-brainer that not one type of teaching will cater to all. If you are concerned about the holistic growth of your students, try revamping your teaching techniques. Here are some ways how you can bring variation in your class:
- Use your screen time logically and incorporate video lessons instead of just reading from the study materials or showing a bunch of presentation slides.
- Change the manner and tone of your involving audio lessons like relevant stories, podcasts, audio clips, etc.
- Encourage more and more in-class activities to facilitate blended learning and bring fun into your classroom.
Teaching online comes with its fair share of challenges; however, you are exposed to a lot of cool things right at your fingertips. Use these powerful tools to your advantage to curate more attractive classes. However, before beginning, make sure you learn how to use all these virtual tools and invest enough time explaining their uses to your students. Additionally, feel confident while using them and think about the ways to incorporate those tools to liven up your classroom. Here is how you can use technological devices in your virtual classroom:
- Use whiteboard and drawing tools to make teaching and learning more interactive.
- Introduce gamified learning to curate a clear understanding of the concept and encourage teamwork and collaboration.
- Create digital content by adding several multimedia elements like colorful images, short video clips, animation, audio soundtracks, etc.
Motivate Your Students
Motivation is the key to better student productivity and effective learning. Moreover, this is one of the most critical contributors to making online learning successful. Therefore, discuss the course’s value, utility, and applicability from the very first day itself. Enable your students to understand how the course can lay the foundation for more advanced learning in the future. Align them with the benefits they will gain from attending the lecture, such as professional skills, interpersonal and personal skills, etc.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals and sticking to them reminds your students about the learning process. Moreover, they are also able to track the progress that gives them a sense of control. They learn to hold themselves accountable for their successes and failures that nurture holistic learning development. Set small, realistic, and achievable goals for your students and reward them for achieving such milestones. For example, if you have given them a research assignment to complete, instruct them to do it on their own without the help of any research paper writers. There will be no tasks for the following few classes if they can successfully accomplish this. Setting realistic goals enables them to stay motivated. If you are struggling to set milestones, try these tips:
- Set a clear outline of your classes and let your students know the rewards you might give them for finishing tasks.
- Try badges, points, feedbacks, cheerful animations, or do some fun activity together that your students might like.
- Create short-term progress checks for your learners to enable them to know about their current status and how they can improve themselves.
Keep Discussions Interactive
It is easier to give the student a reflective journal to write or a text to read to measure their potential in offline classrooms. However, these activities do not hold a place in virtual classrooms. Reading long texts on the screen might be challenging, and also silence does not translate well in online classrooms. It allows the perfect opportunity for a student’s mind to drift somewhere else. Therefore, keep your discussions interactive so that you can grab your student’ attention at all times. Here are some tips that you can try:
- Plan your activities to keep your students actively engaged, like typing, clicking, or talking throughout the session.
- Ask for feedback on your teaching methods and switch things up a little if and when required.
- Invite your students to contribute and encourage peer evaluation for some fun and to evolve their social skills.
Make Students Valued
Making your students feel valued is one of the most crucial requirements of an online classroom. The isolation experienced by students during class can be a significant reason for their demotivation. It forces them to think that no one would notice if they skip a class or two or do not log in at the right time. If you are also facing these struggles in your class, try out these suggestions:
- Ensure that all your students know each other’s names and try to play an ice-breaker activity for the introduction.
- Do some research on your student’s interests and hobbies and curate activities based on that to keep them engaged and encouraged.
Online classes take a lot more creativity and patience than offline learning, and therefore, it can be more challenging to master such an environment. However, you can make your classroom more engaging and attractive with the tips mentioned above. Doing this will allow you to build a solid foundation for virtual classes, and your students will have the best experience possible.