Teaching online is much more challenging than face-to-face. We keep on talking about games, energizers or way (s) to motivate learners to foster their learning engagement online.
There are four main pillars any instructor may consider in distance learning:
Keep your language simple: Grading your language in a normal classroom should also be applied when teaching online. Whether you are teaching English or Maths, you should keep on using clear, simple and short structured sentences. The aim behind that is to keep an engaging, positive voice which would make the taught subject more familiar and easy to be understood by students.
Delegrate responsabilities: In a group work, for instance, try to apoint leaders who would then help their classmates to go through the task all together. The appointed role -leader- will not be limited to get the work done but to also help learners communicate. Add to that, and if used well, both the teacher and the learners would create a nice working environment based on partnership and mutual collaboration. Giving each member a role to play within a group would aid to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. On the other side, online instructor would find it easier to assess the work of a group rather than individuals.
Keep an eye on their progress: Assessment is maybe the easiest part when teaching online. Technology gives us this instant overview of learners’ workload and progress. As in a real class, a formal or informal assessment to track how the input is being used, through activities for example, and how learners respond to that. However, there is another broader demension which is related to encouragement. Knowing who is doing what, when, how and the outcome from it would push the instructor to either praise good achievers or puch lurkers to be more active with others. By doing that, you are making them aware that you are interested in what they are doing and making that sense of common belongin to same involvement.
Making learning fun and creative: Definitely the best part! At this stage try to be the source of creativeness and empress your learners by bringing new trendy online tools that would help them mirror their daily life interest but also contribute to their interpersonal skills. Activities can be based on songs, short animation films and or design. Use the TMP which is related to:
- Think outside of the box
- Match it with your lesson
- Popularize it among them
I am sure there are many other factors to consider but following up these simple tips would surely lead you to more improvement.